Discrete atoms and molecules interact to form macromolecules and even larger mesoscale assemblies, ultimately yielding macroscopic structures and properties.  A quantitative relationship between the nanoscale discrete interactions and the macroscale properties is required to design, optimize, and control such systems; yet in many applications, predictive models do not exist or are computationally intractable.

The Grover group is dedicated to the development of tractable and practical approaches for the engineering of macroscale behavior via explicit consideration of molecular and atomic scale interactions.  We focus on applications involving the kinetics of self-assembly, specific those in which methods from non-equilibrium statistical mechanics do not provide closed form solutions.  General approaches employed include stochastic modeling, model reduction, machine learning, experimental design, robust parameter design, and estimation. 


  • Chemical evolution and design of intelligent materials
  • Feedback control of colloidal self-assembly for photonic materials
  • Modeling and control of crystallization: application to nuclear waste and pharmaceuticals
  • Morphology and mobility control for functional robust flexible electronics and photovoltaics




  • Optimal feedback control of crystallization [Link]
  • A system level viewpoint on the chemical origins of life [Link]




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Chemical evolution and design of intelligent materials

Graduate students: Ming-Chien Hsieh, Sheng-Sheng Yu, Yi Sun, Chiamaka Obianyor, Kelvin Smith

Postdoc: Moran Pinter

Undergraduate student: Cecilia Gao, Hanna Warlick, Keertana Boorla

Collaborators: Prof. Nick Hud, Prof. David Lynn, Prof. Joe Schork

NSF/NASA Center for Chemical Evolution website

Link to public essay on design of intelligent materials

Related publications:

  • "Ester-Mediated Amide Bond Formation Driven by Wet–Dry Cycles: A Possible Path to Polypeptides on the Prebiotic Earth,” J. G. Forsythe,* S.-S. Yu,* I. Mamajanov, M. A. Grover, R. Krishnamurthy, F. M. Fernμndez, and N. V. Hud; Angewandte Chemie International Edition(2015). [Link]
  • “A Chemical Engineering Perspective on the Origins of Life," M. A. Grover, C. Y. He, M.-C. Hsieh, S.-S. Yu; Processes, 3 (2), 309-338 (2015). [Link to full text]
  • S. I. Walker, M. A. Grover, and N. V. Hud, "Universal sequence replication, reversible polymerization and early functional biopolymers: A model for the initiation of prebiotic sequence evolution,” PLoSONE, 7(4) e34166 (2012).  Link to full text, Link to movies



optimal policy quadrapole

Feedback control of colloidal self-assembly for photonic materials

Graduate student: Xun Tang

Collaborator: Prof. Michael Bevan

Related publication: 

  • “Optimal feedback controlled assembly of perfect crystals,” X. Tang, B. Rupp, Y. Yang, T. D. Edwards, M. A. Grover, M. A. Bevan, ACS Nano (2016). [Link]

Modeling and control of crystallization

Graduate students: Tristan Kernick, Matthew McDonald

Undergraduate student: Babatunde Hambolu, Kayla Dean

Collaborators: Prof. Yoshiaki Kawajiri, Prof. Ronald Rousseau

Related publication:

  • “Data-driven modeling and dynamic programming applied to batch cooling crystallization,” D. J. Griffin, M. A. Grover, Y. Kawajiri, R. W. Rousseau; Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 55(5), 1361-1372 (2016). [Link]
  • "Mass–count plots for crystal size control,” D. J. Griffin, M. A. Grover, Y. Kawajiri, R. W. Rousseau;Chemical Engineering Science, 137, 338-351 (2015). [Link]


Elsa AFM

Morphology and Mobility Control for Functional Robust Flexible Electronics and Photovoltaics

Graduate students: Nils Persson, Michael McBride

Undergraduate student: Josh Rafshoon, Danny Keane, Kaylie Naghshpour

Collaborator: Prof. Elsa Reichmanis

Related GT research center: Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics

Related publication:

  • “Silicon Valley meets the ivory tower: Search data repositories for experimental nanomaterials research,” N. Persson, M. McBride, M. Grover, E. Reichmanis, Current Opinion in Solid-State and Materials Science, (2016). [Link]
  • “Microfluidic Crystal Engineering of π-Conjugated Polymers,” G. Wang, N. Persson, P.-H. Chu, N. Kleinhenz, B. Fu, M. Chang, N. Deb, Y. Mao, H. Wang, M. A. Grover, E. Reichmanis; ACS Nano (2015). [Link to full text]