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Brian T. Sutcliffe

Personal Data

Born 30th July 1936, Croydon, Surrey, England.


  State elementary schools in Preston, Lancs. and Croydon, Surrey.
  Selhurst Grammar School for Boys, the Crescent, Croydon.
  University of Keele, Keele, Staffordshire. B.A. (1st Class Hons.) in Physics and Chemistry.
  Studied at Keele and at the University of Manchester for a Ph. D. on "Theoretical studies of the properties of some atoms and small molecules'' under Prof. R. McWeeny.
  Fulbright Fellow first in the Solid State and Molecular Theory Group at MIT with Prof. J.C. Slater and then with Prof. J.W. Moskowitz at NYU.
  DSIR Fellow, Quantum Theory Group, University of Keele
  Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader and Professor in Chemistry, University of York.
  Visiting Professor, Service de Chimie Quantique et Photophysique, Université Libre de Bruxelles.

Visiting Appointments

Short appointments (usually for about three months) as Visiting Professor:

  • NYU in 1966, 1968, 1978, 1981, and 1994;
  • University of Toronto, 1966 and 1969;
  • University of Florida (Gainesville), 1993;
  • University of Minnesota, (Minneapolis) 1989;
  • Max-Planck Inst. für Phys. u. Astrophys., 1971 and 1974.
  • Denmark's Technical University, 1996.
  • Thomas Brody Visiting Professor, Univ. Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico, 1997.

Appointments of three months or more:

  • Carlsberg Visiting Professor, H.C. Ørsted Inst.,Univ. of Copenhagen, 1973.
  • Visiting Professor, Dept. of Theoretical Chemistry, Univ. of Nijmegen, 1980-81.
  • Visting Professor, Quantum Theory Project, University of Florida (Gainesville), 1993.
  • Visiting Professor, Dept of Chemistry, New York University, 1994.
  • Visiting Scientist, Pacific Northwest Laboratories of the Battelle Institute, Hanford, Washington, 1994.
  • Visiting Professor, Department of Theoretical Studies, Institute for Molecular Science of the Okazaki National Research Institutes, Japan, 1999.
  • Szent-Györgyi Professorial Fellow, Eötvös Loránd University University, Budapest. 2005
  • Visiting Researcher, Department of Theoretical Studies, Institute for Molecular Science of the Okazaki National Research Institutes, Japan, 2007.


  • April 1992, elected a foreign fellow of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters (Det Kongelike Dansk Videnskabernes Selskab).

  • September 1992, Lennard-Jones lecturer of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

  • February 1993, Brønsted Bjerrum Linderstrom-Lange lecturer of the Royal Danish Academy.

  • December 1994, appointed Affiliate Scientist of Pacific Northwest Laboratories of the Battelle Institute, Hanford, Washington.

Research Interest

  • Molecular electronic structure calculations using both non-empirical methods and density functional methods; the calculation and modelling of electronic potential energy surfaces for the study of the molecular rotation-vibration problem.

  • The many-surface problem; inter-surface coupling and the breakdown of the Born-Oppenheimer@ approximation.

  • The calculation of molecular rotation-vibration spectra both by variational and finite-element methods.

  • The use of computer aided algebra in constructing Hamiltonians and trial functions in non-standard coordinate systems.

  • Although I am retired and no longer take graduate students, I still maintain a lively interest in the problem of molecular structure and in the justification (if any is possible) of the clamped nuclei version of Schrödinger's Hamiltonian for a collection of electrons and nuclei. I am thus delighted to communicate with any rational being with similar interests and to engage in discussions on these and related topics.

@For those who do not speak German and who really want to know what Born and Oppenheimer said and to assess its relevance to what is actually done in clamped nuclei calculations, an online version of a translation of their classic paper can be downloaded by clicking this link (pdf 137kb).


See here.

Université Libre de Bruxelles – Faculté des Sciences