Ross J. Verploegh

4th Year Ph.D. Candidate

Chemical Engineering

Office: Ford ES&T 3312


Phone: (248)-982-8416

LinkedIn Profile


Ross is currently a fourth year PhD candidate at the Georgia Insitute of Technology where he began in Fall 2012. Under the guidance of Dr. David Sholl, he has focused on using atomistic simulations to predict diffusion of hydrocarbons through nanoporous materials. He collaborates with experimentalists under Dr. Lively and Dr. Sankar Nair using adsorption simulations and modeling of NMR experiments. He currently serves on the student advisory board for the Insitute for Materials at GT.

He spent his childhood years in Northville, Michigan, attending Detroit Catholic Central high school. Afterwards, he became a member of the Fightin' Irish, attending Notre Dame where he was in the marching band for 2 years. He also worked as an undergraduate researcher in Dr. Joan Brennecke's ionic liquids laboratory and as her assistant by helping to screen submitted manuscripts for the Journal of Chemical and Engineering Data, an ACS publication. Outside of work, he likes hiking, traveling, coding for fun, 3D design/printing, and spending time with his family.


  • Ph.D. Chemical Engineering - Georgia Institute of Technology, Expected 2017
  • B.Sc. Chemical Engineering(cum laude) - University of Notre Dame, 2012


Ross' primary research is on the modeling of diffusion of light gases in nanoporous materials. He focuses on metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), a class of nanoporous materials, and the implementation of computational methods to model slow hydrocarbon diffusion. These molecular dynamic simulations are of moderate cost, highly parallelizable, and provide predictive insights into the design parameters for industrial chemical separations. He also simulates adsorption of gases using Monte Carlo techniques to help explain loading-induced MOF phase transitions and interprets NMR experimental data to provide structural insights into hybrid materials. He is currently collaborating with an alumnus of the Sholl Group to develop transferable MOF force fields that accurately describe both kinetic and phase transition flexbility. For his simulations, he uses LAMMPS, an open-source molecular dynamics code written in C++, and RASPA, a Monte Carlo code, and VASP, a licensed quantum chemistry code. He actively follows the LAMMPS forum and has attended a workshop (Temple University, PA, July 2015) held by several developers on enhanced sampling techniques. He is fluent in Python and FORTRAN90, has edited C/C++ codes, and is currently learning HTML, CSS, and Javascript through the creation of several mobile-friendly websites.


  • Temperature and Loading-Dependent Diffusion of Light Hydrocarbons in ZIF-8 as Predicted Through Fully Flexible Molecular Simulations. RJ Verploegh, S Nair, DS Sholl. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 137(50), 15760-15771



  • Georgia Tech Academic Honors Award - 2013
  • Georgia Tech ChBE Excellence Fellowship - 2012
  • University of Notre Dame Dean's List - 2008-2012