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Friday, Dec. 11, 2009

Neumark Named Chair of UC Berkeley Chemistry Department

sDaniel Neumark, a leading authority on chemical dynamics and spectroscopy who has directed Berkeley Lab’s Chemical Sciences Division (CSD) since 2000, has been named to serve as the next chair of the UC Berkeley Chemistry Department. The appointment is effective July 1, 2010, and he has offered to remain on as CSD director until that time so a successor can be chosen without requiring the appointment of an acting director. Neumark, 54, received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from Harvard in 1977, spent a year at Cambridge University, then in 1984 obtained his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from UC Berkeley, where he has remained except for a two-year stint as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Colorado.

“It is with mixed emotions that I write to all of you to announce that I will be stepping down as Director of the Chemical Sciences Division by next summer,” Neumark said in a letter to CSD staff. “When I agreed to become Division Director in 2000, I had no concept of how rewarding the experience was going to be. We all know that Berkeley Lab presents a complex working environment, but in terms of sheer scientific density it is a truly unique institution, and I have very much enjoyed working with and getting to know all the scientists and administrative staff in Chemical Sciences Division.”

In addition to carrying out fundamental research in chemical sciences and engineering, CSD is also responsible for operating both the Chemical Dynamics beamline and the Molecular Environmental Sciences Facility at the Advanced Light Source (ALS). Most recently, Neumark and CSD chemist Stephen Leone have been collaborating on the development of an attosecond beamline at the ALS.

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