Ali Alavi studied at Trinity College, University of Cambridge, obtaining his PhD in theoretical chemistry under the supervision of Ruth Lynden-Bell and Ian McDonald. After completing postdoctoral work at the FOM Institute AMOLF in Amsterdam, and a two-year junior research fellowship at Trinity, in 1995 he moved to Queen’s University Belfast for his first lecturing appointment.
He returned to Cambridge in 2000, was made Reader in 2005 and Professor in 2011. In 2013, he became a Scientific Member of the Max Planck Society and in 2014 started a fulltime directorship at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Germany. Ali’s main research interest is to develop algorithms for the accurate solution of electronic Schrödinger equations based on stochastic concepts.