Notre Dame helps establish first US node of top computational modeling network

Author: Brett Beasley

Cecam Image2

The European Centre for Atomic and Molecular Computation (CECAM) is the longest-running European institute for promoting computational methods. Sometimes called the “third pillar of science,” computational methods involve a new form of discovery that complements theory and experimentation. These methods have become central for advanced research in materials science, medicine, biology and other fields. Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, CECAM initiates research and training at 17 different nodes across Europe and Israel.

This month, the University of Notre Dame announced it will help launch an 18th CECAM node, extending CECAM’s network to the United States for the first time.

The node, which will be called CECAM-US-Central node, will be based at and led by the University of Chicago. In addition to the University of Chicago and Notre Dame, several leading Midwestern research universities will be founding partners, including Northwestern University, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Argonne National Laboratory will also serve as a founding partner.

Maginn Square2
Edward Maginn, the Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Engineering and associate vice president for research

Edward Maginn, the Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Engineering and associate vice president for research at Notre Dame, said, “The University of Notre Dame is excited to partner in the establishment of CECAM-US-Central. Notre Dame has long been a leader in the field of molecular modeling and simulation, and the establishment of this CECAM node will allow us to further strengthen our research in this rapidly changing field. Along with our partner institutions, we look forward to developing this node into an intellectual hub for the advancement and application of new simulation and modeling methods to solve some of the most challenging problems facing society.”

CECAM Director Andrea Cavalli said, “The CECAM-US-Central remarkably impacts the global positioning of CECAM by creating its first node outside of Europe. This node brings together a strong and exciting consortium of partners. It provides CECAM with a unique opportunity to strengthen further knowledge exchange between European and U.S. researchers in computational science. These scientific and technological activities are crucial to fostering exciting collaborations in leading-edge theories, software and applications to address grand challenges for societal progress.”

The node and its members will host workshops, seminars and conferences and provide opportunities to jointly develop training programs and networks. Faculty and students will also have the opportunity to visit and/or work alongside peers at other CECAM nodes.

The new node will officially launch in January, and its first activity will be an academic conference to be held at the University of Chicago in July.

Contact: Brett Beasley, writer and editorial program manager, Notre Dame Research,, 574-631-8183;, @UNDResearch

Originally published by Brett Beasley at on Dec. 8.