Graduate Fellows

Graduate Fellows

The goal of the CEI Fellowship Program is simple: to catalyze growth in solar energy, storage, and grid systems research at UW by expanding the pool of seed ideas and talent going into energy research in Washington state. Below are brief summaries of the ongoing research interests of our first class of Graduate Fellows.

Ian Braly

Graduate Student, Chemical Engineering

CEI-related research interest: hybrid perovskite ink compositions and optoelectronic quality

Andrew Collord

Graduate Student, Chemical Engineering

CEI-related research interest: low-cost high efficiency photovoltaics

Megan Duda

Graduate Student, Chemistry

CEI-related research interest: novel photovoltaic materials

Dane deQuilettes

Graduate Student, Chemistry

CEI-related research interest: cheap, efficient organic/inorganic perovskite materials

Yury Dvorkin

Graduate Student, Electrical Engineering

CEI-related research interest: Introducing Energy Storage’s Electrochemistry to Power System Dispatch Applications

Ahmad Eshghinejad

Graduate Student, Mechanical Engineering

CEI-related research interest: improving lithium ion batteries through smarter electrode designs

Zaiyao Fei

Graduate Student, Physics

CEI-related research interest: visually monitoring the motion of lithium ions inside electrodes.

Durmus Karatay

Graduate Student, Chemistry

CEI-related research interest: Improving solar cell performance

Trevor Martin

Graduate Student, Materials Science & Engineering

CEI-related research interest: cheap, environmentally friendly solar cells using reclaimed waste materials

Devon Mortensen

Graduate Student, Physics

CEI-related research interest: Understanding electrical energy storage materials using x-ray spectroscopy

Ahlmahz Negash

Graduate Student, Electrical Engineering

CEI-related research interest: optimally structured retail rates to enable consumer choice and incentivize demand response

Mike Pegis

Graduate Student, Chemistry

CEI-related research interest: efficient energy storage and delivery

Jeremy Popp

Graduate Student, Electrical Engineering

CEI-related research interest: Microchip technology for solar energy harvesting efficiency

Mushfiqur Sarker

Graduate Student, Electrical Engineering

CEI-related research interest: optimization framework for photovoltaic and battery technologies

Alina Schimpf

Graduate Student, Chemistry

CEI-related research interest: semiconductor nanocrystals

Melicent Stossel

Graduate Student, Mechanical Engineering

CEI-related research interests: thin film lithium ion batteries

Evan Uchaker

Graduate Student, Materials Science & Engineering

Battery chemistries for large scale energy storage

Spencer Williams

Graduate Student, Materials Science & Engineering

CEI-related research interests: Perovskite Hybrid Photovoltaic Devices

Sanfeng Wu

Graduate Student, Physics

CEI-related research interests: optimizing semiconductors for efficient solar energy collection

David Zeigler

Graduate Student, Materials Science & Engineering

CEI-related research interests: Supercapacitor energy storage

Charles Barrows

CEI-related research interest: semiconductor nanocrystals for solar energy harvesting.
Advisor: Daniel Gamelin, Chemistry

Brett Courtright

Redox Doping of Polymer Blend Solar Cells to Improve TEM Imaging of Nanoscale Morphology
Advisor: Samson Jenekhe, Chemical Engineering

Michael Crump

Perovskites have emerged as a promising class of photovoltaic materials. I am currently working on developing new methods to control the growth rate of perovskite films by exploring alternative precursors and synthetic strategies.
Advisor: Alex Jen, Materials Science and Engineering

Michael De Siena

Synthesis of Rare Earth Doped Nanophosphors for Luminescent Solar Concentrators
Advisor: Daniel Gamelin, Chemistry

Alex Ditter

In my research, I will perform an in situ x-ray spectroscopy study of battery fatigue over many discharge cycles.
Advisor: Gerald Seidler, Physics

Benjamin Glassy

My project focuses on the chemistry behind the solution-phase synthesis of nanometer sized zinc phosphide crystals (nanocrystals) for solar light harvesting.
Advisor: Brandi M. Cossairt, Chemistry

Dion Hubble

CEI-related research interests: implementation of conducting polymers for improved lithium-ion energy storage
Advisor: Alex Jen, Molecular Engineering & Sciences

Todd Karin

The III-V semiconductor material system takes a prominent place in the arsenal of light-harvesting and light-producing technologies: it is used in commercial LEDs and in the highest efficiency solar cells.
Advisor: Kai-Mei Fu, Physics

John Katahara

I have recently developed a theoretical model to describe sub-bandgap absorption and emission and revealed the concentration of tail states in CZTSSe and CIGSSe.

