Dr.   David     Simmons

Dr. David Simmons

University of South Florida
Department of Chemical Engineering
Phone: 813-974-4988
Email: dssimmons@usf.edu

The Simmons Research Group Website



  • Postdoctoral Fellow, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Polymers Division (2010 – 2011)
  • Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin (2009)
  • B.S. in Chemical Engineering, The University of Florida (2005)


  • Assistant Professor, Department of Polymer Engineering, The University of Akron, (January 2012 - present)
  • National Research Council Postdoctoral Associate, Polymers Division, The National Institute of Standards and Technology(2010 - 2011)
  • Graduate Research Assistant, The University of Texas at Austin (2006 – 2009)
  • Undergraduate Research Assistant, The University of Florida, Gainesville, FL (2002 – 2005)
  • Engineering Intern, Innovia, LLC (2004 & 2005)
  • Engineering Intern, Syntheon, LLC (2000 & 2001)
  • Intern, University of Miami Cardiovascular Engineering Laboratory (1998-2000)

Selected Honors and Awards

  • 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award, 2016
  • NSF CAREER Award, 2016
  • William M. Keck Foundation research grant recipient, 2013
  • National Research Council Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, 2010 – 2011
  • Finalist, Frank J. Padden Jr. Award for Excellence in Polymer Physics Graduate Research (2009)
  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Honorable Mention (2005 – 2006)

Research Interests

The Simmons group employs theory, molecular simulation, optimization methods, high-throughput characterization, and machine learning to advance the understanding and design of polymers and other soft materials. Specific areas of interest include:

  • Computational design of polymers with targeted dynamics, mechanics, and glass formation behavior
  • Physics of the glass transition
  • Dynamic and mechanical properties of nanostructured polymers and polymer films
  • Design principles for advanced molecular additives for use in polymers
  • Molecular strategies for enhanced toughness and dynamic mechanical response in elastomers