Uzi Landman, a professor who has been with the physics department for over 20 years, was recently awarded the Humboldt Research Award for Senior U.S. Scientists.
Humboldt awards are given out to researchers whose research has had a significant impact on their own discipline and who are expected to continue producing significant achievements in the future.
“All awards are nice, but this one is an especially nice award to get,” Landman said. “It does not mean your work is done like some awards, but that you are expected to keep contributing and making a difference with your research.”
The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation is based in Germany and strives to foster relations between the scientific community in Germany and those in other countries. The Foundation gives 100 awards annually—some to German scientists to do research abroad and some to scientists internationally to spend time doing research in Germany.
Recipients of Humboldt awards must first be nominated by established German academics in their fields. Landman’s award was sponsored by the Technical University of Munich and the Max Planck Institute.
The award includes a grant of €60,000 and a chance to come to Germany for up to a year (in total, although that time can be divided into blocks) to do collaborative research with German scientists. It is considered a very prestigious award and is only given to internationally recognized scientists.
Landman was given the Humboldt award for his research on physics of microscopic-level interactions of materials. His work is recognized for pioneering the analytical models and computer-based simulations that reveal physical phenomena underlying the properties of matter at nanoscale levels.
In Germany, Landman plans to continue his work researching chemical reactions at nanoscale levels collaborating with experimentalists who will test his models. Landman said he considers himself a theorist and that he looks forward to “the impact that working with German experimentalists will have on the models. ”
The prestige of the award not only promises to help Landman’s career, but it also has the potential to bring new scientific opportunities to Tech.
“The benefit of this award will not just be prestige for me or publicity for what the faculty here is doing…but most importantly, it gives the opportunity [for myself and other Tech faculty] to large-scale integrate and collaborate with first-class scientists around the world and bring them here,” Landman said.