Honorary doctorate to Georg Kresse


Georg Kresse, full professor for Computational Quantum Mechanics since 2007, receives an honorary doctorate, the highest scientific award, from the Swedish University of Lund in June. Lund University is the highest ranked university in Sweden and is also consistently ranked among the world's top 100 universities.

Kresse is world leading in theoretical solid state and in computational materials physics.

To understand the importance of Kresse's work it is instructive to have a brief look at the history of quantum mechanics. In the 1920s, Erwin Schrödinger formulated the famous wave equation for electrons, and in the 1960s, Walter Kohn conceived the concept of Density Functional Theory (DFT) for solids and molecules, which simplified the problem significantly. However, although the theoretical framework existed, the practical application of the theory to real materials was next to impossible. Kresse solved this problem.

In Kresse's most cited paper (1996), the numerical methods and algorithms for an efficient solution of the DFT Hamiltonian are described and implemented in the Vienna Ab-initio Simulation Package (VASP) created by Kresse. In a second paper (1999), the electronic structure is described by a new method and potentials were generated for the full periodic table, enabling solid state calculations for any material. His work on ab initio density functional theory has contributed significantly to basic and applied research and has promoted the application of DFT worldwide. Kresse has also had collaborations with experimental scientists around the world, including Lund University, to confirm the accuracy of the VASP package and demonstrate its wide applicability.

VASP is currently the internationally most widely used program for quantum mechanical simulations of condensed matter and has currently more than 15,000 users. Kresse has obtained numerous awards, has an extensive publication list, and has been cited more than 300,000 times.

© Univ.-Prof. Dipl. Ing. Dr. Georg Kresse