Simulation Laboratory for Innovative Materials Engineering

Our Goal: Molecular Engineering of Sustainable Soft Materials


The O'Connor Lab is a new research group in Carnegie Mellon University's Department of Materials Science and Engineering. We apply theoretical and computational tools to understand and control the microscopic molecular mechanisms that govern the macroscopic material behaviors of polymers and soft materials. We are interested in using these discoveries to guide the creation of more sustainable and durable plastic materials, and to improve soft material manufacturing and recycling methods.

Modeling Soft Materials from Molecules to Manufacturing

Our research approach was born within the Materials Genome Initiative, and our approach to material modeling is inherently multi-scale. We apply molecular dynamics, data-driven coarse graining, and continuum viscoelasticity to tackle challenging fundamental problems in soft material dynamics, mechanics, design, and manufacturing.

More About our Lab From Prof. O'Connor

Recent News

Fall 2022

  • 10/10-14 - Eric, Cindy, Songyue, and Thomas all gave oral presentations as the 2022 Society of Rheology Meeting

  • 10/2 - Thomas was invited to give a seminar on The Rheology of Molecular Outliers at The Johns Hopkins University Symposium in Honor of Mark O. Robbins

  • Songyue Liu won a travel grant from CMU GSAC to attend the 2022 Society of Rheology Meeting in Chicago

  • 8/3 - Cindy Chongvimansin won a travel grant to attend the 2022 Rheology Research Symposium and the Society of Rheology meeting in Chicago!

Spring 2022

  • 7/25 - Thomas attended the 2022 Gordon Research Conference on Polymer Physics and shared Cindy's work on mechanical degradation of flowing polymers.

  • 6/12 - We published a new collaborative paper on Super Stretchable Ring Polymer Elastomers in Phys. Rev. Letters.

  • 5/23 - Songyue Liu and Eric Palermo both presented their work at the Pitt/CMU Simulators meeting

  • 4/8 - Thomas spoke on Molecular Mechanisms of Creep in Polymer Fibers at the 2022 DYFP meeting in the Netherlands

  • 2/3 - Thomas attended Olympic Gels 2022 in Edinburgh and gave the talk Entropic Mechanics of Polymer Chainmails

  • 1/17 - we launched the O'Connor Lab website!

Fall 2021

  • 11/4 - Thomas spoke at University of Delaware's Early Career MRSEC Professional Development Workshop

  • 10/15 - Songyue Liu and Eric Palermo joined the lab as our first PhD students!

  • 10/10 - Thomas gave a talk at the Society of Rheology meeting in Bangor, ME

  • 9/14 - Thomas spoke at the 5th Edwards Symposium at Cambridge University & won the IOP Early Career Lectureship Prize!

  • 9/1 - Thomas O'Connor started as an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon MSE!