Dr. David Rigby

Senior Scientist

David is a Senior Scientist at Materials Design® working in the area of polymeric and organic materials with a specialization in forcefield and related methods.

Dr. David Rigby
Professional experience: 

Before joining Materials Design®, he held the position of Corporate Fellow at Accelrys Software, Inc., with whom he enjoyed an almost 20 year tenure as one of the first scientists to join the Polymer Group in 1990. In that position, he was supported by 50 companies from Japan, Europe and the U.S and was longest serving member of the group until the consortium ceased activity in June 2003.

While working for the group, he created and championed polymer modeling techniques ranging from quantum mechanics-based methods through atomistic, mesoscale and correlation-based methods. His work placed significant emphasis on the renowned high accuracy COMPASS forcefield and on complementary simulation tools through the Discover Simulation Program.

For the past few years, he has concentrated on applying these simulation techniques to deliver contract research solutions to industry. His work has included drug formulation, aerospace composite, polymer membrane, fuel cell development, personal care, and engineering polymers. Earlier forays into the field of molecular modeling include a period as a Research Assistant Professor, when he and R. J. Roe published the first ever papers dedicated to atomistic simulation of the glass transition in polymers.

David is a reviewer for major polymer journals and has organized and participated in a number of special symposia for the Materials Research Society, American Institute of Chemical Engineers and American Chemical Society. He has also served as committee member for Computational Materials Science for the Society for the Advancement and Material Process Engineering.

Having been bitten by the polymer bug at age 16 (as a friend once explained this unusual phenomenon), David received his first class undergraduate degrees in Polymer Chemistry and a doctorate in Polymer Physical Chemistry from the University of Manchester under the expert guidance of Professor Bob Stepto. His thesis was entitled “Computational Studies of the Configurational Properties of Polymer Chains”. In postdoctoral studies with Professor R. J. Roe at the University of Cincinnati, David conducted research in experimental studies of small angle X-ray, neutron and light scattering applied to understanding the thermodynamics and interactions in polymer mixture systems containing homopolymers, block and random copolymers. He also learned how to design and build data collection and processing hardware and software, and how to create assembly language interfaces to some of the first laboratory minicomputers.

David was born in Oldham, England in the shadow of the home ground of the football (a.k.a. soccer) team he followed in his youth, and still keeps an eye on. Today, he lives in San Diego California, where he and his wife Kate and their children Alex and Sarah have lived since 1990. He enjoys the climate, walking, gardening, genealogy, studying the evolution and psychology of 'modern' -post 1920's- culture, Pastor Borgie's sermons, listening to the world's finest ever female folk singer Sandy Denny and a variety of folk and other music of every genre). Trips to the beach at Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Days are a welcome bonus!