Former Members

Postdoctoral Researchers and Research Associates

Dr. Yang YangDr. Yang Yang
Current Position- Faculty of Physics, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China 

Dr.  Soohwan LeeDr. Soohwan Lee


Dr. Ning HeDr. Ning He
Current Position- Staff Scientist at Dalian Ligong Qiwangda Chemical Technology , Dalian, China

Dr. Ayla KolDr. Ayla Kol
Microsoft Corporation, Richland Washington \>


Dr. Xiaobing FengDr. Xiaobing Feng, currently in Toronto, Canada



Dr. Ruslan DavidchackDr. Ruslan Davidchack
Ph.D., Physics, 2000
Current Position -Professor and Chair, Mathematics, University of Leicester, UK

Prof. Yao HonounougboProf. Yao Honounougbo
Ph.D. 2002
Current Position - Associate Professor, University of Eastern Washington, Cheney, WA

Graduate Students

Jesse Kern photoJesse Kern
"Thermodynamics of Solid-Liquid Interfaces"; "Molecular Modeling for the Design of Sustainable Chemical Processes" 
Current Position: Postdoctoral Researcher, Chemistry, University of Tennessee - Knoxville


Pablo Palafox-Hernandez

Pablo Palafox-Hernandez
PhD 2011
Current Position - Postdoctoral researcher, KU, CEBC (Laird Group)


Scott BembenekDr. Scott Bembenek
Ph.D., 1997
Current Position - Principal Scientist, Computational Drug Discovery, Johnson & Johnson, La Jolla, CA.

Dr. Ruslan DavidchackProf. Ruslan Davidchack
Ph.D., Physics, 2000
Current Position - Professor and Chair, Department of Mathematics, University of Leicester, UK

Dr. Jess B. SturgeonDr. Jess B. Sturgeon
Ph.D. 2001
Current Position - Midwest Research Institute, Kansas City, MO

Prof. Steve BondDr. Steve Bond
Ph.D., Mathematics, 1998, co-advised with Ben Leimkuhler
Current Position - Applied Mathematics Division of Sandia National Laboratory.

Prof. Rachel Sibug-AgaProf. Rachel Sibug-Aga
Ph.D. 2002
Current Position - Asst.Professor, Wright State University, Dayton, OH

Prof. Yao HonounougboProf. Yao Honounougbo
Ph.D. 2002
Current Position - Asst.Professor, University of Eastern Washington, Cheney, WA

Dr. Majeed AminiDr. Majeed Amini
Ph.D., Physics, 2006
Current Position - Assistant Professor and Chair of the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Ahlia University, Bahrain

Laird Group News

Dec. 15, 2016  Seth Martin has joined the group as a new graduate student. Welcome!

Dec. 15, 2016  Dr. Isaak Daniel's paper with Zhenxing Wang and Brian Laird "Dielectic Properties of Organic Solvents in an Electric Field" has been accepted to the Journal of Physical Chemistry C. 

August 2016 Dr. Pablo Palafox-Hernandez's paper with Brian Laird "Orientation dependence of heterogeneous nucleation at the Cu–Pb solid-liquid interface" was accept to the Journal of Chemical Physics. 

July 4, 2016  Dr. Pansy Patel's paper with Brian Laird and Ward Thompson "A Density Functional Theory Study of Ethylene Epoxidation Catalyzed by Niobium-doped Silica" has been accepted in the Journal of Molecular Catalysis. 

June 2016  Brian Laird has been appointed as an External Senior Fellow of the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies in Freiburg, Germany. He will be there during his sabbatical in Summer and Fall 2016. He will also be working with the group of Roland Roth at the University of Tübingen Physics Department

May 23, 2016 Our paper "Electric potential calculation in molecular simulation of electric double layer capacitors" by Zhenxing Wang, David Olmsted, Mark Asta and Brian B. Laird has been accepted to a Special Issue on the Physics of Supercapacitors and Electroactuators in J. Phys.: Condensed Matter. 

May 4, 2016 Isaak Daniels successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation "Energy Applications of Molecular Simulation"

March 2016  Dr. Peter Barry has joined the group to work on an NSF funded project on chemically heterogeneous solid-liquid interfaces.

March 2016 B. Laird's paper with Ruslan Davidchack and Roland Roth "Hard spheres at a planar hard wall: Simulations and density functional theory" [Cond. Matt. Phys. 19 23001:1-10 (2016)]  was published as part of  the Tony Haymet Festschrift.  

March 2016 Our paper on "Molecular simulation of ethylene-expanded methanol: Phase behavior, structure, and transport properties" has been published in Fluid Phase Equilibria (Published online Dec. 12, 2015). 

February 2016 Our paper "Tunability of Gas-Expanded Liquids under Confinement: Phase Equilibrium and Transport Properties of Ethylene-Expanded Methanol in Mesoporous Silica" [J. Phys. Chem. C, 120, 5010-5019 (2016)] was published online. 

December 17, 2015 Dr. Pansy Patel presented a poster entitled ``Reaction mechanism of ethylene epoxidation on a mesoporous metal-substituted silica heterogenous catalyst: An experimental and theoretical investigation'' at Pacifichem 2015

October 2015 Dr. Pablo Palafox-Hernandez joins the group as a postdoc to work on phase equilibrium studies for the development of sustainable chemical processes for the production of commodity chemicals. This work is in collaboration with researches at the Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis.

May 22, 2015 Jesse Kern successfully defends his Ph.D. Thesis Molecular simulation of fluid mixtures in bulk and at solid–liquid interfaces. Congratulations Dr. Kern!!!

November 12, 2014 Zhenxing Wang's paper on the molecular simulation of electric double-layer capacitors was chosen as the Feature Article and issue cover art for the November 14th issue of the Journal of Chemical Physics. This paper was also chosen as a JCP 2014 Editor's Choice article.



KU Today
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times