Eluvathingal D Jemmis, after obtaining his BSc from University College, Thiruvananthapuram and St Thomas College, Thrissur and MSc from IIT Kanpur, joined Princeton University (1973) under the supervision of Profs Paul von Rague Schleyer and John Pople (1998 Nobel Laureate). Moving along with his supervisors Jemmis spent one semester at the University of Munich and four semesters at the University of Erlangen-Nuernberg. He was awarded the PhD degree (1978) from Princeton. After a two-year post-doctoral work at Cornell University with Professor Roald Hoffmann (1981 Nobel Laureate), he joined the School of Chemistry, University of Hyderabad (1980) rising to the rank of Professor (1990) and Dean (2002). Jemmis was a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University, Canberra (1991) and a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Computational Quantum Chemistry of the University of Georgia, Athens (2000). Dr. Jemmis is an honorary Professor at JNCASR and Adjunct Professor at ICTS-TIFR. In 2005 he accepted an invitation from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore and joined the Department of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry. In 2008 Dr. Jemmis moved again, this time on a five year deputation, accepting the responsibility to start the Indian Institute of Science Education and ResearchThiruvananthapuram. He returned to IISc after the deputation in June 2013.
Academic and Research Achievements: Jemmis is engaged in the study of structure and reactivity of molecules, clusters and solids using theoretical methods. A constant attempt is made by his group to find common threads between problems of different areas, viz. between organic and organometallic chemistry; amongst the chemistry of various main group elements; between polymorphs of elements and their compounds; etc. His group not only gets numbers as an answer to a problem, but also tries to find out why the numbers turn out the way they do, based on overlap of orbitals, perturbation theory and symmetry, and devise transferable models. Significant results have been obtained in understanding the electronic structure of three-dimensional aromatic compounds, polyhedral boranes, electron counting rules for polycondensation, structure of elemental boron allotropes, and reactions of transition metal organometallics. Several of his predictions have been proved experimentally. The Jemmis mno Rules for polyhedral boranes have found a place in textbooks and are being taught in Inorganic Chemistry Courses in leading educational institutions around the world. He has mentored 20 PhD students and several postdoctoral and students and research associates, and published about 200 research articles.
Other Contributions: Jemmis has served the cause of University of Hyderabad, Indian Institute of Science, the science academies, many Govt Departments and the University Grants Commission of the country in various capacities. Dr. Jemmis was instrumental in starting the Center for Modelling Simulation and Design at Univ of Hyderabad. He is currently a member of Board of Governors of IIT Kanpur, National Institute of Science Education and Research Bhubaneswar, and the Homi Bhabha National Institute, Mumbai, Management Board of TIFR-Hyderabad Centre and Board of Research in Nuclear Sciences (BRNS), Executive Council of the Pondicherry Central University and the Tamil Nadu Central University. He is a Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of World Association of Theoretical and Computational Chemists and is a Member of the International Board of Asia Pacific Association of Theoretical and Computational Chemists (2007). He is the founding director (2008-2013) of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Thiruvananthapuram, an autonomous institute of the MHRD.
Awards and Honours: Jemmis received National Science Talent Search Scholarship of NCERT (1968), INSA Medal for Young Scientist (1982) and AK Bose Memorial Medal of INSA (1988); SS Bhatnagar Prize of CSIR (1994), Jagdish Shankar Memorial Lectureship of INSA (2000); Millennium Medal and Lecture (CSIR, 2000), Silver Medal of CRSI, (2002), the TWAS Prize in Chemistry (2003), Professor Priyadaranjan Ray Memorial Award, Indian Chemical Society, 2005, and JC Bose National Fellowship of DST (2006), Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore (1992), Andhra Pradesh Akademi of Sciences, 2002, National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad (2003), and the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS), Trieste, Italy (2004).