It is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to an honored and valued member of our Telluride Science family. Phillip Geissler, the Aldo De Benedictis Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the University of California Berkeley and a renowned physical chemist, passed away on July 17, 2022.
Phillip was born March 27, 1974 in Ithaca, New York and was raised in Charlottesville and Richmond, Virginia. He was a graduate of Douglas Freeman High School and was awarded the prestigious Ethyl Scholarship, attending Cornell University from 1992 to 1996 and graduating with a B.S. in Chemistry. He received his Masters degree and PhD in Chemistry from UC Berkeley and was a post-doctoral scholar at Harvard University and a science fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He joined the faculty of UC Berkeley in 2003.
Phillip was a brilliant scientist and a creative researcher who had a talent for classroom instruction, earning the UC Berkeley Distinguished Teaching Award in 2011. He was beloved by students and colleagues.
“Phill Geissler was a remarkable scientist, teacher, musician, and a dear friend to many. Phill loved science and the outdoors. Thus, Telluride workshops were something that Phill looked forward to taking part in, which he did for the past 18 years. He will be sorely missed,” said close friend and Telluride Science colleague David Reichman, Professor of Chemistry at Columbia University.
An integral part of the Telluride Science family for nearly two decades, Phillip returned year after year as a participant and organizer of workshops as well as an instructor for the Telluride School of Theoretical Chemistry (TSTC). "Phillip Geissler was a great scientist and a wonderful human being, and he played a key role in teaching in two TSTC schools. I am among many who will miss Phill’s humanity and intellect," said Jack Simons, University of Utah Professor of Chemistry Emeritus and founder of TSTC.
The week before his passing, Phillip traveled once again to the mountains of Telluride to attend the Condensed Phase Dynamics workshop. On his way back to California, he stopped in Canyonlands National Park. Phill took his last breath surrounded by the incredible beauty of that desert landscape.
We are grateful for our time spent with Phill and for his many contributions to the advancement of science.