Principal Investigator

Garritt J. Tucker, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Materials Science Program

CoorsTek 201


Google Scholar Citations

Curriculum Vitae

Professor Tucker joined the Mechanical Engineering Department at Mines in the summer of 2017 as an Assistant Professor and is active in the interdisciplinary Materials Science program at Mines. Before joining the faculty at Mines, he spent 4 years as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA), and 2 years as a Postdoctoral Research Appointee at Sandia National Laboratories (Albuquerque, NM) in the Computational Materials and Data Science group. While at Drexel, he was awarded the Outstanding Teacher Award in 2015 and the TMS Young Leader Professional Development Award in 2016. Professor Tucker earned his Ph.D. in 2011 from the Georgia Institute of Technology (School of Materials Science and Engineering), and a B.S. in 2004 from Westminster College (Salt Lake City, UT) majoring in both Physics and Mathematics. During his time at Westminster and Georgia Tech, he received several distinctions including the Outstanding Physics Senior Award, Academic All-American (Soccer), and a Sigma Xi nomination.

His research ambitions are aimed at integrating high-performance computing and theory to discover the fundamental structure-property relationships of materials that will enable the predictive design of advanced materials with tunable properties. Of particular interest are materials where defects and interfacial-driven properties can be effectively tuned or controlled to enable property enhancement, such as nanocrystalline alloys, multicomponent laminates, materials for energy storage, 2D materials, and hierarchical metals. At the core of his group’s approach is to develop collaborations and programs that effectively mesh computation with experiments to tailor functional materials, and pursue novel informatics techniques to build predictive

Postdoctoral researchers

Ankit Gupta, Ph.D.

  • Started February 2018
  • PhD Carnegie Mellon University
  • Research Areas: Multi-scale modeling and fundamental deformation mechanics

Ankit’s primary research focuses on nanostructured materials/alloys with an emphasis on inverse design methodologies with computational modeling. He recently graduated with a PhD degree in the field of materials modeling from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. His PhD thesis concentrated on multi-scale modeling of mechanical behavior of carbon nanotube aerogels, supervised by Prof. Elizabeth Holm.

Ankit’s current research interests include designing models and simulations across multiple scales aimed towards better understanding the mechanical behavior of a material. This includes determining the fundamental deformation mechanism as well as predicting and developing materials with tailored and improved mechanical properties. He is also interested in developing better integration approaches for multiscale models in order to minimize the associated information loss.

Sanaz Yazdanparast, Ph.D.

  • Started August 2018
  • PhD Missouri-Rolla
  • Research Areas: 2D Materials Synthesis and Switching

Dr. Sanaz Yazdanparast received her Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Missouri S&T (Rolla) in 2015, M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Malaysia in 2010, and B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Shiraz University in 2007. After completing her Ph.D. study, she worked as a postdoctoral research associate for two years in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Missouri S&T. Her research focuses on experimental study and design of semiconductor materials, resistance switching random access memory (RRAM), Biomaterials and two-dimensional (2D) materials. She utilizes advanced characterization and testing techniques to study the nano- and microstructure and determine the properties of these materials. She has several publications in different peer-reviewed journals, such as Chemistry of Materials, 2D Materials, Applied Surface Science, Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A, and Scripta Materialia.


Meghnath Jaishi, Ph.D.

  • Started September 2018
  • PhD Michigan Technological University
  • Research Areas: Condensed Matter Physics

Meghnath’s research is primarily focused on computational modeling of electronic structure and transport properties of various semiconductor materials using density functional theory (DFT). He has also done some work on modeling near-infrared fluorescence in various organometallic probes for biomedical application. He recently graduated with a Ph.D. in Physics from Michigan Technological University. His Ph.D. thesis is concentrated on modeling nanoscale junctions for electronic applications. His current research includes the design and development of interatomic potentials to understand the mechanical behavior of shape memory alloys (SMAs). This would particularly help to understand deformation and shape regaining mechanism of SMAs at an atomistic level and hence, provide a roadmap for building SMAs with extra strength and added functionalities.

