Dr. Christopher J. Cramer

Distinguished McKnight and University Teaching Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Physics


Chris Cramer majored in both Chemistry and Mathematics at Washington University in St. Louis, graduating with an A.B. summa cum laude in 1983. He then commenced graduate work in organic synthesis at the University of Illinois, from which he earned his Ph.D. in 1988. His professional career began with four and one half years of service as an active-duty officer in the United States Army, which included a tour in Korea, research experience at Aberdeen Proving Ground, and combat duty in Operation Desert Storm. In 1992, Cramer began his academic career at the University of Minnesota, where he remains today. He is currently a Distinguished McKnight and University Teaching Professor and he holds the Elmore H. Northey Chair in the Department of Chemistry. In addition to his academic duties, he serves as the Editor of Theoretical Chemistry Accounts and as the North American Editor for the Journal of Physical Organic Chemistry. He has been recognized as a fellow by the American Chemical Society, as well as by the Alfred P. Sloan and John Simon Guggenheim foundations. Cramer is a recipient of the Arthur S. Flemming award, and he is also the author of the textbook Essentials of Computational Chemistry: Theories and Models, and of over 350 original research articles. His research interests encompass the development and application of models that include condensed-phase effects on structure and reactivity, the characterization of the electronic structures of organic and inorganic systems having frontier-orbital near degeneracies, and the application of computational methods for both catalyst and materials design, with special interest in water splitting and oxygen activation.