Robert Q. Topper

Professor of Chemistry


Our work spans and connect the fields of chemistry, physics, biology and engineering. The group's research is primarily in the areas of nanoscience, atmospheric chemistry, and biophysical chemistry, using computational and theoretical methods. I am currently carrying out collaborative projects with the Tuckerman group at New York University which include the use of machine learning methods to help analyze the vast amounts of information produced by molecular dynamics simulations of molecules of biological interest. Current interests also include the study of nucleation and concomitant proton transfer phenomena within ammonium halide particles. On the engineering side, I have an interest in inorganic catalysis and have done some consulting work in this area.

Our group has also worked on important problems in reaction rate theory, phase-space transport theory and nonlinear dynamics, semi-rigid-body mechanics, Feynman path-integral quantum thermodynamics, semiclassical molecular dynamics, materials property simulations, reactivity trends in substituted bicyclic thioacetals, and chemically-induced DNA damage by environmental mutagens (polyaromatic hydrocarbons and aromatic amines).

Together with my students and colleagues I've published 56 peer-reviewed manuscripts, learning objects, and conference abstracts; written and co-authored 4 book chapters; organized 5 international scientific conferences; and given 22 invited seminars at colleges, universities, conferences, and high schools. I've also presented and/or co-authored 33 lectures and poster presentations at regional, national and international scientific conferences.

I teach undergraduate and graduate-level courses in general, physical, theoretical, and inorganic chemistry, and occasionally, courses in engineering. I also direct engineering students in independent research, including graduate students in our chemical engineering degree program.

In 2009 and again in 2012, I was honored by Cooper Union's students when I was named to the Engineering Student Council's "Student's List."

I'm on LinkedIn, and you can also follow my research discussions on ResearchGate. Here's a citation index of our publications on Google Scholar.