Scientific Interests and Work

High-performance scientific modeling and simulation.

As the Director for the Center for Integrated Modeling and Simulation, Dr. Christian Mailhiot, is responsible for the development of a campus-wide — and extramural — program in high performance scientific modeling and simulation and cyberscience. The establishment of partnerships with National Laboratories, the high-performance scientific computing community, and industry will be a key factor in this endeavor.


Prior to joining Washington State University, Dr. Mailhiot had a long and distinguished tenure at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in various professional positions. Most recently, he served as a Senior Technical Manager in the Physical and Life Sciences (PLS) Directorate. He served as the LLNL Laboratory Program Coordinator for the DOE Office of Science (SC)/Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES). He worked with the Physical and Life Sciences (PLS) Directorate Leadership Team to develop technical program-responsive and fundamental research efforts.

From 2008 to 2010, Dr. Mailhiot was the Condensed Matter and Materials (CMMD) Division Leader at LLNL. He was responsible for the line management, scientific, technical, and administrative leadership personnel. Additionally, he developed next-generation capabilities in the fields of condensed matter physics and materials science in support of LLNL’s national security, energy and environmental security, and fundamental science missions.

Dr. Mailhiot was a Chief Scientist in the Chemistry, Materials, Earth and Life Sciences (CMELS) Directorate from 2005 until 2008. He worked closely with the CMELS Division and Program Leaders to develop large-scale research programs and provide essential leadership. Prior, Dr. Mailhiot served as a Division Leader from 2003 to 2005 for the Materials Science and Technology Division in the Chemistry and Materials Science (CMS) Directorate. He was responsible for the line management, scientific, technical, and administrative leadership of approximately 160 scientists, as well as technical and administrative personnel. Dr. Mailhiot set scientific directions in research and development (R&D) initiatives related to condensed matter physics and materials science, materials synthesis and characterization, physical metallurgy, electrochemistry, solid state chemistry, surface and interface science, corrosion science, multilayer materials, nano-scale materials science and technology, high-performance computational materials science and chemistry, advanced materials dynamic experiments on low-energy-density and high-energy-density experimental platforms, ultrafast materials science, optical materials science, and materials science for energy and environment applications and technologies.

From 2000 until 2003, Dr. Mailhiot was a Chief Scientist for the Chemistry and Materials Science (CMS) Directorate. He developed new research and development (R&D) relationships and enhanced the CMS Directorate’s collaboration with sponsors and policy makers in Washington, DC and the academic community.

In addition to his scientific and administrative responsibilities and contributions to LLNL, Dr. Mailhiot performed three (3) long-term assignments at the Department of Energy (DOE) in Washington, DC. Specifically, Dr. Mailhiot assumed the role of Director for the Division of Science of Stockpile Materials at the Department of Energy, in January of 1999 and served a two-year term. His leadership included multi-year planning, implementation and integration of all programmatic, scientific, and technical R&D activities throughout the DOE defense program laboratory in support of the stockpile stewardship program.


  • Ph.D. (Applied Physics) 1983, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA
  • M.S. (Applied Physics) 1980, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA
  • B.Eng. (Engineering Physics) 1978, École Polytechnique de Montréal, Montréal, Canada

Professional and Scholarly Activities

  • Member, National Academies Panel on Materials Science and Engineering at the Army Research Laboratory (2013 – 2015)
  • Member, Advanced Photon Source (APS) High-Pressure Collaborative Access Team (HPCAT) Executive Committee (2013-present); Member, Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) Scientific Advisory Committee (September 2010-present) ; Member, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) External Advisory Board (EAB): “Materials-Radiation Interactions in the Extreme” (MaRIE) scientific facility (2008-present)
  • Member, Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), EFree Energy Frontier Research Center, DOE/SC/Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Geophysical Laboratory, Washington, DC (2009-present)
  • Member, Scientific Steering Committee for Physics and Chemistry of Carbon Directorate, Deep Carbon Observatory; Co-chair / Member of Scientific Steering Committee, Physics and Chemistry of Carbon Directorate, Deep Carbon Observatory (August 2010-present)
  • Co-chair of DOE-sponsored U.S.-Japan workshop on “Rare Earth Elements Research and Development for Clean Energy Technologies”, LLNL, November 18 – 19, 2010.

Representative Publications

  1. C. Mailhiot, Electron Structure of Solids in Encyclopedia of Applied Physics, G. L. Trigg, Ed., VCH Publishers, Inc., American Institute of Physics, Volume 5, 595 645 (New York, 1993).
  2. C. Mailhiot, J. B. Grant and A. K. McMahan, High-Pressure Metallic Phases of Boron, Phys. Rev. B 42, 9033 9039 (1990).
  3. C. Mailhiot and A. K. McMahan, Atmospheric-Pressure Stability of Energetic Phases of Carbon, Phys. Rev. B 44, 11 578 11 591 (1991).
  4. C. Mailhiot, L. H. Yang, and A. K. McMahan, Polymeric Nitrogen, Phys. Rev. B 46, 14,419 14,435 (1992)
    K. J. Runge, Michael P. Surh, C. Mailhiot, E. L. Pollock, Path Integral Monte Carlo Calculations of Orientational Ordering in Compressed H2, Phys. Rev. Lett. 69, 3527 3530 (1992).
  5. Michael P. Surh, T.W. Barbee III, and C. Mailhiot, Zero-Point Motion and the Insulator-Metal Transition in Solid Molecular Hydrogen, Phys. Rev. Lett. 70, 4090 4093 (1993).
  6. C. J. Wu, L. H. Yang, J. E. Klepeis, and C. Mailhiot, Ab initio Pseudopotential Calculations of the Atomic and Electronic Structure of the Ta (100) and (110) Surfaces, Phys. Rev. B 52, 11 784 11 792 (1995).
  7. C. Mailhiot, The DOE Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative: Challenges and Opportunities for Predictive Materials Simulation Capabilities, Computer-Aided Design of High-Temperature Materials, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, 402 409, (1999).
  8. L. H. Yang and C. Mailhiot, First-Principles Pseudopotential Database of Silica, Computer-Aided Design of High-Temperature Materials, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, 365 – 373, (1999).