Odile Eisenstein

Research Director
French National Centre for Scientific Research

Dr. Eisenstein is a Directeur de Recherche Class Exceptionnelle at CNRS, CTMM at the Université de Montpellier. She has dramatically impacted the field of catalysis research using computational chemistry by establishing many long-standing collaborations with experimentalists, whereby computational and experimental approaches are pursued in parallel to expedite discovery and development. Indeed she is broadly recognized for her breadth of expertise which has succeeded in bringing computational methods to experimental chemists, while simultaneously expanding the understanding of experimental complexity amongst theoreticians.

She is a dynamic and engaging researcher and speaker who has visited institutions and conferences around the world to present her cutting-edge work using Density Functional Theory to understand catalytic reactions at the molecular level. Her computational approaches are recognized as world-leading and consequently she and her team are highly-sought-after collaborators for addressing challenges and research problems. In this work she has received many awards and distinctions since beginning her scholarly career in 1982. She has published over 300 journal articles and she has given over 250 invited lectures, including keynote presentations at leading international meetings. She is a pioneer amongst theoretical chemists and an inspiring role model for women chemists from around the world.

Primary Recipient Awards

French Scholars Lecture Series, Odile Eisenstein, 2013

Odile Eisenstein

Lecture Topic: Chemistry in the Computer, Leveraging Computational Power for Evolving Approaches in Developing New Chemical Reactions

About 50 years ago, three short communications by Woodward and Hoffmann changed the relationship between chemistry and quantum chemistry. It became clear that computational chemistry could contribute to the understanding of structures and reactivity even with methods that could give only qualitative information. Methods have improved and present calculations give results that are accurate in many situations. However, interpretations using language and concepts that are shared by experimental and computational chemists are still and will be for a long time the driving force for the dialog between the two communities. This dialog will be illustrated in the case of the structure and reactivity of transition metal molecular species. In these systems the variety of bonding situations, which determine structures and reactivity, could be understood without the contribution of calculations.