Academic Profile : Faculty

NTUPhoto.jpg picture
Assoc Prof Ni Ran
Associate Professor, School of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology
External Links
Dr. Ni received his Ph.D. in Physics in 2012 under supervision of Prof. Marjolein Dijkstra in Utrecht University (the Netherlands) focusing on the computational study on the self-assembly of colloidal systems. From 2012 to 2014, he did his postdoc with Profs. Martien A. Cohen Stuart and Peter G. Bolhuis focusing on the self-assembly of fibril-forming polypeptides. In 2014, he was awarded the NWO VENI fellowship which is the most prestigious personal grant for young scientists in the Netherlands to start independent research. In March 2016, he joined the School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering in Nanyang Technological University as an assistant professor, and got promoted to an associate professor with tenure in September 2021.

2016: Best Research Prize by the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) Action – Flowing Matter [An annual prize for European Early Stage Researchers in soft matter within eight years after the date of PhD]
2014: NWO VENI Talent Personal Grant
2011: Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-financed Students Abroad
2005: The First Prize in National Postgraduates Mathematical Contest in Modeling in China
2004: The Honorable Mention in International Mathematical Contest in Modeling,
2002: The Cup of Higher Education Press (Champion) in National Wide Mathematical Contest in Modeling in China
The concept of "soft matter" was first introduced by Pierre-Gilles de Gennes in his Nobel lecture in 1991. Essentially, soft matter is a subfield of condensed matter comprising a variety of physical systems that are deformed or structurally altered by thermal or mechanical stress of the magnitude of thermal fluctuations. Because of their responsivity with respect to perturbations, e.g. thermal fluctuations, mechanical deformation, external fields, etc., soft matter have shown great promise as the next generation “smart materials”.

In our group, we use computer simulation as a tool to study and predict the structural properties and dynamic behaviour of soft matter systems in and out of equilibrium to direct the experimental fabrication of functional materials. In particular, we are interested in the self-assembly of colloidal and (bio) polymer systems and work synergically with experimentalists to design new functional materials with application in photonic devices, bio-sensor, bio-materials, etc. Presently, we are interested in the projects below:

1. Dynamic assembly of active matter
2. Non-equilibrium hyperuniform fluids
3. Designed self-assembly of linker-mediated DNA coated colloids
4. Linker mediated vitrimers
5. Hierarchical self-assembly of anisotropic colloids
6. Self-assembly of fibril-forming polypeptides
7. Vitrimers
  • Deep Learning Neural Network Assisted Simulation for Amyloid Fibril Nucleation
  • Directed Energy Materials (DEM) for Advanced Manufacturing - WP 1, WP 2 & WP4 : Industry Science, Thermoplastic prepreg production & consolidation, ssNMR
  • Directed Energy Materials (DEM) for Advanced Manufacturing - WP8 : Composite science, High res μCT imaging, & statistical mechanics, simulation.
  • Directed Energy Materials (DEM) for Advanced Manufacturing [Holding]
  • Directed Energy Materials (DEM) for Advanced Manufacturing.