Upcoming Colloquia

Wednesday, February 21

4:00 PM, C215 ESC

Dennis Della Corte

Bayer Business Services GmbH

Computational Physics with Proteins - Principles and Applications


Proteins are molecular machines assembled from 20 building blocks, which contain only five atom types.  From these simple substituents, over 18,000 different proteins are formed in your body alone.  Proteins are incredibly important for every aspect of carbon-based life. If we could fully understand their functionality and more importantly how to tailor them for our purposes, then we could solve some of the most pressing questions of our age, e.g. sustainable energy, sufficient food growth, personalized medicine, or even decomposition of garbage. 

Quantum Mechanics, Newton’s Laws and Thermodynamics provide the basic principles.  Machine Learning techniques approximate the first principles through knowledge based formulae.  This presentation will provide a short summary of the field and insight into two current frontiers of research: in-silico. With the advent of super computers and large databases containing protein information, powerful new methods have been developed to explain and predict protein behavior 

1. Development of better methods for protein structure refinement and directed evolution

2. Application of molecular dynamics simulation to illuminate biological processes


Born in Germany, Dennis earned Bachelors degrees in Physics from Technical Universitat Dortmund and in Astrophysics from the University of Utah, where he was also a Fulbright Scholar.  After earning a Master degree in Medical Physics from Heinrich Heine Universitat Dusseldorf, he earned a PhD in Biophysics from Stanford University and Forschungszentrum Juelich in 2016.  At present, he is the IT Project Manager at Bayer Business Services GmbH.

Wednesday, February 28

4:00 PM, C215 ESC

Willard Cutler

Corning Inc.

The Impact of Ceramic Technology on Worldwide Air Pollution Control

Mobile sources (cars & trucks) can be a significant source of gaseous and particulate pollution. This talk will discuss a little-know Utah connection with the invention of technologies leadings to efficient catalytic convertors and particulate filters, which significantly reduce pollution. Relevant structure-property relationships for product performance to be discussed, along with the a discussion of future technology directions as a result of recent pollution scandals.


Dr. Willard A. Cutler is currently division vice president and commercial technology director, responsible for the customer-facing technology for Corning's $1B environmental business. Cutler has worked for Corning for 28 years, in various research, product development, commercial and leadership roles. He has successfully delivered several new processes to manufacturing and many new products to the market. Cutler holds a Ph.D. in Materials from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a bachelor's degree in Materials Science & Engineering from the University of Utah. He has been awarded 16 patents and has published a number of scientific papers.

Wednesday, March 14

4:00 PM, C215 ESC

Chris Ling

School of Chemistry, University of Sydney


Wednesday, March 21

4:00 PM, C215 ESC

Eric Homer

Mechanical Engineering, BYU


Wednesday, March 28

4:00 PM, C215 ESC

Julia Kamenetzky

Westminster College


We welcome anyone who wish to attend, and typically serve refreshments ten minutes before the colloquium begins. Speakers generally keep their presentation accessible to undergraduate physics students.