Grad Students

Recent Ph.D. Degrees and Dissertation Titles

Ph.D. candidates work closely with faculty members to earn their degree. Before being awarded their degree, they must submit a dissertation based on the research work they have conducted. The list below names recent Ph.D. awardees along with their faculty advisors and dissertation titles.

2020 to date

Student Faculty Advisor

Dissertation Title

Elena Pandres Vincent Holmberg Synthesis, Assembly, and Integration of Semiconductor Nanowires
Emily Ruskowitz Cole DeForest Photochemical and Logic-Based Regulation over the Cellular Microenvironment
Ryan Stoddard Hugh Hillhouse Development of Stable, High Optoelectronic Quality Perovskites Using Photoluminescence, Photoconductivity, and Machine Learning
Le Zhen Buddy D. Ratner Immunomodulatory porous regenerative scar-free scaffolds for in-situ vascular engineering



Student Faculty Advisor

Dissertation Title

Steven Adelmund Cole DeForest Bioorthogonal Photochemistry: Enabling Spatiotemporally Resolved Proteomics & Dynamic Materials
Barry Badeau Cole DeForest Logical Control over Biomaterial Properties through Boolean Responsive Linkers 
Wesley Beckner Jim Pfaendtner Ionic Liquid Design Using Molecular Simulation and Statistical Methods
James Clark Hugh Hillhouse Earth-Abundant Thin-Film Devices for Photovoltaic and Electrochemical Applications
Chad Curtis Elizabeth Nance Trajectory features as surrogate measures of the nanoparticle-microenvironment interaction space
Neal Dawson-Elli Venkat Subramanian The Role of Data Science in Numerical Modeling of Lithium Ion Batteries
Yi-Ting Lee Lilo Pozzo Unravelling Synthesis and Transport Phenomena in Emulsion Systems with Small Angle Scattering
Erik Liu Shaoyi Jiang Development of Mixed-Charge EK Polypeptides for Protein Protection
Yanbo Qi Daniel Schwartz & Venkat Subramanian Model-based Graded Electrode Design for Lithium-ion Batteries
Jared Shadish Cole DeForest Exploiting Chemoenzymatic and Photochemical Reactions to Control 4D Protein Presentation in Cell-Laden Hydrogels
Joshua Smith Shaoyi Jiang & Jim Pfaendtner Coupling molecular dynamics and machine learning to accelerate the design of bioinspired materials



Student Faculty Advisor Dissertation Title
Ian Braly Hugh Hillhouse Optoelectronic Quality and Stability of Hybrid Perovskites Determined by Steady-State Luminescence Techniques 
Daniel David Galvan Qiuming Yu Improved Performance in Plasmonic Biosensors for Bacterial Detection Through Dielectric Conditioning and Dielectrophoretic Enhancement
Razieh Khalifehzadeh Buddy D. Ratner Flourination of Poly(lactides) as a Path to Enhanced Hemocompatability
Matthew Murbach Daniel T. Schwartz Linear and Nonlinear Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy for Lithium-Ion Batteries 
Karl Oleson Daniel T. Schwartz Extractives of Douglas-fir and Their Implications for Biofuel Saccharification 
Arushi Prakash Jim Pfaendtner Understanding Self-Assembly in Solution and at Interfaces Using All-Atom Molecular Dynamics Simulations and Enhanced Sampling Methods
Jessica Soto-Rodriguez François Baneyx Solid binding peptides: applications in affinity protein purification and bioprotonic devices
Honorio Valdes Eric Stuve An assessment of alkali metal-O2 chemistry; perspectives and prospectives
William E. Voje James Carothers Design of gRNA Expression Systems and Characterization of CRISPR Transcriptional Networks in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Yuyin Xi Lilo Pozzo Structure Engineering of Self- and Directed-Assembled Conjugated Polymers 
Peng Zhang Shaoyi Jiang Improving Safety and Efficacy of Protein Therapeutics by Chemical Modifications



