Robert M. Elder


Computational Materials Scientist
Polymers Branch
U.S. Army Research Laboratory

I am currently a materials scientist at the Army Research Lab, where I use computer modeling to understand how atomic-level features of synthetic and bio-inspired materials translate into macroscopic properties. Using
a close coupling of experimental and simulation methods, we design materials with better performance under extreme conditions.

My Ph.D. thesis advisor was Arthi Jayaraman. In the Jayaraman group, I focused on the use of computer simulation and free energy calculations to understand the molecular-level interactions of nucleic acids with proteins, small molecules, polycations, and functionalized surfaces. Our goal was to provide insight to guide experimental efforts in drug design, gene delivery, and self-assembly of DNA-based materials and nanostructures.