Junwei (Lucas) Bao of the Truhlar group has received the Overend Award in Physical Chemistry. His research includes an original method for pressure-dependent rate constants in chemical kinetics, the identification of systematic methods to choose active spaces for multireference quantum mechanical calculations on transition metal chemistry by both multiconfiguration wave function methods and multiconfiguration pair-density functional theory, and the calculation of reliable rate constants for reactions important to nucleation in plasmas. His work has involved collaboration with Professor Laura Gagliardi, current or past visiting professors Annia Galano, Bo Long, Xuefei Xu, and Xin Zhang, research associates Rubén Meana-Pañeda and Jingjing Zhang, postdoctoral associates Giovanni Li Manni, Andrew Sand, and Prasenjit Seal, graduate students Kaining Duanmu, Samuel Odoh, and Haoyu Yu, and visiting graduate student Lili Zhang plus other researchers at other institutions. The work at the University of Minnesota has been funded by DOE and NSF.
Lucas began his graduate work in our department in fall 2014. He received a teaching award in 2015. He was awarded a best poster prize at the 15th International Congress of Quantum Chemistry in 2015. He was awarded the Beaker and Bunsen Award for a best presentation at the 2016 Chemistry Graduate Student Research Symposium in 2016. He has received the John Overend Award for graduate research in physical chemistry; these fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis to the University's most accomplished Ph. D. candidates.
His work has led so far to nineteen published and accepted papers in leading journals, on 12 of which he is sole first author, and on a thirteenth of which he is flagged for contributing equally with the first author. His 13 first-author papers include one each in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Journal of the American Chemical Society (the flagship journal of the ACS), Chemical Science (the flagship journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry), and ACS Catalysis, six in Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, and three in Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation. The other six are in ACS Energy Letters, Chemistry - A European Journal, Accounts of Chemical Research, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Advanced Energy Materials, and The Journal of Physical Chemistry A.