COMSTECH-CIIT Joint International Workshop on Rational Design of Materials for Energy Needs: Computation and Experimentation

May 22-26, 2017

Venue: COMSTECH Secretariat, 33-Constitution Avenue, G-5/2, Islamabad , Pakistan.

Application Deadline: April 15, 2017

The main focus of this activity is to introduce students and young researchers to modern trends in experimentation and computation with their applications in materials discovery for energy needs. One of the objectives of this workshop is to provide training in the field of multiscale modeling and simulation of functional materials using accurate and robust techniques. Such techniques are now maturing to the extent of making quantitative predictions about the properties of materials by bridging the gap between the atomistic simulations and their engineering applications. The other objective is to familiarize participants with recent advances in experimental techniques that facilitate discovery, synthesis and characterization of novel materials. These experimental and computational techniques when working together constitute the basis for rational design of functional materials. This workshop is a five-day program that includes “crash courses” on modern theoretical, computational, and experimental methods with their applications in the process of rational design of materials for energy needs. Internationally renowned scientists will deliver their lectures by giving practical examples of materials design from their respective fields of research.

The secondary objective of this workshop is to foster collaborations among OIC and international researchers. Such collaborations will open new horizons for Pakistani students and young faculty to advance their knowledge about the world class research in their fields. Energy is the main sector where OIC countries are looking to have efficient and affordable technologies to fulfil their present day needs. The research in the area of rational material design provides a reliable way to progress in the direction of discovering new materials for energy production and storage, such as solar energy, photovoltaics, catalysis for alternative fuels, and battery technologies. It is quite timely to have this workshop for our students and researchers as it will help them get involved in projects which are linked with frontline global research on clean and affordable energy.

Topics Included:

  • A Crash Course on Quantum Mechanical Approach to Materials: Density Functional Theory (DFT) Methods
  • Crash Courses on Molecular Dynamics and Kinetic Monte Carlo Methods and their Applications to Surfaces.
  • Multiscale Modeling: Connecting the Scales together
  • Computational Catalyst Design
  • Tailoring Properties of 2D materials: Looking Beyond Graphene
  • Novel Pathways in the Rational Design of Materials: An Application to Clean Energy
  • Energy Storage and Conversion Materials
  • Photo Water Splitting

Invited Speakers:

(Confirmed speakers from USA)

  • Prof. Marisol Alcantara Ortigoza, Tuskegee University, USA
  • Expertise: computational design of catalyst using DFT; mostly nanoparticles
  • Prof. Peter Dowben, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, USA
  • Expertise: experimental surface science, particularly ARPES, inverse photoemission, STM, XPS, etc; 2D & other materials for energy needs
  • Prof. Laurene Tetard, University of Central Florida, USA
  • Expertise: experimental nanoscience, particularly AFM and Raman; 2D materials for energy needs
  • Prof. Theodore L. Einstein, University of Maryland, USA
  • Expertise: theory and modeling of growth processes, particularly thin film and nanomaterials
  • Prof. Talat S. Rahman, University of Central Florida, USA
  • Expertise: DFT, TDDFT etc; 2D and other materials for energy needs

(Confirmed speakers from Pakistan)

  • Prof. Altaf Karim, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad
  • Prof. Fakharul Inam, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad
  • Prof. Gul Rahman, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad
  • Dr. Akhtar Hussain, Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology, Islamabad
  • Prof. Rumana Quraishi, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad

(Tentative speakers from USA)

  • Prof. Richard Hennig, University of Florida, USA
  • Prof.  Ludwig Bartels, University of California Riverside, USA

Advisory Committee:

  • Prof. Talat S. Rahman, University of Central Florida, USA
  • Prof. Khurshid Hasnain, COMSTECH Secretariat, Pakistan

Organizing Committee:

  • Dr. Khurshid Hasanain, COMSTECH Secretariat, Pakistan
  • Dr. Gul Rehman, Quaid-i-Azam University, Pakistan
  • Dr. Altaf Karim, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Pakistan
  • Dr. Muhammad Sultan, National Centre for Physics, Pakistan
  • Mrs. Hanifa Beg, COMSTECH Secretariat, Pakistan

Technical Committee:

  • Dr. Altaf Karim, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Pakistan
  • Dr. Gul Rehman, Quaid-i-Azam University, Pakistan
  • Dr. Fakhar ul Inam, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Pakistan
  • Dr. Akhtar Hussain, Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology, Pakistan
  • Prof. Rumana Quraishi, Quaid-i-Azam University, Pakistan

Registration Fee:

There is no registration fee for foreign participants from OIC Member States.  Registration fee for local participants is Pak Rs. 2500. Full time students can avail 40% discount.

Local Hospitality:

COMSTECH will provide accommodation and meals for selected participants from OIC member states, and for those residing outside the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Travel grants are not available. Airport pick- and- drop service on arrival and departure will be provided to all participants upon prior information.

Registration Process:

Step 1: Download application form from here.

Step 2: Read instructions in the application form carefully and submit properly filled form to / Foreign participants must submit scanned copy of first three pages of their passport along with the application form.

Step 3: Selected candidates will be notified through emails, therefore, you are requested to regularly check your emails.

Workshop Coordinator:

Hanifa Beg
Program Manager
Tel: +92-51-9220681-3
Fax: +92-51-9205264, +92-51-9220265

Professor Talat S. Rahman is Pegasus Professor at the Department of Physics, University of Central Florida, USA. Professor Rahman received her PhD in physics from University of Rochester. She also worked as postdoctoral fellow at University of California, Irvine. Her research interests fall in the areas of first principles calculations of nanoscale phenomena (chemical reactions, molecular diffusion, vibrational dynamics and thermodynamics of nanomaterials). In this regard, she has been working on multiscale-modeling of functional material, structural stability and characteristics of nanoalloys, atomistic studies of diffusion at solid surfaces, and thin film growth processes and surface morphological evolution of nanostructures. She also developed and implemented strategies that foster student learning and integrate research and education; help recruit/retain students, particularly from underprivileged backgrounds. Professor Rahman helped establish program at Kansas State University for enhancing retention and graduation rates of students from historically underrepresented groups. She has also been a co-organizer of the annual International Summer College, Nathiagali, Pakistan on Physics and Contemporary Needs of Developing Countries. Professor Rahman is member of the Editorial Board, Executive Committee, Journal of Physics Condensed Matter. She is also Sigma Xi distinguished lecturer and frequently deliver lectures at public schools. She is also a member of nominating committee of American Physical Society. She has organized several hands-on workshops in computational modeling of materials in Pakistan.

Professor M. Alcántara Ortigoza received her Ph.D in Theoretical and Computational Condensed Matter from Kansas State University, USA. She has been a Research Associate, PhD co-advisor, and StudioMode Physics Instructor at University of Central Florida, as well as a Visiting Scientist at the Karlsruhe Institut für Technologie (Germany) and the Donostia International Physics Center (Spain). She works on theoretical and computational physics and chemistry of surfaces and nanomaterials. One of her current focus areas is that of establishing and solving the multifactor problem that presents itself when designing synergistic complex and/or nanostructured materials, with applications in clean, inexpensive, and sustainable energy conversion. She is also working on new and simple avenues for mapping the shape, ordering and thermal properties of nanoparticles to their markedly discrete vibrational density of states.

Professor Peter A. Dowben Charles Bessey Professor of Physics and Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience at University of Nebraska, Lincoln, USA. Professor Dowben received his PhD in physics from University of Cambridge. The major focus of the Dowben group emphasizes the changes in electronic (band) structure across electronic phase transitions in reduced dimensionality. Of interest are ferromagnetism in local moment systems or spatially restricted systems, ferroelectricity and the nonmetal to metal transition. Specific techniques include angle-resolved photoemission, resonant photoemission, inverse photoemission and spin polarized inverse photoemission. Other techniques include spin polarized photoemission, characteristic energy loss, low energy electron diffraction, angle resolved thermal desorption spectroscopy, X-ray photoemission, and magneto-optic Kerr effect.

Professor Laurene Tetard is Assistant Professor at the Nanoscience Technology Center, Physics Department, University of Central Florida, USA. She received her PhD degree from University of Tennessee Knoxville, USA. She also worked as Eugene P. Wigner Fellow and research staff at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Oak Ridge, TN). Her research interests are related to the development of high resolution microscopy and spectroscopy tools to advance the level of understanding of the behavior of materials and complex systems based on morphological, subsurface, physical and chemical properties at the nanoscale. Her current systems of interest are 2D materials, nanoarchitectured materials and devices, biomaterials, nanoparticle-cell interactions

Professor Theodore L. Einstein is Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland (USA). Ted did his Ph.D. studies and a subsequent postdoctoral fellowship at University of Pennsylvania. He came to UMD in 1975 to do theoretical work with the experimental surface physics group then being created by Prof. Robert L. Park, and later nurtured by Prof. Ellen D. Williams. Most of Ted’s research focuses on statistical mechanical and electronic properties of flat and stepped surfaces and on adsorbates or defects thereon. Studies of associated fluctuations and related distributions have led to insights about various nanoscale phenomena and even daily-world societal phenomena, such as sizes of secondary administrative units (counties in the USA, districts in Pakistan and France). Ted is a fellow of APS (American Physical Society) and AVS (formerly American Vacuum Society) and received an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Distinguished Senior U.S. Scientist Award allowing him to spend 6 summer months at the Research Center in Jülich, Germany, working with H. Ibach and M. Giesen. He has also held visiting positions at Chalmers U. of Tech. (Sweden), NIST (USA), Sandia National Laboratories (USA), National Science Foundation (USA), U. B. Pascal, Clermont-II (France), and Harvard U. (USA) and presented invited talks at many international venues in Europe and Asia. He has helped organize numerous conferences and was on the Editorial Advisory Board of Surface Science. At UMD Ted chaired the Physical Sciences Program for two decades and was on the Executive Committee of the NSF-MRSEC during its 17-year run, particularly involved with educational outreach and international relations.

Professor Altaf Karim is Head of the Physics Department at COMSATS Institute of Information Technology Islamabad. He is a Condensed Matter Physicist and Material Scientist who holds a Ph.D. in Physics from Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, USA. He is experienced in developing cutting edge theoretical and experimental research techniques in the area of Nanoscience & Technology, Heterogeneous Catalysis, Photo Catalysis for Alternative Fuel Production, Energy Storage & Conversion, , and Fuel Cells & Batteries, Growth and Self-assembly of Nanostructures on surfaces. Before joining the CIIT, Islamabad, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Functional Nanomaterials, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York and also at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, USA. In addition to that, he has had the tremendous opportunity of being one of the co-workers of Professor Gerhard Ertl, 2007 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, at the Fritz Haber Institute of Max Planck Society, Berlin, Germany. In this regard, he employed his theoretical & computational framework based on hybrid Density Functional Theory-Kinetic Monte Carlo methods to understand the underlying atomistic mechanisms of Professor Ertl's experiments on heterogeneous catalysis. This joint work eventually came out in the form of a landmark publication concluding that the above mentioned computational framework has now matured to the extent of making quantitative predictions about the properties of materials by bridging the gap between the atomistic simulations of such materials and their engineering applications. In that spirit the motto of his research group (Materials Discovery Group) is "Let us use the magic of our state of the art computational framework to predict the properties of any new/conceived materials with high accuracy before you ever try to make these materials unnecessarily burning your millions of dollars in laboratory."


COMSTECH Secretariat, 33-Constitution Avenue, G-5/2, Islamabad Phone: (+92 51) 9220681 - Fax: (+92 51) 9211115 - COMSTECH Official Email