The Hammond research group uses a combination of computational modeling and experimental characterization to study materials that have energy applications. This includes adsorption, transport, separations, and catalysis using zeolite-like materials for both “traditional” and “renewable” fuels (such as biomass-derived molecules) as well as radiation damage to materials in nuclear reactors (some in fission reactors, but primarily in experimental fusion reactors and plasma devices).
Our primary aim is to use computational techniques in tandem with experiments to achieve a better understanding of the underlying physical and chemical processes involved. This might mean direct investigation of a reaction or diffusion mechanism, or it may involve a series of calculations that, when viewed as a whole, paint a picture of the process from the atomic scale all the way up to entire device.
One inspiring aspect of computational materials science and catalysis research is an atomic-scale understanding of physical and chemical processes that is impossible using purely experimental means. Simulations also provide feedback as to what the next set of experiments should be; similarly, that set of experiments often provides a direction for the next set of simulations, and so on.
Awards and Honors
- April 15, 2021. Rafi Iasir successfully defended his dissertation at 2:00 pm CDT.
- March 31, 2021. One of our articles [Hammond et al., Sci. Rep. 10: 2192 (2020)] was listed as the 24th-most-downloaded paper in materials science published in the journal Scientific Reports in 2020. See the complete list for details.
- March 26, 2021. Brandon Lee was awarded the Goldwater Scholarship from the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. Congratulations, Brandon!
- November 10, 2020. Brandon Lee received one of five Outstanding Poster awards at the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics Annual Meeting.
- September 24, 2020. Amir Mehdi Mofrad successfully defended his dissertation at 12:00 pm CDT.
- April 23, 2020. Andrea Saltos successfully defended her dissertation at 1:00 pm CDT.
- March 13, 2020. Andrea Saltos and Rafi Iasir shared the Outstanding Ph.D. Student in Nuclear Engineering award from the MU College of Engineering.
- March 13, 2020. Amir Mofrad shared the Outstanding Ph.D. Student in Chemical Engineering award from the MU College of Engineering.
- October 25, 2019. Amir Mofrad was chosen for the “People’s Choice Award” at the MU 3MT competition.
- August 1, 2019. Prof. Hammond was one of 46 professors nationwide to be awarded funding in 2019 through the Department of Energy Early Career Research Program (commonly called the DOE Early Career Award)
- May 2019. Prof. Hammond was recognized as an Honors College Faculty Mentor for Maura Higgins.
- April 5, 2019. Amir Mofrad was awarded second place at the Graduate Professional Council Research and Creative Activities Forum's poster session.
- August 17, 2018. Rafi Iasir was awarded “Best Poster” at the CASL Institute’s poster session.
- March 20, 2018. Zhuocen Yang was given the Outstanding Master's Student in Nuclear Engineering award by the MU College of Engineering.
- December 2017. Prof. Hammond was recognized as an Honors College Faculty Mentor for Alexandra Sopata.
- July 18, 2017. Andrea Saltos awarded the J. D. Williams Student Poster Award by the Institute for Nuclear Materials Management.
New Members and Recent Graduates
May 2021 Megan Herrington joined the group as part of the REU program. Megan will study neuton-induced effects in plasma-facing materials.
April 2021 Trent Adelmann and Camila Leiva joined the group. Trent will study nitridation processes in zeolites, and Camila will study hydrogen effects on metal properties near grain boundaries.
November 2020 Amir Mofrad left the group for a post-doctoral position at the University of South Carolina.
October 2020 Seth Paradise joined the group and will study helium interactions with interfaces.
May 2020 Andrea Saltos left the group for a position with Commonwealth Fusion Systems