The Department of Energy announced today that Jin Qian, a CSD Staff Scientist, is among 93 scientists nationwide that will receive a DOE Early Career Award. Her ECRP project “From Molecules to Continuum: Exploring a Universal, Transferable, and Physics-Based Understanding of Chemical Dynamics from ab-initio” aims to advance the range of length and time scales accessible by computational chemistry. Her innovative approach will uncover electronic structure-level insights into the chemical dynamics of heterogeneous materials that consist of up to more than 10,000 atoms. For more information, you can read the DOE announcement and the LBNL article.
Dr. Jenny Bergner has joined the Chemical Sciences Division as a Faculty Scientist. She also holds the position of Assistant Professor of Chemistry at UC Berkeley and has recently authored a paper in Nature with colleague Darryl Seligman, which suggested that the space object Oumuamua, discovered in 2017, might actually be a comet. This model has been widely covered by The New York Times and NPR, creating a lot of excitement.
Ethan J. Crumlin is a Career Staff Scientist at the Advanced Light Source (ALS) and in the Chemical Sciences Division (CSD) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). As the CSD Deputy, he will actively participate in the development of the Division and Area science strategy while maintaining a strong ALS footprint as well.
Ethan received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His introduction to LBNL occurred during graduate school where he was a user at ALS. Afterward, he joined ALS as a postdoctoral fellow and subsequently progressed to becoming a Research Scientist (2014), a Career Staff Scientist (2017), and the ALS Program Development Lead and Science Council Chair (2021). In 2021, he became a Courtesy Faculty member at Oregon State University in the School of Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering (CBEE). As a scientist at ALS, Ethan helps researchers from all around the world to conduct leading X-ray-based experiments to answer challenging scientific questions. Jointly with CSD his research group focuses on the utilization and development of ambient pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (APXPS) to study chemical and electrochemical reactions at the solid/gas, solid/liquid, and solid/solid interfaces for catalysts, batteries, desalination, corrosion, and electrochemical CO2 reduction and water splitting electrocatalysis all under in situ and operando conditions. He has been recognized for his scientific achievements receiving the International Solid State Ionics Young Scientist Award, The American Ceramics Society Ross Coffin Purdy Award, the Department of Energy Early Career Research Award, the LBNL Director’s Award for Exceptional Early Scientific Career Achievement, and the International Society of Electrochemistry-Elsevier Prize for Experimental Electrochemistry.
|As we are coming near the end of the year, the Chemical Sciences Safety and HR teams would like to remind you of some important action items and recommendations below:|
Curtailment begins at 6 PM on December 22, 2022, and we will return to work on January 3, 2023.
|Avoid Fires and Other Hazards|
• Shut off all unnecessary heat sources (i.e., space heaters) and electrical equipment including office computers
• Inform your Building Manager of any equipment that needs to stay powered up during the break
• Close gas sources
• Clean up work areas, including hoods, close sashes
• Remove as much waste as possible
• Ensure chemical containers are closed and properly stored
|Working During the Curtailment|
• You must obtain supervisor approval
• Work should be limited to equipment/experiment maintenance
• Do not perform any hazardous work; if needed, review the Work Alone Policy with your supervisor
• Let someone know where and when you will be working
• If you have urgent life safety emergencies during this time, call 911
• If you have urgent Facilities needs contact the Facilities Work Request Center at x6274 (after hours, this line will redirect to the correct service)
• Review this notice from Lab about services impacted during curtailment.
|Clean Up Before Curtailment|
To avoid being greeted by ants, mice, and mold when you return, please:
• Remove any food items from your work area
• Remove any perishable items from refrigerators or break rooms before the last custodial pick-up (December 22nd at noon in common areas)
• Wipe food residue from tables, microwaves, and other surfaces
• Wash all dishes
|Security & Lab Alert Updates|
• Enroll in LabAlert to receive up-to-date emergency information via text, email, or phone
• Secure laptops, cameras, or other theft-attractive items in your work area
• Lock office doors
|Badge Expiration Date|
Please check the expiration date on your badge. If you do not have a printed expiration date on your badge, or if you need to renew, please request a badge appointment to get a new one so that you are not denied access at the gate. Badges with expiration dates are automatically deactivated. Resource: Badge Office.
To view your active badge and area permissions:
1. Login at access.lbl.gov
2. Click on your name at the top right of the page
3. Click on “View Profile”
4. “My Access Cards” will display your current badge and its status (active or inactive)
5. “My Access Areas” will display all the permissions you have on your badge
The deactivation date on most of your permissions is tied to your GERT expiration date and
will automatically update the next time you complete the training.
|Delivery of W2|
To verify or change your preference to receiving your W-2 electronically, go to the UCPath Dashboard, go to Employee Actions, Income & Taxes, and Enroll to Receive Online W-2.
