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Research: The Clean Energy Project - Phase 2: Research Participants
Research Participants

Harvard University

Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Harvard University is amongst the most prestigious universities in the world. It was founded in 1636 and the Chemistry and Chemical Biology department has housed seven Nobel laureates throughout the years. The Chemistry and Chemical Biology department is an outstanding place to conduct theoretical research because of the faculty and computational resources of Research Computing.

The Aspuru-Guzik group at Harvard conceived of and implemented the Clean Energy Project (CEP). It is a theory-driven search for the next generation of organic solar cell materials. CEP has established an automated, high-throughput, in silico framework to study potential candidate structures for organic photovoltaics. Research Computing (RC) features 60,000 CPUs and 15PBs of storage and a multitude of linked programs that facilitate discovery.

Alán Aspuru-Guzik
Professor, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Harvard University

Professor Alán Aspuru-Guzik is currently Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University, where he started his independent career in 2006, promoted to Associate Professor in 2010 and Full Professor in 2013.

Alán received his undergraduate degree in Chemistry from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in 1999. He received the Gabino Barreda Medal from UNAM, which prizes the top achiever in each field of study. After receiving his PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in 2004, under Professor William A. Lester, Jr., he was a postdoctoral scholar in the group of Martin Head-Gordon at UC Berkeley from 2005-2006.

Professor Aspuru-Guzik carries out research at the interface of quantum information and chemistry. In particular, he is interested in the use of quantum computers and dedicated quantum simulators for chemical systems. He has studied the role of quantum coherence in excitonic energy transfer in photosynthetic complexes. He carries out research in the high-throughput search of organic materials, especially organic semiconductors, photovoltaics, organic batteries and organic light-emitting diodes.

In 2009, Professor Aspuru-Guzik received the DARPA Young Faculty Award, the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar award and the Sloan Research Fellowship. In 2010, he received the Everett-Mendelsson Graduate Mentoring Award and received the HP Outstanding Junior Faculty award by the Computers in Chemistry division of the American Chemical Society. In the same year, he was selected as a Top Innovator Under 35 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Review magazine. In 2012, he was elected as a fellow of the American Physical Society, and in 2013, he received the ACS Early Career Award in Theoretical Chemistry. He is associate editor of the journal Chemical Science.

Dr. Steven A. Lopez
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Energy EERE Postdoctoral Fellow
Harvard University

Steven Lopez is a Department of Energy EERE postdoctoral fellow in the Aspuru-Guzik group at Harvard University and is in charge of the day-to-day operations of the Clean Energy Project. The in silico high-throughput approach to discover potential non-fullerene acceptor materials for organic photovoltaics is assisted by World Community Grid. He completed his PhD in computational organic chemistry in the Houk group (UCLA), and holds a Chemistry BS from New York University.

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Johannes Hachmann
Assistant Professor, SUNY, University at Buffalo

Johannes was on the original Clean Energy Project team, and now leads his own group at SUNY Buffalo. His interest is the development of electronic materials, in particular for renewable energy technology. Complicated quantum effects play an important role in both these areas, and he employs cutting-edge computational techniques in carefully designed studies to account for them.

Ryan P. Adams
Assistant Professor, John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Science, Harvard University

In July 2011 Ryan Adams was appointed as an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Previously, he was a CIFAR Junior Research Fellow at the University of Toronto.

His research focuses on machine learning and computational statistics, but he is broadly interested in questions related to artificial intelligence, computational neuroscience, machine vision, and Bayesian nonparametrics. Ryan and his group aid the Clean Energy Project with developing new machine learning methods for extracting information from the Clean Energy Project for accelerating the search for new organic photovoltaic materials.

Dr. Edward O. Pyzer-Knapp
Research staff member, IBM

Ed was a postdoctoral fellow in the Aspuru-Guzik group who led the day-to-day running of the Clean Energy Project from 2014-2015 before joining IBM as a research staff member in Data Centric Cognitive Systems.

Ed completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge (UK) studying how to predict the crystal structures of porous materials used for gas storage. His research at Harvard University focused on how to use techniques from machine learning to accelerate projects such as the Clean Energy Project and discover new organic photovoltaic materials. Ed designed and optimizated the database which stores the results from the Clean Energy Project, and the automation of the analysis of the results as they stream in from World Community Grid.