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Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry

Portrait of df246
  • Department of Chemistry
  • Lensfield Road
  • Cambridge CB2 1EW, UK
  • Tel.:
    • +44(1223)336377
  • email:



My research focuses on numerical simulations of many-body systems, with special emphasis on problems relating to the prediction of stability and kinetics in complex self-assembly in soft and biological materials.

I develop novel algorithms when I need them.

The main aspects of the research are

  • Developing novel Monte Carlo techniques to predict the thermodynamic stability of complex structures (e.g. DNA-coated colloids (fig 1) ).
  • Exploring novel dynamical simulation techniques to predict the rate at which novel structures form from a meta-stable parent phase (e.g. crystal nucleation – fig 2).
  • Quantifying the disorder in granular packings.
  • Exploring the microscopic origins of phoretic transport.

Fig.1. Snapshot of condensation of a low-density (left) to high-density (right) system of colloids (shown as red and green spheres) linked by DNA coils (shown as small spheres in left snapshot). 

Fig.2. Heterogeneous crystal nucleation on disordered substrates is facilitated by wetting and capillary condensation.


CV Daan Frenkel (1948)


1966 - 1977 University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, NL
Degrees: Masters degree Physical Chemistry, 1972 
PhD Physical Chemistry, 1977 


2015-2018 :  Director of Research, U Cambridge


2011-2015: Head of the Department of Chemistry, U Cambridge
2007-2015: 1968 Professor of Theoretical Chemistry, U Cambridge
1977 - 1980 UCLA Los Angeles, CA, USA Postdoctoral Research Fellow Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

1980 - 1981 Shell Research Amsterdam, NL
Research Scientist Department of Separation Technology.

1981 - 1986 Utrecht University Utrecht, NL Universitair docent/hoofddocent (Lecturer/Reader) Department of Physics.

1987-2013 FOM Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics Amsterdam, NL
Group Leader
Started computational-physics research line.

1987-2007 Utrecht University Utrecht, NL
Professor (part time)
Associated with the Van ‘t Hoff laboratory for Colloid Science.

1998-2013 University of Amsterdam Amsterdam, NL
Professor (part time)
Associated with the Van ‘t Hoff Institute for Molecular Science.


2020: Liquid Matter Prize, European Physical Society

2020: Sheikh Saud lecture, Temple University, Philadelphia Durrer Prize, ETH Zürich

2019: Ben May Lecture, Weizmann Institute, Israel. , USA.

2020: G.N. Ramachandran Memorial Lecture, S.N. Bose Center, Kolkata2019: Staudinger-
2019: NTNU Lars Onsager Medal and Visiting Professorship
2019: Bragg Lecture, University College London

2018: President's International Fellowship Initiative Award (Chinese Academy of Sciences) 
2018: C.V. Raman Memorial Lecture 2018, IISc, Bangalore, India. 
2018: ICTS-Infosys Chandrasekhar Lectures, Bangalore, India
2017: Cohen Lectures, Northwestern University, Evanston , IL, USA
2016: Elected Honorary Fellow of Trinity College Cambridge
2016: Sir Eric Rideal Lecture of the SCI/RSC.
2016: Elected Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences (USA)
2016: Boltzmann Medal (IUPAP)  
2015: Bakhuis-Roozeboom medal - Netherlands Academy of Sciences
2013: Member of the Academia Europaea
2013: Hinshelwood Lectures, Oxford University
2012: Robert Scott Lecture, University of Californian at Los Angeles.
2012: Elected Associate Fellow of TWAS – The World Academy of Sciences
2012: Spiers Memorial Award Award of the Royal Society of Chemistry
2011: Joseph E Hirschfelder Prize, U. Wisconsin at Madison (USA)
2011: Concurrent Professor, Nanjing University (China)
2011: Robert S. Mulliken Memorial Lecture, U. Chicago (USA)
2011: Fritz London Memorial Lecture, Duke University (USA)
2010: Pitzer Lecturer, U.C. Berkeley (USA) 
2010: Soft Matter & Biophysical Chemistry Award of the Royal Society of Chemistry
2010: Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK).
2008: Elected Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences
2008: Awarded ERC Advanced grant.
2007: Aneesur Rahman Prize for Computational Physics of the American Physical Society
2007: Laughlin Lecturer, Department of Chemistry, Cornell University (USA)
2007: Honorary Doctorate, University of Edinburgh (UK)
2007: Berni Alder-CECAM prize of the European Physical Society.
2007: Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award
2006: Kivelson Memorial Lecture, Dept. of Chem. and Biochem., UCLA, (USA)
2006: Wohl Memorial Lecture, Dept. of Chem. Eng, U. Delaware (USA)
2006: Elected Foreign Member Royal Society (London).
2005: Honorary Professor, Beijing University of Chemical Technology (CN)
2004: Rothschild Professor, University of Cambridge (UK)
2002: Elected Member of the “Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschap-pen” (NL)
2002: First UCLA Distinguished Lecturer in Engineering (USA)
2000: NWO Spinoza Award (NL)
1999: Bourke lecturer & medalist, Royal Society of Chemistry (UK).
1999: James Franck Institute Distinguished Lecturer. U. Chicago (USA)
1999: Eli Burstein Lecture in Materials Science, U. Pennsylvania (USA)
1998: Elected member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (NL)
1998: Regents lecturer. University of California at Los Angeles (USA). 
1997: Lennard-Jones lecture of the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK). 
1997: Physica lecture and Prize of the Dutch Physical Society. 
1984: Visiting lecturer at the K.U. Leuven (Belgium) 
1975: Shell graduate-student travel award
1969: Unilever Undergraduate Chemistry award. 


Daan Frenkel has published over 500 papers.  His research focuses on molecular simulations in the area of soft and biological matter.
Together with Berend Smit, he wrote "Understanding Molecular Simulation". This book has been translated into Chinese and Russian.  


Modelling aggregates of cetyltrimethylammonium bromide on gold surfaces using dissipative particle dynamics simulations
Y Liu, J Wei, D Frenkel, A Widmer-Cooper
– Molecular Simulation
Estimation of the equilibrium free energy for glasses using the Jarzynski equality
HA Vinutha, D Frenkel
– The Journal of Chemical Physics
Effect of social distancing on super-spreading diseases: why pandemics modelling is more challenging than molecular simulation
X Wang, J Dobnikar, D Frenkel
– Molecular Physics
Reduced variance analysis of molecular dynamics simulations by linear combination of estimators
SW Coles, E Mangaud, D Frenkel, B Rotenberg
– Journal of Chemical Physics
Free energies of crystals computed using Einstein crystal with fixed center of mass and differing spring constants
V Khanna, J Anwar, D Frenkel, MF Doherty, B Peters
– J Chem Phys
Thermodynamics and kinetics of phase separation of protein-RNA mixtures by a minimal model
JA Joseph, JR Espinosa, I Sanchez-Burgos, A Garaizar, D Frenkel, R Collepardo-Guevara
– Biophysical Journal
Computation of the chemical potential and solubility of amorphous solids.
HA Vinutha, D Frenkel
– Journal of Chemical Physics
Nano-pump based on exothermic surface reactions.
S Eloul, D Frenkel
– Soft Matter
Numerical method for computing the free energy of glasses
HA Vinutha, D Frenkel
– Physical Review E
Computing the Heat Conductivity of Fluids from Density Fluctuations.
B Cheng, D Frenkel
– Physical Review Letters
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01223 336376

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