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Faculty of Science and Technology

Department of Biological & Chemical Sciences


Professor Sean McDowell

Professor Sean McDowell

Professor of Theoretical and Computational Chemistry

Department: BCS


I was born in St. Andrew, Jamaica and educated at the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies (BSc) and at the University of Cambridge (PhD). I did postdoctoral studies at the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada before joining the Staff at the Cave Hill campus of the UWI in 1996.
I was awarded the Young Scientist Award by the Caribbean Academy of Sciences in 1999, the UWI Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research in 2004, a Visiting Research Fellowship to University of Cambridge by the EPSRC in 2005 and a Caricom Science Award by Cariscience in 2008. In 2008, I became a Fellow of the Academy of Sciences of the Developing World (TWAS), the youngest ever from the Caribbean region.


BSc Chemistry (Special), 1st Class Honours, UWI, Mona, Jamaica, 1985
PhD, Theoretical Chemistry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK, 1992

Research Areas

(1) Theoretical study of hydrogen, halogen, lithium and other noncovalent interactions in molecular clusters.

(2) Computational study of novel molecular species, including rare gas compounds and their complexes.

Teaching Areas

Physical Chemistry  

Select Publications

S. A. C. McDowell and H. K. Yarde, Cooperative effects of hydrogen, lithium and halogen bonding on F-H/Li…OH2 complexes. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 14, 6883 (2012).
S. A. C. McDowell and G. S. Volney, A comparative computational study of FKrCCH…Y, FCCKrH…Y and FCCH…Y complexes (Y = BF, CO, N2, OH2, OH(CH3), O(CH3)2). J. Chem. Phys., 136, 124306 (2012).
S. A. C. McDowell and A. D. Buckingham, Cooperative hydrogen bonding in trimers involving HCN and HBO. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 13, 14097 (2011).
S. A. C. McDowell and R. C. Marcellin, A comparative computational study of hydrogen and lithium-bonded complexes. J. Chem. Phys., 133, 144307 (2010).
S. A. C. McDowell, Halogen and hydrogen bonding to the Br atom in complexes of FBr. J. Chem. Phys.,
132, 044312 (2010).
A. D. Buckingham, J. E. Del Bene and S. A. C. McDowell, The hydrogen bond. Chem. Phys. Lett.,
463, 1 (2008).
S. A. C. McDowell, Studies of neutral rare-gas compounds and their non-covalent interactions with other molecules.
S. A. C. McDowell and A. D. Buckingham, On the correlation between bond-length change and vibrational frequency shift in hydrogen-bonded complexes: a computational study of Y...HCl complexes (Y = N2, CO, B). Curr. Org. Chem., 10, 791 (2006). J. Am. Chem. Soc.,127, 15515 (2005)
S. A. C. McDowell, Blue-shifting and red-shifting hydrogen bonds: a study of the HArF...N2 and HArF...P2 complexes. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 5, 808 (2003)


Additional Info

Table Tennis
Games – Scrabble, Cards etc.
Film & Music appreciation

Department of Biological & Chemical Sciences
Telephone: (246) 417-4324/4323/4322 Fax:(246) 417-4325 Email: