Professor Alexandre Tkatchenko visits the Center for Molecular Modeling in the framework of the Solvay Institutes’ New Horizon Lectures in Chemistry

(18-09-2018) The Center for Molecular Modeling warmly welcomed professor Alexandre Tkatchenko to give a lecture and promote the exchange of ideas with young researchers within the frame of the New Horizon Lectures organized by the Solvay Institutes.
On June 1, 2018, Alexandre Tkatchenko, professor in Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics at the University of Luxembourg, visited the Center for Molecular Modeling as part of the New Horizon Lecture Series. This new initiative organized by the Solvay Institutes aims to welcome brilliant young scientists with already high visibility and well established stature to bring them into contact with early-career researchers and promote high-level international collaborations.

Professor Alexandre Tkatchenko currently heads a group at the University of Luxembourg that pushes the boundaries of quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, and machine learning to develop efficient methods to enable accurate modeling of complex materials. He received a number of awards, including the Gerhard Ertl Young Investigator Award of the German Physical Society in 2011, and two flagship grants from the European Research Council: a Starting Grant in 2011 and a Consolidator Grant in 2017. During his visit, he focused on how to bridge the accuracy of quantum mechanics with the efficiency of machine learning in molecular modeling.

To further promote the open exchange of ideas between professor Tkatchenko and the young researchers at the Center for Molecular Modeling (CMM), ample time was reserved for small-scale meetings and discussions. The CMM, headed by professor Veronique Van Speybroeck (department of Applied Physics, faculty of Engineering and Architecture), is an interfacultary research team composed of about 40 researchers active in various branches of physics, chemistry, biochemistry, and materials science. Awarded with both an ERC Starting Grant and an ERC Consolidator Grant, the group focuses on the computational modeling of physical and chemical transformations in nanoporous materials. The interesting work discussions highlighted the possible synergies between both research groups.