A computational framework for rational materials design and development.
The intellectual focus of this RIMSE Summer School is on understanding how nanoscale building blocks can be assembled into functional, tunable materials that operate at the meso- to macroscales. Such materials are broadly relevant to energy, environmental sustainability, and human health problems. Led by Professor Tod Pascal, the course provides training on the computational aspects of the self-assembly problem—students will learn how to deploy high-performance computing to build predictive models that capture the chemical and physical complexities of mesoscale materials and the dynamics of their formation.  Students will be employ a multiscale theoretical framework to solving these problems, combining first-principles electronic structure calculations, atomistic and coarse-grained (CG) models. The structure and dynamics of these system will be explored by means of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, while Monte-Carlo (MC) simulations will be used to determine the long-term, thermodynamic behavior. Trainees will learn how to: (1) simulate assembly at atomistic, nanoscopic, and mesostructural scales; and (2) how to predict the properties of the resulting structures.

2024 Applications now closed. Please check back in the Fall/Winter for info on 2025 Application info.

For questions, please contact mrsec@ucsd.edu

2024 SSPA Participants

Caldwell, Olivia

BIO: Olivia is an undergraduate honors student at Western Washington University, and she will graduate in 2025 with a B.S in Chemistry and minors in Communications and Materials Science. She is eagerly planning to pursue a Ph.D. in Chemistry or Materials Science.  She looks forward to exploring the intersection of engineering and chemistry including polymer chemistry, photovoltaics, and semiconducting materials. She also has strong interest in the world of optics and photonics, including optoelectronic materials and the development of new analytical characterization tools.
ORCID: 0009-0005-0215-5393
Mentor: Hang Yin

De La Torre, Joana

BIO: Joana is a rising junior studying Mechanical Engineering at Yale University and is the lead of the suspension and manufacturing team of her school's Formula SAE Electric team. As a native sunny San Diegan, Joana enjoys spending as much of her free time as possible at the beach, as well as hanging out with friends, and planning student council events.
Mentor: Alexandria Do

Gascon Navas, Mauro

BIO: Mauro Gascón is currently pursuing a Master's in Theoretical Chemistry and Computational Modeling at KU Leuven (Belgium). His interests lay in computational research in reaction mechanisms and spectroscopy, with an emphasis on biomolecules. He will join Prof. Tod A. Pascal (ATLAS Lab) while participating in UCSD's 2024 RIMSE Summer School on Predictive Assembly (SSPA).
ORCID: 0009-0004-7777-2911
Mentor: Alexandria Do

Huang, Lucy

Mentor: Shalaka Varshney

Hubbard, Michael

BIO: Michael is an undergraduate student at Reed College (Class of 2026) where they are completing their studies in chemistry. Their main area of chemical interest is physical organic chemistry, particularly investigating mechanistic descriptions of chemical processes. In their free time, they enjoy playing ultimate frisbee, volleyball, and billiards, as well as making music with their friends.
ORCID: 0000-0002-8213-4146
Mentor: Hang Yin

Mazalov, Ilya

BIO: Ilya is a first year UC San Diego Nanoengineering student with a passion to expedite the replacement of gasoline as an energy source, especially with novel sources of renewable energy. When Ilya is not in the lab or reading research papers, he enjoys all kinds of outdoor activities.
ORCID: 0009-0008-5999-0981
Mentor: Alexandria Do

Mukherjee, Shayan

BIO: Shayan is an undergraduate student at UCSB (Class of 2026) majoring in Chemistry/Biochemistry under the College of Creative Studies. Shayan is interested in applying chemistry into nanotechnology and engineering, and exploring the interface of materials research. In the future, Shayan plans to pursue a masters in materials science and engineering with an interest in the semiconductor/electronics industry.
ORCID: 0009-0007-8791-2481
Mentor: Shalaka Varshney

Mullooly, Margaret

BIO: Margaret is an undergraduate student pursuing a degree in Computer Science at California State University, Fresno (Class of 2026). She is excited to be participating in research focusing on the fundamental intermolecular interactions of nanoparticle systems with biosensing applications. She is interested in contributing to innovative solutions for a healthier world. In her free time, she enjoys being in nature.ORCID: 0009-0000-4498-8485

Nozaki, Shota


2024 SSPA Mentor Participants

Dai, Michael

BIO: Michael is an incoming freshman at UC Berkeley, majoring in Materials Science & Engineering, returning as a mentor participants in the 2024 RIMSE SSPA for the second year in a row, having initially participated 2021 RIMSE  as a high schooler. He hopes his experience as a RIMSE intern will come in handy while he continues to study the use of computational tools to better understand how self-assembly can be applied to novel energy technologies and regenerative medicine.
ORCID: 0000-0001-8426-0448

Do, Alexandria

Bio: Alexandria is a Ph.D. student in Professor Tod Pascal’s group in the NanoEngineering department. She received her B.S in NanoEngineering from UC San Diego in 2020. Alexandria’s current work involves understanding the entropy-driven structuring of water, and predicting the self-assembly of nanoparticles.
ORCID: 0000-0002-9124-6502


Na, Yui

Bio: Yui is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Chemical Biology program track at UC San Diego. Yui received her B.S in Pharmacological Chemistry at UC San Diego in 2019. She joined Professor Akif Tezcan’s lab to learn about protein self-assembly and to develop protein-based functional materials. Her current research focuses on polymer infused protein crystals.
ORCID: 0000-0002-0407-1338

She, Yutong

Bio: Yutong She is an undergraduate student at UC San Diego (class of 2025) currently pursuing a degree in Biochemistry. She was introduced to Prof. Sailor's lab in the Revelle College Honors Seminar and participated in the 2022 Summer School for Silicon Nanotechnology (SSSiN), and then returned as a mentor in 2023. For 2024, Yutong will be a mentor participant in the Predictive Assembly RIMSE summer school.
ORCID: 0000-0001-7024-0147

Varshney, Shalaka

Bio: Shalaka is a postdoctoral researcher in Prof. Andrea Tao's group. She obtained her Ph.D. in Nano Chemistry in 2021 from Ariel University, Israel and pursued postdoctoral research at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. Her current research focuses on polymer-grafted copper oxide nanocrystal synthesis, surface modification, assembly experiments, and mesoscopic characterization.
ORCID: 0000-0003-4743-9435

Yin, Hang

Bio: Hang is a Ph.D. student in Professor Alina Schimpf's lab at UC San Diego, where he works on incorporating ligands onto 2D tungsten dichalcogenide nanocrystal surfaces. Hang received his B.S. in Chemistry and in Physics from UCLA.
ORCID: 0000-0003-2489-1445