Exploring how emergent properties in chemical physics are controlled by nanoscale disorder.

The Willard Group, Fall 2019


Our research focuses on answering fundamental questions related to the influence of nanoscale disorder on emergent physical properties in biology, catalysis, and material science. To answer these questions, we utilize a combination of theory, modeling, and simulation. The four key elements of our research approach are:

1. The development of analytical theories. We use principles from statistical mechanics to derive mathematical relationships between microscopic and macroscopic system properties. These relationships allow us to generate novel theoretical predictions and discover new modes of control over system properties.

2. The creation of theoretical models. We reduce highly complex systems to simplified mathematical models that contain a minimal set of physical ingredients. These models allow us to perform in-silico experiments designed to generate or validate scientific hypotheses.

3. The execution of numerical simulation. We carry out molecular simulations of systems under various conditions. By comparing simulation data to experimental results, we can validate the physics of our model or provide a molecular basis for interpreting experiments.

4. The development of tools for analyzing simulation data. We develop novel approaches to quantifying and visualizing the large and complex data sets that result from molecular simulation. These tools provide physical insight that can catalyze the development of new theories or models.

To find out more about the research in our group visit the research page

Recent News

March 2021: Wow, first time updating the website since the start of the COVID pandemic. While working remotely, I have completely neglected this website. A LOT of updates to share, too many to enumate here. The highlights are below:

Adam was granted tenure on July 1 2020. This honor would not be possible if not for the hard work and creativity of the briliant students and postdocs that have been a part of the group!

Group members taking thier next steps- Kaitlyn and Amr successfully defended their theses. Congrats Dr. Dwelle and Dr. Dodin! Songela graduated. We'll miss you Songela! Wendu started his independent academeic career at Wake Forest University. Congrats professor Ding! Hamish and Michiel finished their postdocs and have moved onto to bigger and better things.

New members have joined the group- Linsey Nowack has joined the group as a first-year graduate student. Dylan Suvlu has joined the group as a postdoc! Alyssa Spencer and Myles Noel have joined the group as undergraduate researchers. Welcome Linsey, Dylan, Alyssa, and Myles.

We have published numerous new papers Check out the publications page for an updated list of publications from 2020 and 2021.

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