Where did you study?
I received a Master of Science in Engineering Physics at the Lund Institute of Technology in 1996. In the same year, I joined the Theoretical Physics Department at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm as a graduate student. Five years later, I defended my Ph.D. Thesis on ‘Thermodynamic and Dynamic Instabilities from Ab Initio Electronic-Structure Calculations’. I did my postdoc and became a Research Associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before I joined LBNL in 2008, and UC Berkeley in 2015.
Describe one of your current research topics, why it is important, what you have already achieved, and what you hope to achieve in the near future.
My group expertise centers around data-driven materials science, using high-throughput first-principles computations, high-performance computing and data infrastructure to fuel our ideas and test our hypotheses. We house one of the most popular materials databases in the world – the Materials Project (www.materialsproject.org). I am passionate about moving our society towards affordable and sustainable energy and one important piece of that puzzle is to keep innovating in the energy storage space, going beyond current Li-ion technology. In my group, we are investigating novel cathodes for solid state battery applications, multivalent electrode materials, novel liquid electrolyte formulations, and the evolution of the solid-electrolyte interface. My hope is that we will not only bring new, functional materials for society’s benefit, but also showcase and democratize our methodology, making our wealth of data and innovative software infrastructure freely accessible to the world.
When you are not teaching, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I very much enjoy cooking, exploring new recipes and tastes, paired with good wine and beer, and I use that forum to make the family come together, and share their experiences and thoughts at the end of the day. I don’t really have a ‘green thumb’ but I’ve discovered that I relax while poking around in the yard and making things grow. Since childhood, I’ve been an avid reader, and while I definitely have less time to indulge it these days, I can still occasionally disappear in the worlds of fantasy and science fiction. I also love traveling, especially combining my interest in food, wine, and human history.