Group photo March 2022
Back row: Kim Pham (G3), Michelle Qian (G3), Xiaotong Li (postdoc), Dan McHaffie (G2), Forrest Laskowski (postdoc), Steve Kim (G4), Eshaan Patheria (G3), Zac Iton (G4), Shaoyang Lin (postdoc)
Front row: Kim See (PI), Grace Chen (G2), Wendy Zhang (G6), Skyler Ware (G4), Josh Zak (G5), Brian Lee (G3), Steven Stradley (G3), Christopher Povinelli (G2), Colin Morrell (G1), Abby Jiang (UG)
For past group photos, see the archive.
Kim was born and raised in Colorado and received her B.S. in Chemistry from Colorado School of Mines in 2009. After a year at CU Boulder and a year in industry working at NuSil Technology, Kim attended the University of California, Santa Barbara for her graduate work with Profs. Ram Seshadri and Galen Stucky. She received her Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2014. For her postdoctoral work, Kim received the St. Elmo Brady Future Faculty Fellowship and worked with Prof. Andrew Gewirth at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she studied the local solvation structure of next-generation battery electrolytes. Find out more about Kim here.
Forrest was born in Maine but grew up in Montana and Alaska where he was always very cold. He remained in Montana to attend Carroll College and received degrees in Computer Science and Chemistry. Forrest will tell you that he was routinely chilly during his undergraduate years and developed a healthy fear of the Winter Storm Advisory™ sound. After graduating he worked at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for two years before attending the University of Oregon for graduate school. Forrest’s PhD work, mentored under Prof. Shannon Boettcher, focused on improving photoelectrochemical water splitting efficiencies by developing techniques to better understand fundamental charge transfer processes. Forrest enjoyed his PhD science but now views “wet” as a synonym for “stupidly cold” and holds a grudge against Oregon’s deceivingly beautiful summertime weather. In his free time Forrest enjoys visiting Disney parks, rock climbing, reading epic fantasy, and playing games (boards/video/RPGs/mafia). He loves trying new foods and wine.
Xiaotong was born and raised in Yantai, a seaside city in Eastern China. She did her undergraduate studies at Nankai University in Tianjin, China. During her undergraduate time, she attended a summer program called CSST at UCLA working with Prof. Paul Weiss, and then spent another half year there to finish the project as her undergraduate thesis on soft lithography for microbial fuel cells. She received her Ph.D. in chemistry from Northwestern University, where she worked with Prof. Mercouri Kanatzidis on structure-property relationships for 2D halide perovskites. Missing the sunshine and beach of California, she decided to move back to Southern California to start a postdoc position at Caltech. In her free time, she loves yoga, cooking and hiking.
My name is Shaoyang Lin (林劭阳). I was born in Chengdu, Sichuan and grew up in Shantou, Guangdong. I did my undergraduate study in South China University of Technology in Guangzhou, learning about organic light emitting diodes and organic solar cells. I received my Ph.D. degree in Chemistry at Virginia Tech in 2019. Under the direction of Dr. Amanda Morris, I investigated catalysis mechanisms and charge transfer pathways of electrochemical and photoelectrochemical reactions catalyzed by metal-organic framework based heterogeneous catalysts. After that, I became a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at The Ohio State University, joining Dr. Claudia Turro’s group in April 2019. My research was focusing on illustrating the reaction mechanism, especially the role of redox non-innocent ligands in dirhodium HER electrocatalysts. In my free time, I like watching soccer games and playing soccer. I have been a fan of Inter Milan for 20 years. I also like hiking, cooking, watching movies and singing.
Eugenia S. Vasileiadou
Eugenia was born and raised in the Los Angeles area (including Pasadena) until the age of 12. Then, she moved to Thessaloniki, Greece, which was founded in 315 BC and is the second largest city in Greece. Eugenia completed her secondary education in Greece and graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh). Part of her undergraduate research at AUTh was in Archaeological Materials Chemistry and Archaeometry, studying the use of non-destructive analytical techniques for the elemental characterization of ancient antiquities. She also conducted research during her undergraduate career for Prof. Raphael Raptis at Florida International University, working on the synthesis of ligand precursors and studying their coordination chemistry with transition metals. Eugenia received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Northwestern University under the direction of Prof. Mercouri Kanatzidis where she worked on the synthetic design of novel, hybrid metal halide perovskites in bulk and studied their structure-property-stability relationships for optoelectronic applications. Eugenia enjoys going to theater shows (especially musicals), museums, traveling to learn about different cultures and languages, running and cooking Greek cuisine.
