Curt Breneman Named Acting Dean of Science

Appointment effective June 1

Curt Breneman

Curt Breneman

President Shirley Ann Jackson has announced the appointment of Curt Breneman as acting dean for the School of Science. The appointment of Breneman is effective June 1, and he will serve as the acting dean until a dean of science is named. “Dr. Breneman will report to me for strategic oversight of the School of Science and to Provost Prabhat Hajela for the day-to-day academic and administrative operations,” President Jackson said in making the announcement. “Dr. Breneman will serve as a member of the Dean’s Council, and will meet regularly with me to discuss progress toward the School of Science FY’15 Performance Plan initiatives.”

Breneman, a full professor in the School of Science, joined Rensselaer in 1989, and was appointed as head of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology in 2012. Breneman’s research is in the field of computational chemistry and predictive cheminformatics, with emphasis on both computational drug discovery methodology and materials informatics methods. His materials informatics work led to his appointment as an adviser to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy/National Institute of Standards in Technology Materials Genome Initiative program.

Breneman has published more than 100 journal articles, 16 book chapters, and numerous refereed conference proceedings, and holds a patent on his molecular property descriptor technology (“PEST”),which has been licensed by several major pharmaceutical companies. His “RS-Predictor” drug metabolism method is currently in use across the drug discovery industry, and his “YAMS” materials informatics software has been supported by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and licensed by a major aerospace company. Breneman’s “CHELPG” atomic charge algorithm was used to parameterize several major molecular force-fields and is an integral part of the Gaussian series of quantum mechanical software, which is used by thousands of universities and companies worldwide.

Breneman is a fellow of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and served the ACS Division of Computers in Chemistry as both treasurer/fundraiser for 10 years, and then as chair of the division in 2010.

Breneman received his B.S. in chemistry from UCLA and his Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Barbara for his work in physical organic chemistry. Immediately prior to joining Rensselaer, Breneman performed postdoctoral research at Yale University in the field of theoretical and computational chemistry.

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