Research Group

Current Members
Under construction: A. Abdulslam, B. Kappes, S.J.R. Likith, S. Manna, M. Walden

Former Members

 Dr. Branden Kappes

   Branden is an NSF postdoctoral fellow currently working on materials development for lithium-ion 
   batteries, as well as on the properties epitaxial graphene on metallic and semiconductor 
   substrates. Branden has earned his PhD at the Colorado School of Mines in Computational Materials 
   and his Masters in Materials Science from the University of Utah. He joined the group 
   in July 2009, and since then he also worked on the stability and electronic properties of 
   graphene nanostructures, control of the electronic properties via impurities, interaction of 
   defects on oxide surfaces, and atomistic descriptions of the material properties of Li-Al silicates. 

 Abbas Ebnonnasir

   Abbas is a graduate research assistant currently working on the electronic 
   properties of graphene on metals. He joined the group in August 2009 and 
   is pursuing his PhD in Computational Materials Science. He has earned his 
   Master and Bachelor in Materials Science from Isfahan University of 
   Technology in Iran. Abbas has been working on the
   electronic properties of graphene on different substrates.                                                                                                                                                    

 Will Maddox

   Will joined the group in January 2010 and is working towards his PhD in 
   Computational Materials Science. He earned his Bachelors degree in 
   Physics from the University of Alabama in Huntsville and his Masters 
   degree in Applied Physics from the University of Texas at Arlington. 
   Will is currently studying the formation and interactions of vacancies 
   on oxide surfaces.

 Dan Sullivan

   Dan is currently working towards his PhD in Computational Materials Science. He
   began working with the group in June 2010 after completing his Bachelors degree in
   Biomedical Engineering at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute,
   Indiana. Dan's research focuses on the  computational modeling of virus deposition onto
   various strongly- and weakly-interacting surfaces.

 Badri Narayanan

   Badri is a PhD candidate in Materials Science co-advised with Prof. Ivar Reimanis.
   He earned his Masters in Materials Science from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore,
   India for his work on development of a phase field model to study the evolution of
   microstructure during epitaxial growth of binary alloy thin films. He joined Colorado
   School of Mines in Fall 2008 and has worked on density functional calculations of
   elastic properties of lithium aluminum silicates (LAS) and parametrization of a
   reactive force field (ReaxFF) for Li-Al-Si-O systems. Currently, his work focusses
   on atomistic description of phase transformations in LAS ceramics, characterization
   of new LAS phases formed under various conditions of pressure and temperature to determine
   their crystal structure, elastic and vibrational properties through molecular dynamic
   simulations using ReaxFF.                                                                                                                                                  

 Bhavin Jariwala

   Bhavin pursues his PhD in Chem. Eng. and is coadvised with Prof. Agarwal.
   His work is focused on molecular dynamics simulations or amorphous surfaces 
   and thin films, synthesis of amorphous carbon, and advanced surface 

 Keith Hellman

   Keith is a PhD candidate in Computer Science coadvised with Prof. Mehta.
   His work focuses on developing  new evolutionary techniques for structural 
   optimization based on applying dynamic learning concepts that improve
   the control over the acceptance rate of crossover operations.

 Teresa Davies

   Teresa joined the group in May 2006, and has been an undergraduate  
   researcher for two years. She graduated in 2008 with a double major,
   Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. She has worked on a variety 
   of structure optimization and surface science problems, before entering
   the Graduate School. Teresa was awarded the National Science Foundation 
   graduate fellowship to pursue her PhD in Engineering at CSM. 

 Timothy Thayer

   (BSc 2008, Eng.-Civil) Tim has studied the indentation of ceramic nanowires
   laid down on a substrate. He calculated the contact stiffness for realistic 
   contact geometries realized between atomic force microscopy tips and AlN 
   nanowires with triangular shapes. Tim coauthored a paper recently accepted 
   for publication in  Nanotechnology.

 Damon Lytle

   (BSc 2007, Metallurgical and Materials Eng.) Damon has started to work on the 
   atomic structure of the Si(103) surface during a class project for "Physics of Crystal 
   Surfaces", and continued his research thereafter. He also studied the effect of stress 
   on the reconstructed silicon and germanium surfaces with the (103) orientation, and 
   has coauthored a paper in Applied Physics Letters.

 Aaron Kofford

   (MSc-thesis, 2007) Aaron started in his senior year to work on finding the lowest-energy 
   shape of ultra-thin nanowires. He graduated in May 2005 with a Bachelors in Engineering 
   and has earn his Masters degree working on finding the optimal cross sections and 
   studying the mechanical response on fcc metal nanowires. He is currently with the
   Design Engineering group at ATK Launch Systems in Brigham City, UT.

 Ryan M. Briggs

   (MSc-thesis, 2006) Ryan joined the group in September 2004 as a senior student 
   and worked on analyzing the interaction of defects on the Si(001)surface. Upon graduation 
   with a BSc. in Applied Physics in May 2005, he entered  the graduate program in 
   Engineering (Mechanical) and worked on diverse problems regarding the structure of high 
   index semiconductor surfaces. He studied the influence of strain and hydrogen passivation 
   on the energetics of the Si(105) surface and designed from scratch an optimization 
   algorithm for finding the structure of arbitrarily oriented steps on high-index 
   semiconductor surfaces. He defended his Masters Thesis in April 2006 and won the 
   National Defense Science and Engineering Fellowship in the same month. 
   Ryan is currently pursuing his PhD degree at Caltech.

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