University of Tennessee
Computational Materials Research Group

Jake Perez Defends his Master's Thesis
Knoxville, TN, April 5, 2024

Jake Perez successfully defended his Master's thesis, titled "Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Extracellular Enzyme-Mineral Interactions in Arctic Soils" in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of Tennessee.

In the fall, Jake is headed with his advisor Dr. Drew Steen to the University of Southern California to expand upon this research in the doctoral program there.

Jake and his committee member, Prof. Keffer, met in the 2022 offering of MSE 614 "Materials Modeling II: Classical Mechanics", where Jake quickly learned to put the investigative tool of Molecular Dynamics simulation to good use, simulating Methionine Aminopeptidase in LAMMPS and GROMACS. In the short two years since that time, Jake has (in between field expeditions to both the Arctic circle and Antarctica) completed an impressive thesis examining enzyme and mineral surfaces interaction. Additionally, he participated in the 2023 MRS Science as Art event and received the "People's Choice" award for his entry. He leaves the University of Tennessee recognized as a "Volunteer of Distinction".

Congratulations, Jake, and good luck at USC!

More photos on the Keffer research group site.