Liquid and amorphous metals and alloys. Structure and thermodynamic properties of metal surfaces and interfaces. Bulk and surface phase transitions. Ab initio calculations of structural, electronic, mechanical, and magnetic properties of solids. Actinides and nuclear materials (fuels). Critical materials (rare earths).
Alexander Landa joined Condensed Matter and Materials Division in January 2002. He earned his MS degree in Theoretical Physics from the Odessa State University, Ukraine in 1977 and PhD degree in Physics and Mathematics from the Tomsk State University, Russia in 1982. After completing his postdoctoral study at the Institute of Atmospheric Optics of the Academy of Sciences of the U.S.S.R., Tomsk, Russia in 1984, he joined the faculty of the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the Tomsk Technical University. In 1985 he moved to Baikov Institute of Metallurgy of the Academy of Sciences of the U.S.S.R., Moscow where he hold the positions of the Research Scientist, Senior Research Scientist, and Group Leader at the Laboratory of Chemistry of Amorphous and Microcrystalline Alloys. In 1992 he entered the Graduate School of Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh where he received MS and PhD degrees in Materials Sciences and Engineering in 1994 and 1998, respectively, and then worked as the Research Scientist. He is a coauthor of the monograph 'Theory of Phases in Alloys' (Nauka, Novosibirsk,1984) awarded by the Presidium of the Siberian Branch of the Academy of Sciences of the U.S.S.R. In 1989 he won the Academy of Sciences of the U.S.S.R. Young Investigator Research Grant Award. In 2006 and 2007 he won the LLNL PDRP awards for pioneering first-principles calculations for the equation-of-state of actinide materials and their alloys that contributed to succesfully completing the important scientific and programmatic milestone for QMU and stockpile certification. In 2008 he won the LLNL S&T Award in recognition of his work in the area of fundamental plutonium solid-state and metal physics. In 2008 he won the NNSA/USAF Award of Excellence for significant contribution to the stockpile stewardship program. In 2016 he won the Director's S&T Award for development of a validated first-principles model for the magnetic and structural properties of plutonium metal. In 2017 he won the Physics and Life Science Directorates's award in recognition of his Excellence in Publication "Origin of the multiple configuration that drive the response of delta-plutonium's elastic moduli to temperature. He is a member of APS, MRS, TMS, ACS, ASM International, and Sigma Xi.