John Lawson received his PhD in computational elementary particle physics from Brown University and was a postdoctoral fellow at the International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, Italy. He spent four years on the faculty of the Mathematical Sciences Department at Clemson University before joining NASA in 2001. He is currently the group lead for computational materials modeling at the NASA Ames Research Center in the Thermal Protection Materials Branch. He has been involved in materials modeling at multiple length scales including first principles methods, molecular dynamics simulations and FEM analysis. Lawson and his collaborators have worked on a range of materials including polymer composites, high temperature ceramics, shape memory alloys, nanosystems and more recently materials for advanced energy storage.