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Research Philosophy

We are interested in aspects of structural and chemical order and disorder and their impact on properties, particularly for ceramics and metals, both crystalline and glass. Our team has the ability to operate within multiple scientific modes, illustrated here. 

We have a strong foundation in the empirical sciences. In particular, we have a strength in high temperature processing, as well as application of a suite of materials characterization both at WSU and at user facilities, ranging from diffraction to spectroscopy to microscopy. 

We also are well versed in theoretical modeling. We have an advanced understanding of chemical and statistical thermodynamics and have used this knowledge to build Monte Carlo models. Along with understanding kinetics, both phenomenologically and at a molecular level, we have modeled non-linear, coupled transport phenomena. We also have constructed cellular automata to predict solidification phenomena. 

A third mode of scientific inquiry involves simulating the quantum and molecular nature of matter. We have extensive experience with first-principles, density functional theory methods, perturbation theory methods, and molecular dynamics. 

Finally, we have aggressively pursued materials data science, also called materials informatics or machine learning. This allows us to integrate our experimental, modeling, and simulation results to gain fundamental understanding. It also allows us to incorporate the knowledge and results accumulated in literature. 

Having these capabilities, we are able to leverage any or all to address technological problems. In application space, we are focused on designing and developing materials for a sustainable energy future, including safe disposal and reuse of waste materials, multifunctional materials, and high temperature materials.