Erich Vorpagel, Ph.D.Senior Chief Scientist, WR Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, MSC Consulting & Visualization
http://emslbios.pnl.gov/id/vorpagel_er Updated: August 31, 2011
Current Activities and Projects
Chief scientist and capability lead for the Molecular Science Computing Consulting group within EMSL. Primary responsibility is overseeing the daily usage of the EMSL supercomputer, interacting and coordinating with other capability leads, and ensuring the users of EMSL’s computational and visualization capabilities are successful. Working with a team of six other consultants, he assigns consultants as scientific points of contact on active projects to assist users. He optimizes resource utilization, tracks progress and provides training material and documentation as needed. He also manages the Graphics and Visualization Laboratory.
When he began at EMSL he began to develop and provide training courses for ECCE and NWChem. A web-based version of the training course was also created and he is the voice on many animations and videos describing research at EMSL. With a diverse experience in chemistry, biology, statistics, programming and lecturing, he has effectively collaborated with several research groups including software development teams, experimental and computational groups, visiting scientists and students. His favorite activity is presenting demonstrations of physics, chemistry, biology, and statistics to inquiring minds and then explaining to them how and why it works. He finds mentoring people at any level of education is very rewarding, especially when it suddenly makes sense to them.
His main research interests include application of computer-aided simulation models and analytic techniques to chemical problems, including intermolecular interactions of small and macromolecules, molecular dynamics, electronic structures of molecules, ions, and radicals and prediction of chemical reactivity and biological activity using both QSAR and application of artificial intelligence technology.
Research Chemist, Dow Chemical Company, 1973-1976; Senior Chemist and Group Leader, The DuPont Company, 1981-1992; Principal Scientist and Manager, Biosym Technologies, Inc., 1992-1998; Chief Scientist, EMSL, 1998-present.
Dr. Vorpagel received a B.S. degree with highest honors in Chemistry and Biochemistry from U.C. Davis in 1973 and a Ph.D. in Physical-Organic Chemistry from U.C. Berkeley in 1981. His research thesis involved both experimental and theoretical studies of substituent effects on acidities of aromatic hydrocarbons.
Awards, Honors, & Appointments
Joint Venture of the Year Award from the BIRD Foundation, 1994; Six PNNL Outstanding Performance Awards, the most recent for analytical support to EMSL management to ensure the health and safety of staff.