George Heard, Ph.D.

Professor; Inorganic and Computational Chemistry

Contact Information

  • 828-232-5170
  • 105 Zeis Hall

Office Hours

  • Monday 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
  • Tuesday 10:00 am - 11:30 am
  • Wednesday 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
  • Thursday 10:00 am - 11:30 am
  • Note: M, W online; T, R in-person

Courses Taught

  • CHEM132 General Chemistry
  • CHEM290 Intro to Research II
  • CHEM328 Elements of Inorganic Chem
  • CHEM417 Chemical Research II
  • CHEM428 Computational Chemistry
  • CHEM290 Intro to Research II
  • CHEM390 Intro to Research III
  • CHEM406 Chemical Lit Research I
  • CHEM413 Inorganic Chemistry Lab
  • CHEM416 Chemical Research I
  • CHEM418 Chemical Research III
  • CHEM429 Advanced Inorganic Chem
  • HUM324 Mod World: Mid 17-20th Century


  • B.Sc (Hons), University of Melbourne, 1991
  • PhD, University of Tasmania, Chemistry, 05/15/1996

About Me

I have been at UNC Asheville since 1999, before that I worked at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada and Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada, after getting my doctorate at the University Of Tasmania.  I am interested in the electronic structure of molecules and transition state geometries, and in applications of computational chemistry to questions of bonding and atmospheric reactions.  I solve and write crossword puzzles, am the head writer for Asheville-based comedy group The Feral Chihuahuas, and am a Councilor for the Western Carolinas local section of the American Chemical Society.

Teaching interests

General Chemistry

  • CHEM 132:  General Chemistry
  • CHEM 236:  General Chemistry 2

Inorganic Chemistry

  • CHEM 328:  Elements of Inorganic Chemistry
  • CHEM 413:  Inorganic Chemistry Lab
  • CHEM 428:  Computational Chemistry
  • CHEM 429:  Advanced Inorganic Chemistry

Humanities, Topical Cluster and ILS Classes

  • LS 179:  Maximize Your Brain
  • HUM 324:  The Modern World, Mid-17th to 20th Century

Research Interests

Chemistry of the atmosphere

In my collaborative research with Professor Bert Holmes, I investigate computationally the reaction pathways of small molecules which are persistent in our upper atmosphere.  We are particularly interested in rearrangement and elimination reactions, one of which we discovered!

History of Chemistry research

My group researches the History of Chemistry.  We are looking at John Dalton's primary text "A New System Of Chemical Philosophy" (1808, 1811, 1827) in order to determine if Dalton's assumptions made in the introduction kept him from a true set of atomic masses that could have seen the periodic table emerge 50 years previous to the work of Mendelev and Meyer.

Selected Publications

  • Lisowski, C. E.; Duncan, J. R.; Heard, G. L.; Setser, D. W.; Holmes, B. E. "Unimolecular Reactions of Chemically Activated CF2BrCF2CH3 and CF2BrCF2CD3: Evidence for 1,2-FBr Interchange." J. Phys. Chem. A, 2008, 112(3), 441-447
  • Beaver, M. R.; Simmons, J. G., Jr.; Heard, G. L.; Setser, D. W.; Holmes, B. E. "Unimolecular Reactions Including ClF Interchange of Vibrationally Excited CF2ClCHFCH2CH3 and CF2ClCHFCD2CD3." J. Phys. Chem. A 2007, 111(34), 8445-8455
  • Ferguson, J. D.; Johnson, N. L.; Kekenes-Huskey, P. M.; Everett, W. C.; Heard, G. L.; Setser, D. W.; Holmes, B. E.  "Unimolecular Rate Constants for HX or DX Elimination (X = F, Cl) from Chemically Activated CF3CH2CH2Cl, C2H5CH2Cl, and C2D5CH2Cl: Threshold Energies for HF and HCl Elimination."J. Phys. Chem. A. 2005, 109(20), 4540-4551
  • Molina, J.; Bader, R. F. W.; Heard, G. L.  "Recognizing a triple bond between main group atoms"  Theoretical Chemistry Accounts,  2001, 105(4-5), 365-373