CECAM (also) celebrates its 50th birthday in 2019
For 50 years the Centre européen de calcul atomique et moléculaire has catalyzed the development of research in advanced computational methods.
The Centre européen de calcul atomique et moléculaire (CECAM), founded in Paris in 1969 by Dr Carl Moser, is the longest-standing organization for the promotion of fundamental research on advanced computational methods and their application to important problems in frontier areas of science and technology. CECAM has fostered the development of leading-edge computational approaches ranging from the pioneering efforts of the 1970s, when atomistic and molecular simulations were applied mainly to the physics and chemistry of condensed matter, to current extensions tackling a wide range of problems in materials science, biology and medicinal chemistry. It has accompanied the professional life of four generations of simulators, constantly benefitting from the support and engagement of leaders in the field, continuously training young scientists from all over the world, and consistently sustaining a rich program of timely workshops and schools proposed by its broad community and selected on the sole criterion of scientific excellence.
Today, CECAM is a network of 17 nodes located in 9 European countries and Israel that work alongside the headquarters at EPFL. This unique structure enables the CECAM community to act effectively at the local level, implement successful joint research projects, and promote collaborations in Europe and beyond.
CECAM headquarter, located in Batochime, greatly benefits from its privileged scientific environment and values its growing connection with research groups and centers based at EPFL. CECAM collaborates with the Bernoulli Centre to organise joint events and enjoys a solid relationship with the NCCR MARVEL. This relationship combines dissemination to the broad EPFL community of the history and importance of simulation via initiatives such as the “Mary Ann Mansigh conversation series” and the “CECAM/MARVEL lectures”, and joint scientific activities, notably a recent e-learning project funded by the EPFL Open Science Fund. About 1000 scientists at different stages of their carrier visit the EPFL campus every year, attracted by CECAM’s initiatives and providing a remarkable additional opportunity for faculty and students to exchange with the leading figures in our field.
Conference in September
To mark the occasion of CECAM’s birthday, the conference “Molecular and materials simulation at the turn of the decade: Celebrating 50 years of CECAM” will take place at the SwissTech Convention Center on 9-12 September 2019. The event will bring together old and new friends of CECAM to discuss state of the art methods and current challenges, celebrate 50 remarkable years of activities, and reflect on the future of CECAM and of its scientific field. It will feature an anniversary celebration on the 11th of September. On that occasion, the 2019 CECAM Berni Alder prize will be awarded to an outstanding scientist in our field. The celebration will continue with a guided tour and a gala dinner at the Olympic Museum.
Naturally, “it has not escaped our attention” that 2019 is a special year for EPFL. CECAM is happy and proud to share the remarkable milestone of half a century of activities with its home base since 2008. From one 50 years young Institution to another, happy birthday and many more to come!
Ana Catarina Mendonça, CECAM
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