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German Barcenas

Graduate Research Assistant

Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering

German Barcenas started his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering in the Spring of 2019. He graduated with his B.S in Mechanical Engineering from Iowa State University in 2017. As an undergraduate, German developed an interest in computational modeling as well as an interest in energy systems. German saw an opportunity to explore more atomistic behaviors of macroscopic phenomena studied in mechanical engineering, and this drove him to pursue his research in materials science. German also devoted time to pursue extracurricular activities and mentoring fellow underrepresented underclassmen.

German is a member of both the Materials Theory and Modeling Group under Dr. Lan Li and Nanoscale Materials and Device Group under Dr. Bill Knowlton. His focus is on using Density Functional Theory (DFT) and Molecular Dynamics (MD) to study DNA nanotechnology in support of the Quantum DNA research group’s grants When German isn’t working, he likes to enjoy the trails around Boise, play guitar, and volunteer his time around the Boise community.

Instrument and Publications


  • Density Functional Theory
  • Molecular Dynamics


  • Python
  • Gaussian
  • VMD
  • USCF ChimeraX
  • Avogadro



None at this time.

Honors and Awards

  • George Washington Carver Scholar – Iowa State University (2013−2017)
  • HSF Scholar – Hispanic Scholarship Fund (2020)