Dr. Flaviu Cipcigan is a physicist, a research lead at IBM Research Europe and one of Forbes' 30 under 30 innovators and game changers.
Flaviu focuses on applying science and technology to societal and environmental problems and on building empowering communities. He co-leads a global effort to discover new materials for climate change mitigation. Previously, he led a collaboration between IBM Research, UK's Science and Technologies Facilities Council and a multinational pharmaceutical company to develop simulation and machine learning tools for drug discovery. He also contributed to materials discovery projects focused on new antimicrobial peptides.
As a contribution to the local community, he co-founded Global Shapers Manchester. Born out of the World Economic Forum, the Global Shapers Community is a network empowering young people to address local, regional and global challenges. He is also a Climate Reality Leader, trained by Al Gore to communicate the science and solutions to the climate emergency.
Flaviu's technical skills are in computational and data science. He is fluent in the scientific Python stack, high performance computing and molecular dynamics. Flaviu is also a design thinking practitioner and uses his skills to better understand client needs and create visually impactful graphics.
Flaviu completed his PhD in physics at the University of Edinburgh, part of a collaboration between IBM Research and the National Physical Laboratory (UK’s national measurements standards laboratory). There, he worked on new algorithms to simulate atoms and molecules, which he reviewed in Reviews of Modern Physics. His thesis was shortlisted by the Institute of Physics for their annual thesis prize. During his PhD studies he also worked on modelling piezoelectric ceramics, with applications in designing new transistor architectures.
Outside science and technology, Flaviu draws inspiration from art. Dance is one of his most enriching practices, having studied Argentine tango, bachata, and now focusing on street dance. He wrote about how dance inspires new approaches to science in a book chapter exploring the cultural aspects of physics. He also collaborated with artists to build a sculpture exploring different ways of knowing for the Edinburgh International Science Festival.