Rachel Kurchin is a computational materials scientist who uses electronic structure theory, data science, and energy device modeling to fight the climate crisis. She is an active contributor to and developer of a variety of scientific codes, and serves as an editor of the Journal of Open Source Software. She received her BS in physics (intensive) from Yale in 2013, MPhil in materials science and metallurgy from Cambridge in 2014 (supported by a Gates Cambridge Scholarship), and Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from MIT in 2019 (supported by a Blue Waters Graduate Fellowship). From 2019-2022, she conducted postdoctoral research at CMU, supported by fellowships from CMU’s Manufacturing Futures Initiative and the Molecular Sciences Software Institute. She joined the CMU Materials Science and Engineering Department faculty in Fall 2022, where she is also a faculty affiliate of the Scott Institute for Energy Innovation and a member of the Pittsburgh Quantum Institute.

4321 Wean Hall
Google Scholar
Rachel Kurchin
ACME Group at CMU

Behind the Researcher: Finding Common Threads


2019 Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering, MIT

2014 M.Phil. Materials Science and Metallurgy, Cambridge

2013 B.S. Physics, Yale

Media mentions


Kurchin selected as MoISSI Faculty Fellow

MSE’s Rachel Kurchin has been selected to participate in the inaugural class of Molecular Sciences Software Institute (MolSSI) Faculty Fellows. MolSSI is a multi-university collaboration designed to serve and enhance the software-development efforts of the field of computational molecular science.


Kurchin interviewed about how to choose the best solar power inverters

MSE’s Rachel Kurchin was interviewed in CNET on different kinds of solar inverters and how to choose the best one for you.

Materials Science and Engineering

New MSE faculty member combats climate crisis between triathlon training

Rachel Kurchin, assistant research professor, joins MSE from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at CMU where she was a postdoctoral researcher.