In a recently published Nature Reviews Chemistry article, titled “Surface premelting of water ice”, Ben Slater and Angelos review the current understanding of the quasi-liquid layer (QLL) that forms on the surface of ice. The review describes how advances in experimental and computational techniques furthered our understanding in the years since Faraday first postulated the existence of a QLL in the 1850s, while highlighting topics that still pose open questions, such as the QLL thickness.
Angelos will be running this year’s London Marathon with the aim of setting a new world record for the “fastest marathon dressed as a scientist (male)”. He is running in support of WaterAid, an international charity working to provide clean water and decent toilets to people all over the world. To find out more and support his cause see:
The London Marathon will take place on Sunday 28 April.
For his contribution “A Machine Learning Potential for Carbon”, Patrick was awarded a Best Poster prize at this year’s TYC Student Day! He was one of the four winners chosen from more than 30 poster presentations, which highlighted the excellent research conducted within the Thomas Young Centre. Patrick had also won the Best Poster prize at last year’s TYC Student Day.
The proposal titled “New Frontiers for Material Modeling via Machine Learning Techniques with Quantum Monte Carlo” was awarded a 2019 Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) grant by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. The project lead by Dario Alfè and in collaboration with Gábor Csányi in Cambridge involves Angelos, Andrea and Gerit, who will have access to 1.25 million node-hours on some of the most powerful U.S. supercomputers. These resources are required to perform computationally very demanding quantum Monte Carlo simulations to provide highly accurate reference data for the adsorption of water on graphene, which will be used to build a machine learning potential. The importance of this work is stressed by being presented as one of six allocation highlights in the INCITE award announcement. You can find out more about the projects here.
We are happy to welcome some new people who joined the group over the last few weeks. Tai is doing a postdoc in a joint UCL – BP project. Fabian is sharing his PhD time between UCL and Imperial College. Michael already did his Master project in our group and is now continuing his work as a PhD student. Last but not least, Irene and Joseph will be doing their Master projects in the ICE group.
Welcome and have an ice time!
Congratulations to Martin, who finished his viva last week! His work focused on ice nucleation, in particular on finding descriptors that indicate good ice nucleating agents and the role of dynamical heterogeneity in homogeneous ice nucleation.
Office: room 348, Kathleen Lonsdale Building, UCL
Tai specializes in molecular simulations for gas and oil applications. He is working with the research team in an oil company to explore key mechanisms and chemistries across upstream technologies. He will also transfer his knowledge in state-of-the-art molecular simulation techniques to the company and play a key role in building a digital lab, which will help reduce the cost of doing expensive lab experiments.
Yesterday morning’s adverse weather conditions (to put it mildly) made the triathlon even more challenging. The swimmers had to cope with very cold water, the hilly bike track was dangerously slippery and the running track was mostly covered in mud. Undeterred, both teams completed the triathlon – soaking wet (even the ones that didn’t swim!) and/or muddy but (mostly) unharmed. Well done!
The great support for our WaterAid fundraising campaign undoubtedly provided a large motivational boost. Every donation helps to provide clean water for everyone – many thanks for contributing!
The next issue of The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters will feature cover art from the perspective article ‘Lonely Atoms with Special Gifts: Breaking Linear Scaling Relationships in Heterogeneous Catalysis with Single-Atom Alloys’ by Matthew T. Darby, Michail Stamatakis, Angelos Michaelides, and E. Charles H. Sykes. The cover depicts the atomic structure of a so-called single-atom alloy, which is bimetallic alloy with a low concentration of the catalytically active component. One of these active sites prominently features a methane molecule after C-H bond activation. Dispersing the active component offers potential for well-defined and enhanced catalytic performance.
After last year’s phenomenal victory, the ICE group is participating for the second time in the Hever Castle Triathlon. This year, there will be two relay teams: Phil, Gabriele, and Angelos will compete again in the half-ironman, while Andrea, his wife Sara, and Patrick will compete over the Olympic distance.
The ICE group is not only trying to defend the title but also hoping to repeat the success of last year’s fundraising campaign for WaterAid. Please have a look at our charity page, and many thanks to all past and future supporters!