I was drawn to materials science because it combines the creative and logical. Consider how materials self-assemble in nature; it resembles a symphony, with the vibrations of the atoms and molecules as the underlying rhythm and the patterns they assemble as an assonant chord. I received my degree in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Connecticut, with a minor concentration in Computer Sciences, conducting research on the self-assembly of polymeric films for explosive detection under Prof. Mu-Ping Nieh.
I did my doctoral work in Macromolecular Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan, researching with Prof. Sharon Glotzer. In the Glotzer lab, I looked to understand the music that describes what we see in nature and write a few symphonies of my own. Specifically, I used computational approaches to understand the self-assembly of nanoparticles, which are particles on the scale of nanometers to microns, and used these physical principles to design new materials.
We must also understand the design targets for these nanoscale assemblies, so in 2018, I initiated a study into the photonic targets for nanoscale self-assembly. This study involved 151’000 computations, 3 different compute languages, and resulting in renewed understanding of the crystallographic structures capable of supporting a photonic band gap.
My work has been featured in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, phys.org, Physical Review: Materials, Machine Learning: Science and Technology, and most recently Nature Communications. I’ve also have the opportunity to present it at multiple national meetings, including the American Physical Society (2017, 2018, 2019, 2021), American Chemical Society (2017), Materials Research Society (2017, 2018, 2019), and the American Institute for Chemical Engineers (2017, 2018, 2019).
Since joining EPFL, I have shifted my focus to methods development and simulations at the atomic scale. To keep up with the newest methodology and open-source software, I would encourage you to checkout my github page!