Steven Richardson

Steven Richardson

Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Howard University

Visiting Professor 2016-2017

Hosted by the Department of Chemistry

teven L. Richardson is a physicist and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Howard University.


Steven L. Richardson is a physicist and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Howard University. His research interests are theoretical condensed matter physics, computational materials science, and computational chemistry—with a specific focus on using high-performance massively parallel processing (MPP) supercomputers and quantum mechanics to design and model new molecules and materials. He has worked in industry, government, and academia throughout his career.

Dr. Richardson studied chemistry at Columbia University on a National Achievement Scholarship. He earned an M.S. in Physics (1981) and a Ph.D. in Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics (1983), both from Ohio State University. Included in his dissertation is the new semiconductor surface for Gallium arsenide (GaAs) he discovered as a Xerox Graduate Fellow.

He was a Chancellor's Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley and a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He then worked at Eastman Kodak Company as a senior research scientist in the Solid State Science Laboratories, during which he also temporarily served as program director for the National Science Foundation (NSF) Condensed Matter Theory Program.

In 1986, Dr. Richardson joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Howard University as an associate professor (promoted to full professor in 1995) and as associate director of the Materials Science Research Center of Excellence. He has brought to the university over ten million dollars worth of external funding from sources that include the National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Energy (DOE), Army Research Office (ARO), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Office of Naval Research (ONR), W. M. Keck Foundation, and the Boeing Corporation. In 2013, he was honored with a 2013 Howard University Faculty Senate Award for Exemplary Teaching.

Dr. Richardson is a member of the American Physical Society, American Chemical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His research was cited with a 1992 National Science Foundation Career Advancement Award. The Scientific Research Honor Society named him a Sigma Xi Distinguished National Lecturer, 1996-1998. In 2012, he was selected as a series featured participant for The History Makers: Science Makers, an innovative African-American media and educational initiative sponsored by the National Science Foundation

Dr. Richardson has been a Visiting Professor in the physics department at the Instituto Superior Tecnico and Instituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores (INESC) in Lisbon, Portugal (1994) and a Visiting Fellow at the Cherry L. Emerson Center for Scientific Computation in Emory University (1995-1996).

From 1997 to 2011, Dr. Richardson served as a summer faculty fellow with the United States Navy-American Society for Engineering Education’s Summer Faculty Program at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, DC. He was also a 2013 Distinguished Summer Faculty Fellow at the NRL's Office of Naval Research Summer Faculty Program and continues to serve as a Visiting Scientist at the Center for Computational Materials Science.

Dr. Richardson has been a Faculty Associate in Applied
Physics in the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and
Applied Sciences at Harvard University since 2015. He is currently a co-principal investigator on a five-year $20-million-dollar research initiative with the Center for Integrated Quantum Materials (CIQM), an NSF Science and Technology Center at Harvard. The center explores how atomically-thin two-dimensional quantum materials, topological insulators, and NV centers in diamonds can be integrated to make new devices for communications and computing in the 21st century. This NSF CIQM team consists of scientists and educators from MIT, Howard University, Harvard University, and the Museum of Science, Boston, as well as a network of colleges throughout the greater Boston and Washington, D.C. areas.

The MIT Department of Chemistry will host Dr. Richardson as an MLK Visiting Professor.


Richardson, Steven L., et al. "Access to endodontic care in North Carolina public health and Medicaid settings." Journal of public health dentistry 74.3 (2014): 175-180.

Zope, Rajendra R.,Tunna Baruah, Steven L. Richardson, Mark R. Pederson, and Brett I. Dunlap. "Optical excitation energies, Stokes shift, and spin-splitting of C24H72Si14." The Journal of chemical physics 133.3 (2010): 034301.

Richardson, Steven L., et al. "First-Principles Studies of Octacyclopropylcubane: A Novel High-Energy Density Material." APS Meeting Abstracts. Vol. 1. 2009.

Richardson, Steven L., et al. "First-Principles Studies of sila-Diamondoids."APS Meeting Abstracts. Vol. 1. 2007.

Richardson, Steven L., et al. "Cyclohexamantane (C 26 H 30): First-principles DFT study of a novel diamondoid molecule." Diamond and related materials15.4 (2006): 707-710.

