Prof. Dr. David Tomanek of Michigan State University received the prestigious Alexander-von-Humboldt Distinguished Senior Scientist Award in recognition of his life-long contributions to the field of Computational Nanotechnology.
The scientific carrier of Prof. Tomanek took off at the University of Basel in Switzerland; it continued at the Free University and the Fritz-Haber Institute of the Max-Planck Society in Berlin, Germany, where he pioneered the use of computer simulations to understand atomic-level processes at surfaces and in atomic clusters. On leave of absence from his faculty position in Berlin, he joined the AT&T Bell Laboratories and the University of California in Berkeley, and finally accepted a position as Professor of Physics at Michigan State University. Witnessed in several hundred publications and invited talks are his results on the electronic structure, mechanical, thermal and optical properties, as well as quantum conductance of nanostructures. His pioneering results in Computational Nanotechnology, in particular in the field of fullerenes and nanotubes, have been rewarded by the Fellowship of the American Physical Society.
Fluent in several languages, Prof. Tomanek has dedicated significant effort to strengthening collaborations in the field of Nanotechnology, by organizing international workshops and conferences in this field. His strong faith in the benefits of an open exchange of scientific information is witnessed in The Nanotube Site, which he maintains, and the recently founded open-access Journal of Small Systems, dedicated to Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. He also strongly promotes global awareness of ethical issues and the societal impact associated with the Nanotechnology Revolution, and is a strong proponent of introducing the "wonders at the atomic scale" to children even at an early age.
His belief that only an intimate collaboration between theoretical and experimental research will bring significant progress in the field is witnessed in the long list of scientific collaborations and institutions he visited as distinguished Professor of Physics, including the prestigious Seoul National University in Korea and the Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan. He was Research Director at the CNRS in Paris-Orsay, VTT Professor of Physics at the Helsinki University of Technology, Visiting Professor at the National University of Singapore, Rice University, University of Rome, NEC Japan, and others.
Prof. Tomanek holds several patents in the field of Nanotechnology and Bio-Nanotechnology, heads the Theory Team of the recently established multi-million dollar NSF-supported Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC) for High-Rate Nanomanufacturing, and the Computational Nanotechnology Team in Tokyo, Japan, associated with the Earth Simulator Supercomputer.
As Alexander-von-Humboldt Awardee, Prof. Tomanek intends to join the research team at the Institute for Theoretical Physics (chairs Prof. K. Richter, and Prof. M. Grifoni) at the University of Regensburg. Inspired by the beneficial collaboration between Theory and Experiment, which he experienced there as a Vielberth Foundation lecturer in Summer 2005, Prof. Tomanek wishes to intensity his ongoing collaboration with Dr. Gianaurelio Cuniberti (junior head of the ``Molecular Computing'' research group), along with his theoretical and experimental colleagues, in order to deepen our fundamental understanding of quantum transport in nanostructures.