NEWS | March 21, 2012

Dr. Brett Dunlap named American Physical Society Fellow

By Donna McKinney

Dr. Brett Dunlap, a research physicist in the Navy Technical Center for Safety and Survivability within the Naval Research Laboratory's Chemistry Division, has been elected to fellowship in the American Physical Society (APS) through the Division of Chemical Physics for pioneering contributions to variational fitting methods that enable reliable density-functional and ab-initio calculation on large molecules and clusters. Election to fellowship in the APS is in recognition of outstanding contributions to physics and is limited to no more than one half of one percent of the membership.

Dr. Dunlap has had a distinguished career in chemical physics spanning over thirty years at NRL. He is especially well known for contributions he made to the development of fast and accurate Gaussian orbital based density-functional methods, which were cited in his election to APS fellowship. This work-often requiring the invention of new approaches and computational techniques-produced methods that are now used in almost all density-functional and ab initio molecular computer codes that use Gaussian orbital basis sets, facilitating research in many areas. Dr. Dunlap's impact on the field of chemical physics extends considerably beyond his pioneering work on the development of chemical-based density-functional methods with highly regarded papers with colleagues on the properties of magic number alkali halide clusters, carbon cluster isomers, magnetic clusters, fullerenes, and carbon nanotubes. Currently, Dr. Dunlap's research is focused on kinetic Monte Carlo simulations of solid-oxide fuel cells.

Dr. Dunlap earned bachelors' degrees in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Iowa in 1969 and master's and doctoral degrees in Physics from Johns Hopkins University in 1972 and 1976, respectively. Prior to joining NRL in 1980, he was a postdoctoral associate with the Quantum Theory Project at the University of Florida (1975-1976), a National Research Council Research Associate at the National Bureau of Standards (now the National Institute of Standards and Technology) from 1977-1979, and a postdoctoral associate at George Washington University from 1979 to 1980.

Dr. Dunlap's curriculum vitae contains over 170 refereed articles — altogether cited more than 6900 times in the literature-9 invited book chapters, and over 40 invited talks. His research has been previously recognized by an NRL Technology Transfer Award for the DGauss commercial density-functional computer program (1991), the Edison Chapter Pure Science Sigma Xi Award (2001), and three Alan Berman Basic Research Publication Awards (1987, 1991, and 2010). He has been also recognized by the APS as a scientist who has been exceptionally helpful in assessing manuscripts for publication in APS journals (2009). Since 2005, Dr. Dunlap has served on the DoD High Performance Computing Modernization Program User Productivity Enhancement and Technology Transfer (HPCMP-PET) User Advisory Boards for Computational Chemistry and Materials Science, and for Computational Environment.

Dr. Dunlap is a member of the APS, the American Chemical Society, Sigma Xi, and the Phi Beta Kappa Society.