Prize Recipient

Recipient Picture

Zeke Piskulich
University of Kansas


"For the development of fluctuation theory to enable direct calculation of Arrhenius activation energies and volumes at a single temperature."


Zeke Piskulich earned his B. S. in physics (2017) from the University of Missouri, Columbia, where he worked with Profs. Donald L. Thompson and Thomas D. Sewell on molecular simulations of energy transfer in shock tubes. Zeke completed his Ph.D. in chemistry (2021) at the University of Kansas under the guidance of Profs. Ward H. Thompson and Brian B. Laird, where he investigated fluctuation theories for chemical dynamics. Zeke’s approach enables the decomposition of the activation energy into contributions from various molecular interactions to gain deeper mechanistic insights than would otherwise be available. The ability to calculate activation energies and volumes from simulations at a single temperature and pressure could be especially useful in systems that undergo fundamental changes with temperature, such as phase transitions or changing solubility. Zeke is currently a post-doctoral researcher with Prof. Qiang Cui at Boston University, where he is studying the interaction of nanoplastic particles with lipid vesicles. Zeke is also developing methods for improving calculations of lipid phase transition temperatures by combining enhanced sampling techniques with machine learning.

Selection Committee:

David Osborn (Chair), Robert Gordon, Andreas Osterwalder, Rigoberto Hernandez, Gabriela Schlau-Cohen