Joachim Sauer : biography
Joachim Sauer (born April 19, 1949) is a German quantum chemist and full professor at the Humboldt University of Berlin. He is the husband of the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel.
Sauer studied chemistry from 1967 to 1972 at the Humboldt University of Berlin and was awarded a doctorate in chemistry in 1974. He continued to do research there until 1977 when he joined the Academy of Sciences, Central Institute of Physical Chemistry in Berlin, one of the leading scientific institutes of the former GDR (East Germany).
For a brief time during and after the German reunification (1990–1991) he was the Deputy Technical Director (Catalysis and Sorption) for BIOSYM Technologies, San Diego/USA (now Accelrys). He remained an advisor for BIOSYM until 2002.
In 1992 he joined the Max Planck Society as Head of the Quantum Chemistry Group in Berlin. Since 1993 he has been a full professor of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry at the Humboldt University of Berlin. He is an active research scientist in quantum chemistry and computational chemistry. His computational studies have allowed for a better understanding of structures and activities of some catalysts, such as zeolites, and thus especially when applied to their acid sites, as well as to the interpretation of solid state NMR spectra of nucleus Si-29, and quadripolar nuclei such as Na-23, Al-27 and O-17.
From his previous marriage to a fellow chemist, Sauer has two sons, Daniel and Adrian. On December 30, 1998, he married Angela Merkel (herself a doctor of physics who had once worked in quantum chemistry research), who later became chairperson of the Christian Democratic Union and on November 22, 2005, first female Chancellor of Germany.
Public visibility as husband of Angela Merkel
Sauer (right) with [[Angela Merkel, George W. Bush and Laura Bush]] Due to the political career of his wife Sauer has gained far more public visibility than usual for a research scientist. On several occasions he said he is not fond of this publicity.
During the 2005 election campaign Joachim Sauer kept a very low profile, declining to give any interviews not related to his scientific work. He attended the Bayreuth Festival, an opera festival and a highly visible social event in Germany, with his wife. Prof. Sauer is known as a great lover of Wagner's music.
Even during his wife's election in the Bundestag, her inauguration, and later her taking the oath of office, Sauer was not present but reportedly briefly followed the event on TV from his university chemistry lab. The next day Germany's biggest tabloid Bild-Zeitung displayed the headline "Merkel - wo war Ihr Mann?" ("Merkel - where was your husband?")
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