Dr. Sandra Luber
University of Zurich,
Clara Immerwahr Award 2017
Sandra Luber obtained her MSc degree in chemistry at ETH Zurich (Switzerland) in 2007, followed by a PhD in quantum chemistry with emphasis on spectroscopy (supervisor: Prof. M. Reiher) at ETH Zurich in 2009. After a postdoctoral stay with Prof. M. Zavolan in the field of bioinformatics at Biozentrum of the University of Basel (2010), she joined the group of Prof. V. S. Batista at Yale University (2010-‐2011) in order to work, among others, on water oxidation catalysis in nature’s photosystem II. After 10 months in industry
(2012) within the Start-‐in program for young talents at BASF SE in Germany, she became project group leader in computational chemistry and materials science with Prof. J. Hutter at the University of Zurich. Her habilitation thesis has been submitted beginning of July 2016.
Her outstanding contributions are reflected in the high number of peer-‐reviewed articles (more than 45; 3 patents) and talks (more than 17 only counting from 2015). Awards include the ETH medal for an outstanding PhD thesis, Forschungskredit from the University of Zurich, and the IBM Research Prize for Computer Modelling and Simulations in Chemistry, Biology, and Materials Science.
Current research encompasses the development and application of new computational methods for condensed phase systems, spectroscopy, and catalysis, mainly based on density functional theory and ab initio molecular dynamics. Recent work has dealt with the detailed investigation of complex liquids and functional molecules in the gas phase and on surfaces. Together with PhD students and embedded in the university research priority program “Light to Chemical Energy Conversion” as well as the national competence center in research “Materials’ Revolution: Computational Design and Discovery of Novel Materials”, she has especially focused on the accurate study and smart design of novel bio-‐inspired catalysts for efficient solar-‐light driven water splitting.