Prize Recipient

Recipient Picture

David Vanderbilt
Rutgers University


"For his conceptual breakthroughs in his development of the ultrasoft pseudopotential and the modern theory of polarization, and their impact on first-principles investigations of the properties of materials."


David Vanderbilt received his BA in Physics from Swarthmore College in 1976 and his PhD in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981. He spent three years as a Miller Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California at Berkeley before joining the faculty of the Physics Department at Harvard University in 1984, first as an Assistant and then as an Associate Professor. He has been a Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Rutgers University since 1991. Dr. Vanderbilt is an expert in the development of methods for electronic structure calculations and the application of such methods for computational materials theory. His current research interests include the development of methods for treating insulators in finite electric fields, advancing the theory and applicability of Wannier functions, and applying Berry-phase methods to study magnetic systems. Applications are focused principally on the dielectric and piezoelectric properties of novel oxide materials, especially structural phase transitions, lattice contributions to dielectric and piezoelectric activity, and properties of interfaces and superlattices. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

Selection Committee:

Jerry Bernholc (Chair), Michael Klein (12/05), Farid Abraham ('04 winner)(12/05), Barry I. Schneider (V. Chair)(12/06), Sharon Glotzer (12/06)