Advisor: Hugh Hillhouse, Chemical Engineering

Patrick Lestrange

Thin film solar cells (TFSCs) have received a lot of attention because of their flexibility and because they use abundant elements.
Advisor: Xiaosong Li, Chemistry

Pan Li

Electricity consumption behavior classification and its relationship with demand response incentives
Advisor: Baosen Zhang, Electrical Engineering


Our research of solid-state zinc-ion batteries will construct a comprehensive electrochemical database of zinc-ion batteries by using the solid-state battery configuration MnO2/PEO-ZnCl2/Zn.
Advisor: Jihui Yang, Materials Science and Engineering

Francis Lin

Through my work we are developing a series of fullerene derivatives and conductive polymers as charge transporting materials for photovoltaics.
Advisor: Alex K.-Y. Jen, Chemistry & Materials Science and Engineering

David Lingerfelt

The overarching aim of my research is to accurately resolve the electronic and nuclear dynamics of chemical systems to gain mechanistic insight into excited state processes of relevance to energy conversion and storage.
Advisor: Xiaosong Li, Chemistry

Robert Masse

Our group works on different energy storage materials for solar cells, supercapacitors, and batteries.
Advisor: Guozhong Cao, Materials Science and Engineering

Brigit Miller

I am interested in understanding the process of making semiconductor nanocrystals n-type post-synthetically using photochemical doping, where the nanocrystals are reduced using light and a chemical reductant.
Advisor: Daniel Gamelin, Chemistry

Mark Miller

Energy-efficient coatings for windows could have a major impact for both residential and commercial applications.
Advisor: Junlan Wang, Mechanical Engineering

Paul Nguyen

Solar energy technology combines materials tailored to exploit the physics at their junctions which enable light energy collection, and extraction as electricity. A promising class of candidate materials is the layered semiconducting transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs).
Advisor: David Cobden, Physics

Manan Pathak

Active research is being pursued to develop a new technology that can replace Li ion batteries. One promising alternative is the lithium-sulfur battery, which can theoretically store five times more energy at a much lower cost.
Advisor: Venkat Subramanian, Chemical Engineering

Timothy Pollock

Transient absorption spectroscopy can track the movement of charges as they pass through different layers in a solar cell.
Advisor: Cody Schlenker, Chemistry

Mushfiqur Sarker

A model will be developed for Fast Charging Stations FCS, where their locations will be determined considering vehicle traffic.
Advisor: Miguel A. Ortega-Vazquez, Electrical Engineering

Charles N. Schmidt

CEI Research Interest: Sol-Gel and catalytic treatments for graphite electrodes in vanadium redox flow batteries
Advisor: Guozhong Cao, Materials Science and Engineering

Kyle Seyler

My research focuses on understanding the basic optoelectronic physics of graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) for solar energy production.
Advisor: Xiaodong Xu, Physics

Jennifer Stein

Semiconductor quantum dots have gained considerable interest in photovoltaic applications due to their size-tunable optoelectronic properties and solution-processability. I focus on indium phosphide quantum dots (InP QDs), a less toxic alternative to well-developed materials containing cadmium.
Advisor: Brandi Cossairt, Chemistry

Carolina Vinado

Our focus is on studying lithium-transition metal-chloride battery systems due to their potential to be used for high power density applications.
Advisor: Jihui Yang, Materials Science and Engineering

Sarah Vorpahl

My work concentrates on a new type of solution processed, hybrid (organic/inorganic) solar cell material called perovskite.
Advisor: David Ginger, Chemistry

Mark Ziffer

My research involves studying the electro-optical properties of solution processed materials for thin-film photovoltaics, including semiconducting polymers and organic materials, and hybrid organic-inorganic perovskites.
Advisor: David Ginger, Chemistry

Jose Araujo

My research will focus on making new semiconductor nanomaterials that incorporate impurity ions for use as luminophores for luminescent solar concentrators.

