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Aravinthen Rajkumar

PhD Title: Atomistically-informed continuum interface models for functional composites

PhD Supervisor: Lukasz Figiel

Project code github repository:

My research revolves around the theory and simulation of multicomponent electroactive soft matter, with a focus on dielectric polymer nanocomposites. My broader interests revolve around soft matter, especially polymer physics.

My approach is based around data-driven modelling, particularly through the use of Gaussian process regression. My tool of choice for the generation of data is molecular dynamics simulation: below is a simulation of the purely mechanical deformation of a crosslinked bead-spring network.

The essential goal of my research is to use data-driven modelling to predict the macroscopic electromechanical response of a general polymer nanocomposite by consideration of its microstructure. Both scales present difficulties: the macroscopic electromechanical response is highly nonlinear, whilst the microscopic structure itself is typically extremely complicated. A combination of computer simulation and data-driven modelling provides a means of extracting information that can be employed in continuum mechanics simulations whilst avoiding the considerable effort required in grappling with the physics that governs the microstructure.

In addition to my PhD work, I'm also developing an outreach game based around the HetSys themes. Work in progress - stay tuned!


Me and my cat, Kuro