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MSU’s Levine Gets 2017 Physical Chemistry Lectureship Award


Benjamin G. Levine, assistant professor of chemistry in the Michigan State University College of Natural Science, was selected as the Journal of Physical Chemistry (JPC) A/PHYS Lectureship Winner for 2017.

Co-sponsored by the JPC and the Physical Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the 2017 JPC-PHYS lectureship awards honor the contributions of three investigators who have made major impacts in the field of physical chemistry in the research areas associated with each journal section—JPC A (isolated molecules, clusters, radicals and ions; environmental chemistry, geochemistry and astrochemistry theory); JPC B (biophysical chemistry, biomaterials, liquids and soft matter); and JPC C (biophysical chemistry, biomaterials, liquids and soft matter).

“I am delighted about Ben’s selection for the Journal of Physical Chemistry Lectureship Award, as this honor is very well-deserved,” said Angela K. Wilson, MSU’s John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor of chemistry, and Levine’s nominator. “Ben is one of the top junior theoretical chemists in the country. He addresses some of the most theoretically challenging chemistry problems, while showing an extraordinary level of versatility in his work; and he is already being recognized as one of the leaders in a number of areas of theoretical chemistry.”

Levine, who is the JPC A/PHYS winner, focuses his research on the development of theoretical and computational tools for modeling non-radiative dynamics in molecules and nanomaterials and automated molecular design. One goal of his group’s research is to understand how the properties of thin film and nanoscale semiconductor materials, which compose next generation solar cells and chemical sensors, are affected by the characters of their surfaces.

Benjamin Levine

Benjamin Levine

“We’ve worked very hard over the past six years to develop methods to model the fundamental physical processes that limit the efficiencies of devices for solar energy conversion and light emission,” Levine said. “It means a lot to me to see our work recognized in this way.  Beyond that, the lectureship is a great opportunity to share our work with a broad audience.”

Levine, who joined MSU in 2011, earned his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering and his Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, followed by postdoctoral research at the University of Pennsylvania and Temple University under the direction of Michael L. Klein. During this time, he studied proton conduction through the M2 channel of the flu virus and developed GPU-accelerated tools for coarse grain molecular dynamics.

Levine will give his lecture and receive his award at the ACS meeting in August.

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