If you wish to receive your W2 at your home address, please go to UCPath Dashboard- Personal Summary page, verify your correct home address or select “Change Home/Mailing Address” on the menu to update your address.
|International Travel & Telework|
If you plan to travel out of the US for personal reasons and will work from another country, please submit your requests early and obtain approval before you start your travel.
• Working outside US for less than 30 calendar days in a rolling 12-month period.
• Working outside the US for more than 30 calendar days and not to exceed 90 calendar days in a rolling 12-month period (this request may take up to thirty days for review and approval).
If the employee cannot return to the US within 30 calendar days or within the approved period of time, they may be required to use accrued leave or leave without pay. They would NOT be authorized to continue telework beyond the previously approved duration. Leave without pay may impact other areas such as benefits, taxation, and service credit. The employee is responsible for keeping IRSO, Supervisor & HRDP updated on any changes to their return to work/US.
Click here to read more about International travel considerations over the holiday.
|Home/Personal/Emergency Contact Information|
Please review and update all contact information (home/mailing address, phone numbers, email, and emergency contacts). Go to UCPath Dashboard, Personal Summary page to verify or update your information.
|Verification of Employment |
Please email the UCPath Center at UCPath@universityofcalifornia.edu or call (855) 982-7284.
To update your highest degree in the HR System (if it has changed recently) please send a copy of the degree certificate or equivalent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As part of the annual Performance Management Process (PMP), managers and supervisors are highly encouraged to hold a 15-30 minute mid-year performance review with employees in January. That said, if you don’t hear from your supervisor, employees are encouraged to reach out to supervisors and ask to schedule a mid-year review meeting. This is an opportunity to discuss goals and objectives, ensure expectations are being met, and make adjustments to performance objectives.
|Prospective Retirees |
The UC Office of the President (UCOP) processes all retirement cases for Lab employees. If you are planning to retire in the upcoming year, you will need to initiate the process at least 90 days in advance of your retirement date. If you wish to initiate the process, please contact the UC Retirement Administrative Services Center (RASC) at (800) 888-8267. To ensure smooth coordination of your departure, please notify your supervisor and Sr./HRDP at the time you decide to initiate your retirement.
Please note that when you retire, you are retiring from all of your UC appointments, including your LBNL appointment.
• RASC: Retirement Administration Service Center
• UC Retirement System — Monthly Retirement Planning Webinars
• UCRAYS: Retirement At Your Service, online portal
• UC Retirement and Financial Planning Resources
• My UC Retirement: Your source for “All Things Retirement”
Vladimir was born in Moscow, Russia, on 16 February 1934. During the war with Germany, his family was evacuated to Ural Mountains, where he began elementary school. At his school in Moscow, where he returned in 1945, Vladimir encountered a remarkable group of inspiring teachers, including the teacher K. A. Uspenskii who motivated him and many of his classmates to fall in love with physics.
Although he graduated with straight As and was awarded a so-called “gold medal” which nominally entitled him to enter any college or university in the city without entrance exams, Vladimir was denied entry into Moscow State University: the Soviet government’s infamous antisemitic pressure erected unspoken but omnipresent barriers to those whom it labeled as ethnically Jewish. After a wasted year, in a stroke of luck he found out that one could become a professional physicist by attending the much lesser-known Moscow Pedagogical University. By an irony characteristic of the system, this university’s physics faculty included a roster of eminent scientists who, with a “Jewish” stamp in their documents, were similarly kept out of Moscow State’s walls. Here Vladimir obtained his undergraduate and PhD degrees. His 1960 dissertation was entitled Transport Properties and Paramagnetism in Superconductors, written under the mentorship of Prof. B. T. Geilikman who became both a brilliant colleague and an admired friend.
During 1957-58, Vladimir passed the renowned Landau Theoretical Physics Minimum (he recalled coming to Lev Landau’s apartment where the latter himself administered the first screening in mathematical methods) and became a member of Landau’s school, an informal but renowned group of theorists for whom the beauty, breadth, and rigor of theoretical physics reigned supreme and who marked it in a prominent way. Meeting Landau and becoming a part of this circle and its scientific culture were life-forming experiences for Vladimir.
From 1960 to 1978 he worked as a professor at the distance learning faculty of the Pedagogical University. (All offers of positions at high-ranking institutes and research centers were unfailingly voided by the aforementioned ethnical label.) In 1968 he received the DSc degree (with the dissertation, Problems in the Theory of Superconductivity).
In the 1970s, under strong American trade pressure, the USSR started allowing a trickle of its Jewish residents to leave the country. In 1978, with the Soviet regime stagnant and its ongoing antisemitism making the prospect of a decent college science education for their son remote, Vladimir and his wife Lilia applied for a permission to emigrate. After a nine nail-biting and jobless months’ wait, the family was granted an exit visa, and in the summer of 1979 they were resettled in the Bay Area.
