Bushick and Moore Named 2024 Frederick A. Howes Scholars

Ames, Iowa

A committee of Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship (DOE CSGF) alumni and friends chose Kyle Bushick and Quentarius Moore as recipients of the 2024 Frederick A. Howes Scholar in Computational Science award. The annual prize goes to one or two recent fellowship alumni in recognition of their research accomplishments and outstanding leadership, integrity and character.

Howes, manager of the DOE Applied Mathematical Sciences Program, advocated for the fellowship and for computational science. Friends founded the award after his death in 1999 at age 51. The Krell Institute of Ames, Iowa, manages the fellowship and oversees the Howes Award.

The Howes scholars will each deliver a lecture and receive an honorarium and engraved award at the July DOE CSGF Annual Program Review in Washington.

About the awardees:

Kyle Bushick, a 2019-2023 fellow, completed his materials science Ph.D. at the University of Michigan in 2023. He’s now a postdoctoral researcher in Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Quantum Simulations Group, where he develops code and infrastructure to support atomic-scale simulations that can be used to study how elements like copper and carbon behave under extreme conditions. The committee cited Bushick’s “exceptional leadership and character, with wide-ranging impact as a champion of inclusivity and as a builder of community,” noting further that, “a running theme throughout Kyle’s service activities is the bridging of previously unconnected or under-connected groups.”

Bushick’s Ph.D. work in advisor Emmanouil Kioupakis’s lab focused on Auger-Meitner recombination (AMR), the process in which a negatively charged electron and positively charged vacant space known as a hole both transfer their energy to another electron or hole. As a result, the three low-energy particles become one high-energy particle. When this happens in an electronic device’s semiconductor material, the process saps energy that could otherwise be used to produce light or generate electricity.

Bushick’s models showed that putting silicon – a critical component in solar cells, transistors and other electronic devices – under certain kinds of physical strain during the semiconductor manufacturing process could minimize AMR and boost efficiency. In 2023, he received the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center’s Early Career High-Impact Scientific Achievement Award for this work.

Outside his research, Bushick served as president of his department’s graduate student council, developing seminars and workshops about choosing advisors, using the university’s resources and other topics for his peers. With others from his department, Bushick volunteered on outreach programs, performing hands-on materials science experiments for middle and high school students. He also worked with the University of Michigan Museum of Art to create an educational curriculum about the intersection of art and materials science.

Quentarius Moore, a 2017-2021 fellow, earned a chemistry Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in 2023 and is now an AMD software development engineer focused on GPU (graphics processing unit) programming, machine learning performance and HPC support for the DOE national laboratories. The Howes judges wrote: “(Quentarius) has made substantial and varied contributions across his communities, demonstrating initiative and courage in addressing challenges. He exemplifies the kind of scientific excellence and leadership that Fred Howes encouraged in all young scientists.”

During his Ph.D. research with advisor James Batteas, Moore focused on mechanochemistry, or how friction, bending and other physical forces affect materials. Moore wanted to know how graphene, a two-dimensional form of carbon, and molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) react with other molecules. Much of the MoS2 research was in collaboration with Michael Chandross at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico, where Moore completed his DOE CSGF practicum.

At Texas A&M, Moore used codes like Fortran-based Quantum Espresso on GPUs to simulate large mechanochemistry processes. With the guidance of Noah Wolfe, he used the application to test Fast Fourier Transform for AMD’s MI250 GPUs, recently deployed in Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility’s Frontier.

Throughout his chemistry career, Moore has participated in local chapters of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChe), which supports its community with conferences and networking opportunities. Moore met Batteas after presenting at a regional NOBCChe conference, and at Texas A&M he helped bring to life projects such as the chapter’s Percy Julian Awardees Exhibit in 2018, highlighting the accomplishments of Black chemists.

Moore also has volunteered regularly at the Lincoln Community Center in College Station, working with youth and older adults. There he shared his lifelong love of chess with kids and started a scholastic chess center. The center presented him with the 2024 Martin Luther King Jr. Service Award.