Jesus Elmer Contreras

My research focuses on using optimization, control, and mathematical tools to explore how distributed renewable sources, energy storage, and “smart” loads can be controlled in the future power grid.

Kathryn Corp

My objective is to understand kinetic bottlenecks that limit efficiency in metal-free photocatalysts for solar energy conversion.

Michael Enright

My research explores the direct conversion of solar energy into renewable fuels, such as hydrogen.

Christian Erickson

My research will focus on the development of synthetic and processing methods for creating Luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs).

Ehsan Nasr Esfahani

Research interest topic: Development of a scanning probe microscope for localized thermal and electrical conductivity imaging of nanostructured thermoelectric materials

Lucas Flagg

I will be studying polymer/electrolyte systems.

Danielle Henckel

I’m working on a system that would split water into H2 and O2 using solar light that would allow energy harvested by the sun to be released later through the carbon-free combustion of H2.

Dion Hubble

CEI-related research interests: implementation of conducting polymers for improved energy storage

Peifeng Jing

I will focus on using photonic crystal structures as highly efficient solar energy concentrators for thin-film perovskite solar cells.

Lauren Kang

My research focuses on modifying photovoltaic materials to improve interactions between organic and inorganic components of a device, improving the capability to harvest energy from the sun.

Matthew Lim

The focus of my research is on porous carbonaceous materials for energy storage applications.”

Andrei Nicolae

I am working on developing open-cell nanoporous polymer materials for battery applications that can be manufactured inexpensively on a large scale.

Jarred Olson

My research is focused on spectroscopically probing electrochemical reactions in batteries.

Elena Pandres

I am interested in synthesizing nanomaterials through scalable, solution-based processes for energy conversion and storage applications.

Steven Quillin

My research focuses on the interaction of thermally-tunable plasmonic meta-materials with semiconductor substrates and the role this interaction plays in a new solar energy harvesting technique known as the Plasmoelectric effect.

Pasqual Rivera

I am a condensed matter physicist studying the coupled optical and electronic properties of 2D materials.

David Sommer

I will use numerical modeling to improve the fabrication of efficient thin film photovoltaic devices

Jessica Tjalsma

I am working on materials for rechargeable battery electrodes.

Ryan Valenza

The new CEI-XANES user facility allows one to obtain synchrotron-quality x-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) in the University setting, without the inconveniences, expensive travel, and infrequent access of synchrotron beamlines.

Dustin Welch García

My research asks when and why NGO-led electrification programs catalyze innovation in large-scale, public/private solar energy projects.

Yuyin Xi

My research focuses on the engineering of conducting organic polymers for solar cells, batteries and electronics.

Bolun Xu

My research focuses on the operation of energy storages in energy systems, in particular, I analyze the profit and the reliability of energy storages participating in energy markets and grid control services.

Wenjin Zhao

Heterostructures of 2D materials, such as those formed by stacking monolayers of the semiconductors MoSe2 and WSe2, offer potential new routes to efficient, stable and flexible solar cells.

Brittany Bishop

I am interested in the scalable synthesis of ultrathin two-dimensional (2D) nanomaterials for solar and battery applications.

Jacob Busche

I will combine analytical models with fast, flexible simulations to predict the enhancement of cutting-edge nanoparticle-UC photovoltaics.

Sung-Yuan (Jerry) Chen

I’m interested in computational simulation primarily focusing on next generation Lithium-metal batteries.

Chase Dowling

I plan to explore novel mathematical tools to solve the AC optimal power flow (OPF) problem.

Brian Gerwe

I will use SPM as an in operando witness of local events during global electrochemical measurements such as linear or nonlinear impedance to study battery operation.

