Dr. Eric Jankowski joined the Materials Science & Engineering department at Boise State University in January 2015 as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Jankowski leads the Computational Materials Engineering Laboratory.
Goals: The overall goal of Dr. Jankowski’s work is to leverage thermodynamics for societal good. This means understanding the factors that govern molecular self-assembly, and using that knowledge to engineer materials for generating energy, storing data, or curing disease. The approach taken by Dr. Jankowski is to create and use computational tools that efficiently generate important configurations of molecules. The goal of these computational models are: (1) To provide fundamental insight into material structure when physical characterization is inadequate, and (2) To identify the most promising material candidates when there are too many choices. Consequently, one of Dr. Jankowski’s research goals is to develop new computational techniques that solve open problems in materials simulation. Dr. Jankowski’s teaching goals include developing new curricula for scientific computation in engineering disciplines and demonstrating how practical and fun it is to use thermodynamics to solve engineering design problems.
Background: Dr. Jankowski earned his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 2012, where he developed computational tools to study the self-assembly of nanoparticles. These tools leveraged graphics processors to accelerate computations and provided insight into systems of both theoretical and practical importance. Dr. Jankowski began focusing on renewable energy generation during his postdoctoral positions at the University of Colorado and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. At these postdocs, Dr. Jankowski applied techniques he developed during his thesis to understand factors that determine the ordering of molecules in organic solar cells.
Dr. Jankowski also enjoys cycling and an ancient board game (go), and can easily be convinced to discuss how themes of efficiency and combinatorics overlap between these hobbies and his professional interests. His representative animal is an Octopus; ask him about it if you have a few hours to spare.