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Pauling Fellows Recipients

2016 Pauling Fellows

Kelsey Stoerzinger

Kelsey Stoerzinger received her Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Her dissertation built an understanding of the catalytic activity of oxides through their electronic structure and surface chemistry. Earlier, Kelsey received an M.Phil. in Physics from the University of Cambridge as a Churchill Scholar and a B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Northwestern University.

In the Physical & Computational Sciences Directorate, Kelsey will expand on her studies of oxide electrocatalysts by considering light-driven (photoelectrocatalytic) processes. Under the mentorship of Dr. Scott Chambers, she will consider the relationship between surface chemistry, electronic structure, and reactivity on epitaxial oxide films grown via oxide molecular beam epitaxy.

Rene Boiteau

Rene Boiteau received his Ph.D. in Chemical Oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program. His research focused on the development of chromatography-mass spectrometry methods for characterizing organic chelating agents in natural seawater. This work led to the identification of microbially produced metal binding compounds in the ocean, including siderophores, and revealed how microbes use distinct iron acquisition strategies across different nutrient regimes.

In the Earth & Biological Sciences Directorate at PNNL, Rene will continue this work in terrestrial systems under the mentorship of Ljiljana Pasa-Tolic, Janet Jansson, David Koppenaal, and Julia Laskin. His research will focus on how microbes influence metal speciation in soils and sediments, where organic compounds regulate the solubility and mobilization of biologically important metals such as iron.

Bo Peng

Bo Peng recently earned his Ph.D. in Physical/ Theoretical chemistry from the University of Washington, Seattle. His doctoral research was supervised by Prof. Xiaosong Li focusing on developing efficient algorithms for several advanced electronic structure theory models, which ranges from the popular density functional theory and time-dependent density functional theory to more sophisticated post-Hartree-Fock models. He also worked on applying these models to accurately describe the excited states and the associated dynamics in some energy and environment-related processes.

At PNNL, he will join the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory being part of the Molecular Science Computing performance software group. He will be working with Dr. Karol Kowalski to develop efficient wave-function-based computational schemes for accurately computing ground and excited states wave functions of large systems. The will bring the routine application and the accuracy of high-level quantum calculations into many regimes that previously can only be accessed by low-level calculations.

2015 Pauling Fellows

Garrett Goh

Garrett Goh graduated from the University of Michigan with a Ph.D. in Chemistry, where his doctoral research was supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) fellowship. At Michigan, he worked with Dr. Charles L. Brooks III on developing next-generation explicit solvent constant pH molecular dynamics capability for the CHARMM molecular dynamics program. His work in modeling pH effects in molecular simulations led to the discovery of pH-regulated transient conformational states and how they control the properties of pH-sensitive fluorescent proteins and the mechanism of RNA catalysis.

At PNNL, Garrett is part of the Computational Biology group in the Earth & Biological Sciences Directorate, where he will be working with Dr. Bill Cannon and Dr. Nathan Baker to develop new simulation capability for modeling cellular metabolism. His long-term scientific goal is to integrate metabolic simulations with his doctoral work in molecular simulations, for developing computational tools that will enable rational engineering of microorganisms relevant to biofuels research.

Kaathe Todd-Brown

Kathe Todd-Brown received her Ph.D. in Earth System Science from University of California Irvine. Her dissertation examined the representation of soil carbon in Earth system models used to inform the IPCC report. Previously, she worked at Massachusetts General Hospital in bioinformatics and obtained her BS in Mathematics from Harvey Mudd College.

In the Earth and Biological Sciences Directorate, her research will focus on linking microbial mechanisms mediating soil decomposition to ecosystem fluxes linked to climate change. Under the mentorship of Drs Vanessa Bailey, Nancy Hess, and Timothy Schiebe, Kathe will investigate new data streams to improve soil carbon models, as well as link models across spatial scales and various levels of process representation.

2014 Pauling Fellows

Luis Estevez

Luis Estevez received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maine at Orono in 2007, graduating magna cum laude. A summer internship working under Dr. Anthony Puckett at the Los Alamos Dynamics Summer Session (2006), inspired Luis to realize his full potential by pursuing a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering at Cornell University. At Cornell, Luis worked under the mentorship of Dr. Emmanuel Giannelis on projects spanning polymer based nanocomposite actuators, macroporous PEM fuel cell electrodes and eventually high surface area porous carbon materials for energy storage devices such as Li-S battery and supercapacitor applications. Luis is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi, Pi Mu Epsilon and Pi Tau Sigma Honor Societies and is a member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. While at Cornell, he was awarded a Sloan Fellowship, a GK-12 fellowship and the 2011 Zellman Warhaft Commitment to Diversity Graduate Student Award.

At PNNL, Luis has joined the Energy Processes and Materials Division in the Energy and Environment Directorate and is working with Dr. Jiguang (Jason) Zhang. Luis intends to continue his focus on advancing energy storage research by synthesizing novel hierarchical porous materials to be used as electrodes in battery and supercapacitor devices; particularly with applications towards electric vehicles.

Jeff Katalenich

Jeff Katalenich recently earned a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering and radiological sciences from the University of Michigan while researching the production of cerium oxide, sol-gel microspheres as a dust-free nuclear fuel fabrication technique. His Ph.D. research was supported by a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship, a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, the Center for Space Nuclear Research, and the University of Michigan's Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences. Earlier, Jeff received a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Michigan Technological University where he managed a student satellite project for two years.

Jeff is expanding on his sol-gel microsphere doctoral research under the direction of Andrew Prichard within the Nuclear Engineering & Analysis Group and Signatures Science & Technology Division in the National Security Directorate. His project, titled "Solving the Plutonium-238 Problem," aims to demonstrate the fabrication of dust-free plutonium microspheres suitable for producing heat and electricity sources for space exploration applications.


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For questions about the Linus Pauling Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship, please send an e-mail to university.recruiter@pnl.gov. We will send a response to you within two business days.