2021 SSPA Participants

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 theoritical 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.

Program Information 

Course Elements:
• Lectures
• Hands-On Laboratory/Computational Training
• Shadowing/Mentoring by Faculty, Postdoctoral, and Graduate Students
• Capstone “Discovery” Project – an independent research project implemented by a team of trainees under the mentorship of a current research group member

• Full immersion program
• Schedule: Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 4:00pm
• Tutorials (lecture, in-lab demonstrations, student presentations), Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 9:00am – 11:00am
• The remainder of the time is spent in the laboratory working on the course experimental modules and the Discovery Projects
• Location: UC San Diego, Main Campus

Financial Support
There is no charge for participation in this program. However, all participants must have their own support for travel, living expenses, health insurance, and any applicable visa fees (the university charges a $425 visa processing fee). Financial assistance is available for participation in this program through the UC San Diego MRSEC: Undergraduate students are eligible for support from the UC San Diego MRSEC REU program; incoming graduate students are eligible for support from the UC San Diego MRSEC RIMSE program.  On-campus housing can be provided, as needed.

Program Dates: Sunday, June 19 to Sunday, August 14, 2022.
If access to the labs is still restricted (based on the University's COVID-19 guidelines), activity may be partially or completely virtual.

HOW TO APPLY: Please submit the following materials to Professor Tod Pascal
• Letter of Interest
• Resume
• Up to 3 letters of reference

Application Deadlines: May 1, 2022
*Applications are considered on a rolling basis until deadline, May 1, 2022.

For questions, please contact mrsec@ucsd.edu
UC San Diego MRSEC 2022 RIMSE Summer Schools flyer

2021 Participants

Erick Alvarado

BIO: Erick is an incoming PhD student at UC San Diego MRSEC. He graduated from UC San Diego in September 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering. His previous research experience includes atmospheric chemistry, seed mediated noble metal nanocrystal growth, the identification of nonpolar aqueous solvents supporting reverse micelle formation, and the colorimetric detection of chemical warfare agents. He is participating in MRSEC RIMSE interested in how computational materials science can be used to better understand the fundamental physics surrounding quantum materials and aid in their development and design.
ORCID: 0000-0001-9960-168X

Vanessa Eng

BIO: Vanessa is a PhD Student at UC San Diego's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, working under Prof. Akif Tezcan. She received her bachelor's degree in Chemistry from University of Portland in 2020, where she conducted computational chemistry research and studied organometallic reaction mechanisms. Currently, she is interested in using computational tools to understand the chemical and physical interactions that drive self-assembly, and hopes to apply this knowledge to design functional metalloprotein assemblies.
ORCID: 0000-0002-4832-6654

Jose Figueroa Jr.

BIO: Jose Is a Senior from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas participating in the UC San Diego MRSEC REU for the summer of 2021. He has previously done research in silicon nanofabrication, characterization and simulation of piezoelectric materials, analysis of the Higgs Boson. His interest in the MRSEC REU are in fabricating, characterization and DFT calculations of Li-CFx battery systems. Outside of the laboratory, Jose is an avid record collector and DJ’s
ORCID: 0000-0002-1786-0512

Alex Fuqua

BIO: Alex Fuqua is an incoming PhD student at UC San Diego in the Nanoengineering department. He will be in Dr. Andrea Tao's group. He graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor's Degree in Materials Engineering June 2021. He is interested in self assembly of inorganic nanocrystals.
ORCID: 0000-0002-3611-665X

Dong Le

BIO: Dong is PhD student in Prof. Alex Fraño’s X Lab in the Department of Physics at UC San Diego. She received her B.S. in Nanoengineering with a minor in Physics from UC San Diego in 2020. Currently, she is investigating nonequilibrium dynamics in classical/semiclassical systems, such as assembly dynamics of solid-state nanocrystals and of genetically modified proteins in polymer networks. She is participating in the Summer School for Predictive Assembly learning about the computational aspects of the self-assembly problems, specifically molecular dynamics and Monte-Carlo simulations.
ORCID: 0000-0002-7385-1725

Dong Ju Lee

BIO: Dong Ju Lee is a B.S./M.S. student in Chemical Engineering at UC San Diego. His research is focused on Metal-Organic-Framework (MOF) membranes that can be used as battery separators, working under Prof. Zheng Chen in Nanoengineering. He is interested in learning computer simulations of molecules to predict their behaviors by means of quantum mechanics.
ORCID: 0000-0002-8583-4957

Sebastian Marroquin

BIO: Sebastian Marroquin is an undergraduate student (Class of 2022) majoring in Chemistry Material science at California State University, Long Beach. He will be participating in the SSPA with Dr. Pascal. His prior research has focused on electrical properties of Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) and plans to continue this research with different MOFs.
ORCID: 0000-0001-9403-6220

Keanu Ray Rojas Masga

BIO: Keanu is an undergraduate student at the University of Guam with majors in Chemistry and Biology. They will be participating in SSPA under Dr. Bae and Dr. Pascal.
ORCID: 0000-0002-4815-6165

Junlin Wu

BIO: Junlin Wu is a Ph.D. student in the Materials Science and Engineering program at UC San Diego. He completed his undergraduate studies at Central South University in China, major in MSE. He finished his first MSE master's degree at Tsinghua University in China, focusing on Zinc Ion Batteries research. Then he came to another MA program in the Chemistry Department at the University of Virginia, focusing on electrocatalysis. At UC San Diego, he will continue to focus on the research of electrochemistry.


Everbrook Zhou

BIO: Everbrook is a M.S. student who has been studying the synthesis, densification, and characterization of nano-crystalline materials. His research focus is creating stronger, more transparent ceramics in hopes to replace glass or maybe make see-through armor.
ORCID: 0000-0003-2757-0807