For the first time in Luxembourg, a physicist has been recognised by the American Physical Society (APS) for outstanding contributions to physics. Professor Alexandre Tkatchenko from the Physics and Materials Science (PHYMS) at the University of Luxembourg has been named APS Fellow for his work on interactions between molecules and materials.
As one of the largest organisation of physicists in the world, the American Physical Society (APS) recognises each year researchers who have made advances in physics through original research and publications, or made significant innovative contributions in the application of physics to science and technology, or actively participated in teaching of physics or service and activities of the society. No more than one half of one percent of the society’s membership who have been nominated by their peers are elected as Fellows.
This year, only 168 Fellows were selected worldwide. Among them, Alexandre Tkatchenko, Professor and Head of the Theoretical Chemical Physics group at the University of Luxembourg, was nominated for his exceptional research work in computational physics and more specifically for the development of a novel framework for modelling and understanding van der Waals interactions in molecules and materials. His current research activities focus on new methods combining physical models with machine learning to discover novel phenomena in complex molecular systems and to apply them to real-life problems.
“Becoming Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) is a great honour that highlights more than a decade of work from my group and enhances the appeal of the University of Luxembourg as a leading place for first-rate research in physics and materials,“ says Alexandre.
This new recognition adds to an impressive list of honours and awards Prof. Tkatchenko already received in the previous years such as two grants from the European Research Council (ERC) in 2011 and 2016, publication as lead author of an article in Science in 2016 (see “Making Waves: University of Luxembourg researcher publishes in Science”), and ranking among the most influential scientific researchers in “Highly Cited Researchers” list in 2018.
"This new achievement underlines the quality of the research conducted at the University, and specifically in the Physics and Materials Science Research Unit. Alexandre is recognised for essential contributions to very innovative new methods in physics, using machine learning to understand fundamental phenomena. This is a very exciting direction of research", comments Prof. Jean-Marc Schlenker, Dean of the Faculty of Science, Technology and Communication at the University of Luxembourg.