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MRS Press Release

Steven G. Louie to Receive 2015 Materials Theory Award

November 17, 2015
Press & Public Relations Contact:

Ryan Rebholz
Communications Manager
Materials Research Society

WARRENDALE, PA—The Materials Research Society (MRS) has named Steven G. Louie, University of California, Berkeley, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, as the 2015 recipient of the Materials Theory Award "for his seminal contributions to the development of ab initio methods for, and the elucidation of, many-electron effects in electronic excitations and optical properties of solids and nanostructures." The Materials Theory Award, endowed by Toh-Ming Lu and Gwo-Ching Wang, "recognizes exceptional advances made by materials theory to the fundamental understanding of the structure and behavior of materials."

The award will be presented at the 2015 MRS Fall Meeting in Boston on Wednesday, December 2, at 6:30 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Sheraton Boston Hotel. There, Louie will also deliver his award talk—Understanding Excited-State Phenomena in Quasi-2D Materials—on December 3 at 5:15 p.m.

Louie has advanced the frontiers of multiple fields across materials research by developing new concepts, pioneering critical theoretical and computational methods, predicting new properties and materials, providing insights to novel phenomena, and fostering interactions between theory and experiment.

Louie is the founder and acknowledged leader of the field of first-principles study of excited-state properties of materials. In 1985, he developed a method (based on the GW approximation of many-body theory) that allowed computation of electron excitation (quasiparticle) energies in real materials, including many-electron effects  ab initio  (i.e., without adjustable parameters or empirical input). This breakthrough solved a central problem (the bandgap problem) in electronic structure theory and created a field with a worldwide following, complementing that of density functional theory (DFT) for ground-state properties. In 1998, he included electron-hole interactions to his approach, allowing the first ab initio calculation of optical properties and phenomena such as photo-induced structural changes.

Among his many honors, Louie is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences (2005), the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (2009), and an academician of the Academia Sinica of Taiwan (2008). He is also a Fellow of the American Physical Society (1985), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2006), and an inaugural Simons Foundation Fellow in Theoretical Physics (2012). He is recipient of the Aneesur Rahman Prize and Davisson-Germer Prize of the American Physical Society, the Foresight Institute R. P. Feynman Prize, and the Sustained Outstanding Research in Solid State Physics Award of the U.S. Department of Energy. Louie is identified by the Web of Science as one of the most highly cited researchers in physics and nanoscience, with over 50,000 citations. He has trained generations of outstanding students and postdoctoral researchers, many of whom are now leading scientists in Europe, America, and Asia.

Photo of Louie available upon request at fornataro@mrs.org.

About the Materials Research Society

MRS is an organization of over 12,000 materials researchers from academia, industry and government worldwide, and a recognized leader in promoting the advancement of interdisciplinary materials research and technology to improve the quality of life. MRS members are students and professionals hailing from physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics and engineering—the full spectrum of materials research. Headquartered in Warrendale, Pennsylvania (USA), MRS membership now spans 90 countries, with approximately 45 percent of members residing outside the United States.

MRS serves and engages members across generations to advance their careers and promote materials research and innovation. The Society produces high-quality meetings and publications, assuring that members of all career stages can present and publish their most important and timely work to an international and interdisciplinary audience. MRS continues to expand its professional development portfolio, as well as promote diversity and inclusion in the scientific workforce, with career services for researchers worldwide. The Society advocates for the importance of scientific research and innovation to policymakers and the community. And the MRS Awards program honors those whose work has already had a major impact in the field, as well as those whose work shows great promise for future leadership.

For more information about the Materials Research Society visit mrs.org and follow @Materials_MRS.