The SimEA Post-Doctoral Fellow(s) will pursue research in Computational Science and Engineering with emphasis on multi-scale modelling, simulations and application of data analytics approaches for the study of complex nanostructured materials. They will be integrated in the team managed by the ERA Chair and will be actively engaged with the on-going research at CaSToRC associated with HPC, Data Analytics methods and the development of novel algorithms for large-scale computational infrastructures.  Dr. Panayiota Katsamba has already started working on the SimEA project, Dr. Petra Bacova and Dr. Awais Mahmood will start in November 2020, and Dr. Dimitris Mintis in January 2021.

 P.Katsamba profile photo  

Dr. Panayiota Katsamba

Dr. Katsamba is an applied mathematician with expertise in modelling the microscale mechanics arising from the interactions of fluid, elastic and chemical phenomena. Her research lies at the interface of physical mechanics, biomedicine and microengineering. She studied mathematics at the University of Cambridge, from which she graduated in 2014 with a BA (First Honours) and MMath (Distinction). She obtained her PhD in Applied Mathematics under the supervision of Prof Eric Lauga at the Department of Applied Mathematics of the University of Cambridge. Her doctoral thesis is titled `Biophysics of helices: Bacteria, viruses, and devices'. During her doctoral research (2014-2018), she explored the microscale mechanics of the motion of bacteria, viruses and magnetic micro-robots.

She developed a mathematical framework to study flexible filaments moving in viscous fluids, and applied it to swimming bacteria and for magnetically-actuated micro-robots that have promising applications in minimally-invasive medicine. She proposed a novel control mechanism of magnetic microbots that has been recently realised experimentally. She also developed the first mathematical model of the motion of bacteriophage viruses along the flagellar filaments of bacteria that agrees with experimental observations. Following her doctoral studies, she held the position of Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham, working with Dr Montenegro-Johnson. During her postdoctoral research at Birmingham (2018-2020), she developed “Slender Phoretic Theory” for the study of chemically active filaments that offer novel control capabilities for microbots through shape transformation. She joined the Cyprus Institute in the summer of 2020 as a Research Fellow. She is part of the research team associated with the European Research Area (ERA) Chair in Modelling and Simulation for Engineering Applications (SimEA), led by Prof. Vangelis Harmandaris. Her research is focused on the development of data-driven, multi-scale computational approaches for the modelling of molecular systems.


Dr. Dimitris Mintis

Dr. Mintis received a BEng (Hons) and MEng (Hons) in Chemical Engineering from the University of Bath, UK in 2016. He received his Ph.D. in the research area of Theoretical and Computational Physics of Soft Condensed Matter from the department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Patras, Greece in 2020 under the supervision of Prof. Vlasis Mavrantzas. During his Ph.D. work he investigated from fully detailed atomistic computational simulations (utilizing both Molecular Dynamics and Monte Carlo techniques) the equilibrium phase behaviour and structure of symmetric polycation-polyanion (having tuneable charge density) mixtures with salt in good solvents by employing several free energy calculation methods.  

Significant insights into the underlying microscopic mechanisms of complexation between oppositely charged polyelectrolytes undergoing Liquid-Liquid phase association (known as the coacervation phenomenon) when are mixed in the solution were revealed which substantially will enable facilitating the design of new materials with improved or tailored properties. Aside his Ph.D. work he developed efficient computational methodologies combining coarse-grained and fully detailed atomistic simulations to study the self-organization and micellar formation of surfactants in aqueous solution, the microstructure characteristics of membranes self-assembled by amphiphilic block copolymers and membrane’s permeability, the formation and structure of nucleic acid-polycation complexes and the binding of E3 RING ligases to ubiquitin to investigate conformational plasticity of the Ark2C RING domain and its ligands in their complexed form within the ubiquitin pathway. His research interests span the fields of Physical Chemistry, Statistical Thermodynamics, Statistical Mechanics and Multi-scale Computational Simulations. He will join the SimEA research team, led by Prof. Vangelis Harmandaris, in January 2021, in the context of the Modelling and Simulation for Engineering Applications (SimEA) project, funded by the European Research Area (ERA) Chairs action. He will be working on the development and application of novel multi-scale computational approaches for complex nanostructured polymeric materials, as well as on the modelling of biomolecular systems for applications in nano-biotechnology.


Dr. Petra Bacova

Dr. Petra Bacova is a physical chemist, fluctuating constantly between chemistry, physics and mathematics. She received her Ph.D degree from the University of the Basque Country in 2014 under the framework of Marie Curie ITN Dynacop. She spent various years as a post-doctoral fellow at IACM-FORTH in Crete, where she was involved (among others) in a project focused on nanostructured materials with application in energy under the Stavros Niarchos fellowship and in a project in collaboration with Goodyear. During her research stay in the Materials Physics Center in San Sebastian in 2016, she was part of a multidisciplinary national project concerning single-chain polymer nanoparticles. Her research interests include simulations of all types of polymer materials. She enjoys asking questions and performing simulations that seem impossible at first glance.

As a SimEA fellow, she is going to address a well-known problem of the degree of star penetration and of the cooperative motion of star-like molecules in dense (melt) conditions, by employing atomistic molecular dynamics simulations in combination with specifically designed analysis tools.

Dr. Awais Mahmood


Dr. Awais Mahmood is a Mechanical Engineer and has received his doctoral degree from Tsinghua University, China in June 2020. During his PhD studies he focused on the development of efficient simulation techniques to understand the wetting and transport behavior of a dropletIt includes intensive studies on understanding the effect of substrate curvature gradient, wettability gradient and contact angle hysteresis on the spontaneous propulsion of water droplet on different type of nanostructured surfaces. Also, he has conducted study on understanding the influence of thermal fluctuations and substrate geometry on the movement and coalescence of gold nanoparticles. These studies are quite useful in understanding fundamental mechanism behind complex physical behaviors at nanoscale and can provide an insight for the development of number of engineering applications. Aside from simulation studies, Dr. Awais has also conducted experimental work on the topic oil/water separation, enhanced fog collection, development of superhydrophobic/superhydrophilic surfaces, and deicing applications. By far Dr. Awais has hands on experience in molecular dynamics simulations using LAMMPS and also have sound knowledge about different experimental techniques.He has been appointed as a post-doctoral candidate by SimEA research group and he will start working form November 2020. The SimEA research group is led by Prof. Vangelis Harmandaris focusing on Modeling and Simulation for Engineering Applications, funded by the European Research Area (ERA) Chairs action. Dr. Awais will be working on the development of efficient computational techniques for engineering applications related to wetting and transport phenomena