Student Faculty Advisor Dissertation Title
Tao Bai Shaoyi Jiang Developing Zwitterionic Hydrogel for Biomedical Applications
Matt Crane Peter Pauzaskie Laser Induced Heat and Momentum Transfer in Nanomaterial Processing
Kyle Caldwell John C. Berg Adhesion and Interphase Properties of Reinforced Polymeric Composites
Alexey Gilman Mary Lidstrom & David Beck Development of a Promising Methanotrophic Bacterium as an Industrial Biocatalyst
Elisa T. Harrison David Castner Combining Surface Analytical and Computational Techniques to Investigate Orientation Effects of Immobilized Proteins 
John Katahara Hugh Hillhouse Iluminating the Potential of Thin-Film Photovoltaics
Karl J. Kerr Jonathan Posner Isotachophoresis Enhanced Point-of-Care Assays for Clinical Diagnostics
Janet Bickford Matsen Mary Lidstrom Genomics, Transcriptomics, and Statistical/Machine Learning to Enhance Understanding of Methantrophic Microbial Metabolism in Isolates and Communities
Manan Pathak Venkat Subramanian Model-based Battery Management Systems: From Theory to Practice
Kayla Gaye Sprenger Jim Pfaendtner Development and Use of Molecular Simulation Tools to Study the Structure and Function of Biomolecules at Interfaces 





Faculty Advisor

Dissertation Title

Mark D. Borysiak Jonathan Posner Nucleic Acid Diagnostics Using Isotachophoresis and Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification
Trevor Braun Daniel T. Schwartz Remote Control Electrodeposition: Patterning on Substrates without Electrical Connections
Blake R. Hough

Daniel T. Schwartz

Jim Pfaendtner

Computational Approaches and Tools for Modeling Biomass Pyrolysis
James M. Lownsbury Charles Campbell Adsorption Calorimetry for Energy Conversion Technologies

Edward Michor

John Berg The Effects of Reverse Micelles on Charging Behavior in Apolar Media

Brian Swift

François Baneyx

Engineering Solid Binding Proteins for the Biofabrication of Environmentally

Friendly Multi-functional Quantum Dots

Fang Sun

Shaoyi Jiang Developing Multifunctional Surface Chemistry for Plasmonic Biosensing in Complex Media




Faculty Advisor

Dissertation Title

Andrew Collord

Hugh Hillhouse High-Throughput Exploration of Defect Passivation Strategies for Kesterite Photovoltaics

Charlie Corredor

Jonathan Posner Methods to Assess Presence and Biological Impact of Engineered Nanoparticles
Kelly Fleming Jim Pfaendtner

New Solution to an Old Problem: Exploring Properties of Chemical Reactions in

Condensed Phases Using Molecular Simulation

Pablo De La Iglesia

Lilo Pozzo

Structure-Property Relationships of Self-Assembled Conjugated Polymers 

Julee A. Floyd

Buddy Ratner

Drug Encapsulated Aerosolized Microspheres as a Biodegradable, Intelligent Glioma Therapy

Rami Foster David G. Castner

Using Surface Analysis to Investigate how Adsorbed Protein Structure Changes with

Controlled Changes in Surface Chemistry: A Case Study Involving Bare & Sodium Styrene

Sulfonate-Grafted Gold Surface

Matthew M. Gacek

John Berg

Surfactant mediated acid-base particle charging inapolar media

Ye-Jin Hwang

Samson Jenekhe

Studies of conjugated semiconductors for electronics and optoelectronics

Vance Jaeger Jim Pfaendtner Developing a Simulation Framework for Modeling Biomolecules in Ionic Liquids

James F. Matthaei

François Baneyx

Two-Dimensional Protein Arrays: De Novo Design and Applications

Ann K. Nowinski

Shaoyi Jiang

Developing Low Fouling Peptides and Zwitterionic Materials

Beau Richardson Qiuming Yu

Studies of Pyrite FeS2 Nanocyrstals and Plasmonic Nanostructures for Low Cost and

High Efficiency Inverted Bulk Heterojunction Photovoltaic Cells

Amanda L. Smith

Mary Lidstrom

Development of a novel carbon fixation pathway enabled by protein engineering

Weiran Zhang

François Baneyx

Signal peptide and chaperone engineering for secretion and excretion in Escherichia coli

Leize Zhu Qiuming Yu

Efficient, Low-Cost Organic-Inorganic Hybrid Solar cells via Maternials, Interface, and

