Faculty and Staff
Alastair N. Cormack
Professor Ceramic Engineering
Alfred University Contact Info
Office Location: Binns-Merrill 160
Department: Ceramic Engineering  
Phone: 607.871.2422  
Alastair N. Cormack
B.A., M.A.
University of Cambridge

Ph.D.: Chemistry
University of Wales, Aberystwyth

M.Sc.: Solid State Chemistry
University of Wales, Aberystwyth

Dr. Alastair N. Cormack, the Van Derck Frechette Professor of Ceramic Science, is the Founding Dean of the Inamori School of Engineering.

Dr. Cormack, who joined the AU faculty in 1985 and was promoted to the rank of professor in 1992, served as associate dean for graduate programs in the School of Ceramic Engineering and Materials Science from 1991-92, and then served a five-year term as dean, from 1992-97. He served as director of graduate programs for the school from 1998 to 2003, when he was appointed as interim dean of the newly formed School of Engineering prior to accepting the full-time appointment in 2004. He returned to the faculty in 2009.

Considered to be among the leading researchers today in the field of computer modeling of materials, Dr. Cormack focuses on the atomic-scale physics and chemistry of materials, particularly ceramics and glass. He uses computers to model the way in which atoms are arranged in solids, and how that arrangement of atoms affects their properties. He is a frequent lecturer on the topic, invited to speak at conferences, colleges and universities around the world.

Dr. Cormack is a Fellow of the American Ceramic Society, the Society of Glass Technology, the Royal Society of Chemistry, and the Mineralogical Society (United Kingdom). He is also a Chartered Scientist and a Chartered Chemist in the UK.

Areas of Concentration
We employ computer-based atomistic simulations to tackle problems in inorganic materials science. Both classical and quantum mechanical molecular dynamics and static lattice techniques are employed, as appropriate. Two major themes form the basis of our research. The first concerns the structure and properties of silica based glasses. Here we are interested in, on the one hand, how the structure governs ion transport mechanisms, and, on the other hand, how it controls the mechanical properties of glass, particularly its strength. The second area focusses on non-stoichiometry and defect structure in crystalline materials. Here also, there is an emphasis on how the defect structure influences ion transport. A common element to both themes is understanding the influence of composition on the atomic or nano-scale structure and, consequently, the reactivity of the material.

Current Research
Surface structure and reactivity of glasses, including bioactive glasses
Modelling the mechanical properties of glasses
Modelling the properties of silica glass fibers, including how they fracture
The structural environment of molecular water in silica and silicate glasses
Nano-scale domains and defect structures in Sc-doped zirconia and Gd-doped ceria
The structure and chemistry of ceria nano-particles