Richardson, Steven L., et al. "Structural and Vibrational Properties of Boron Nitride Analogues of Diamondoids." APS Meeting Abstracts. Vol. 1. 2006.

Richardson, Steven L., Tunna Baruah, and Mark R. Pederson. "Searching for the vibrational signatures of the Zn–Zn stretching mode in decamethyldizincocene (Zn 2 (η 5-Cp*) 2): The first organometallic compound with a metallic homonuclear Zn–Zn bond." Chemical physics letters 415.1 (2005): 141-145.

Park, Kyungwha, Mark R. Pederson, Tunna Baruah, Noam Bernstein, Jens Kortus, Steven L. Richardson, Enrique del Barco, Andrew D. Kent, Steve Hill, and Naresh S. Dalal. "Incommensurate transverse anisotropy induced by disorder and spin-orbit-vibron coupling in Mn12 acetate." Journal of applied physics 97.10 (2005): 10M505.

Steven L. Richardson, et al. "Theoretical confirmation of the experimental Raman spectra of the lower-order diamondoid molecule: Cyclohexamantane (C 26 H 30)." Chemical physics letters 403.1 (2005): 83-88.

Richardson, Steven L., et al. "First-Principles Studies of Nitrogen-Based Novel High-Energy Metallocenes." APS Meeting Abstracts. Vol. 1. 2004.

Baruah, Tunna,Rajendra R. Zope, Steven L. Richardson, and Mark R. Pederson. "Electronic structure, vibrational stability, and predicted infrared-Raman spectra of the As20, As@ Ni12, and As@ Ni12@ As20 clusters." The Journal of chemical physics 121.22 (2004): 11007-11015.

Baruah, Tunna, Rajendra R. Zope, Steven L. Richardson, and Mark R. Pederson. "Electronic structure and rebonding in the onionlike As@ Ni 12@ As 20 cluster." Physical Review B 68.24 (2003): 241404.

Richardson, Steven L., and Mark R. Pederson. "Using Oxa Bowls as Novel Candidates for the Molecular Recognition of Alkali Metal Ions: A Theoretical Study." APS Meeting Abstracts. Vol. 1. 2003.

Park, Kyungwha, Mark R. Pederson, Steven L. Richardson, Nuria Aliaga-Alcalde, and George Christou, "Density-functional theory calculation of the intermolecular exchange interaction in the magnetic Mn 4 dimer." Physical Review B 68.2 (2003): 020405.

Richardson, Steven L., and Mark R. Pederson. "Density Functional Study of the Optimized Structure, Enthalpy of Formation, Strain Energy, and Vibrational Properties of the Highly-Strained Carbon Complex:[15] Triangulane." APS Meeting Abstracts. Vol. 1. 2002.

Richardson, Steven L., Jens Kortus, and Mark R. Pederson. "Unusual Structure and Dynamics of the Highly-Energetic Molecule: Octanitrocubane."APS Meeting Abstracts. Vol. 1. 2001.

Kortus, Jens, Mark R. Pederson, and Steven L. Richardson. "First-principles DFT study of the structural, electronic and vibrational properties of azidopentazole." Chemical physics letters 340.5 (2001): 565-570.

Richardson, Steven L., and José Luis Martins. "Structural Optimization of Solid Cubane within the Generalized Gradient Approximation." APS Meeting Abstracts. Vol. 1. 2000.

Richardson, Steven L., et al. "First-Principles Tight-Binding Calculation of the Monovacancy Formation Energy in hcp-Zn." APS March Meeting Abstracts. Vol. 1. 2000.

Kortus, Jens, Mark R. Pederson, and Steven L. Richardson. "Density functional-based prediction of the electronic, structural, and vibrational properties of the energetic molecule: octanitrocubane." Chemical Physics Letters 322.3 (2000): 224-230.


Dr. Steven L. Richardson is listed in MIT's Directory of Science & Engineering Faculty (S&EF) in Selected Institutions of Higher Education.

This directory profiles some of the achievements of science and engineering faculty of Black/African -American, Native American, and Spanish-speaking heritage.  The SEF directory is intended for use by graduate schools, deans, department heads, and other faculty to aid in their search for potential speakers, mentors, role models, visiting and permanent faculty, and opportunities for professional collaboration.