Last year, we started a new masters program at Hasselt University called “Materiomics“. It is aimed at bachelor students in chemistry and physics who want to become the materials researchers of the future: interdisciplinary team players with experimental, theoretical, and computational skills ready to build anything made of atoms. There are four specialization tracks developed: Health, Energy, Quantum and Circularity. But passionate students can also develop their own line of study (in consultation with the mentor). The start of this new program was also a new start for myself, as I started as a new tenure track professor materiomics (specialized in computational materials science) assigned to the chemistry department. As a result, I spend most of my time creating new courses for the new first year of the masters program. This year, the second year is launched for the first time, and also here I have a significant contribution. Together with the courses I’m teaching in the bachelor Chemistry program, my first semester will be packed. I’ll be teaching & coordinating 6 courses (25 ECTS), three of them new, and contributing to others as well:
- Introduction to quantum chemistry (2nd Ba. Chemistry)
- Quantum and computational chemistry (3rd Ba. Chemistry, new)
- Fundamentals of materials modeling (1st Ma. Materiomics)
- Properties of functional materials (1st Ma. Materiomics)
- Density functional theory: the workhorse of first principles modelling of solids and molecules (2nd Ma. Materiomics, new)
- Machine learning and artificial intelligence in modern materials science (2nd Ma. Materiomics, new)
As you can see, the central theme in these courses will be to introduce students into the realm of computational research, often at the quantum mechanical/chemical level.
On top of that, one of the first generation materiomics students will be performing a master thesis in my group, studying the GeV-defect in diamond. Bachelor students in chemistry and physics may join as well later with computational bachelor projects, but that is beyond my personal event horizon of the end of the first semester.
In the following weeks, you will be able to find a weekly review of my endeavors in this regard, providing some insights into what the students in chemistry and the master materiomics (Physics & Chemistry) are learning at Hasselt University.