Obituary: Claudio M. Zicovich-Wilson (1957-2016)

Cari colleghi,
il nostro amico e collega Claudio M. Zicovich-Wilson è improvvisamente mancato il 3 novembre 2016.  Claudio è stato per vent’anni un prezioso collaboratore del nostro gruppo contribuendo allo sviluppo e all’implementazione di metodi teorici per lo studio di solidi cristallini. Ha anche partecipato attivamente alle ultime edizioni del QUITEL.

E’ una grande perdita per tutta la comunità dei chimici teorici di espressione latina.

A nome del comitato organizzatore CHITEL2015
Gruppo di Chimica Teorica, Dipartimento di Chimica, Università di Torino (Italia)

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Dear Colleagues,
our dear friend and colleague Claudio M. Zicovich-Wilson passed away prematurely on November 3, 2016. Claudio was a precious collaborator of our group for more than twenty years. He contributed to the development and implementation of theoretical methods for the study of crystalline solids. He also actively participated in the last editions of the QUITEL congress.

This is a great loss for the community of the theoretical chemists of Latin expression.

On behalf of the CHITEL2015 organizing committee
Theoretical Chemistry Group, Department of Chemistry, University of Torino (Italy)


Claudio Marcelo Zicovich-Wilson
20/10/1957 – 03/11/2016
Claudio was born in Buenos Aires (Argentina) in 1957, where he graduated in Chemistry in 1985. He got his Ph.D. from the University of Valencia in 1994. From 1995 to 1998 he was in Torino as a postdoc. During those years he started a collaboration with the Torino group on the development of the CRYSTAL program that lasted for 21 years (the last e-mail that Claudio sent to the group in Torino is dated 29/10/2016 and contains a long list of developments he had in mind for the next versions of the program). From 1998 to 2000 he was researcher at the Technological Chemistry Institute-ITQ (Spain) and from 2001 he became full professor at the Autonomous University of Morelos State (Mexico), where he tragically passed away from a stroke.
Claudio has been one of the main authors of 5 major releases of the program (CRYSTAL98, 03, 06, 09 and 14) and a lecturer to most of the CRYSTAL-based summer schools that have been held in the last 20 years in Italy, Spain, USA, Germany, UK, France, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil.
His original contributions to the development of the CRYSTAL program and more generally to solid state computational chemistry are countless: in the mid 90s he formally developed and implemented the use of symmetry-adapted crystalline orbitals for SCF-LCAO periodic calculations within the Hartree-Fock and Density-Functional-Theory frameworks, which allows to efficiently exploit point-symmetry and drastically reduce the computational cost of such demanding calculations; he devised a scheme for localizing crystalline orbitals into Wannier functions in a periodic LCAO scheme; he worked at the implementation of many options of the geometry optimizer, of vibrational features such as infrared intensities and LO/TO splitting of solids; he developed an original scheme for the transition-state search in periodic systems, and many others. For the upcoming CRYSTAL17 version of the program, he recently implemented a scheme for the evaluation of Hirshfeld charges. He authored more than 130 papers published in international journals.
Beside being an excellent quantum-chemist and a beautiful person, Claudito (as we all used to call him) was family. Because of his human and empathic character he has never just been a colleague or collaborator but rather a caring son, brother, uncle, father to many of us during all these years.
His day-by-day work on the program will be deeply missed by all of us as well as his irony, his Argentinian humor, his colorful shirts and tasteful hats, the sound of his guitar.
Hasta siempre Claudito
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