Nicolas F. Schunck

Portrait of  Nicolas F. Schunck

  • Title
    Staff Scientist
  • Email
  • Phone
    (925) 422-1621
  • Organization
    Not Available


After receiving his PhD, Nicolas Schunck was a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Surrey, UK (2002-2004), the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain (2005-2007), and the University of Tennessee, US (2007-2010). He was also visiting scientist at the Niels Bohr Institute in Denmark (2004), the Institute of Nuclear Physics in Kraków, Poland, and the Institute of Theoretical Physics in Warsaw, Poland (2005).

Research Interests

Schunck’s interests are centered on the development and implementation of theoretical methods to describe the structure and decay of heavy atomic nuclei. Most of his work involves research in nuclear density functional theory and its applications, in particular as they pertain to a fundamental description of nuclear fission. Nicolas currently manages the Fission In R-process Elements (FIRE) topical collaboration in nuclear theory. FIRE assembles experts in nucleosynthesis simulations and nuclear properties from five different institutions and aims at better understanding where and how heavy elements are formed in the universe.

Schunck is active in the development of computational nuclear theory and has more than a decade of experience in high-performance computing applications on leadership class computers. In particular, he is leading the development of the density functional theory for nuclei at extreme scale (DFTNESS) computational framework based on the HFBTHO and HFODD computer programs. Schunck has a large network of collaborations, both within the US, notably with Michigan State University (MSU), Institute for Nuclear Theory (INT), and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), and throughout the world, in particular the CEA et Bruyères-le-Châtel (France), the UAM (Spain), and VECC Kolkata (India).

Ph.D., Nuclear theory, University of Strasbourg, 2001

M.S., Nuclear physics, University of Strasbourg, 1997

B.S., Physics, University of Strasbourg, 1995

  • Principal Investigator: FIRE Topical Collaboration in Nuclear Theory, 2016-2021.
  • Lead organizer: INT program on Bayesian Methods in Nuclear Physics, 2016.
  • Teacher: FIESTA 2017 summer school in “Fission Experiments and Theoretical Advances,” Santa Fe, NM, USA; at the TALENT summer school in “Nuclear Density Functional Theory and Self-Consistent Methods,” 2014 ECT* Trento (Italy) and 2016 York (UK); at the “Exotic Beam Summer School 2012,” Argonne National Laboratory.
  • Member: APS, 2010-present.
  • Panelist: DOE/SC/NP “Forefront Questions in Nuclear Science and the Role of High Performance Computing,” 2009; “Requirements Review for Nuclear Physics,” 2016.