Graduate Students

Jacob Tavenner

  • Started in Fall 2017
  • B.S. Colorado School of Mines (Metallurgical and Materials Engineering)
  • Research Areas: Controlling lattice behavior and interfacial networks


Jacob Tavenner is continuing research at Colorado School of Mines after graduating from the Metallurgical and Materials Engineering department. His past experience includes electronic structure Density Functional Theory (DFT), materials development for Selective Laser Melting (SLM) additive manufacturing techniques, and Ge solar cell mechanics. Jacob is interested in developing fundamental materials behavior to better engineer materials for specific applications. His research interests focus on the fundamental physical behavior of material interfaces and implementing atomistic techniques for describing novel materials behavior.

Jacob Cordell

  • NREL Fellowship Recipient
  • Start in Fall 2017
  • B.S. Pennsylvania State University (Materials Science and German)
  • Research Areas: Computational materials design for renewable energy applications

Jacob Cordell joined the CMSD research group in 2017 after receiving his bachelor’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University, where he researched the growth and treatment of SnS for solar cell applications. He is currently on leave of absence from Colorado School of Mines as he spends the year working on concentrating photovoltaic systems at Fraunhofer Institut für Solare Energiesysteme through a Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) fellowship. Jacob is interested in materials for energy applications and using computational tools to quicken the rate of materials discovery and development of technology for energy collection and storage. Jacob has been awarded the NREL fellowship to continue working on renewable energy research in collaboration between Mines and NREL.

Gabriel Plummer

  • CoorsTek Fellowship Recipient
  • Started in Fall 2018
  • B.S./M.S.  Drexel University, 2017 (Materials Science and Engineering)
  • Research Areas: Enabling Advanced Functionality in 2D Materials through Computation and Experiments.


Gabriel joined the CMSD research group in the Fall of 2018 after completing his B.S./M.S. program at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. For his M.S. thesis, he studied the fundamental mechanical strength of MXenes, including the effects of point defects and chemical composition using atomistic modeling methods. He joins the Colorado School of Mines as a Ph.D. student after receiving the prestigious CoorsTek fellowship.

Annika Fash-White

  • Started in Fall 2017
  • B.S. University of Michigan (Materials Science and Electrical Engineering)
  • Research Areas: 2D materials for energy applications, multiscale modeling

Annika joined the CMSD research group in 2017 after receiving a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan double-majoring in Materials Science and Engineering, and Electrical Engineering. Her research project conducted at Mines is at the nanoscale, using atomistic and ab initio methods. She is currently studying a new micro mechanism in layered materials, and is also interested in 2D materials for energy applications and electronic materials, and multiscale modeling.

Jacob Gruber

  • Started in Fall 2013
  • B.S. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaigne (Materials Science and Physics)
  • Research Areas: Computational Materials Design: Defect-Engineering in Nanostructured Materials, Materials Informatics and Machine Learning

Undergraduate students

Former members

Satish Rajaram,  ph.d.

  • Drexel University, Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics – December 2019
  • M.S. Drexel University (Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics)
  • B.S. Rutgers University (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering)
  • Research Areas: Understanding the Mechanistic Role of Grain Boundaries on the Strength and Deformation of Nanocrystalline Metals using Atomistic Simulations


Bryce Frazee

  • Joined the CMSD research group in Summer 2018 as a Citrine Informatics NextGen Fellow
  • B.S. student in Physics, M.S. student in Materials Science (Colorado School of Mines)
  • Research Areas: Materials Informatics and Machine Learning, Computational Modeling of Quantum Bit Environments


Saurabh Das

  • M.S. Colorado School of Mines – Spring 2019
  • B. Tech National Institute of Technology, Calicut (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Research Areas: Simulations of Shape Memory Alloys  for Additive Manufacturing




Daniel Foley, Ph.D. 

  • Drexel University, defended thesis October 2017
  • B.S./M.S. University of New Hampshire (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Research Areas: Atomistic simulations of interfacial damage and metallic nanolaminates


Dana Bronen

  • Drexel University, MS June 2016
  • Research Area: Computational modeling of strength optimization in multi-component metallic nanolaminates