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"For trailblazing contributions to the computational modeling of materials physics, including large-scale simulations of irradiated materials and advances in time-dependent density functional theory."Background:
Alina Kononov earned her S.B. in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2014 and completed her Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2020. For her doctoral research, she worked with Prof. Andre Schleife on first-principles modeling of ion-irradiated surfaces and 2D materials. Her contributions enabled predictive calculations of ion-induced electron emission, uncovered new surface physics, and offered insights for ion beam materials imaging and processing techniques. Alina now holds a postdoctoral appointment at Sandia National Labs, where she continues to develop and apply cutting-edge methods to model excited electron dynamics in collaboration with Dr. Andrew Baczewski and Dr. Stephanie Hansen. Her current projects involve advancing modeling capabilities for warm dense matter and exploring prospects of near-term quantum computing for simulating excited electrons. Her broad research interests span electronic structure theory and its applications, including time-dependent density functional theory, quantum simulation, materials physics, and high-energy density science.