Vaclav Vitek Honored with Festschrift
The colleagues and peers of Vaclav Vitek, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, have recognized his influential contributions to computational materials science and physics of materials by publishing a Festschrift on the occasion of his 70th birthday as an issue of Progress in Materials Science (Vol. 56, 2011). The Festschrift notes, in part, "Dr. Vitek's drive and enthusiasm, his scholarly approach to science and also to society, his seminal contributions and impetus to computational materials science, and his guidance and impact on the numerous young scientists who have studied with him." His former students who are now very senior scientists with wide recognition call him a father figure in computational materials science.
The thrust of Vitek's research is multiscale modeling of deformation and fracture behavior of materials that links electronic, atomic, nano, and macroscopic scales. He works principally on the atomic level, which includes the development of interatomic potentials that reflect both metallic and covalent aspects of bonding, as well as properties such as ferromagnetism. This modeling involves atomistic studies of dislocations and their glide modes, structure and properties of interfaces, and interactions of these extended defects with other crystal defects.