Selected Publications
"The initial stages of bioglass dissolution: a Car-Parrinello molecular-dynamics study of the glass-water interface", Antonio Tilocca and Alastair N. Cormack, Proc. Roy. Soc. A 457, 2102-2111, (2011)
"Large-scale simulations of sodium silicate glasses", L. Adkins and A. Cormack, Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids, 357, 2538-2541 (2011)
"Computer simulations of large-scale defect clustering and nanodomain structure in gadolinia-doped ceria," B. Wang, R. J. Lewis, and A. N. Cormack, Acta Materialia, 59 2035-45 (2011)
"Atomistic Simulation of B-type - Fluorite Structural Relationship and B-type Large Defect Clusters in Gadolinia Doped Ceria", B. Wang, R. J. Lewis and A. N. Cormack, Solid State Ionics, 182, 8-12 (2011).
"Nano-structure design of doped ceria solid electrolytes for intermediate temperature operation of solid oxide fuel cell", Toshiyuki Mori, Ding Rong Ou, Fei Ye, Jin Zou, John Drennan and Alastair N. Cormack, Transactions of the Materials Research Society of Japan 35, 431-441 (2010)
"Surface Signatures of bioactivity: MD simulations of 45S and 65S Silicate Glasses", A. Tilocca, and A. N. Cormack, Langmuir, 26, 545-551 (2010)
"Modelling the water-bioglass interface by ab-initio molecular dynamics" Tilocca, A., and Cormack, A. N. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 1, 1324, (2009).
"Dopant type dependency of domain development in rare-earth-doped ceria: An explanation by computer simulation of defect clusters", F. Ye; T. Mori; D.R. Ou; and A.N. Cormack, Solid State Ionics, 180 1127-32 (2009).
"The effect of nanoscale inhomogeneity and silicate network connectivity on the activity of glasses with biological applications" A. Tilocca and A.N. Cormack, IL NUOVO CIMENTO 123 B, 1415-23 (2008)
"Simulation of ordering in large defect clusters in gadolinium-doped ceria", F. Ye, T. Mori, Ding Rong Ou, A. N. Cormack, R. Lewis, J. Drennan, Solid State Ionics, 179, 1962-67 (2008)
"Role of magnesium in soda-lime glasses: insight into structural, transport, and mechanical properties through computer simulations", A. Pedone, G. Malavasi, M. C. Menziani, U. Segre and A. N. Cormack, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 112, 11034-11041 (2008).
"Exploring the Surface of Bioactive Glasses: Water Adsorption and Reactivity", A. Tilocca and A. N. Cormack, J. Phys. Chem. C, 112, 11936-11945, (2008)
"Computer simulation models of glass structure", A. Takada and A. N. Cormack, Phys. Chem. Glasses: Eur. J. Glass Sci. Technol. B, 49, 127-135 (2008)
"Molecular dynamics studies of stress-strain behavior of silica glass under a tensile load", A. Pedone, G. Malavasi, M. C. Menziani, U. Segre and A. N. Cormack, Chemistry of Materials 20, 4356-4366 (2008)
"The formation of nanoscale structures in soluble phosphosilicate glasses for biomedical applications: MD simulations", A. Tilocca, A. N. Cormack and N. H. de Leeuw, Faraday Discussions, 136, 45-55 (2007).
"Structural Effects of Phosphorus Inclusion in Bioactive Silicate Glasses", A. Tilocca and A. N. Cormack, Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 111, 14265 - 14270 (2007).
"Insight into elastic properties of binary alkali-silicate glasses; prediction and interpretation through atomistic simulation techniques" Alfonso Pedone, Gianluca Malavasi, M. Cristina Menziani, Alastair N. Cormack, and Ulderico Segre. Chem. Mater., 19, 3144-3154 (2007)
"The structure of bioactive silicate glasses: new insight from molecular dynamics simulations", A. Tilocca, A.N. Cormack and N.H. de Leeuw, Chem. Mater. 19, 95 (2007)
"Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Amorphous Zircon", J. Du, R. Devanathan, L. R. Corrales, W. Weber and A. N. Cormack, Phys. Rev. B74, 214204 (2006)
"Atomistic Simulations of Dissolution Mechanisms of Bioactive Glasses" T.R. Zeitler and A. N. Cormack, J. Crystal Growth 294, 96-102 (2006)
"A new self-consistent empirical inter-atomic potential model for oxides, silicates and silica based glasses", Alfonso Pedone , Gianluca Malavasi, M. Cristina Menziani, Alastair N. Cormack and Ulderico Segre, J. Phys. Chem. B 110, 11780-11795 (2006)
"Shell Model Potentials for Silica and Modified Silicates", A. Tilocca, N. H. de Leeuw and A. N. Cormack, Phys. Rev. B 73, 104209 (2006) "Molecular dynamics simulations of the structure and hydroxylation of silica glass surfaces", J. Du and A. N. Cormack, J. Amer. Ceram. Soc. 88, 2352 (2005)
"The structure of erbium doped sodium silicate glasses", J. Du and A. N. Cormack, J. Non-Cryst. Solids, 352, 2263 (2005)
"Structural characterization of neodymium containing glasses by molecular dynamics simulation", A. Bonamartini Corradi, V. Cannillo, M. Montorsi, C. Siligardi and A. N. Cormack, J. Non-Cryst. Solids, 351, 1185 (2005)
"Computer simulation of protein adsorption to a material surface in aqueous solution: biomaterials modeling of a ternary system", A. N. Cormack, R. J. Lewis and A. H. Goldstein, J. Phys. Chem. B108, 20408 (2004)
"The medium range structure of sodium silicate glasses: a molecular dynamics simulation", J. Du and A. N. Cormack, J. Non-Cryst. Solids, 349, 66 (2004)

