Prof. Steve Berry's shyness, charm and humility came together with a solid grasp on chemical thermodynamics, potential landscapes and phase equilibria, some of the most complex phenomena in chemical physics. These potential landscapes steer the thermodynamics and kinetics of chemical and physical processes and also control whether a material forms a glass or a crystal or something in between, how a protein folds and unfolds and consequently how life emerges. Steve Berry, a distinguished Professor at the University of Chicago, had in his lifetime trained hundreds of scientists and generations of chemists in the nuances and intricacies of equilibrium and departures therefrom, the properties of the micro and the macro and where the twain shall meet, and how molecules tumble and collide to generate macromolecules and how they eventually disintegrate. Furthermore, his penchant to describe molecular statistics, thermodynamics and kinetics in a simple, meaningful and insightful manner always left deep impressions on his many listeners.
However, many wouldn't know that Prof. Steve Berry harbored a deep passion and commitment for the furtherance of science around the world. Who would know this any better than the people who saw the birth and growth of the School of Science and Engineering at LUMS, in Pakistan? Steve was among the founders and members of the Advisory Board and played a crucial role in inspiring the School's young Faculty, and especially the chemists. His regular visits to Pakistan and Lahore for participating in the School's advisory meetings not only gave many of us a chance to brush shoulders with him, but also to listen to his words of wisdom on science, education, leadership and also provided us with immense confidence in launching an interdisciplinary program of education where cross-pollination of ideas from diverse fields now routinely takes place.
Syed Babar Ali, the founder of the School, whom after the School is also named, expressed his condolences, "The School of Science and Engineering at LUMS will always remain extremely grateful to Steve Berry for his excellent contributions during the meetings of the Advisory Board that he attended. He was the founding member of the advisory board; and we will miss him. He was a great mentor, advisor and a friend of LUMS and SSE. May God bless his soul."
Steve Berry has left an indelible mark on our School. My thoughts and wishes, and the thoughts and wishes of all of my colleagues here at SBASSE LUMS, go to Steve's family, friends and our colleagues at the University of Chicago.