Personal profile:

Profile photo of  Dr. Maribel Nunez-Valdez

Dr. Maribel Nunez-Valdez

Section 4.3: Chemistry and Physics of Earth Materials

Helmholtz Centre Potsdam
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences

Telegrafenberg
Building D, room 329
14473 Potsdam
Phone: +49 331 288-1828
e-mail: maribel.nunez-valdez(at)gfz-potsdam.de

About the person

Function and Responsibilities:

Researcher

Research Interests:

My research makes use of first-principles or ab initio calculations, that is, quantum-mechanical computations based only on elemental physical constants of nature such as the electron charge, atomic masses, etc., with the main objective of understanding and describing physical and chemical properties of a variety of materials studied because of their fundamental interest, their relevance in technological applications, and their importance for Earth and planetary modelling. Currently my investigations focus on:

1) First-principles methods addressing structural, electronic, magnetic, elastic and vibrational properties of pure phases and solid solutions of naturally occurring materials (minerals) in order to elucidate the present state and evolution of the Earth and other planets and exoplanets.

2) Identification of precise features that control the functionalities of complex materials for specific technological applications and the design of new ones.

Career:

Researcher. Section 4.3: Chemistry and Physics of Earth Materials 
  GFZ Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam, Feb 1 2017– 

Research Fellow. Computational Materials Discovery Laboratory 
  Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, May 18 2015 – Dec 2016 

Postdoctoral Associate. Department of Materials Theory. 
  ETH-Zürich
, January 28 2013 – April 2015 
    
Teaching Assistant (Recitations). Department of Materials Theory. 
   ETH-Zürich, Fall Sem. 2013 and Fall Sem. 2014 

Postdoctoral researcher (50% appointment). Department of Chemical Engineering and
  Material Science. 
  University of Minnesota
, November 2011 – October 2012 
      
Teaching assistant (Recitations and laboratories). School of Physics and Astronomy and
  Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science.  
  University of Minnesota, September 2004 – December 2010

Education:

* Ph.D. Physics (Computational Condensed Matter). University of Minnesota (11/2011)
Thesis: Structural and Elastic Properties of Iron-Bearing Olivine Polymorphs at High Pressures and Temperatures: A First-Principles Study
Advisor: Renata Wentzcovitch
 
* M.S. Theoretical High Energy Physics. University of Minnesota (08/2009)
Paper: Bogomolny-Prasad-Sommerfeld (BPS) black holes 
Advisor: Prof. Arkady Vainshtein
 
* M.S. Nuclear Physics. National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) (04/2004)
Thesis: Baryonic states in a schematic model of constituent quarks and gluons.
Advisor: Prof. Peter Hess
 
* B.S. Physics. National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) (02/2003)
Graduated summa cum laude.
Thesis: Quantum Mechanics with dissipation in magnetic fields.
Advisor: Prof. Peter Hess

Awards:

  • 2016 Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres e.V. W2/W3-programme for excellent female scientists, W2 funding winner (Nov 30, 2016).
  • 2015 “5top100” Research Fellowship, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Dolgoprudny, Moscow Region, Russia.
  • 2010 Scholarship Award, Cooperative Institute for Dynamic Earth Research (CIDER) Summer School, Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP), University of Santa Barbara, CA, USA.
  • 2009 Outstanding Student Paper Award, Mineral and Rock Physics, 2009 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall meeting, USA.
  • 2008 Scholarship Award, Summer School: Prospects in Theoretical Physics. “Strings and Phenomenology”, Institute for Advance Study, Princeton, NJ, USA.
  • 2007 Scholarship Award, Summer School: Prospects in Theoretical Physics. “The Standard Model and Beyond”, Institute for Advance Study, Princeton, NJ, USA.
  • 2005 Excellence in Teaching Award, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Minnesota, USA.
  • 2003 Gabino Barreda Medal (best physics student), National Autonomous University of Mexico.