Physicist Titus Neupert Given Klung Wilhelmy Science Award

Scientist from the University of Zurich wins honor with generous cash award of 60,000 euros / President Ziegler of Freie Universität Berlin praises Neupert’s work on data processing hardware as "groundbreaking"

No 342/2019 from Nov 14, 2019

Physics professor Titus Neupert was selected as this year’s recipient of the Klung Wilhelmy Science Award. The scientist from the University of Zurich received the honor on Thursday evening in Berlin. He was recognized for his contributions to theoretical predictions of novel "topological" phases of matter, in particular fractional Chern insulators and higher-order topological insulators. The award comes with 60,000 euros in prize money which was presented to Professor Neupert at an award ceremony in the Henry Ford Building at Freie Universität. Professor Günter M. Ziegler, the president of Freie Universität Berlin, praised Titus Neupert for his great accomplishments in the field of physics, which he has been pursuing since he was a school child. His award-winning work on hardware for the computers of the future, which can process gigantic amounts of data in an extremely short time, is groundbreaking, says Ziegler.

Titus Neupert has worked as a professor of theoretical solid state physics at the University of Zurich since 2016. His research investigates the topological phases of matter using analytical and numerical methods. He grew up in Dresden, Germany, and began his study of physics there at the Technical University. He completed his studies at the University of Zurich in 2009 before taking a one-year guest researcher position at RIKEN in Japan. In 2013, he finished his doctorate at the University of Zurich. His doctoral research, mainly conducted at the Paul Scherrer Institute, focused on the realization of fractional quantum Hall phases in lattice models. Titus Neupert then spent three years as a postdoctoral researcher at the Princeton Center for Theoretical Science, USA, where he analyzed Weyl semimetals and platforms for topological quantum computers in superconductors. Back at the University of Zurich as a professor, he established the working group Condensed Matter Theory and received an ERC Starting Grant in 2017, which supports his research on higher-order topological insulators.

The Klung Wilhelmy Science Award is given to young researchers at the top of their field, alternating between the fields of physics and chemistry each year. The award is granted as part of a joint cooperation between the Otto Klung Foundation, situated at Freie Universität Berlin, and the Dr. Wilhelmy Foundation. Five past recipients of the award have gone on to win Nobel Prizes: the physicists Theodor W. Hänsch, Gerd K. Binnig, Horst L. Störmer, and Johann Georg Bednorz as well as the chemist Hartmut Michel. Other recipients have also received prestigious national and international honors.


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