Device Structure Design




Faculty Advisor

Dissertation Title

Norman D. Brault

Shaoyi Jiang

Multifunctional Zwitterionic Surface Chemistry for Applications in Complex 

Patrick R. Burney

Jim Pfaendtner

Molecular Modeling of Protein Stability and Conformation Preference in Ionic Liquids

Helen C. Chen

Hong Shen

Control of endosomal Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling by nanoparticles and applications in cancer therapy

Brandon L. Coyle

François Baneyx

Solid-binding Proteins for Modification of Inorganic Substrates

Michael A. Deighan

Jim Pfaendtner

Simulating Protein Adsorption Phenomena for Experimental Comparison

Taeshik Earmme

Samson Jenekhe

Studies of Solution-Processed Organic Light-Emitting Diodes and All-Polymer Solar Cells

Tim C. Geary

Stuart Adler

Lanthanum Ferrite-Based Mixed-Conducting Electrodes for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells and Electrolyzers

Bo Hu

Mary Lidstrom

Metabolic Engineering of the ethylmalonyl-CoA pathway in M. extorquens AM1 for 1-butanol Production

Timothy J. McDonald

Stuart Adler

Characterization and Modeling of La{1-x}Sr{x}CoO {3-delta} Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Cathodes Using Nonlinear Electrochemical Impedance Techniques

Luo Mi

Shaoyi Jiang

Molecular Engineering Approaches against Germs, Spores and Biofilm Formation

Gregory M. Newbloom

Lilo Pozzo

Engineering the Multi-Length Scale Structure of Self-Assembled Conjugated Polymer Networks

Jeffrey J. Richards

Lilo Pozzo

Structural Characterization of Composite Thin-film and Dispersed Phase Conjugated Polymer/Fullerene Composites

Benjamin H. Rutz

John Berg

Improvement of Mechanical Properties of Polymeric Composites

Qing Shao

Shaoyi Jiang

Understanding Properties of Zwitterionic Materials from Their Molecular Structures

Trent Silbaugh

Charles Campbell

Thermodynamics and Kinetics of Elementary Surface Reaction Steps in Catalysis by Single Crystal Adsorption Calorimetry

Christopher A. Wolcott

Charles Campbell

Energetics of Elementary Steps in Catalysis and Their Use to Search for New Catalysts

Wei Yang

Shaoyi Jiang

Zwitterionic Poly(carboxybetaine) Materials for Blood-Contacting Medical Devices and Nanoparticles

Xi Zhan

Hong Shen

Engineering blend particle delivery platform for subunit vaccines against mucosally transmitted viral infections




Faculty Advisor

Dissertation Title

David Y. Chiu

James Bryers

Evaluation of Calcium Phosphate Nanoparticles Mineralized with Proteins and Peptides for Use as Adjuvants in Protein and Nucleic Acid Vaccines

Tyler A. House

Daniel Schwartz

Simulations of Steady Streaming Flows and the Time-Averaged Motion of Inertial Particles

Andrew J. Keefe

Shaoyi Jiang

Discovery and Development of Synthetic and Natural Biomaterials for Protein Therapeutics and Medical Device Applications

Lakshmi S. Kocherlakota

Rene Overney

Interfacial and Transport Properties of Nanoconstrained Inorganic and Organic Materials

Ikechuwu Nwaneshiudu

Daniel Schwartz

Tailoring Polymer Micro-extraction Phases to Enhance the Sensitivity and Selectivity of Raman Spectroscopy

Monica Ospinal-Jiminez

Lilo Pozzo

Engineering protein electrophoresis through surfactant design: The role of nanostructure

Guoqiang Ren

Samson Jenekhe

Studies of Organic Semiconductor Nanostructures and Their Photovoltaic Applications

Michael A. Robinson

David Castner

Chemical Analysis of Cells and Tissues with Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry

Andrew D. White

Shaoyi Jiang

Modeling Nonspecific Interactions at Biological Interfaces

Christina S. Yacoob

Hong Shen

Particle Fabrication and delivery systems for controlled release of bumped kinase inhibitors (BKIs) for malaria transmission blocking