Second Workshop of the US-Africa Initiative in Electronic Structure

The USAfri workshop was held online Wednesday-Friday, May 25 - 27, 2022, and hosted by Columbia University, NY USA

The workshop was livestreamed and the recordings are available on YouTube

USAfri Logo

The USAfrI workshop was followed by:

Scientific Program

The scientific program took place May 25-27, 2022. The program includes a talk from keynote speaker Sossina Haile, invited talks from Valentino Cooper, Gebremedhn Gebreyesus Hagoss, Steve Ndengué, and Maria Chan, and 10- and 20-minute research summaries from USAfrI participants and collaborators.

Other program elements include a discussion about the upcoming IOP special issue on Electronic Structure, and a communications workshop with APS Editor Matteo Ricci.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Kigali Time Eastern Time Sessions for May 25
14h30 - 15h 8h30 Zoom Meeting room opens
15h - 15h15 9h "Welcome to the Workshop of the US-Africa Initiative" Omololu Akin-Ojo and Renata Wentzcovitch
15h15 - 16h15 9h15 - 10h15 Keynote Speaker Sossina Haile "Understanding and Exploiting the Splendid Redox Chemistry of Ceria and Its Derivatives" (Includes Q&A)
16h15-17h00 10h15 - 11h00 Session 1: "Molecular and chemical systems for energy" (10- and 20-minute introductions to research and collaborations) Session Chair: Andrés Cisneros
  • Anne Justine Etindele "Practical Treatment singlet Oxygen toward a C60’s scavenging mechanism of Radical Oxygen Species " Slides in PPT
  • Asnake Haile "The role of nitrogen and sulfur dual coordination of cobalt in Co-N4-xSx/C single atom catalysts in the oxygen reduction reaction" Slides in PDF Video in mp4
  • Dennis Magero "Test of the Orbital-Based LI3 Index as a Predictor of the Height of the 3MLCT → 3MC Transition-State Barrier for Gas-Phase [Ru(N∧N)3] 2+ Polypyridine Complexes"  Slides in PDF
  • Video in MP4
17h 11h00 Questions for Session 1 Presenters  
17h10  11h10 Zoom Group Photo and Break
17h30 - 18h15 11h30 - 12h15 Session 2 - Surface Functionalization and Low-Dimensional Systems (10- and 20-minute introductions to research and collaborations) Session Chair: Felana Andriambelaza
18h15 12h15 Questions for Session 2 Presenters 
18h30 12h30 End

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Kigali Time Eastern Time Sessions for May 26
14h30 8h30 Zoom Meeting room opens
14h50 8h50 Announcements
Session 3: Functional Oxides and Perovskites  (10- and 30-minute introductions to research and collaborations)  Session Chair: Alexandru Georgescu
15h - 15h30 9h - 9h30 Invited Talk 1: Valentino Cooper: "Predicting the phase stability of high entropy oxides" (includes Q&A)
15h30 - 16h30 9h30 - 10h30 Short talks:
16h30 10h30 Questions for Session 3 Presenters
16h40 10h40 Break (10 minutes)
Session 4: Quantum Materials   (10- and 30-minute introductions to research and collaborations)  Session Chair: Elizabeth Peterson
16h50 - 17h20 10h50 - 11h20 Invited Talk 2: Gebremedhn Gebreyesus Hagoss "Tri-continent collaboration on triple-layered ruthenate" (Includes Q&A) Slides in PDF
17h20 - 18h35 11h20 - 12h35 Short talks:
  • Mesfin Asfaw Afrassa "First principle study on the effect of Mn substitution in NaFeAs" Video in MP4 Slides in PDF  Video in MP4
  • Fatema Yahya Mohamed Saeed "Dirac plasmons in novel topological semimetals: insights from ab-initio calculations" Slides in PDF Video in MP4
  • Georgies Alene Asres "Tuning the electronic structure of Janus WSSe-ZnO heterostructures via interfacial dipole effects from first principles" Slides in Ppt Poster for ES22  Video in MP4
  • Winfred Mueni  Mulwa "Energetic properties and charge partitioning in FeMnP1-xAx ; x = 0.33 and A=Si" Slides in Ppt Video in MP4
  • Bamidele Ibrahim Adetunji "Half Heusler alloys, material for thermoelectric applications"  Video in MP4
  • Yedilfana Setarge Mekonnen "Emerging Energy Storage and Conversion Studies: Rechargeable Batteries and Fuel Cells" Video in MP4 Slides in PPT
18h35 12h35 Questions for Session 4 Presenters
18h45 12h45 End of Thursday

Friday, May 27, 2022

Kigali Time Eastern Time Sessions for May 27
14h30 8h30 Zoom Meeting room opens
14h50 8h50 Announcements
Session 5: Invited Talks  (Session Chair: John Vinson)
15h - 15h30 9h - 9h30 Invited Talk 3: Steve Ndengué  "Wavepacket studies of the water-dimer: New insights from 12D quantum dynamics" 
15h30 - 16h 9h30 - 10h Invited Talk 4: Maria Chan  "DFT + Machine Learning for Defects in and Design of Optoelectronic Materials"
16h - 16h10 10h - 10h10 Break (10 minutes)
16h10 - 17h10 10h10 - 11h10 Opportunities and discussion for US-Africa collaboration:
  • André Schleife, Executive Editorial Board, “Special Issue in IOP's Electronic Structure” on this USAfrI workshop
  • Matt Horton, Staff, Materials Project, “Opportunities in the Materials Project”
  • Sinéad Griffin, USAfri, “Other Resources and Opportunities”
  • Jingyi Zhuang, "Social media channels"
  • Amy Young, "Videos and interviews"
  • Open Discussion
17h10 - 17h15 11h10 - 11h15 Break (5min)
17h15 - 18h15 11h15 - 12h15 Science Communication Workshop  Matteo Rini, Editor at the American Physical Society
(See previous talk from Matteo on "Writing Better Scientific Papers" (2021) on YouTube)
18h15 -18h30 12h15 - 12h30 USAfrI Steering Committee Concluding Remarks
18h30 12h30 End of Friday

Invited Presenters from African nations

Invited Presenters and Hosts in the United States

Costs and fees

There is no fee to apply, and no registration fee to participate if selected.

How to Apply

The regular application deadline has passed. If you are interested in the workshop, please email

Additional information about USAfrI can be found at the web site USAfrI is funded by the Innovation Fund of the American Physical Society.

Contact for additional information: