Members

Jianwei Sun

Jianwei Sun received his Ph.D in physics from Tulane University in 2010, where he remained as postdoc until 2013. He then moved to the College of Science and Technology at Temple University as a Research Assistant Professor of Physics (promoted to Research Associate Professor of Physics in 2015). He moved to the University of Texas at El Paso as an Assistant Professor on July 2016, and then to Tulane University as an Assistant Professor on July 2017. Jianwei Sun has been working on the development of density functional theory (DFT) and its applications for more than 10 years. The SCAN density functional he recently developed with his collaborators has had successful applications throughout materials science, condensed matter physics, chemistry, and biology. In 2016 he received the Young Scientist Prize of the Commission 20 (C20) of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP).

Postdocs

James Furness

James FurnessJames Furness received his PhD from the University of Nottingham, England in 2016, for research into current-density-functional theory and the optimised effective potential. He is currently developing and implementing hyper-GGA density-functional methods for strongly correlated systems alongside development of general meta-GGA functionals.

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Website

Jinliang Ning

Jinliang Ning
Jinliang Ning received his Ph.D. in Materials Science from Yanshan University, P. R. China in 2016. He joined Jianwei Sun’s group as a postdoc in March 2017 studying the density functional computation of phase transitions, 2D materials in catalysis, and structure-property relationships.

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Ruiqi Zhang

Ruiqi Zhang
Ruiqi Zhang received his Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from University of Science and Technology of China, P. R. China in 2018. During his PhD, his main focus was on two-dimensional functional materials. He joined Jianwei Sun’s group as a postdoc in October 2018 to develop van der Waals functionals and study topological superconductors.

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Graduate Students

Manish Kothakonda

Manish Kothakonda
Manish Kothakonda received his Integrated Masters in Physics from University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad-India, in 2014. He joined Dr. Jainwei Sun’s Research Group as a Graduate Student in October 2017 and is currently working on modelling the Electronic, magnetic, structural properties of surfaces and interfaces with applications for catalysis and optoelectronics.

Kanun Pokharel

Kanun Pokharel
Kanun Pokharel is a third-year graduate student who joined Dr. Jianwei Sun’s MatComp group in October 2017. His research focusses on High Temperature superconductors, especially Cuprates. His research includes using various functionals to better understand behaviour of cuprates. He is also working on using Machine Learning approaches to Density Functional Theory.

Luis A Lopez-Macias

Luis Lopez Macias
Luis Lopez Macias is the newest member of the MaTComp group and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Physics at the University of Texas at El Paso, USA, in 2018. He is currently working on controlling localization and delocalization Errors in Density Functional Theory.

Henry Fitzhugh

Henry Fitzhugh
Henry Fitzhugh joined Dr. Jianwei Sun’s MatComp group in September of 2018. Henry’s current research focuses on molecular magnets and quantum information. His interests include spin-based quantum information processing, organic quantum computation frameworks, and physics pedagogy. He has a Bachelors of Physics from Tulane University.

Undergraduate Students

Jamin Kidd

Jamin Kidd
Jamin Kidd is an undergraduate at Tulane, double majoring in physics and math. He joined the MatComp group in October 2018, and his research focuses on DFT calculations for predicting and studying new topological systems. These include magnetic materials, semimetals, topological crystalline insulators, and strongly correlated systems/superconductors.

Visiting Scholars

Jian Yang

Jian Yang
Jian Yang is a visiting scholar from University of Science and Technology Beijing, P. R. China. He joined Dr. Jianwei Sun’s MatComp group from July 2018 to January 2019. His research field is DFT computation of structural properties and electronic properties of surfaces and interfaces, such as heterogeneous nucleation interfaces and liquid-solid wetting interfaces, which is applied to the engineering structural materials.

Student Research Interns

Michael Zengel

Michael Zengel
Michael Zengel is a student at Benjamin Franklin High School and joined Dr. Sun’s group as a summer intern through June-August 2019 after his sophomore year. He is working with graduate student Kanun Pokharel in studying applications of Machine Learning in Density Functional Theory.