Giulia Galli wins 2019 Feynman Theory Prize

Giulia Galli, Liew Family professor in molecular engineering and a professor of chemistry at the University of Chicago and senior scientist at Argonne National Laboratory, has been awarded the 2019 Feynman Prize in Theory from the Foresight Institute, a think tank focused on molecular manufacturing.

Galli was recognized for her significant contributions to the development of theoretical methods to simulate nanomaterials at the atomic level.

Her research group has pioneered novel computational tools to understand, predict, and engineer a variety of different materials using the laws of quantum mechanics. Her work on defects and surfaces has been instrumental for the prediction of materials relevant to technologies, such as solar energy conversion and quantum information processing.

“It was a pleasure to be recognized with such a prestigious award,” said Galli. “I am also reminded of how fortunate I have been and am to work with many talented graduate students and postdocs, who ultimately are the ones who made this award possible.”

Every year, the Foresight Institute honors two researchers that make groundbreaking strides in nanotechnological development. Galli received her award from Sir James Fraser Stoddart, 2016 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, and Steve Burgess, president of the Foresight Institute, at an event in Evanston, Ill., on September 30.

This is the fourth major award that Galli has won within a one-year timespan. Other awards include the 2018 Materials Theory Award from the Materials Research Society, the 2019 David Adler Lectureship Award in the field of materials physics by the American Physical Society, and the Tomassoni prize from the University of Rome, La Sapienza.

“Giulia has been pivotal in the theoretical studies of nanoscale condensed systems from the quantum perspective and is a cornerstone of that work here at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME),” said Matthew Tirrell, dean of Pritzker Molecular Engineering. “She richly deserves the honors she has recently received, and I am confident that her group will continue to push the frontiers of her field.”