Our Group


We strive to be inclusive, collaborative and interdisciplinary. The group members are undergraduate, graduate students and post-docs, and we regularly hosts international collaborators working on theory, simulations or experiments.

The Institute for Soft Matter Synthesis and Metrology (ISM2), of which we are members, includes experts from theory of flowing soft matter to rheological and optical characterization, to synthesis of soft materials.

In the photo, members of Del Gado Lab and of ISM2 in the Summer of 2016.

Emanuela Del Gado

Emanuela Del Gado received her undergraduate degree (Laurea in Physics, cum laude) at the University of Naples "Federico II" in Italy, where she also obtained a PhD in Physics in 2001. She was a Marie Curie Fellow at the University of Montpellier in France and a post-doctoral researcher at ETH Zurich in Switzerland, and held visiting positions at ESPCI Paris and MIT. Before joining Georgetown University as Associate Professor with tenure in 2014, Emanuela was a Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering at ETH Zurich. In 2016 and 2018 she was awarded a Chair Joliot and a Paris Science Chair at ESPCI Paris. In 2017 she became Georgetown University Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor and was MIT - CEE C.C. MEI Distinguished Speaker. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry since 2018 and was elected Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2020.

Graduate Students and Post-Docs

Minaspi Bantawa

Minaspi Bantawa is a graduate student from Nepal. After his Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree from Tribhuvan University, Nepal, he completed his Master of Science (M.S.) in Physics from University of Southern Mississippi. For his PhD thesis he investigates how the linear viscoelastic behavior and nonlinear elasticity of gels emerge from the microscopic interactions, and the architecture of the gel network.

Dr. Abhay Goyal

Abhay Goyal is a postdoctoral fellow at Georgetown and NIST, working on simulations of the rheology of dense suspensions. He has a B.S. in physics and mathematics from NYU (2014) and a Ph.D. in physics from GU (2020), where he developed models to investigate the nanoscale cohesion and microstructural development of cement during setting. He is also an avid gamer and hiker.

Dr. Ankita Gangotra

Ankita Gangotra is a postdoctoral fellow in the School of Foreign Service and the Department of Physics, working on low carbon construction materials and policy. Ankita has an integrated Masters in Electronic Engineering with Nanotechnology from the University of York, UK (2015) and a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Auckland, New Zealand (2020), on mechanical properties of cells and soft matter.  Ankita is an ardent supporter of women in STEM and likes running in her free time.

Dr. Vinutha H.A.

Statistical mechanics; computational physics and simulations; Rheology of complex fluids; Shear thickening; Yielding in dense soft solids; Cement modeling; Microstructure and mechanical properties of cements; Granular materials; Jamming transition ; Shear jamming transition; Origin of mechanical rigidity in disordered systems; Structural and mechanical properties of driven granular matter; Fragmentation in rocks; Granular entropy; Free energy techniques; Solubility of amorphous solids; Non-equilibrium free energy methods.

Gavin J. Donley

Gavin J. Donley is a postdoctoral fellow at Georgetown and NIST working on the non-linear rheology of dense suspensions and gels. He has received a B.S. in General Engineering with a Chemical Emphasis and Chemistry from Hope College (2016) and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2021), where he worked on novel experimental and analytical techniques for understanding the yielding transition in soft materials. In his spare time, Gavin enjoys exploring the hiking trails in DC, composing music, and playing board games.

Undergraduate Students

Catherine McCarthy

Catherine McCarthy is a 3rd year undergraduate at Georgetown University majoring in Physics with a French minor. She is studying the impact of ion-specificity on the structure and cohesion of cement with a focus on magnesium-based cement. In her free time, she enjoys learning languages, reading, and being outside.

Kathryn Winters

Kathryn (Kayla) Winters is a sophomore undergraduate student at Georgetown University pursuing a major in physics and a minor in mathematics. She is studying elasticity and rigidity in amorphous solids. Her main focus has been to gain an understanding of the internal stresses and disorder, as well as studying how these solids respond to deformation. Kayla hopes to continue to learn about soft matter and participate in soft matter-related research projects throughout her time at Georgetown. She is also a member of the Georgetown University Sailing Team and enjoys spending time with her friends, family, and dog in her free time.


  • Abhay Goyal, post-doc, NIST
  • Mehdi Bouzid, CNRS & University of Grenoble
  • Joyjit Chattoraj, post-doc, NTU
  • Vishwas Vasisht, Assistant Professor, IIT Palakkad
  • Jader Colombo, Software Developer, Plexim
  • Katerina Ioannidou, CNRS  & UMontpellier
  • Konrad Schwenke,  KPMG
  • Nikita Aigner, EMPA
  • Majid Mosayebi,  University of Bristol
  • Conrad Cassirer (College ’21)
  • Francis Dragulet (College ’20), UCLA
  • Brian Damerau (College ’20), Northwestern
  • Rachel Reskovitz (College ’18)
  • Patrick Soltis (College ’18), UC Berkeley
  • Cameron Kuchta (REU), UW-Madison
  • Gabrielle Roberts (REU), University of Chicago
  • Chris Tiede (College ’16), NYU
  • John Kerin (College ’15), University of Washington