January 11th Dinner Meeting

Rigoberto Hernandez, Ph.D.
Gompf Family Professor Chemistry
Johns Hopkins Department of Chemistry

Diverse Chemistry Topics and the Diversity of Chemistry

Dr. Rigoberto Hernandez. Used with permission by Dr. Hernandez.

Dr. Rigoberto Hernandez is the Gompf Family Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the Johns Hopkins University as of July 2016, and remains as the Director of the Open Chemistry Collaborative in Diversity Equity (OXIDE) since 2011. Before Hopkins, he was a Professor in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Georgia Tech, and Co-Director of the Center for Computational Molecular Science and Technology he co-founded. He holds a B.S.E. in Chemical Engineering and Mathematics from Princeton University (1989), and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley (1993).  (Hernandez was born in Güinez, Havana, Cuba but was raised and educated in the United States of America since he was in primary school. He is a U.S. citizen by birthright.)

Dr. Hernandez is the recipient of a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award (1997), Research Corporation Cottrell Scholar Award (1999), the Alfred P. Sloan Fellow Award (2000), a Humboldt Research Fellowship (2006-07), the ACS Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences (2014), the CCR Diversity Award (2015), the RCSA Transformative Research and Exceptional Education (TREE) Award (2016), and the Herty Medal (2017).  He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS, 2004), the American Chemical Society (ACS, 2010), and the American Physical Society (APS, 2011). In 2015-2016, he was a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar. At Georgia Tech, he served as the first Blanchard Assistant Professor of Chemistry (1999-2001), the first Goizueta Foundation Junior Rotating Faculty Chair (2002-07) and a Vasser Woolley Faculty Fellow (2011-13). His recent board memberships include the National Academies Panel within the Army Research Laboratory Technical Assessment Board (2005-2011), the National Academies Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology (2007-2010), the Telluride Summer Research Conference Board of Directors (2007-09), the NIH Study Section on Molecular Structure and Function B (MSFB, 2009-2013), the DOE Committee of Visitors (Division of Chemical Sciences, Geosciences and Bio-sciences, 2014), the Research Corporation Cottrell Scholars Advisory Committee (member 2011-15, and chair 2016-17), the Sloan MPHD Advisory Committee (2013-2018) and the American Chemical Society Board of Directors (2014-2019).

Dr.Hernandez’s research programs are currently funded by the NSF through a single-investigator grant and the CCI Center for Sustainable Nanomaterials.  The OXIDE effort is cofunded by the NSF, DOE and NIH.


The heterogeneity and complexity in the chemistry needed to solve today’s grand challenges is increasingly multiscale and out of equilibrium. Examples include the characterization of chemical reaction rates and pathways far-from-equilibrium, the design and characterization of sustainable nanomaterials with requisite function, and the characterization of proteins in motion. Recent advances in the theoretical and computational chemistry of such diverse topics provides a glimpse of the power of our emerging toolkit. The Open Chemistry Collaborative in Diversity Equity (OXIDE) is aimed at institutional reform so as to lower inequitable barriers hindering the success of faculty from diverse groups. The collaborative itself is a partnership with the department heads of research-active chemistry departments, social scientists and other key stakeholders. The lowering of these barriers increases the likelihood that individuals in the tenure pipeline will have equitable chances of success and thereby leads to changes in faculty demographics closer to those of the broader U.S. population. Such diversity is also critical for addressing the complexity in the grand challenges of this century.


Meeting Logistics

Date: Thursday, January 11, 2018

Time: 6:00 p.m. social hour
6:30 p.m. dinner
7:00 p.m. presentation

Location: ACS Headquarters, Marvel Hall
1155 16th Street, N.W. – Washington, DC

Menu (catered by VIPS Catering): slow cooked pot-roasted beef with potato, carrot, onion, pepper in brown gravy; grilled chicken with leek, celery, caper & mushroom; garlic mashed potato with side of gravy; grilled asparagus & charred tomato; Caesar salad; cookies/brownies; dinner rolls/butter.

Vegetarian Option — You must request the vegetarian option: Cumin & coriander scented grilled tofu topped with peppers & onion; served with a side of pearl cous cous, grilled vegetables.

Cost: $22 Members/Guests :: $11 Students

RSVP by noon, January 9 to csw@acs.org or by phone (messages only: 202-659-2650). Please provide the names in your party when you RSVP and if you want the vegetarian option. The public is invited to attend. You may attend the talk only, but reservations are appreciated.

Parking: Parking is available in nearby commercial parking garages. Please be aware that the garage closing times vary. Parking is also available on the street after 6:30 p.m., but be aware that most parking meters are in effect until 10:00 p.m. and may be limited to 2 hours. You should check the individual meters for details and payment methods as some are no longer coin-operated.

Metro: Blue/Orange/Silver Line: McPherson Square or Farragut West. Red Line: Farragut North.