The 2016 IBM Forschungspreis was awarded to equal parts to Mauro del Ben and Ralph Koitz of the University of Zürich for their PhD theses entitled “Efficient Non-Local Dynamical Electron Correlation for Condensed Matter Simulations” and “Functional Two-Dimensional Materials: A Computational Study of Complex Processes at Interfaces”. They both were member of the research group of Prof. Jürg Hutter.
Dr. Mauro del Ben was awarded the IBM Research Forschungspreis for the development and implementation of a periodic Gaussian and Plane Wave based MP2 and RPA method for the computation of the energy and structure of condensed matter systems. The program code was tested in simulations of ice and water; the method presented is generally applicable and, given the treatment of electron correlation and the efficiency of the implementation, will open the door to a new category of problems.
Dr. Ralph Koitz was awarded the IBM Research Forschungspreis for his DFT based ab initio molecular dynamics simulations of the structure and properties of two-dimensional networks (boron-nitride; tris-terpyridine) supported either by a rigid (metal) or soft surface (air-water interface). These simulations, performed in close collaboration with experiment, helped to advance the understanding of the dynamics and functionality of these nano-systems.
The two laureates received their awards at the Dies Academicus of the University of Zurich on April 29, 2017.