NRT MIDAS Director

Arthi Jayaraman (PI, NRT director) has expertise in the development and use of molecular models, theory, simulation (using HPC), and DS towards the design of novel polymers. She has extensive collaborations with experimentalists in academia, industry, and national labs. Given her research expertise in soft materials, polymers, high-performance computing, and data science, and her regular interdisciplinary interactions with chemists, computer scientists, mechanical engineers, and biologists, who use different technical vocabulary, she understands the graduate training needs and the current training gaps in graduate programs involving the cultural and communication barriers that challenge such interdisciplinary interactions. Through such interdisciplinary interactions, the graduate students and postdocs trained in her research laboratory have gone on to become successful researchers in industry, national laboratories, and academia. She also has extensive experience teaching core and elective classes to both undergraduate and graduate students over the last 12+ years. One of these course relevant to this NRT is a graduate elective on ‘Molecular modeling and simulation of soft materials’.

In her past role as director of graduate program in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, she learned how graduate programs could better integrate students’ technical training and professional skills development and how the success of graduate students is closely linked to their advisor(s)’s involvement in their mentoring. These observations motivate her to lead this NRT program focused on graduate education and mentoring. Lastly, Jayaraman’s role as Associate Editor for Macromolecules (2019 – present) and Deputy Editor (2021- present) for the new open access journal on Polymers from the American Chemical Society (ACS Polymers Au) gives her an understanding of current challenges of data sharing and access in the publishing world, which she will also share with the graduate trainees in this NRT.