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Spencer Wyant

Ph.D. Student


I obtained my B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Massachusetts in 2014. Currently I’m a doctoral candidate in the Materials Science department here at MIT. I was born in Arizona, grew up in Massachusetts, and I’m still here :).

Research interests
My research is heavily focused on the development of interatomic potentials, specifically to investigate thermal conductance of solid heterointerfaces. Current systems of interest include Ge-GaAs and Al-Al2O3. I also have prior experience developing neural network potentials for more general purposes.

Broad topics I’d like to address include:
– Assessing what is necessary to fit a fast but vibrationally accurate interatomic potential for complex interfaces
– Elucidating key structure-property relationships between the atomistic structure of interfaces and thermal boundary conductance (TBC).
– Identifying the advantages and limitations of different theoretical models of TBC, namely those based on Green-Kubo vs. the Landauer formalism

Other interests
I have a strong interest in improving scientific communication. This includes efforts to improve the curation of scientific literature, increasing the transparency of the scientific process (i.e. open notebook science), and exploring new ways to communicate ideas, results, and commentary/criticism.