Short CV/Education and training


  • 1991
    B.A. Natural Sciences, First Class Honours, Cambridge University

  • 1996
    Ph.D. Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley

Research Employment:

  • 1987 – 1988
    Summer 1989 and 1990, Undergraduate Intern, General Electric Company, Hirst Research Centre. Design of an electrically switchable Fresnel zone plate; Calculation of light transmission through twisted nematic liquid crystals; Modeling of spiral transformers for GaAs MMICs

  • 1991
    Undergraduate Researcher, Cambridge University. Undergraduate Thesis: Study of aluminophoshpate molecular sieves using magic angle spinning NMR. Advisor: Prof. J. Klinowski

  • 1991 – 1996
    Graduate Student Researcher, University of California, Berkeley, Chemistry Dept. Ph.D. Thesis: Calculating the Electronic Properties of Semiconductor Nanostructures: A New Theoretical Approach. Advisor: Prof. K.B. Whaley.

  • 1996 – 1997
    Postdoctoral Researcher, Yale University, Applied Physics Dept. First-principles calculations for novel magnetic materials. Advisor: Prof. K.M. Rabe

  • 1997 – 2002
    Assistant Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara, Materials Department

  • 2000
    Visiting Professor, Jawarhalal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research

  • 2002 – 2006
    Associate Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara, Materials Department

  • 2003
    Visiting Professor, Cambridge University, Dept. of Earth Sciences

  • 2006 – 2010
    Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara, Materials Department

  • 2007
    Visiting Miller Professor, UC Berkeley, Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering

  • 2010
    Visiting Professor, Uppsala University, Dept. of Materials Physics

  • Since 2010
    Professor and Chair of Materials Theory, ETH Zurich, Department of Materials

Selected publications

Selected projects

  • Former Director, International Center for Materials Research. Goals: To enable ground-breaking discoveries in materials science and engineering by facilitating international, multidisciplinary research collaborations, to provide opportunities for young researchers to develop the skills needed to excel in a global research environment and to integrate materials research experiences with an awareness of environmental and developing world issues into undergraduate curricula.

  • Organizer and lecturer in many Summer Schools; recently the European School on Multiferroics, Ascona, 2012; Bangalore Summer School on Electronic structure methods, 2006; International Center for Materials Research Summer School on

    First-Principles Calculations for Condensed Matter and Nanoscience, 2005; Boulder Summer School on Frontiers of Magnetism, 2003.

  • Advisory Board Memberships: APS DMP Executive committee; ABINIT electronic structure code development project; Zernike Insitute, U. Groningen; Electronic Structure Network; Max Planck Institute for Physics and Chemistry

    of Solids, Dresden; Boulder Summer Schools on Frontiers in Physics.

  • Organizer of many technical workshops and symposia; recently Program Chair for the Spring 2009 MRS meeting, Complex Functional Oxides, APS meeting, 2006; the UC/LANL Workshop on Complex Functional Oxides, UCSB, 2005; Chemical

    Control of Oxide Materials Response, ACS meeting, 2005; Multiferroics, MRS Fall meeting, 2005.

  • Member of Agilent Technologies Expedition to install solar powered refrigerators in remote medical centers in Nepal. Worked with local High School teachers to develop and teach classes on Physics of Photovoltaics.

  • Commissioned and premiered symphony on the Chemistry of Fireworks; developed accompanying lectures with the composer to enhance the concert-going public’s appreciation of chemistry.

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  1. Four AcademiaNet scientists join the Royal Society

    The prestigious scientific academy has elected 60 new fellows, of which 13 are women. Among them are AcademiaNet scientists Gabriele Hegerl, Yvonne Jones, Anne Ridley and Nicola Spaldin.

  2. Nicola A. Spaldin receives prestigious L'Oréal-UNESCO-Award For Women in Science

    The AcademiaNet scientist is one of five recipients of this year’s prize, worth 100 000 €.

  3. "It would be nice if there were more of us!"

    Nicola Spaldin about multiferroics, leadership, Women in Science and her passion for being an University Professor.

  4. Körber Prize 2015 for Nicola Spaldin

    The British chemist and materials researcher Prof. Nicola Spaldin is to receive the 2015 Körber European Science Prize. With the help of computer models, she has developed a new family of crystalline compounds: multiferroics, which have the potential to revolutionise computer technology.

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