Former IACS visiting postdoc receives prestigious Humboldt Award

Monday, November 27, 2017

Dr. Javier Dominguez Gutierrez hopes to improve the design of fusion reactors

Dr. Javier Dominguez Gutierrez has just received word that he has been awarded a Humboldt Research Fellowship for Postdoctoral Researchers, which he will undertake in Garching, Germany at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics.  He will be working on machine learning algorithms and applications in Plasma-Material Interactions (PMI) for fusion.

Javier initially visited SBU as a graduate student from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City on a CONACyT Research Fellowship, under the tutelage of IACS Research Professor Predrag Krstic. After he earned his doctorate degree with honors, he then returned to SBU as an externally-funded postdoc, again working with Professor Krstic. “Javier started with zero experience in particle-surface interactions when he came to IACS, but his persistent efforts and unwavering motivation brought him a highly productive set of research results. His Humboldt award is well deserved, and we are very proud of him. We wish him much success in these new scientific endeavors and hope to continue our fruitful collaboration,” said Professor Krstic.  

Dr. Gutierrez recently returned to his native country of Mexico, but while at SBU the research results from his group were published in 10 scientific papers, some of them in collaboration with experimental researchers at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory in Princeton, New Jersey. “I gained a solid scientific experience in the study of PMI by working as a postdoc for two years in the group of Prof. Predrag S. Krstic, at the Institute for Advanced Computational Science,” said Dr. Gutierrez. “I have been awarded the prestigious Humboldt Foundation Research Fellowship to develop a self-adaptive and automated computational procedure, based on machine learning methods, to obtain accurate molecular dynamics potentials for modeling the interaction of plasma with liquid metal conditioned materials. This will shed light on the optimal selection of plasma facing components to improve the design of fusion reactors.” Dr. Gutierrez’s new project will be conducted under the guidance of Professor Udo von Toussaint, a Senior Scientist in the material research division at Max Planck.

For more information about the Humboldt awards, visit