Renata Wentzcovitch

Renata Wentzcovitch

Research Interest


Wentzcovitch develops and applies materials simulation methods to study materials properties at high pressures and temperatures, especially minerals at planetary interior conditions.

Her current research interests include:

1. Mineral physics with applications to geophysics (seismology and geodynamics) and geochemistry (water speciation and isotope fractionation in minerals)

2. Materials discovery at (exo)planetary interior conditions

3. H2O-ice physics

4. Properties of strongly correlated oxides and their crystalline defects

5. Spin crossover systems

6. Simulations methods development

Prior to joining the Columbia Engineering faculty in 2017, she was a Professor of Materials Science and Engineering in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Minnesota where she was a member of the graduate faculties in the School of Physics and Astronomy, Department of Earth Sciences, Chemical Physics Program, and Scientific Computation Program, where she served as Director of Graduate Studies.

She has been a regular visiting professor at the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA), Trieste (IT) since 1998, Earth-Life Science Institute and Earth and Planetary Sciences Department at Tokyo Institute of Technology since 2002, the University of Frankfurt since 2008, University of Science and Technology of China and Beijing Computational Science and Engineering Center since 2012. Originally from Brazil, Wentzcovitch received a BS and M.Sc. in physics from the University of São Paulo in Brazil, in 1980 and 1982, respectively, and her Ph.D. in Condensed Matter Physics from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1988.

She is a fellow of the American Physical Society, American Geophysical Union, Mineralogical Society of America, American Association for Advancement of Science, and American Academy of Arts and Science. She received the Alexander von Humboldt Research Award for Senior US Scientists and the Wilhelm Heraeus Visiting Professorship Award from the University of Frankfurt. She currently serves in the chair-line of the Division of Computational Physics of the American Physical Society.