Vladimir’s publications by that point included work on superconductivity, condensed matter physics, statistical physics, and the physics of correlation effects in aromatic molecules. In 1980 he was introduced to Dr. William Lester, and received from him the offer of a temporary appointment at the LBNL National Resource for Computation in Chemistry. This gave him an opportunity to restart his scientific life in this country. Vladimir remained at LBNL for the rest of his career, becoming a Staff Scientist and Principal Investigator. He officially retired in January 2003, but continued to be actively engaged in research, writing, and editing at LBNL as a rehired retiree and later as an affiliate.
Vladimir published approximately two hundred fifty papers in the fields of condensed matter theory, statistical physics, superconductivity, molecular spectroscopy, quantum chemistry, and nanoscience. As is the hallmark of the Landau school, his work combined sharp physical insight, powerful analytical technique, clear reasoning, and close attention to experiment. A long-term experimentalist colleague has remarked that whereas he usually preferred talks by experimentalists, he always made an exception for Vladimir’s seminars because of his skill in identifying the origin of even complicated physical phenomena in an understandable way. Vladimir greatly respected theory that was based on rigorous principles and solid calculations, and had a low regard for papers that showed poor understanding of the underlying concepts, revealed lack of familiarity with the literature, or were driven by fashionable terminology or scientific politics.
Much of Vladimir’s work was devoted to the phenomenon of superconductivity: transport and electromagnetic properties of superconductors, mechanisms of superconducting pairing, the physics of strong electron-phonon coupling, high-Tc superconductivity, the proximity and Josephson effects, the isotope effect, inhomogeneous superconductivity and the pseudogap state, superconductivity in organic and π-electron systems, and pairing effects in nanocluster particles and nanoparticle networks. His last publications focused on the nearly room-temperature superconductivity recently observed in hydride materials under high pressure: its mechanism was explicated and strategies toward developing ambient-pressure materials were analyzed.
Vladimir’s other work on condensed-matter physics included the physics of thin films and layered systems, plasmons, structural transitions, manganites, and relaxation cascades in solids.
In the field of molecular and chemical physics, Vladimir jointly with W. A Lester contributed extensively to the theory of polyatomic photodissociation, non-adiabatic chemical dynamics, and catalysis.
Vladimir organized and co-organized many international meetings and co-edited their proceedings. He was especially proud of the 1987 Conference on Novel Mechanisms of Superconductivity which was held at the Berkeley Marina and turned out to be the very first major international conference held after the discovery of high-Tc cuprates. Looking back, we can recognize that the enthusiastic participation of outstanding scientists, the discussions of exciting new physics, the spectacular location on San Francisco Bay, and the smooth organization and hospitality were all emblematic of Vladimir’s passion for science, beauty, and friendship.
Vladimir was the author of several definitive reviews and books. The last edition of the authoritative monograph Superconducting State: Mechanisms and Materials (jointly with S. G. Ovchinnikov and S. A. Wolf) was published by Oxford University Press a year ago. He also was very interested in science education, via outreach talks and articles aimed at high school physics students. His 1968 book Superconductivity and Superfluidity aimed to describe macroscopic quantum phenomena to high school and college students and teachers and was likely the first such book on the subject published in Russian. A second edition came out in 1978, and an English-language version, updated jointly with S. A. Wolf, was published by Plenum Press in 1990 as Fundamentals of Superconductivity.
For three decades Vladimir served as the editor of the Journal of Superconductivity and Novel Magnetism, working tirelessly to keep it at the forefront of the field and initiating many special-topic and festschrift issues.
In addition to his supreme dedication to physics, Vladimir had an infectious love for music, opera, theatre, art, and literature. He set high standards for science, art, honesty, and friendship, and lived his life meeting these standards with passion, integrity, and humor.
A memorial honoring Professor Phillip Geissler was held Friday, July 29, from 10:00 AM – Noon, on the Campanile Esplanade. It was a meaningful opportunity for family, loved ones, students, colleagues, and friends to join together in remembrance. His obituary can be found here.
Phillip Geissler (1974-2022)
Our community has been jolted by the news that Professor Phillip Geissler, 48, has died. Phill was hiking in Utah at the time of his death.
Phill was the Aldo De Benedictis Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and a renowned physical chemist, but many of us will think first of his easy smile and his deeply engaging personality.
Phill was a truly remarkable person–a brilliant researcher and scholar, a phenomenal teacher and mentor, and a dear friend to so many. His students found him to be both accessible and caring. He received numerous awards during his career, but he was proudest of his UC Berkeley Distinguished Teaching Award that he received in 2011.
I send my sincere sympathies to his family, colleagues, and friends.
We will provide more information as it becomes available.
Douglas S. Clark
Dean, College of Chemistry