Michele Parrinello has been full Professor of Computational Science at ETH Zurich and Director of the Swiss Center for Scientific Computing (CSCS) in Manno, Switzerland since 1 July 2001.

Born in Messina, Italy, in 1945, he obtained his degree in physics in 1968 from Bologna, Italy. Prior to joining ETH, he was Director at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart, Germany, and previous positions include research staff member at the IBM Research Laboratory in Zurich, Switzerland, and full professor at SISSA, Trieste, Italy
Professor Parrinello's scientific interests are strongly interdisciplinary and include the study of complex chemical reactions, hydrogen-bonded systems, catalysis and materials science. Together with Roberto Car he introduced the ab-initio molecular dynamics method, which he is still developing and applying. This method, which goes under the name of Car-Parrinello method, represents the beginning of a new field and has dramatically influenced the field of electronic structure calculations for solids, liquids and molecules. He is also known for the Parrinello-Rahman method of molecular dynamics, which permits the study of crystalline phase transitions under constant pressure. For his research he has been awarded numerous prizes, including the 2001 Award in Theoretical Chemistry of the American Chemical Society, the 1995 Rahman prize of the American Physical Society and the 1990 Hewlett-Packard Europhysics prize. He is an External Scientific Member of the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research, a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a Member of the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science and of the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften.