The School of Engineering has announced the addition of 16 new faculty members to its departments, institutes, labs, and centers during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 academic years. With research and teaching activities ranging from personalization in the microbiome to the application of machine learning to naval architecture, they are poised to make vast contributions in new directions across the school and to a range of labs and centers across the Institute.
Rafael Gomez-Bombarelli will join the faculty in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering as an assistant professor in January 2018. He received a BS, MS, and PhD in chemistry from the University of Salamanca in Spain, followed by postdoctoral work at Heriot-Watt University and Harvard University. He is currently a senior researcher at Kyulux NA, applying Harvard-licensed technology to create commercial organic light-emitting diode products. Gomez-Bombarelli’s research has evolved from experimental mechanistic studies of organic molecules with an emphasis on environmental toxicity, to computer-driven design of molecular materials. By combining first-principles simulation with machine learning on theoretical and experimental datasets he aims to accelerate the discovery of novel practical materials. At MIT he plans to address the role of molecular transformation in materials discovery in areas such as catalyst design, the environmentally-minded development of novel and replacement chemicals, and designing for stability in advanced materials. Honors presented to Gomez-Bombarelli include the Spanish accreditation for Profesor Ayudante Doctor, and the University of Salamanca’s doctoral thesis award. His work has been featured in MIT Technology Review and The Wall Street Journal. He was also co-founder of Calculario, a materials discovery company that leverages quantum chemistry and machine learning to target advanced materials in a range of high-value markets.