Newswise — Giulia Galli, a senior physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and professor of molecular engineering and chemistry at the University of Chicago, was recently elected to both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences, which are considered two of the highest honors that a scientist can receive.

“I feel deeply honored. I’m grateful for the constant support of my colleagues, who have greatly helped me succeed in my research activities.” — Giulia Galli

The National Academy of Sciences elects members based on their excellence in original and continuing scientific research. The American Academy elects members who are considered world leaders in their respective fields and who work to respond to global challenges.

“I feel deeply honored,” Galli said. “I’m grateful for the constant support of my colleagues, who have greatly helped me succeed in my research activities.”

Galli, who is also a scientist within Argonne’s Materials Science Division and Center for Molecular Engineering and Deputy Director of the Argonne-led Advanced Materials for Energy-Water Systems Center, is recognized for her contributions to the fields of computational condensed-matter, materials science, and nanoscience, most notably first principles simulations of materials and liquids, in particular materials for energy, properties of water, and excited state phenomena.

“I am very proud that Giulia is a member of the Materials Science Division,” said Amanda Petford-Long, director of the division. “She is an outstanding role model to all of us.”

The focus of Galli’s studies is to understand and predict how to harness molecular behavior to improve technology, particularly in the areas of speeding up computation and sensing with quantum technology, and perfecting renewable energy technologies.

The director of the Midwest Integrated Center for Computational Materials, Galli has also been working on developing open-source software to simulate the electronic structure of molecules and solids both on simple compute clusters and on high performance architectures, including the supercomputers at Argonne. In the last few years, she has been interested in how to facilitate the reproducibility of data presented in peer-reviewed scientific papers; her group has created a publicly available tool called Qresp that provides a framework for researchers to share the data and workflows, so that others can see how published results were obtained — and possibly reuse or revise them.

Galli’s election to the NAS and AAAS follows international recognition with four major awards in the span of a year, most recently the Feynman Theory Prize, an annual honor highlighting extraordinary work in harnessing quantum mechanics for the public interest. Other awards include the 2018 Materials Theory Award from the Materials Research Society, the 2019 David Adler Lectureship Award in the field of materials physics by the American Physical Society and the Tomassoni prize from the University of Rome, La Sapienza.

For Galli, an important aspect of election to the NAS and AAAS is the increased visibility of her lab’s research to interested parties.

“Earning these memberships helps us recruit good students and postdoctoral scholars, and hence build excellent teams,” said Galli.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit