Renata M. Wentzcovitch

PROFESSOR OF MATERIALS SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING, AND EARTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

200 S.W. Mudd
Mail Code 4701

Tel(212) 851-5938
Fax(212) 854-8257

Renata Wentzcovitch is a Professor of Materials Science and Engineering in the Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics Department, Earth and Environmental Sciences, and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University. Her research is devoted to computational quantum mechanical studies of materials at extreme conditions, especially planetary materials. She addresses electronic, structural, and vibrational properties from a fundamental and inter-related perspective.

Research Interests

Mineral physics with applications to geophysics (seismology and geodynamics) and geochemistry (water speciation and isotope fractionation in minerals), Materials discovery at (exo)planetary interior conditions, H2O-ice physics, , Properties of strongly correlated oxides and their crystalline defects, Spin crossover systems, Simulations methods development

Wentzcovitch develops and applies materials simulation methods to study materials properties at high pressures and temperatures, especially minerals at planetary interior condition. Her current research interests include:

  1. Mineral physics with applications to geophysics (seismology and geodynamics) and geochemistry (water speciation and isotope fractionation in minerals)
  2. Materials discovery at (exo)planetary interior conditions
  3. H2O-ice physics
  4. Properties of strongly correlated oxides and their crystalline defects
  5. Spin crossover systems
  6. Simulations methods development

Prior to joining the Columbia Engineering faculty in 2017, she was a Professor of Materials Science and Engineering in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Minnesota where she was a member of the graduate faculties in the School of Physics and Astronomy, Department of Earth Sciences, Chemical Physics Program, and Scientific Computation Program, where she served as Director of Graduate Studies. She has been a regular visiting professor at the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA), Trieste (IT) since 1998, Earth-Life Science Institute and Earth and Planetary Sciences Department at Tokyo Institute of Technology since 2002, University of Frankfurt since 2008, University of Science and Technology of China and Beijing Computational Science and Engineering Center since 2012.

Originally from Brazil, Wentzcovitch received a BS and MSc in physics from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, in 1980 and 1982, respectively, and her PhD in Condensed Matter Physics from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1989.

She currently serves as vice-chair of the Division of Computational Physics of the American Physical Society.

RESEARCH EXPERIENCE

  • Research fellow, Department of Geological Sciences, University College London, and The Royal Institution of Great Britain, London, UK, 1993-1994
  • Theory of Condensed Matter Group (TCM), Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, UK, 1992-1993
  • Department of Physics, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and Department of Physics, Stony Brook University, USA, 1989-1992

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

  • Professor of applied physics and applied mathematics, Columbia University, 2017-
  • Professor of earth and environmental science, Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, 2017-
  • Member of the graduate faculty in School of Physics and Astronomy (1996-2016), Department of Earth Science (2010-2016), Chemical Physics Program (1996-2016), Scientific Computing Program (1996-2016), University of Minnesota, 1996-2016
  • Founding director, Virtual Laboratory for Earth and Planetary Materials, University of Minnesota, 2004
  • Professor of materials science, chemical engineering and materials science, University of Minnesota, 2006-2016
  • Associate professor of materials science, chemical engineering and materials Science, University of Minnesota, 2001-2006
  • Assistant professor of materials science, chemical engineering and materials science, University of Minnesota, 1994-2001

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

  • American Physical Society
  • American Geophysical Union
  • Mineralogical Society of America
  • American Association for Advancement of Science
  • Materials Research Society

HONORS & AWARDS

  • Fellow, American Physical Society, 2006
  • Fellow, American Geophysical Union, 2008
  • Humboldt Award for Senior US Scientists, 2008
  • Fellow, Mineralogical Society of America, 2009
  • Fellow, American Association for Advancement of Science, 2012
  • Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2013
  • Wilhelm Heraeus Visiting Professorship Award, University of Frankfurt, 2015-2016
  • Honorary Research Fellow, Birkbeck College, University of London, UK, 1993-1994
  • Shell Land-Grant Professor, University of Minnesota, 1994-1995

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

  • “Persistence of strong silica-enriched domains in the Earth's lower mantle”, M. D. Ballmer, C. Houser, J. Hernlund, R. M. Wentzcovitch, and K. Hirose, Nature Geoscience 10, 236-241 (2017).
  • “Composition versus temperature induced velocity heterogeneities in a pyrolitic lower mantle”, Z. Wu amd R. M. Wentzcovitch, Earth & Planet. Sc. Lett. 457, 359-365 (2017).
  • Post-stishovite transition in hydrous aluminous SiO2”, K. Umemoto, T. Kawamura, K. Hirose, and R. M. Wentzcovitch, Phys. Earth & Planet. Int. 255, 18-26 (2016).
  • “Phonon quasi-particles in complex systems”, D.-B. Zhang, T. Sun, and R. M. Wentzcovitch, Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 058501 (2014).
  • “Spin crossover in ferropericlase and velocity heterogeneities in the lower mantle”, Z. Wu and R. M. Wentzcovitch, Proc. Natl. Acad. USA 111, 10468 (2014).
  • “A new line defect in strained NdTiO3 perovskite”, J. S. Jeong, M. Topsakal, P. Xu, B. Jalan, R. M. Wentzcovitch, and A. Mkhoyan, Nano-Letters 16, 6816-6822 (2016).
  • “Nature of the volume isotope effect in H2O-ice”, K. Umemoto, E., Sugimura, S. de Gironcoli, Y. Nakajima, K. Hirose, Y. Ohishi, and R. M. Wentzcovitch, Phys. Rev. Lett. 115, 173005 (2015).
  • “An adaptive genetic algorithm for crystal structure prediction”, S. Q. Wu, M. Ji, C. Z. Wang, M. C. Nguye, X. Zhao, K. Umemoto, R. M. Wentzcovitch, and K. M. Ho, J. Phys.: Cond. Matter 26, 035402 (2014).
  • “Dynamic stabilization of cubic CaSiO3 perovskite at high temperature and pressure from ab initio molecular dynamics”, T. Sun, D.-B. Zhang, Phys. Rev. B 89, 094109 (2014).
  • “Elastic anomalies in a spin-crossover system: ferropericlase at lower mantle conditions”, Z. Wu, J. F. Justo, and R. Wentzcovitch, Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 228501 (2013).