Read about Nicola Marzari's proposed talk to be held at Materials Today's New Scientist Live event on 23 September 2016.

Nicola Marzari
Nicola Marzari


Materials are at the heart of our technological development and societal well-being, to the point that we even name human eras after them - from the stone age to the silicon age. Discovering new materials used to be the realm of intuition and of trial and error - you needed a big laboratory, thick glasses, and many minions. These days, the minions have become virtual and plentiful. So, in this talk, I'll highlight how the combination of openly shared software and data, and of the most powerful scientific theory you have never heard of, are heralding a soft revolution in our capabilities to design and discover novel materials and to engineer their performance before ever setting foot on a real-life laboratory.


Nicola Marzari holds a Laurea in physics from the University of Trieste (1992) and a PhD in physics from the University of Cambridge (1996). He was a NSF postdoctoral fellow at Rutgers University (1996-98) and a research scientist at the Naval Research Laboratory (1998-99) and at Princeton University (1999-01). In 2001 he was appointed assistant professor of computational materials science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was promoted to associate professor in 2005 and to the Toyota Chair of Materials Engineering in 2009. In 2010 he joined the University of Oxford as its first Statutory Professor of Materials Modelling and director of the Materials Modelling Laboratory.

He moved to EPFL in 2011, as chair of Theory and Simulation of Materials; from 2014 he also directs the Swiss National Centre on Computational Design and Discovery of Novel Materials.