Kira Hughes

I plan to obtain bright copper-doped core/shell NCs by taking a novel approach and doping pre-made CdSe/CdS core/shell NCs.

Evan Jahrman

I would optimize and apply in-house x-ray spectroscopy, including CEI-XANES, to provide rapid feedback on cathode materials as part of a collaboration between industry, national lab (ANL) and the Seidler group at the UW.

Ryan Kastilani

I will be working to develop a new membrane material for redox flow batteries RFB that is based on ceramic/ceramic-polymer hybrids produced using sol-gel processes.

Jessica Kong

I plan to use the photo-induced force microscope (PiFM) (arriving late 2016) for the first time to map chemical heterogeneity in thin film semiconductors used for photovoltaics.

Hongbin Liu

I propose to develop and apply quantum electronic dynamic methods to probe the structure-function relationships that give rise to the efficient excitonic processes in Organic-Inorganic Hybrid Perovskite (OHIP) systems.

Moke Mao

My goal is to design better ionic liquid (IL) for lithium battery and redox flow battery using molecular dynamic (MD) simulation and evolutionary algorithm

Nicholas Montoni

My recent work focuses on using theory and full-wave simulations to explore the catalytic properties of light-harvesting metal nanoparticle aggregates.

Daniel Olsen

My anticipated research will investigate methods to include externalities such as impact of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions pricing and coordination of scheduling between electricity and natural gas networks into unit commitment and infrastructure expansion problems.

Jonathan Onorato

The focus of my research is to improve the longevity of organic photovoltaic active layer materials by incorporating self-healing chemistries to repair mechanical damage and the ensuing electronic property degradation.

Yanbo Qi

I am planning to optimize the entire cell design during battery cycling.

Emily Rabe

The objective of my research will be to understand and control exciton-charge interactions in materials for next-generation energy conversion applications, such as solid-state lighting and excitonic solar cells.

Brandon Rotondo

I will research into the scale up of organometallic perovskite film deposition, and examine the use of wide band gap organometallic perovskite solar cell as a top absorber in a tandem cell with a narrow band gap CIGS cell

Joshua “Shua” Sanchez

I will investigate superconductivity in the compound LaAgSb2 by growing chemically substituted single crystals and characterizing their physical properties via electrical transport, thermodynamic and magnetic measurements.

Yuanyuan Shi

This research is about how to effectively use Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) in data center to help reduce its electricity cost.

Ryan Stoddard

My research is focused on developing stable, high bandgap perovskite materials to enable fabrication of cheap, completely solution processed tandem solar cells.

Di Sun

My research area is focused on developing self-cleaning surface system for solar panels.

Gabriella Tosado

Education Fellow | 206-256-1372

Maria Viitaniemi

In order to better understand the nature of carrier localization and recombination in InGaN/GaN quantum wells (QWs) used in blue light emitting diodes (LEDs) , we are developing a stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscope tailored to InGaN QWs. STED microscopy is widely used in biological systems to achieve far-field spatial resolution below the diffraction limit.

Nathan Wilson

I will systematically explore heterostructures formed by stacking the atomically thin semiconductors WSe2 and MoSe2 by varying their architecture, for example, by inserting a thin dielectric to quench carrier recombination, thus increasing carrier collection efficiency.

Alan Zhan

I plan to explore polymer metasurface (MS) freeform optical elements to enhance the efficiency of concentrated photovoltaics (CPV)

Ting Zhao

I will focus on developing a simple and generally-applicable ion-exchange method to synthesize diverse and high-quality atomically-thin 2D hybrid perovskites utilizing the solubility difference between organic and inorganic sublattices.

