The Department of Chemistry News

In Memoriam of Dieter Cremer

Dieter Cremer, Professor of Chemistry, passed away on Thursday, April 13.


Professor Cremer was a highly distinguished researcher in the field of Theoretical and Computational Chemistry, where his extensive research ranged from the development of state-of-the-art relativistic methods and computer programs for the investigation of homogeneous and enzyme catalysis, the study of chemical bonding based on vibrational spectroscopy, protein structure and folding, to the analysis of environmental pollutants. Director of CATCO (the Computational and Theoretical Chemistry Group), Professor Cremer was also fundamental in the development of the new PhD program in Theoretical and Computational Chemistry at SMU, which will accept its first students this autumn. In 2012, he brought the international biannual Austin Symposium on Molecular Structure and Dynamics to SMU.

Educated at the University of Cologne, Professor Cremer completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Carnegie-Mellon University with Nobel Laureate John Pople. He taught in Germany, South Africa, Sweden, and at the University of the Pacific in California before joining the faculty of SMU in 2009. Professor Cremer’s research was funded by a Heisenberg Professorship, and by the German, Swedish, and US National Science Foundations. He published more than 385 peer-reviewed research articles in high-ranking journals, more than 75 during his time at SMU. He presented his research at almost 200 national and international conferences and he supervised nearly 70 graduate students, 20 postdoctoral associates, and over 40 undergraduates. Nineteen of the graduate and postgraduate students he supervised have since become professors at universities in seven different countries around the world. Winner of an SMU Ford Research Fellowship in 2014, Professor Cremer’s expertise was additionally sought by national funding agencies in various countries.

Professor Cremer’s family held a private ceremony in his honor. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to make a contribution in honor of Dieter Cremer to support graduate student work in the Theoretical and Computational Chemistry program should make gifts to the Chemistry Gift Fund.