Gonzalo Alvarez-Campot, who holds a joint appointment in ORNL's Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences Division and Computer Science and Mathematics Division, is one of two Early Career Award winners associated with the CNMS. (Our other winner is Nina Balke, highlighted in the June 2010 User Newsletter.) He submitted a winning proposal, titled "Diagonalization Solvers for Electronic Collective Phenomena in Nanoscience," selected by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences.
Alvarez's project aims to advance theoretical modeling capabilities to understand nanoscale phenomena in strongly correlated electronic materials, including Mott insulators and high-temperature superconductors. The fundamental understanding of these materials can provide insights for the development of new materials for solar cells, solid-state lighting and superconductor power transmission. Computer codes will be made accessible to the scientific community as part of the user-driven program at the CNMS.
Sean Smith from the University of Queensland in Australia started in August as Director for the CNMS. Smith formerly served as group leader for computational biology and nanotechnology in the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology; professor of computational molecular science, School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences; and director, Centre for Computational Molecular Science.
He received his PhD in theoretical chemistry at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, in 1989. He undertook an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship at the University of Göttingen, followed by postdoctoral research at the University of California at Berkeley before returning to a faculty position at The University of Queensland, Australia in 1993. He became Professor and Director of the Centre for Computational Molecular Science at UQ in 2002 and served as Deputy Director within the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Functional Nanomaterials. His research involves theoretical and computational studies of chemical kinetics; reaction dynamics; catalysis; as well as structure, complexation and transport phenomena within nanomaterials, proteins, and hybrid nano-bio systems. He has published over 180 refereed journal papers and in 2006 he was recipient of a Bessel Research Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany.