Dr. Rigoberto Hernandez is the Gompf Family Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the Johns Hopkins University as of July 2016, and remains as the Director of the Open Chemistry Collaborative in Diversity Equity (OXIDE) since 2011. Before Hopkins, he was a Professor in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Georgia Tech, and Co-Director of the Center for Computational Molecular Science and Technology he co-founded. He holds a B.S.E. in Chemical Engineering and Mathematics from Princeton University (1989), and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley (1993). (Hernandez was born in Güinez, Havana, Cuba but was raised and educated in the United States of America since he was in primary school. He is a U.S. citizen by birthright.)
Dr. Hernandez is the recipient of a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award (1997), Research Corporation Cottrell Scholar Award (1999), the Alfred P. Sloan Fellow Award (2000), a Humboldt Research Fellowship (2006-07), the ACS Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences (2014), the CCR Diversity Award (2015), the RCSA Transformative Research and Exceptional Education (TREE) Award (2016), and the Herty Medal (2017). He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS, 2004), the American Chemical Society (ACS, 2010), and the American Physical Society (APS, 2011). In 2015-2016, he was a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar. At Georgia Tech, he served as the first Blanchard Assistant Professor of Chemistry (1999-2001), the first Goizueta Foundation Junior Rotating Faculty Chair (2002-07) and a Vasser Woolley Faculty Fellow (2011-13).
His recent board memberships include the National Academies Panel within the Army Research Laboratory Technical Assessment Board (2005-2011), the National Academies Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology (2007-2010), the Telluride Summer Research Conference Board of Directors (2007-09), the NIH Study Section on Molecular Structure and Function B (MSFB, 2009-2013), the Research Corporation Cottrell Scholars Advisory Committee (member 2011-15, and chair 2016-17), the DOE Committee of Visitors (Division of Chemical Sciences, Geosciences and Bio-sciences, 2014) and the American Chemical Society Board of Directors (2014-2019).
Dr.Hernandez's research programs are currently funded by the NSF through a single-investigator grant and the CCI Center for Sustainable Nanomaterials. The OXIDE effort is cofunded by the NSF, DOE and NIH.
Dr. Hernandez’s research area can be broadly classified as the theoretical and computational chemistry of systems far from equilibrium. This includes a focus on microscopic reaction dynamics and their effects on macroscopic chemical reaction rates in arbitrary solvent environments. His current projects involve questions pertaining to the diffusion of mesogens in colloidal suspensions and liquid crystals, the structure and dynamics of assemblies of Janus and other patchy particles, fundamental advances in transition state theory, design principles for sustainable nanotechnologies and the dynamics of protein folding and rearrangement.