Yize Chen

My research goal is to design efficient data-driven strategies to control and optimize complex energy systems.
Advisor: Boasen Zhang – Electrical Engineering

Neal Dawson-Elli

My research will focus on using artificial neural networks to create surrogate models for physics-based battery models for parameter estimation, real-time control strategies, and educational tools.
Advisor: Venkat Subramanian – Chemical Engineering

Ryan Elliott

I specialize in developing real-time control schemes that utilize data collected from GPS-synchronized sensors distributed over large geographical areas to enhance the stability of the grid.
Advisor: Daniel Kirschen – Electrical Engineering

Monica Esopi

My anticipated research will focus on designing and fabricating large area nanopatterned metal films for incorporation, as a transparent electrode, into organic solar cells.
Advisor: Qiuming Yu – Chemical Engineering

Boyuan Huang

During the CEI Fellowship period, I will explore how optimized microstructure help achieve high-performance perovskite solar cells with long-term stability.
Advisor: Jiangyu Li – Mechanical Engineering

Xiayu Linpeng

My research interest is on the fundamental spin and optical properties of defects in direct band gap semiconductors.
Advisor: Kai-Mei Fu – Physics and Electrical Engineering

Yun Liu

My goal is to jump-start organic photovoltaics research by testing the idea that the use of non-fullerene acceptors (NFAs) can allow OPVs to operate in the high-efficiency radiative limit that materials like GaAs and halide perovskites.
Advisor: David Ginger – Chemistry

Zhipeng Liu

The goal of my PhD study is to develop computationally efficient control techniques that are scalable to large power systems and provide provable guarantees on stability.
Advisor: Radha Poovendran – Electrical Engineering

Tyler Milstein

I will be working on optimizing the synthesis of cesium tin halide nanocrystals for use as host lattices for transition metal dopants such as rhenium.
Advisor: Daniel Gamelin – Chemistry

Joshua Mutch

I plan to perform systematic studies of carrier lifetimes and diffusion lengths in hybrid organic perovskites by optoelectronic, magnetotransport, and thermodynamic measurements.
Advisor: Jiun-Haw Chu – Physics

Adharsh Rajagopal

My research is focused on development of stable bandgap-tuned perovskite absorbers with superior optoelectronic quality, tailored for construction of high-efficiency multijunction solar cells.
Advisor: Alex K-Y. Jen – Materials Science & Engineering

Griffin Ruehl

My research focuses on two major challenges: the storage of solar and other forms of intermittent renewable energy, and carbon-neutral fuel and chemical production.
Advisor: Charlie Campbell – Chemistry

Nicole Thompson

My research will focus on developing novel processing techniques to incorporate dopants more efficiently and cost effectively into earth abundant and nontoxic semiconductor nanocrystals.
Advisor: Vince Holmberg – Chemical Engineering

David Ung

We are interested in studying how the identity of the surface ligand affects cobalt and cobalt phosphide nanoparticles’ activity for the hydrogen evolution reaction.
Advisor: Brandi Cossairt – Chemistry

Jonathan Witt

I will measure the rate of change of gas phase species with electrochemical impedance to give a set of stringent criteria for determining reaction mechanism and kinetics for co-electrolysis of C02 and H20.
Advisor: Eric Stuve – Chemical Engineering

Chen Zou

I will study perovskite solar cells enhanced by distributed feedback structures.
Advisor: Lih Y. Lin – Electrical Engineering

The Washington Research Foundation has provided a six-year gift of $6.74 million to support nine new faculty hires, six postdoctoral researchers and the creation of a new experimental manufacturing facility on campus that will help move discoveries from the laboratory to the marketplace. This investment in the CEI is truly transformational.”
– Daniel Schwartz, CEI Director
“Providing clean energy to the inhabitants of our planet is a major challenge to future generations. The University of Washington is to be congratulated for establishing an Institute where faculty and students can work together to tackle the difficult global challenge of energy sustainability.”
– Mildred Dresselhaus, Professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering, Emerita and Institute Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
“Energy competition is opening up in a variety of ways, the push for carbon control will continue, and the rate of technology advancement is exponential. All the things I’ve seen at the CEI are just perfect for the way we see things going in energy. You guys are at the cutting edge. We’re counting on you.”
– Ronald Litzinger, President, Edison Energy
Since its founding the Clean Energy Institute has contributed more than $1.1 million toward the education of 66 STEM scholars and recruitment of 12 students through our fellowship programs.