Dr. Rachel Getman

Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences

Area of Research:
Computational catalysis, molecular simulations, computational materials science

205 Earle Hall
Dr. Rachel Getman

Proposed role for the Scholar as an undergraduate researcher in the Mentor's lab.
The Scholar will contribute to research aimed at simulating catalysis on metal particles. Specifically, they will compute thermodynamic and kinetic properties of reactions occurring on metal particle catalysts using Clemson University's high performance computer, the Palmetto Cluster, and perform kinetic modeling to simulate catalytic reactions happening in silico. They will choose their project from several that are ongoing and starting up in the Getman Group. The role of the Scholar will be analogous to that of a Departmental Honors Thesis Student, who work on projects that test the main research hypotheses in the Getman Group and are trained to become independent researchers. In the last five years, Departmental Honors Thesis Students in the Getman Group have authored four manuscripts and given 10 external oral/poster presentations. Two have gone to graduate school at Purdue University and the University of Michigan, and one received an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. The Scholar will develop skills in simulations, computer software, technical writing, reporting of results, interpreting experimental results and results from the literature, and giving oral and poster presentations. Additionally, they will work closely with our experimental collaborators, participating in regular "all hands" meetings where all project personnel give updates of their progress to a group with diverse research backgrounds. Our experimental collaborators are chemists, chemical engineers, and materials scientists from Clemson, Georgia Tech, Syracuse, Northwestern, and University of Minnesota, to name a few. The skills acquired by Beckman Scholars in the Getman Group will have broad applicability to other areas of research and will be an immense benefit to the Scholar when they go to graduate school. The Scholar will work directly under the guidance of Dr. Getman with assistance from senior lab members in the Getman Group.

Frequency and nature of the planned interactions between the Scholar and Mentor.
Dr. Getman will meet weekly with the Scholar in a one-on-one setting to discuss the Scholar’s progress on research projects and to identify and resolve any difficulties in carrying out their work. Additionally, the Scholar will give a weekly progress report at the Getman Group meeting. Dr. Getman will help the Scholar write both research goals and goals related to honing skills needed to be a successful, independent researcher at the beginning of the appointment and every six months thereafter. Dr. Getman will review these goals with the Scholar regularly.

Specific plans the Mentor will employ.
Dr. Getman will work with the Scholar to design an individual development plan describing the Scholar’s research, training, and career goals as well as the approaches they will take to achieve those goals. Dr. Getman will review and revisit this plan with the Scholar on a regular basis. The Scholar will improve their ability to communicate research findings by presenting and obtaining feedback on their research at regularly scheduled lab meetings. Additionally, the Scholar will participate in poster sessions at Clemson University as they arise. The Scholar will also have an opportunity to present their research externally at such meetings as the Southeastern Catalysis Society Symposium and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) National Meeting and Student Symposium. AIChE is recognized as an excellent forum for students giving their first talks at national meetings, and undergraduate researchers in the Getman Group have given several oral and poster presentations at AIChE meetings in the last five years. Leadership: The Scholar will help train and mentor other undergraduates and summer interns in the Getman Group. They will also help design and participate in outreach activities aimed at exposing K-12 students and rising college freshmen to molecular simulations research.

Active undergraduate researchers in Mentor's lab. 1

Total number of UGRS mentored to date: 30

The Getman Group uses simulations, theory, and high performance computing to model materials and learn how they function, with the ultimate goal of guiding the design of materials with optimized properties. The majority of the group is working on catalysts, which are materials that accelerate the rates of chemical reactions without being consumed themselves. These projects involve modeling chemical reactions as they happen on catalyst surfaces, in order to learn how the catalysts work and garner insight needed to design new catalysts. We are also investigating advanced materials, such as substituted metal ferrites. These projects involve learning how to synthesize magnetic materials to optimize their magnetic properties for applications ranging from medical therapy to electronic devices.