Present Members

Peter W. Chung (pchung15 at umd dot edu) Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering.  Peter used to work for the government where he had a wide range of experiences including conducting fundamental and applied research in computational sciences, developing strategic investments in new research programs, participation on committees for logistics modernization for the military and national science policy for materials research.   He joined UMD in 2013 and is now working on ways to better compute solutions to a wide-ranging set of outstanding problems in mechanics, physics, chemistry, and materials.


Dan Elton

Dan Elton
(delton at umd dot edu,  2016 Ph.D. Stony Brook University) is a postdoc working on applying machine learning and deep learning techniques to accelerate the discovery of new molecules and materials. His website is


Abdollah Bagheri
(bagheri at umd dot edu) is a postdoc  studying material defects using phonon relations and also developing new material modeling approaches.



Graduate Students

Gaurav Kumar
(gkumar1 at umd dot edu) is a PhD student working on computation of vibrational properties of solids, to understand thermal transport on the atomic scale.



Jie “Michael” Peng (jiepeng at umd dot edu) is a PhD student working on electronic and phonon properties induced by TMDC folding.



Frank VanGessel (fvangess at umd dot edu) is a PhD candidate working on computational methods for solving the anisotropic full Brillouin zone three dimensional phonon Boltzmann Transport Equation. The method is capable of capturing phonon mediated thermal transport at the nano and micro scale in a wide range of crystalline materials.



Dhruv Turakhia
(UMD, 2019) is a masters student working on using natural language processing techniques to accelerate the discovery of new molecules and materials for engineering systems.



Minh Truong (UMD, 2019) is an undergraduate CS major working on applying natural processing techniques such as named entity recognition to accelerate the discovery of new molecules and materials for engineering systems.


Austin Kim (UMD, 2021) is an undergraduate CS major exploring machine learning techniques for classifying energetic and non-energetic molecules.



Mark Butrico
(UMD, 2017) is an undergraduate mechanical engineering student working on machine learning applied to energetic molecules.



Meir Kreitman (UMD, 2018)

Efrem Perry (UMD, 2017)  is an undergraduate student working on visualizing phonon dispersion volumes using data processing and visualization software.



Prospective graduate students are welcome to inquire about openings in the group.  Please review the admissions requirements for the department before doing so.

Former Members



Eunjeong Jeong (MS, 2017, now Major in ROK Air Force)




Joseph Andrews (Primary Advisor: Prof. Das, MS, 2016)





Rose Gallagher, nee Weisburgh (MS, 2016, now at




Rachel Flanagan (BS, 2016)


Mary Katie Cobb (Richard Montgomery High School, Summer 2017)

Stacey Wardenfelt (Stevenson Univ, Summer 2016)

Lalitha Madduri (Mt Hebron HS, Summer 2016)

David Nguyen (Richard Montgomery HS, Summer 2015)