Group Member Profile

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Rodrigo Freitas
Postdoc - Department of Materials Science and Engineering
freitas _at_


  • Ph.D. Materials Science & Engineering, University of California Berkeley, 2018.
  • M.Sc. Materials Science & Engineering, University of California Berkeley, 2015.
  • M.Sc. Physics, University of Campinas, Brazil, 2013.
  • B.Sc. Physics, University of Campinas, Brazil, 2011.
Rodrigo's research is focused on elucidating the fundamental mechanisms of synthesis for materials of relevance in nanoscience broadly construed. His work aims to create predictive capabilities for the synthesizability of new materials through a combination of theoretical, computational, and data-driven approaches.

As a graduate student Rodrigo investigated the thermodynamics, kinetics, and mechanics of extended defects in metals (such as grain boundaries and dislocations) using atomistic simulation methods, i.e., methods in which the behavior of individual atoms is explicitly considered. These defects are of significant fundamental interest and also of practical importance due to their impact on mechanical, transport, and thermal properties of metals. His work was focused on bridging the gap between the all-atom information gathered from the simulations and the mesoscale description of microstructural elements used in materials science.

During his postdoc Rodrigo has leveraged data-science tools to perform physics-based modeling of materials by blending prevailing scientific methods with Machine Learning, producing physically-consistent models and conceptual knowledge. His overarching goal is to employ AI methods as an aid to augment human intuition, rather than a substitute thereof.

Rodrigo employs a range of computational techniques in his research, including atomistic simulation methods (molecular dynamics and free-energy calculations), quantum mechanical calculations (density functional theory and path-integral molecular dynamics), and Machine Learning tools.

Publications can be found at Google scholar.

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