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Pauling Fellows Recipients

2019 Pauling Fellows

Jayde Aufrecht

Jayde Aufrecht earned her Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee's Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education, supported by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. She conducted her doctoral research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory under the mentorship of Dr. Scott Retterer. This work focused on using microfabrication processes to create synthetic habitats for plants and microorganisms to enable dynamic imaging of rhizosphere interactions.

In the Environmental Molecular Sciences Division under the mentorship of Dr. Jim Moran, Jayde is continuing to build synthetic micro-habitats and uses a systems biology approach to understand microbial interactions in the soil. She plans to work with chemical imaging experts at EMSL to develop a platform for dynamic spatial sampling of metabolite exchanges between organisms. Her research will contribute to our knowledge of terrestrial carbon cycling and could lead to improved sustainable agriculture methods.

Mavis Boamah

Mavis Boamah received her Ph.D. in chemistry from Northwestern University under the mentorship of Professor Franz M. Geiger after obtaining a BA degree from Wellesley College with majors in chemistry and mathematics. Her graduate school research focused on understanding reactions occurring at the charged mineral oxide/water interface using nonlinear optics, improving environmental remediation techniques, investigating the nanostructure of metallic films with atom probe tomography, and employing nanodevices to generate renewable energy.

At PNNL, her mentors are Dr. Kevin Rosso and Dr. Zheming Wang. She is a member of the Geochemistry group in the Physical & Computational Sciences Directorate. Here, Mavis is developing a molecularly-resolved structural model of an electrical double layer at a ubiquitous and essential metal oxide-aqueous solution interface to improve fundamental understanding of how this structure controls interfacial electron transfer processes that lie at the heart of many environmental chemistry challenges and new energy device problems. She aims to overcome knowledge-limiting obstacles by capitalizing on her unique experience and PNNL's world-class capabilities in non-linear optical spectroscopies and supporting theory and computation tools.

Sam Silva

Sam Silva received his Ph.D. in environmental engineering and computation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His Ph.D. research largely focused on understanding the chemical composition of the atmosphere as it is influenced by interactions between the biosphere and the atmosphere. Sam also has a B.S. in physics and an M.S. in atmospheric science from the University of Arizona.

Sam currently works in the Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change Division with Susannah Burrows applying data science and artificial intelligence tools to research in atmospheric chemistry and composition. He is particularly interested in using these tools to improve the representation of processes relevant to atmospheric composition in Earth system models.

2018 Pauling Fellows

Sten Lambeets

Sten Lambeets earned his Ph.D. from the Universite Libre de Bruxelles under the mentorship of Professor T. Visart de Bocarme and Professor N. Kruse, supported by the National Fund for Scientific Research of Belgium. His research investigated the dynamics of the catalytic hydrogenation of carbon dioxide (CO2) on single rhodium nanoparticles by using field emission techniques. With the development of a unique methodology to explore chemical dynamics with Atom Probe Tomography, this work uncovered the existence of an organized mechanism for oxygen atom penetration of the rhodium bulk with rates depending on the crystallographic surface structure.

Under the mentorship of Dr. Daniel Perea at PNNL, Sten has joined the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory to expand this unique methodology to explore the surface oxidation and carbonization process of single Cobalt and Iron nanoparticles during the CO and CO2 hydrogenation. The elucidation of these process will contribute to develop more efficient catalytic materials tailored to revalorize CO2 and CO from industrial and biomass feedstocks into higher order value-added chemical compounds. Sten's research will take advantage of the unique combination of expertise and tools available at PNNL.

Matt Kaufman

Matt Kaufman received his Ph.D. in geosciences from The University of Texas at Austin, in Professor M. Bayani Cardenas's process hydrology research group. Matt's doctoral work investigates the dynamics of riverbed biogeochemistry from physical, chemical, and microbial perspectives. He applies a broad array of novel as well as time-tested methods, combining laboratory, field, and numerical modeling to delve deep into the complex and dynamic network of interconnected biogeochemical processes at work in and around rivers.

