Plenary Speakers

Prof. Helen Fielding – Ultrafast Transient Absorption, University College, London

Professor Fielding’s group is recognized internationally for their original work in the field of spectroscopy and dynamics of excited state of molecules. During the last 15 years, they have designed and built four separate experiments employing photoelectron spectroscopy to study small neutral molecules in the gas-phase, large molecular anions in the gas-phase, molecules on surfaces and, most recently, organic chromophores in solution. They also have expertise in electronic structure theory to support the interpretation of their experimental work.

Prof. Ilme Schlichting – X-ray free electron-laser based structural biology, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Heidelberg

Structural biology, and in particular scattering-based techniques making use of X-rays and electrons, have provided high-resolution insight in the structure and function of molecules, molecular assemblies, and cells. Despite a lot of advances in instrumentation, radiation damage limits high resolution imaging of biological material using conventional X-ray or electron based approaches and can change in particular redox sensitive cofactors, compromising chemical insight in reaction mechanisms. X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs) exceed the peak brilliance of conventional synchrotrons by almost 10 billion times. They promise to break the nexus between radiation damage, sample size, and resolution by providing extremely intense femtosecond X-ray pulses that pass the sample before the onset of significant radiation damage.

Invited Speakers

Prof. Tristan Bereau, Van ‘t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Bereau group focuses on the development and application of multiscale molecular simulations methods for soft-condensed-matter materials. Current activities revolve around the development of computational high-throughput screening methods from molecular dynamics, aimed at the generation of large databases of free energies. Interfaces with recent machine-learning architectures help streamline and accelerate the process. Further activities aim at improving dynamical properties of coarse-grained models.

Dr. Laura Cattaneo, Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, Heidelberg, Germany

The main research goal is to achieve a deeper understanding of the electronic and nuclear dynamics occurring at extremely different temporal and spatial scales in liquid crystals (LCs) across phase transitions. These phenomena can occur at very different timescales spanning from picoseconds, i.e. the typical time of collective lattice vibrations in a solid, down to femto- and attosecond, where molecular bonds vibrate and electrons move around atoms.

Prof. Basile Curchod, Department of Chemistry, Durham University, UK

The main pillars of the scientific research program of the Curchod group are the development and the application of theoretical methods for studying the dynamics of molecules in their electronically excited states, beyond the Born-Oppenheimer approximation.

Prof. Sean Garrett Roe, Department of Chemistry, University of Pittsburg, USA

The goal of the Garrett-Roe research group is to develop a deep understanding of structure and dynamics in the condensed phase, especially in complex systems. They established a strong theme in the ultrafast dynamics of ionic liquids (making “molecular movies” of ionic liquids to understand their physical chemistry and chemical physics), and are founding a parallel theme for the dynamics of ion-binding peptides.

Prof. Jeremy Johnson, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Brigham Young University, USA

We use ultrafast spectroscopy with expertise in high-field Terahertz (THz) generation to study characterize and control material properties on trillionth-of-a-second time scales. Our three main areas of emphasis are: 1) Technology for THz generation; 2) Structural and Vibrational Control of atoms in a crystalline lattice far from equilibrium; and 3) THz electronics for future high-speed electronics.

Prof. Tran Trung Luu, Ultrafast Optics and Attosecond Science, Department of Physics, University of Hong Kong

The Tran Trung Luu group seeks to generate, measure, and develop new methodologies in creation of ultrashort laser pulses, based on nonlinear optics and strong-field laser physics. Their aim is to enable new spectroscopies of bound electrons in atomic, molecular or lattice potentials of solids, as well as light-based electronics operating on sub-femtosecond timescales and at petahertz rates.

Prof. Giulia Mancini, Physics Department, University of Pavia, Italy

The research addresses the need for novel strategies in the characterization of functional nanomaterials, through the study of their fundamental structure-property relationships. Key is the development of innovative imaging modalities, which combine ultrahigh resolution in both time and space. The insights in fundamental nanoscale behavior, are vital to a better design of energy-efficient next generation devices.

Prof. Tom Penfold, Reader in Computational and Theoretical Chemistry, University of Newcastle, UK

How can the excited state properties of molecules and materials most efficiently be designed and exploited? The Penfold-group group develops and uses high-level theoretical techniques to understanding the evolving geometric and electronic structure in the course of non-equilibrium dynamics, hpoing to transform this into rational design of molecules and molecular properties on the atomic level.