COSAM News Articles 2020 February Computational Chemistry Graduate Student Takes Her Skills to a Post-Doc Position at Virginia Tech

Computational Chemistry Graduate Student Takes Her Skills to a Post-Doc Position at Virginia Tech

Published: 02/04/2020

By: Maria Gebhardt

Monika Kodrycka’s doctoral research in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry focused on improving calculations of dispersion forces between weakly interacting molecules.

“I worked on the development of computational methods, such as Symmetry-Adapted Perturbation Theory (SAPT),” she explained. “It required applying new innovative theories and algorithms to study challenging intermolecular interactions. In the near future our new method, called SAPT-F12, will be available in the popular Psi4 and LS-Dalton quantum chemistry programs.”

Her advisor shares how she took initiative and achieved her goal.

“Monika was this unique student who came to graduate school knowing exactly what she wants to do,” said Dr. Konrad Patkowski, associate professor of chemistry. “She already decided on not just the research area and the advisor, but the specific project she wanted to pursue. In scientific research, the projects we choose initially often morph into something entirely different, but it was not the case for Monika. It took a lot of hard work, but the crown achievement of Monika’s Ph.D. was the design and computer implementation of the very method she wanted to design and implement.”

Kodrycka was awarded the Seed Software Fellowship from The Molecular Sciences Software Institute (MolSSI) while at Auburn.

“I decided to start working on the massively parallel implementation of SAPT-F12,” she added. “The project was awarded the Seed Software Fellowship from The Molecular Sciences Software Institute in order to develop software for investigating large intermolecular complexes with highly accurate computational methods. We need a lot of computational resources, such as computers with distributed memory equipped with many processors. While this development is still in progress, I have had the great pleasure to work with the best programming specialists from MolSSI and to collaborate with scientists from Oak Ridge National Lab. Being awarded this fellowship was a great honor and I hope to work with MolSSI in the future.”

Kodrycka graduated in Fall 2019 and started a post-doc positon at Virginia Tech, but will always keep Auburn in her heart.

“The Auburn University campus is absolutely beautiful,” Kodrycka said. “I often found myself walking through campus and marveling at the beauty that is Auburn University. I also really loved the immediate family you gain when becoming an Auburn Tiger. I will hold a special place for Auburn no matter where life takes me.”

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