Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Doctor of Philosophy in Materials Science and Engineering


Materials Science and Engineering

Major Advisor

Eric Jankowski, Ph.D.

Major Advisor

Matthew D. King, Ph.D.


Christopher R. Iacovella, Ph.D.


Matthew L. Ferguson, Ph.D.


We apply molecular simulation to predict the equilibrium structure of organic molecular aggregates and how these structures determine material properties, with a focus on software engineering practices for ensuring correctness. Because simulations are implemented in software, there is potential for authentic scientific reproducibility in such work: An entire experimental apparatus (codebase) can be given to another investigator who should be able to use the same processes to find the same answers. Yet in practice, there are many barriers which stand in the way of reproducible molecular simulations that we address through automation, generalization, and software packaging. Collaboration on and application of the Molecular Simulation and Design Framework (MoSDeF) features prominently.

We present structural investigations of organic molecule aggregates and the development of infrastructure and workflows that help manage, initialize, and analyze molecular simulation results through the following scientific applications (1) A screening study wherein we validate self-assembled poly-3-hexylthiophene (P3HT) morphologies show the same state dependency as in prior work, and (2) A multi-university collaborative reproducibility study where we examine modeling choices that give rise to differences between simulation engines. In aggregate, we reinforce the need for pipelines and practices emphasizing transferability, reproducibility, useability, and extensibility in molecular simulation.


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