Physical Chemistry Division

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Physical Chemistry Division

About the Division

The RACI Physical Division spans all aspects of physical and theoretical chemistry, including mass spectrometry, optical spectroscopy, surface chemistry, condensed phase chemical physics, chemical kinetics, biophysical chemistry and theoretical and computational chemistry. We have regular divisional meetings, and award two major prizes: the Physical Division Medal in recognition of outstanding contributions by an individual to the field of Physical Chemistry in Australia, and the Physical Chemistry Division Lectureship to allow outstanding early- and mid-career physical chemists to travel around Australia and present the results of their research work.



Assoc. Prof Adam Trevitt
University of Wollongong

Immediate Past-Chair

Prof. Michelle Coote
Australian National University


Dr David Huang
University of Adelaide‚Äč


Assoc. Prof Tak Kee
University of Adelaide

Program Coordinator

Professor Scott Kable
University of New South Wales

Division Awards

Recipients of the RACI Physical Chemistry Division Medal

1994 Brian Orr
1998 Robert Gilbert
2001 Ken Ghiggino
2004 Michael Collins
2005 Noel Hush
2007 Calum Drummond
2010 Leo Radom
2011 Keith King
2013 Julian Gale
2014 Jeffrey Reimers
2016 Scott Kable

Recipients of the RACI Physical Chemistry Division Lectureship

2008 Timothy Schmidt
2010 Duncan Wild
2011 Ekaterina Izgorodina-Pas
2014 Angus Gray-Weale
2015 Adam Trevitt
2016 William (Alex) Donald

Past Chairs

R. H. Stokes (Foundation Chair, 1974-76)
Tom Spurling (1976- 80)
Brian Orr (1980-83)
Bob Watts (1984)
Bob Gilbert (1985-86)
Ken Ghiggino (1987-88)
Keith King (1989-90)
Alan Knight (1991-1993)
Mick Collins (1993-1997)
Warren Lawrance (1997-2002)
Scott Kable (2002– 2005)
Mark Buntine (2005-2010)
Jeffrey Reimers (2010-2013)
Michelle Coote (2013-2015)

RACI Physical Chemistry Conferences

The Division was established in 1974. At the time, a Division had to have one successful national meeting before it could be declared a Division. This was held in Perth as part of the 45th ANZAAS meeting in 1974. The second meeting, after which the Division was formed) was at the 5th National Convention in Canberra in May 1974. Regular stand-alone Physical Chemistry Divisional conferences started as the Australian Conference on Chemical Reaction Dynamics in 1983, before broadening to their current form, covering all aspects of Physical Chemistry in 1995.

The Australian Conference on Chemical Reaction Dynamics:

  • Leura, NSW, in 1983 (Brian Orr Conference Chair),
  • Leura, NSW, in 1986 (Bob Gilbert Conference Chair)
  • Warburton, Vic, in 1988 (Ken Ghiggino Conference Chair)
  • McLaren Vale, SA, in 1990 (Keith King Conference Chair)
  • Armidale, NSW, in 1993 (Alan Knight Conference Chair).

The Australian Conference on Physical Chemistry:

  • Canberra in 1995 (Mick Collins Conference Chair).
  • Brisbane in 1998 (Sean Smith Conference Chair).
  • Canberra (as part of the 11th RACI Convention) in 2000 (Elmars Krausz Conference Chair).
  • Christchurch (jointly with NZIC), February 2002 (Leon Phillips Conference Chair)
  • Hobart in 2004 (Brian Yates Conference Chair)
  • Sydney (as part of the 12th RACI Convention) in 2005 (Scott Kable Conference Co-Chair, Jeff Reimers Phys. Chem. Chair)
  • Adelaide (jointly with the Organic Division) in 2007 (Mark Buntine Conference Co-Chair)
  • Melbourne (RACI Physical Chemistry Workshop held in in conjunction with 5th International Conference on Advanced Vibrational Spectroscopy) in 2009 (Evan Robertson Phys. Chem. Chair)
  • Wollongong (BioPhysChem2011,joint meeting of the RACI Physical Chemistry Division and the Australian Society for Biophysics, December 2011, Adam Trevitt Conference Chair)
  • Hobart (RACI PhysChem2013. December 2013. Tak Kee & Evan Bieske Conference co-Chairs)
  • Christchurch NZ (RACI PhysChem2016, February 2016, Sarah Masters Conference Chair)

Further Information