University of Iowa chemist selected for early career award by U.S. Department of Energy

University of Iowa chemist selected for early career award by U.S. Department of Energy

A University of Iowa chemist has won a prestigious research award from the U.S. Department of Energy.

James Shepherd, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry, will receive $750,000 in funding as part of DOE’s Early Career Research Program. Shepherd is one of 76 scientists from across the nation selected for the award by the DOE’s Office of Science.

The funding will help Shepherd to advance the field of finite-temperature electronic structure theory.

“Although we can observe how temperature changes bulk material properties, our understanding about how the quantum-mechanical properties of electrons change with temperature can be imprecise,” Shepherd says. “The simulations required to examine these interactions more accurately are beyond the current capability of modern supercomputers. Over the next five years, we will be able to develop new algorithms to simulate the properties of electrons over a range of temperatures with a complete treatment of quantum-mechanical effects.”

The Early Career Research Program, now in its eleventh year, is designed to bolster the nation’s scientific workforce by providing support to exceptional researchers during crucial early career years, when many scientists do their most formative work.

“The Department of Energy is proud to support funding that will sustain America’s scientific workforce, and create opportunities for our researchers to remain competitive on the world stage,” says DOE undersecretary for science Paul Dabbar. “By bolstering our commitment to the scientific community, we invest into our nation’s next generation of innovators.”