Joseph Subotnik, professor of chemistry, has been named Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor of Chemistry. A theoretical chemist who focuses on electronic processes in the condensed phase, Dr. Subotnik has made key contributions in electronic structure theory, chemical dynamics and statistical mechanics. Going beyond standard techniques from perturbation theory, he has developed novel nonadiabatic approaches to achieve a comprehensive theoretical and computational understanding of electronic relaxation (from excited to ground states), electron transfer, energy transfer and multilinear spectroscopy. He has received many prizes and awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, a National Science Foundation Career Advancement Award, the Presidential Early Career Award for Science and Engineering (PECASE), a Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering, the Research Corporation Cottrell Scholar Award and a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award.
The Kahn endowed term chairs were established through a bequest by Mr. and Mrs. Edmund J. Kahn. Mr. Kahn was a 1925 Wharton graduate who had a highly successful career in the oil and natural gas industry. His wife, a graduate of Smith College, worked for Newsweek and owned an interior design firm. The couple supported many programs and projects in the University of Pennsylvania, including Van Pelt-Dietrich Library, the Modern Languages College House and other initiatives in scholarship and the humanities.