Prof. Allen J. Bard, University of Texas at Austin
Professor Kendall N. Houk

2013 Habermann Lecture

The Department of Chemistry is pleased to announce that Habermann Lecturer Prof. Kendall N. Houk, Saul Winstein Chair in Organic Chemistry at University of California Los Angeles will present "Cycloadditions in Synthesis, Chemical Biology, and Materials Chemistry: Dynamics and Mechanisms" on Friday, August 30, 2013.

Prof. Houk joined the faculty at Louisiana State University in 1968, becoming professor in 1976. In 1980, he moved to the university of Pittsburgh, and in 1986, he moved to UCLA. From 1988-1990, he was Director of the Chemistry Division of the National Science Foundation. He was Chairman of the UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry from 1991-1994.

Prof. Houk received the Akron American Chemical Society (ACS) Section Award in 1984. He was awarded the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award of the ACS in 1988, the James Flack Norris Award in Physical Organic Chemistry of the ACS in 1991, the Schrodinger Medal of the World Association of Theoretically Oriented Chemists (WATOC) in 1998, the Tolman Medal of the Southern California Section of the ACS in 1999, the ACS Award for Computers in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2003, and the Arthur C. Cope Award of the ACS in 2009, the Robert Robinson Award of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2012, and the Glenn T. Seaborg Medal from UCLA in 2013.

His achievements have been recognized by a variety of U.S. and international fellowships. He was a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher Scholar, a Fellow of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the von Humboldt Foundation U.S. Senior Scientist in 1981, an Erskine Fellow in New Zealand in 1993, the Lady Davis Fellow at the Technion in Haifa, Israel in 2000, and a JSPS Fellow in Japan in 2001. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2002 and the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Sciences in 2003. He is a Fellow of the AAAS, the ACS, and the WATOC. He was named Saul Winstein Chair in Organic Chemistry in 2009 at UCLA. He was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2010.

Professor Houk is an authority on theoretical and computational organic chemistry. His group develops rules to understand reactivity, computationally models complex organic reactions, and experimentally tests the predictions of theory. He collaborates prodigiously with chemists all over the world. Among current interests are the theoretical investigations and design of enzyme-catalyzed reactions, the quantitative modeling of asymmetric reactions used in synthesis, the mechanisms and dynamics of pericyclic reactions and competing diradical processes, and the molecular dynamics and reactions of hemicarcerands and other host-guest complexes. He has published approximately 800 articles in refereed journals and is among the 100 most-cited chemists.


Eugene Habermann was born and raised in the city of Milwaukee, not far from Marquette University. He served in the Army during World War II and then attended Marquette University under the GI bill, receiving a BS degree in business administration in 1958, while working full-time as a time-study analyst at Briggs & Stratton. Mr. Habermann never married and lived with other members of his family. He was described as a "jovial, pleasant man, with a good sense of humor." A relative, noting his frugality, stated, "He was a sharp investor. It wasn't a hobby for him."

Mr. Habermann admired chemists who were well-trained and knew their art and thus established the Habermann-Pfletschinger Chair in Chemistry at Marquette University in honor of his parents.

The Habermann Lecture series is to perpetuate the memory of Eugene Habermann and to recognize his generosity and support of Marquette University and our chemistry department.

Previous Habermann Lecturers


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