Two named as 2017 Maria Goeppert Mayer Fellows
Lina Chong (CSE) and Matt Otten have been named 2017 Maria Goeppert Mayer Fellows. The ability to attract top science and engineering talent to the laboratory is crucial to the success of Argonne’s science and technology mission. The goal of the Named Fellowship Program is to attract and retain researchers who are at early points in their careers and who have demonstrated promise to become leaders in their fields.
Fellows spearhead independent research that supports Argonne’s mission — to advance the science needed to make revolutionary energy breakthroughs, unravel nature’s deepest mysteries, and provide the nation’s researchers with the most advanced large-scale tools of modern science.
“These awards are named in honor of Maria Goeppert Mayer, an Argonne pioneer who received the Nobel Prize in physics for work with mathematical models of nuclear shell structure. This speaks to the prestige of these fellowships,” said Interim Laboratory Director Paul Kearns. “Argonne is proud to support the cutting-edge work of a new generation of promising scientists, and I look forward to seeing the impact of the accomplishments of Mr. Otten and Dr. Chong.”
Chong has a Ph.D. in materials physics and chemistry from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. As a guest graduate student, she joined the Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division where she developed a number of highly efficient, low cost electrode catalysts for fuel cell and water electrolysis applications. Her work contributed to a number of patent applications and U.S. Department of Energy project grant awards in these areas.
Chong’s research as a fellow will focus on new material development and fundamental understanding of the oxygen reduction reaction and oxygen evolution reaction catalysts for low temperature reversible fuel cell (RFC). RFC represents a key technology in future distributed energy storage with the promises of high efficiency and low footprint.
“Lina’s most impressive trait, when it comes to research, is her laser-focused attitude in attacking challenging scientific problems. Lina is one of the most hard-working and bias-for-action researchers that I know. Under the Maria Goeppert Mayer Fellowship, I expect Lina will continue to make important contributions in developing new catalysts and advancing the laboratory’s R&D initiatives and program growth, as she did as a guest graduate student in the last two years,” said Senior Chemist Di-Jia Liu (CSE).
Otten is a Ph.D. candidate in physics at Cornell University, working as a Livermore Graduate Scholar at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He also has worked as a co-op student and Givens Associate at Argonne. His research focuses on computational quantum mechanics.
As a fellow, Otten has proposed to study and work to understand how the noise processes in quantum computers give rise to errors in specific algorithms in an effort to create fault tolerant versions of those algorithms. He has proposed that tailor-made algorithms for specific quantum systems and specific quantum algorithms may be a way toward useful calculations without the overhead of general-purpose quantum error correction.
“With his deep understanding of physics and high-performance computer architectures, Matt has been a major contributor to the development of the Argonne electromagnetics simulation code, NekCEM in particular, in porting NekCEM to GPU-based accelerators that are at the heart of many of the world’s fastest computers,” said Computational Scientist Misun Min (MCS).
“He has also developed a scalable quantum dynamics code that he has successfully applied to understanding entanglement and other quantum phenomena in noisy and dissipative environments of relevance to quantum information and materials,” said Stephen Gray (NST), group leader, theory and modeling.
The Named Fellowship Program offers two opportunities to apply per year, with Maria Goeppert Mayer Fellows selected in the first half of the year and Enrico Fermi Fellows selected in the latter. Candidates must display superb ability in scientific or engineering research and must show definite promise of becoming outstanding leaders in the research they pursue. Fellows work closely with an Argonne sponsor to pursue their research interests.
For application instructions and sponsor guidance, visit the Fellowships page.