The Walter Kohn prize

The Walter Kohn Prize

 For outstanding contributions in the field of quantum-mechanical materials and molecular modeling

The Walter Kohn prize for quantum-mechanical materials and molecular modeling, jointly instituted and co-funded by ICTP and the Quantum ESPRESSO Foundation will be awarded biennially to a young scientist for outstanding contributions in the field of quantum-mechanical materials and molecular modeling, performed in a developing country or emerging economy, with emphasis on first-principles techniques.

The Prize will be usually awarded to one person, but may be shared equally among recipients who have contributed to the same body of work. The Prize consists of:

  • a cash award of €2000
  • a citation
  • an invitation to attend the award ceremony and deliver an award lecture at ICTP

Eligible candidates should be under the age of 45 on 31 May 2016 and must be working in countries that are NOT included in the list of “High-income economies” compiled by the World Bank (see ).

Nominations and self nominations, including a CV of the candidate, a list of the three best publications, and no less than two letters of support, should be sent to the Prize Committee at, before 31 May 2016, 6 pm GMT.

Members of the prize panel are:

  • Shobhana Narasimhan (JNCASR, Bangalore, India) — Chair
  • Nithaya Chetty (University of Pretoria and NRF, South Africa)
  • Belita Koiller (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
  • Sandro Scandolo (ICTP, Trieste, Italy)
  • Jaejun Yu (Seoul National University, South Korea)

The first award ceremony will be held on 13 January 2017, at ICTP, Trieste, Italy, during the International Workshop on Computational Physics and Materials Science: Total Energy and Force Methods.


Walter Kohn passed away on April 19, 2016. The electronic-structure community mourns a Man of Science, Peace, and Social Engagement. Not only did Walter lay the ground of modern electronic-structure theory, but he was a constant source of moral inspiration for those of us who have had the privilege to know him personally. The Quantum ESPRESSO Foundation is greatly grateful to him for the humble, generous, enthusiasm with which he accepted to have his name associated with this prize.

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