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Behnaz Rahmani

Behnaz Rahmani is a third year Ph.D. student under the supervisory of Prof. Perla Balbuena. In her research she uses quantum chemical and theoretical chemistry to study the transition metal catalysts in the catalyzed growth of graphene and single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs). Graphene and SWCNTs are a part of advanced group of material that have shown extraordinary electronic, optical, mechanical and thermal capabilities. High qualities of these materials are required to benefit from their capabilities. To tailor them to specific applications also requires in-depth knowledge of the mechanisms involved in synthesis. In the past decade computational modeling and molecular simulations targeting various aspects of graphene and SWCNT growth mechanisms have grown considerably in number and complexity. Behnaz’s research lies in the area of obtaining these insights through molecular simulations of catalytic activities.

Prior to joining the ChemE doctoral program at Texas A&M University, Behnaz received her B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, Iran. After her B.S. completion, she completed her M.S. degree in Petroleum Engineering in May 2015 under the supervisory of Dr. Yucel Akkutlu at Texas A&M. In her M.S. thesis, Behnaz studied the thermodynamics and phase behavior of fluid in nanopores of shale using molecular simulations. During her current doctoral studies, Behnaz has published two peer-reviewed journal papers and been an active participant in the department – presenting at the AIChE Conferences 2016 and 2017. Apart from academic work and within the department, Behnaz was involved in ChEGSA activities in 2016-2017 in the capacity of professional events coordinator and VP of external affairs.

Behnaz will graduate in May 2019 and pursue her interests in using computational heterogeneous catalysis for energy innovation and the development of advanced materials. She recommends “How Not to Be Wrong” by Jordan Ellenberg as a good read! Further details can be found at

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