Wendy was born and raised in Changchun, China. She decided to explore the other side of the world at age 18, and spent her undergradate years in Virginia at the College of William and Mary. During her time at W&M, she worked with Prof. William McNamara on electrocatalytic and photocatalytic hydrogen evolution. At Caltech, she first worked with Prof. Gregory Fu on nickel-catalyzed cross-coupling. Missing the fun of CV, she decided to join See lab to start a new adventure! In her free time, Wendy enjoys yoga, cooking Asian food, and being a couch potato with her cats.
Skyler was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, where it’s not uncommon to experience all four seasons in a single day. Unable to part from Cincinnati chili for too long, she stayed in Ohio for undergrad and attended THE Ohio State University, where she worked with Prof. Robert Baker to study mixed metal oxide catalysts for CO2 conversion to multi-carbon products. Skyler then decided to trade the cornfields of Ohio for the mountains of California and moved to Caltech for her graduate studies. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, rock climbing, and reading sci-fi novels.
Steve was born and raised in Incheon, South Korea, then his family moved to the bay area in 2007, and he went to high school there. Steve did his undergraduate studies (chemical engineering) at Georgia Tech, and he worked with Professor Sally Ng and studied secondary organic aerosol formation from toluene in urban settings (characterized by high NOx concentration). In his free time, he likes to play volleyball, play the guitar and sing, or sleep in with no alarms on the weekends.
Zac was born in the Caribbean Island Trinidad & Tobago but moved to Barbados at the age of 5 where he lived until he moved to Philly to pursue his undergraduate studies at UPenn. There he completed the VIPER dual-degree program and worked for Prof. Chris Murray. He investigated a variety of nanoparticles for possible energy/sustainability applications, including vanadium oxide films for smart windows and metal nanoparticles on ceria nanoplates for catalytic converters. After realizing he could not survive in the cold, Zac moved to California to pursue his graduate studies in material science at Caltech. In his free time, he enjoys playing soccer, exploring the city and spending time with friends.
Brian was born and raised in Suwon, South Korea, then moved to Singapore in middle school. He moved again to Minnesota in high school, then attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he received a bachelor of science degree in chemistry. He worked with Prof. Ken Suslick on the development of polymer gas chromatography microcolumns, then with Prof. Alison Fout on carbene based pincer first row transition metal catalysts. In his free time he enjoys getting his heart broken by the Minnesotan sports teams.
Eshaan grew up in Dublin, Ireland and later moved to Mumbai, India when he was 10 years old where he spent the rest of his school days. He then moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts to attend Harvard University where he received his Bachelor's degree in Chemistry and Physics. While there, Eshaan worked under Professor Philip Kim studying charge transport and interlayer excitons in van der Waals heterostructures of transition metal dichalcogenides. Before starting at Caltech, he spent one year working with an NGO called Gram Vikas to build a solar micro-grid in a village called Maligaon in Odisha, India. In his free time, Eshaan enjoys playing basketball, running and trying new foods.
Kim was born and raised in Boston Massachusetts, home of proud sports fans and unpredictable seasons. At Brown University, Kim studied materials chemistry and worked with Professor Robinson on selective copper-catalyzed oxygen reduction reactions. As much as she loved the charm of the east coast and the convenience of public transportation, Kim decided to escape to sunny California for her graduate studies. In her free time, she loves to dance west coast swing and ballroom, work on crafting projects, and cook Vietnamese food.
Michelle was born in Pasadena before her parents moved to Minnesota to experience the frozen tundra. Not realizing that there were other seasons besides winter and construction, she completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Minnesota. She wrote her undergraduate thesis on luminescent lanthanide probes for aqueous anions under the direction of Valerie Pierre. Deciding that -50 F was a touch too cold, Michelle returned to Pasadena for her graduate studies. Her hobbies include collecting minerals, hiking, and coaxing people into going to bar trivia with her.
Steven spent his first 22 years below sea level in New Orleans, Louisiana. There, he earned a degree in chemical engineering at Tulane University. He wrote his undergraduate thesis on the binding affinity of the human adenosine receptor to a fluorescent ligand under Professor Anne Robinson. Steven thought that his string of loosely related work experience, including his time as an Airbnb host, an internship at a nuclear power plant, and his position as manager of his alma mater’s outdoor recreation program, gave him the perfect background for work in batteries. As a result, he eventually left the swamps for the cooler climate of Southern California to pursue his graduate studies at Caltech. When he’s not in the lab, Steven spends most of his free time watching Bon Appetit videos, climbing, and cooking.