27 May 11 ICHMM-2011, the 3rd International Conference on Heterogeneous Materials Mechanics, Shanghai, China. "Simulation of the Mechanical Properties of Silicate Glasses" KEYNOTE LECTURE
20 May 11 GOMD Meeting of the American Ceramics Society, Savannah, GA. "Simulation of the Mechanical Properties of Silicate Glasses" INVITED
06 Apr 11 University of Kent, UK, School of Physical Sciences. "Atomistic Simulations of Silicate Glasses" INVITED
27 Nov 10 Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan, China. "Simulation of Glass Surfaces and their Interaction with Water" INVITED
16 Nov 10 China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, China. "Atomistic Simulations of Silicate Glasses" INVITED
13 Oct 10 University of Edinburgh, NAIS. "Large Scale Simulations of Silicate Glasses" INVITED
11 Oct 10 Cambridge University, Dept. Materials Science. "Simulation of Glass Surfaces and their Interaction with Water" INVITED
27 Aug 10 International Commission on Glass Road-Mapping Workshop, Paris, France. "Simulation of Glass Surfaces and their Interaction with Water" INVITED
16 July 10 Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials, Tohoku University, Japan "Atomistic Simulations of Silicate Glasses" INVITED
15 July 10 The 6th ICNSEE Seminar, NIMS, Tsukuba, Japan. "Nanoscale structures in ceria and gadolinia-doped ceria" INVITED
13 July 10 2010 NIMS Conference, National Institute of Materials Science, Tsukuba, Japan, "Nano-scale structures in SOFC electrolyte materials" INVITED
19 May 10 American Ceramic Society Glass & Optical Materials Division meeting, Corning, NY. "Interactions of Water with Multi-Component Silicate Glass Surfaces" INVITED
24 Feb. 10 International Bunsen Discussion Meeting on Mobile Ions in Disordered Materials, Muenster, Germany, "Molecular dynamics of mobile ions in silicate glasses" INVITED
13 Nov 09 Inamori Frontier Research Center, Kyushu University, Japan. "Interactions of water with silicate glass surfaces" INVITED
28 Oct 09 Composites on Lake Louise Conference, Lake Louise, AB, Canada. "Composite nano-domain structures in Gd-doped Ceria" 06 Sept 09 Physics of Non-Crystalline Solids meeting, Iguassu falls, Brazil. "Interaction of water with multicomponent silicate glass surfaces" INVITED
04 June 09 PAC-RIM Meeting, Vancouver, Canada. "Modeling Glass Failure and the Strength of Oxide Glasses" INVITED
14 Mar 09 Iowa State University, Materials Science & Engineering Departmental Seminar. INVITED
04 Feb 09 EFONGA Workshop on "Glass surfaces and stress corrosion mechanisms at the nanoscale", Montpelier, France. "Atomistic Simulations of the Mechanical Properties of Silicate Glasses, and of their Interaction with Water" INVITED
22 Jan 09 2nd African School and Workshop on x-rays and Materials, UCAD, Senegal, "Structure of Non-Crystalline Materials" INVITED
22 Jan 09 2nd African School and Workshop on x-rays and Materials, UCAD, Senegal, "Experimental Methods in Non-Crystalline Materials" INVITED