The Samara Center for Theoretical Materials Science (SCTMS) celebrates its 10th anniversary. The Center was established in 2013 as a part of the realisation of the Megagrant of the Government of the Russian Federation on the topic "Methods of theoretical forecasting of materials with specified physical properties".
During the work of the center, its name has been associated with more than 140 publications in highly rated scientific journals of the first quartile and more than 500 articles of the Higher Attestation Commission, RSCI and theses. The work was carried out, among other things, in cooperation with many leading scientific groups in Russia and abroad. The staff took part in more than 100 scientific conferences in Russia and abroad. With the participation of employees, 15 scientific schools were organized in Russia, Italy, Switzerland, China, 5 of which were held on the basis of the SCTMS. More than 30 webinars were held on training methods of working with software developed at the SCTMS. Thousands of researchers from more than 100 countries of the world use computer programs, databases and web services created at the SCTMS. Now the research center operates at three sites – at the Samara Polytechnic Institute, Samara University and the Samara branch of the Lebedev Physical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Director of the SCTMS, Prof. Vladislav Blatov:
"10 years is both a lot and a little. We started our history from scratch – there was no prehistory, there were no traditions, there was no ready-made team to rely on. There was a Mega-grant, the financing of which was actually designed for 2.5 years with a possible extension for another 2 years, but every year it was necessary to confirm that we deserve further funding. And there was a small group of enthusiasts who managed to gather from different faculties of the Samara State University and beyond. It was very difficult, but we were supported by the leadership of the former Samara State University and our hopes to organize a center in Samara in which we ourselves and the youth of Samara universities could do great science came true. Its first scientific director, Professor Davide Proserpio of the University of Milan, played an invaluable role in the formation of the SCTMS as an international center. Now I can say that the main thing that was conceived was realized – the Megagrant project ended a long time ago, and the center lives, develops, young guys pass through it, who then become highly qualified specialists. Yes, we have managed to do a lot in 10 years, but 10 years is a short time for a scientific school. As at the beginning of our journey, we do not know what will happen next, but we also hope for the best and go forward."
Prof. Alexander Krutov, Leading Researcher at the SCTMS:
"When the SCTMS was opened 10 years ago, it was difficult to predict what fate awaits this undertaking. Today, on these anniversary days, we can say that the materials science center, recognized in the world scientific community, is steadily functioning in Samara. Many indisputable facts can be cited to confirm this, but I will only mention two. Firstly, such a universally recognized database on the structure of crystals as SCTMS has recently begun to include information about the environment of atoms in crystals obtained at our center. Secondly, the methods of topological and geometric analysis implemented in the ToposPro software package developed by the staff of the SCTMS are used by thousands of researchers from dozens of countries around the world. Over the years, the center has educated a whole galaxy of young scientists who are actively working in leading Russian and foreign scientific institutions. I consider it my great luck that Vladislav Blatov gave me the opportunity to work at the center. I can say with confidence that the atmosphere of scientific creativity created by him contributes both to effective scientific research and to the education of new generations of researchers. We will do everything to ensure that the center continues to exist for the benefit of Russian and world science!"
The International Research Center for Theoretical Materials Science is congratulated by employees who have worked in it at various times for 10 years:
Dr. Roman Eremin, Senior researcher at the Artificial Intelligence Research Institute:
"My work at the SCTMS began in 2015. It would be possible to list positive impressions for a very long time, but, highlighting the main thing, I would note a talented team, experienced management and the opportunity to work on projects at the level of the world community. As for the team, we communicate with many people today, we do not get lost. The leaders were always open to ideas that might not coincide with the flagship themes of the center, but despite this, support was provided and opportunities for development were created. The level of research carried out was highly appreciated by both colleagues in Russia and foreign scientists, and the possibility of involvement in their work created the foundation for new research and scientific results. I can say with confidence that my professional path to the present moment is largely determined by the skills that I have gained while working at the SCTMS, the people and tasks with which I have had the opportunity to work."
Alexander Garin and Ekaterina Garina (Alexander is a Scientific Technical Specialist at Organon, Ekaterina is a PhD-student at TU Delft):
"Congratulations to the Center on its first major anniversary! We would like to say thank you for all the experience and knowledge that we have gained during our work. We would especially like to highlight the skill of working with scientific literature, which helped us a lot while studying for a master's degree in the Netherlands. Usually Dutch students are not taught this at the bachelor's degree, and the first literature reviews is present in the form of a separate course in the master's degree. Local professors highly appreciated our reviews, as they (based on their previous experience) did not expect to see 80% of the work ready during the first discussion of drafts.
We would like to wish the entire team of the SCTMS to continue to win various grants and develop international collaborations, which will undoubtedly lead to new scientific results!"
Dr. Nadezhda Nekrasova:
"I am grateful to the Center for the opportunities that work in it has given: it is also an opportunity to do really great science, to explore new and important things, to feel that you are opening unexplored corners of the world and making it even better. The SCTMS team are real scientists who are extremely passionate about their work and science in general. This creates a unique atmosphere in which you want to work, learn new things, be interested in new things, not agree to mediocrity, publish in the best magazines, participate in the most interesting conferences, study at schools with the best specialists. I can only wish the Center further development, to remain an oasis of science and a world-class scientific center, interesting projects and fresh ideas."
Andrey Goltsev, General Director of the Samara Manufacturing Company "Manufaktura":
"Dear employees of SCTMS!
I want to congratulate all of you on the tenth anniversary of the laboratory!
You are doing a lot of work, the results of which in some cases are not obvious to ordinary people, but are extremely important. This is a fundamental work that gives today and will bear fruit in the future. After all, perhaps by the next big anniversary of the laboratory, we will see the materials you have found in use in everyday life. Personally, I would love to take a ride on the Russian competitor Toyota Mirai, hydrogen in which is accumulated by a material based on breathable metal-organic frames, which would be found and synthesized by the forces of SCTMS!
I would like to express my gratitude to Vladislav Blatov, Eugeny Alexandrov, as well as my other colleagues and senior comrades for the experience and skills that I acquired while working at the SCTMS. It was my first serious job in my life, in a great team, fascinating and useful. Although I am not engaged in scientific activity after the SCTMS, but every day I apply this important experience for me."