Associate Professor Angelo Bongiorno Receives $301K NSF Award

Associate Professor of Chemistry Angelo Bongiorno has received a $301K grant from the National Science Foundation for his research titled “Novel first-principles methods for studying thermoelastic properties of materials.” The award started on September 1, 2021.

Commenting on receiving the award, Bongiorno noted that “I see this grant as a reward, not only for the hard work I have put into this research, but also for believing that it was a meaningful research direction to pursue. In the end, this NSF grant is telling me that ‘I have done a good job’ and that the scientific community at large thinks that “I should continue to work in this particular research area.”

This award supports computational research aimed at developing novel methods to calculate thermoelastic parameters of materials, such as the coefficient of thermal expansion, and linear and non-linear elastic constants at different temperatures and pressures.

According to Bongiorno, applications for this research will include the design of reliable technological devices operating at variable temperatures, and predicting the values of elastic constants of minerals over extended intervals of temperature and pressure, which is essential for the interpretation of seismic data.

Associate Prof. Bongiorno explained that “This project will impact several areas of materials science, physics, chemistry, and technology by creating new capabilities for computational prediction of materials properties. To enhance the broader impacts, the Principal Investigator (PI) will develop a simulation-based physical-chemistry course for undergraduate students.” He added that innovative strategies will be created to encourage underrepresented students to enroll in the course and conduct undergraduate research in the PI’s lab. The PI will also offer two-week-long summer programs for high school students aimed at showcasing computer simulations as a means to learn, explore, and do science.

Prof. Bongiorno received a BS degree in Physics from the University of Milan (Italy) and a PhD in Physics from the Ecolé Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland. He was at Georgia Tech (Atlanta, GA) from 2003 until 2015, first as a postdoctoral fellow, then as an Assistant Professor, and then as Associate Professor with tenure. In 2015, he came to CSI as a tenured Associate Professor. Since then, he has been enjoying being part of the Chemistry Department, teaching General Chemistry, serving on various committees, and pursuing his research interests.

By Terry Mares