Grace was born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan, then her family moved to Southern California when she was in middle school. Having never experienced cold winters with snowfall, she decided to move to Connecticut to attend Wesleyan University, where she received her bachelor's degree in Chemistry. She worked with Prof. T. David Westmoreland on the synthesis and characterization of Mn(II)-based MRI contrast agents. Despite falling in love with the rich history and historic architecture of New England, she missed the wide variety of delicious Asian cuisine and the pleasant climate of California, so she returned to Southern California for her graduate studies at Caltech. In her free time, she enjoys playing the piano, swimming, and hiking.
Dan grew up in Hamilton, Canada, and earned a BASc in Nanotechnology Engineering nearby at the University of Waterloo. During his undergraduate degree, he worked with Professor Wei Tsen to study a variety of low-dimensional materials for quantum computing applications. While spending some time outside of academia, Dan investigated degradation mechanisms of electrode materials in both lithium-ion batteries and neural interfaces during internships at companies in the Bay Area. His hobbies include canoeing, hiking, and playing soccer.
Christopher grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and spent his undergraduate years in Massachusetts at Boston College, where the winters were also cold. There, he worked with Prof. Dunwei Wang on energy storage research, including MOF separators for magnesium-sulfur batteries and silicon monoxide prelithiation for lithium-ion anodes. He also spent a summer at Argonne National Lab working with Dr. Patricia Ignacio-de Leon on lithium batteries as well as silica xerogels for biofuel extraction. At Caltech, he continues to work on batteries while desperately trying to retain his cold tolerance in a warmer climate. In his free time, Christopher enjoys modding Minecraft and cooking.
Colin T. Morrell
Colin grew up in Trabuco Canyon, California and earned an A.B. in Chemistry at Dartmouth College where he worked with Prof. Katherine A. Mirica on developing chemiresistive sensors for small reactive gases using conductive metallophthalocyanine framework materials. Missing the SoCal sunshine, Colin returned for his graduate studies at Caltech. In his free time, he enjoys photography, bird watching, and playing Pandemic Legacy.
Nick grew up in Pelham, New York, but betrayed his state to follow his love for the Red Sox and attend school at Boston College. There, he earned his B.S. in Chemistry and studied a variety of electrochemistry under Professor Dunwei Wang, including Li-O2 battery SEIs, biomass valorization, and water oxidation. Chasing a love for batteries, he ditched the East Coast and his sweater hoard to pursue graduate studies at Caltech. In his free time, Nick enjoys doodling, losing at boardgames, and ingesting spooky folklore and mythology
Jadon M. Bienz
Jadon grew up in the Bay Area before moving down the coast to UC Santa Barbara for undergraduate studies in chemistry. There, he worked with Professor Ram Seshadri and graduate student mentor Kira Wyckoff on Wadsley-Roth phase metal oxides for Li-ion battery electrodes. He also spent a summer in the heat of Arizona working on fracture mechanics at Intel. Continuing his migration down the California coast, Jadon moved to Pasadena to pursue a PhD in materials science at Caltech. In his free time, he likes to hike, spend time with friends, and listen to the Steely Dan discography.
John Staufer SURF Fellow
Abby was born in raised in the Portland, Oregon area. In high school, she researched biological mechanisms of hearing loss with Prof. Alison Coffin at Washington State University. Eventually, she left the PNW’s characteristic seasonal depression for sunny SoCal, and is currently a Caltech undergrad in Materials Science and History. Abby has worked on molecular beam epitaxy of metastable oxides and rare earth chalcogenides with Prof. Joseph Falson here at Caltech, and she also studies race, gender, and policing as a history student. Outside of academics and community advocacy, she is a fan of museums, tea, weightlifting, and photography.
Caltech, Chemical Engineering (class of 2024)
Leah grew up in South Pasadena, California and is currently an undergrad at Caltech studying Chemical Engineering on the Material Science track. She first discovered her love of batteries while looking at ways to understand and optimize a sulfonamide-based electrolyte in Li-ion batteries for full cell stability with Professor Yang Shao-Horn at MIT. Wanting to continue working on batteries at Caltech, she joined the See group! In her free time, Leah enjoys going on hikes, playing tennis, and photography.