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Jürg Hutter studied at ETH Zurich and obtained a Diploma in Molecular Sciences in 1984. From 1985 to 1988 he was a research assistant at the Physical-Chemistry Institute of the University of Zurich and received his Doctoral degree for work on the calculation of nonlinear optical properties.
He worked at the Center for Supercomputing of ETH Zurich from 1989 to 1993.
In 1990 he spent a year with a Postdoctoral Fellowship of the Swiss National Science Foundation at the Laboratoire d'Optique Quantique of the Ecole Polytéchnique in Paris. He was a Research Staff Member first at the IBM Research Laboratory in Rüschlikon and then at the Max-Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart. In 2000 he became assistant professor for Computational Chemistry at the University of Zurich. In 2004 he was appointed to associate professor and in 2009 he was promoted full professor for Physical Chemistry at the University of Zurich.