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Dr David Glowacki

Dr David Glowacki

Dr David Glowacki
BSc(Penn.), MA(Manc.), PhD(Leeds)

Royal Society Senior Research Fellow

Area of research

Computational Science

Office W236
School of Chemistry,
Cantock's Close, Bristol BS8 1TS
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 928 7648


My publications reflect my diverse interests:

(1) Computational simulation of classical and quantum molecular dynamics. Going all the way back to its roots in alchemy, chemistry is a science of transformation. And transformation is driven by chemical reactions, where rearrangment of atomic nuclei and electrons incorporates aspects of both classical and quantum mechanics. We try to better understand chemical and molecular dynamics by developing and applying computational tools for application to environmental and biological systems.

(2) Non-equilibrium statistical mechanics & energy transfer. The modern view of chemical transformation is that reactions occur on so-called 'energy landscapes', which are similar to the landscapes that you experience walking through the mountains. Molecular change requires energy so that molecules can mount hills and cross valleys. I work to understand the microphysics of molecular energy transfer: How do molecules acquire energy from their surroundings? And how do they utilise the energy they acquire?

(3) High Performance Computing & Human Computer Interaction. Modern science is increasingly reliant on computation, for number crunching and visualization. Rapid advances in computer science enable new approaches to scientific computing, and new forms of human-computer interaction. We work to develop algorithms for exploiting massively parallel modern computing architectures and new interaction technologies, including GPU acceleration, multi-core approaches, computer vision, and virtual reality.

(4) Scientific imagination and aesthetic representation. Much of modern scientific practice aims to understand and manipulate the invisible world. Representing and imagining the invisible requires aesthetic decisions, where progress requires working on the frontiers of scientific imagination and artistic representation. The aesthetic experiences produced by my group have been experienced by over 200,000 people across the Europe, Asia, and North America.


David Glowacki is from Milwaukee. He obtained his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania (United States), his master of arts from the University of Manchester (UK), and his Ph.D. from the University of Leeds (U.K.). As a Royal Society Research Fellow and Philip Leverhulme Fellow at the University of Bristol, he heads up the Intangible Realities Laboratory (IRL), an eclectic research group joint between the Centre for Computational Chemistry and the Department of Computer Science. He and his group work across a range of domains, including non-equilibrium statistical mechanics, classical & quantum molecular dynamics, digital aesthetics, human–computer interaction, high-performance computing, machine learning, and scientific instrument development. Since 2011, Glowacki and colleagues have worked to develop immersive digital experiences, which have been experienced by more than 200,000 people at cultural and scientific venues across Europe, Asia, and North America.

Selected publications

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Recent publications

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