At PNNL, Matt is part of the Subsurface Biogeochemical Research science focus area, in the Ecosystem Science research area, within the Biological Science Division. Matt's current research is based around the development of novel, high resolution, real-time sensors designed to probe the intricacies of dynamic subsurface redox conditions. He is mentored by James Stegen.

Ismael Rodríguez Pérez

Ismael Rodríguez Pérez came from México in 2002 at the age of nine, where he went to school in the State of Washington. He went on to receive his B.S. in Chemistry from Gonzaga University in 2014 and then obtained his Ph.D. in Materials Chemistry from Oregon State University in 2018 under the mentorship of Professor Xiulei "David" Ji. During his Ph.D., he was focused on performance-driven testing and characterization of battery materials and electrolytes for beyond Li-ion and Li-ion batteries and was also the safety and laboratory manager of his research group. He worked on investigating electrolytes and organic crystalline solids as advanced electrodes for aqueous and non-aqueous Dual-ion, Na-ion, K-ion, and Mg-ion batteries for energy storage applications. Furthermore, he investigated potential syntheses and characterization of organic crystals to fine-tune their electrochemical properties.

At PNNL, he is a member of the Stationary Energy Storage team within the Electrochemical Materials and Systems group in the Energy and Environment Directorate working in research for grid-level applications. He is mentored by Xiaolin Li and will work on a variety of technologies. His current focus is geared more specifically towards "Dual-ion batteries" (DIBs) and "Water-in-Salt electrolytes" (WiSE), where he is looking into using low-cost, renewable and scalable materials for high voltage aqueous batteries. Ismael will engage in optimizing electrolytes to discover the potential of aqueous DIBs. Aqueous electrolytes would lower the levelized cost (simply water and a salt) for DIBs if they were to be scaled up, not to mention the safety of the batteries would also improve. Ismael will explore the capacity limits of anion storage in new electrolytes for high rate and long cycling DIBs by performing a series of electrochemical and structural characterization tests to determine and optimize stability of the electrolytes. Moreover, he will strive to determine the potential storage mechanism of anions in DIBs by carrying out a series of tasks for electrolyte, structural, and surface characterization of the electrodes, and even potential computational methods.

2017 Pauling Fellows

Gian Surbella

Gian Surbella received his Ph.D. from The George Washington University under the mentorship of Professor Christopher L. Cahill. Gian's dissertation broadly encompassed the synthesis and structural characterization of supramolecular, actinide containing hybrid materials. In short, these materials consist of discrete inorganic and organic building units that are assembled via non-covalent interactions such as, hydrogen and halogen bonds. Beyond the synthesis of these materials, his efforts were geared towards rationalizing crystallographically observed structural trends and quantifying interaction strengths with an aim to relate the combined influences thereof to changes in material properties, e.g., luminescence and thermochromism.

Gian is currently a member of the Nuclear Process Signatures team, Chemistry of Nuclear Materials group, National Security Directorate. He is mentored by Jon Schwantes. His current research is focused on covalent frameworks wherein organic ligands link lanthanide and/or actinide metal nodes into three dimensional networks. Owning to the characteristic luminescent and photocatalytic behavior of lanthanide and uranyl (UO22+) containing compounds, respectively, he is pursing these materials for use in advanced detection methodologies and in the development of novel nuclear waste processing schemes.

Elias Nakouzi

Elias Nakouzi earned his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Florida State University where he worked under the mentorship of Prof. Oliver Steinbock. His research focused on biomimetic crystallization and self-assembly of materials across scales, particularly for the case of silica-carbonate biomorphs. Previously, Elias received a M.Sc. in Physical Chemistry from the American University of Beirut, and a B.Sc. in Chemistry from Notre Dame University-Louaize, Lebanon.

At PNNL, Elias is working under the mentorship of Prof. Jim De Yoreo as part of the Physical and Computational Sciences Directorate. He is interested in understanding particle crystallization, growth, aggregation, and assembly. In this context, Elias is developing tools to study the role of interparticle forces, interfacial solution structure, and coupled chemical reactions in driving the assembly of complex materials.

Every day is the best day of his life.


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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.