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Principal Investigator Heading link

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Sara Kadkhodaei

Department of Civil and Materials Engineering

Sara Kadkhodaei joined the Civil and Materials Engineering department at UIC in 2019. She received her B.Sc degree in Civil Engineering from the Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, Iran, and her M.A. in Physical Chemistry and Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Brown University. Dr. Kadkhodadei’s research interest is in the development of advanced first-principles and atomistic-based theoretical models to understand the underlying physics of materials and their integration into high-throughput computational frameworks.

Curriculum vitae

Department Webpage 

Graduate Students Heading link

Seyyedfaridoddin Fattahpour

Seyyedfaridoddin Fattahpour

Ph.D. Candidate – Materials Engineering
Farid is studying for his doctorate in Materials Engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). He earned his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran. Farid graduated with a master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He joined CMRL in June 2020. His research is focused on understanding solid state vibrations at high temperature.

Amir M. Orvati Movaffagh

Amir M. Orvati Movaffagh

Amir is currently pursuing his doctoral studies in Materials Engineering at the University of Illinois Chicago. Earning a master’s degree in structural engineering at the Sharif University of Technology laid the foundation for him to develop expertise in computational mechanics and nanomechanics. Currently, his focus is on computational thermodynamics, specifically within the realm of defects thermodynamics. He became a member of the CMRL group in Fall 2023.

Devi Dutta Biswajeet

Devi Dutta Biswajeet

Devi Dutta Biswajeet is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Materials Engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). After completing a bachelor’s and master’s degree in metallurgical and Materials Engineering at the National Institute of Technology Rourkela, India, he developed a profound interest in the synergy between materials science and computational methods. Joining UIC in the fall of 2023, Devi Dutta Biswajeet began working under the expert guidance of Prof. Sara Kadkhodaei. The focus of his research is on employing machine learning methods for the discovery and characterization of high-pressure materials. This research is pivotal in advancing our knowledge of materials that can endure extreme conditions.

Undergraduate Students Heading link

Connor Luttrell

Connor Luttrell

Undergraduate Researcher – Engineering Physics

Connor earned his Associate in Engineering Science from Richland Community College in 2021. At UIC, he is studying for his Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics with a minor in Computer Science. His research is focused on utilizing computational frameworks and methods to analyze the behavior of materials under non-ambient conditions.

Former Members Heading link

  • Ali Davariashtiyani – Ph.D. Materials Engineering (Graduate 2023)
  • Manisha Barse – M.Sc. Materials Engineering (Graduate 2023)
  • Noel Siony – B.Sc. Physics (Honors College Graduate 2023) – AT UIC: Worked at CMRL summer 2021-summer 2023. Supported by UIC’s DoD-STEM 2021-2023, Next: Graduate Student at the University of Miami
  • Long T. Vuong – B.Sc. Mechanical Engineering 2023 – AT UIC: Worked at CMRL summer 2020-spring 2023. Awardee of UIC’s GPIP program 2020, UIC’s CURA 2020-2021 and 2021-2022, and UIC’s DoD-STEM 2022-2023.
  • Ran Tao – China 3+2 program at UIC – Worked at CMRL for 2019-2020
  • Caitlin Azar – Undergraduate student in Mechanical Engineering – Worked at CMRL in 2019-2020


Open Positions Heading link

Overview: Computational Materials Research is an interdisciplinary area of research that involves different areas of expertise such as materials science, physics, mathematics, and computational science. Therefore, a strong background in materials science, physics, and mathematics is required in order to join our group and prior experience in computational work is encouraged.

Ph.D. Position in the Chicago/DOE Alliance Center

A fully funded Ph.D. position for US Persons (US citizens or permanent residents) is available for Fall 2023/Spring 2024 in Prof. Kadkhodaei’s lab at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC). This position is funded under the Chicago/DOE Alliance Center (CDAC) and provides excellent, cutting-edge collaborative research opportunities for the student. The primary research focus will be on understanding the kinetics and thermodynamics of solids under extreme conditions by developing quantum mechanical, atomistic modeling, and artificial intelligence/machine learning techniques. The candidate will have plenty of learning opportunities, from developing novel computational frameworks and numerical toolkits to a fundamental understanding of materials systems. The candidate will be involved in various research tasks as well as critical thinking, rigorous analysis, and scientific writing. CDAC provides excellent opportunities to collaborate and network with several distinguished professors and scientists in other universities and national labs.

To learn more about CDAC, visit

To learn more about Prof. Kadkhodaei’s lab, visit:

Eligibility & Minimum Qualifications:

  • Applicants must be US Persons (US citizens or permanent residents)
  • A bachelor’s/master’s degree in materials science, physics, engineering, or related fields – with a GPA of 3.5 or higher
  • A strong background in Materials Science, Solid State Physics, and Computational Science.
  • An interest to work in computational materials research projects.
  • Background in programming and high-performance computing (HPC) is an advantage.

How to Apply: If you are interested, please contact me at with a detailed CV and a copy of your academic transcripts. Please briefly express why you are interested in this position.

M.Sc. Positions

I am constantly looking for hard-working and highly motivated master’s students. If you are interested, do not hesitate to contact me at with a detailed CV and your academic transcripts. Please briefly express your reasoning for why you are interested in joining our group.