Graduate Students

Jeffrey Klein

PhD Candidate

Jeff received B.S. in Chemical Engineering in the spring of 2017 at the Colorado School of Mines where he worked as a research assistant examining atomic layer deposition and atomic layer etching techniques of silicon nitride for semiconductor processing. Additionally, on a separate project he assisted with developing silicon solar cell devices aiming to lower production cost while maintaining high efficiency. His research interests have transitioned from energy production to energy storage where he now investigates the structure and dynamics of ionic liquids which have a range of applications including batteries and supercapacitors. Outside of the lab, he likes to rock climb, ski in his home state of Colorado, camp, and bike.

Brian Chen

MS Student

Brian earned his B. Eng. in Chemical Engineering in the spring of 2018 from The City College of New York. There, he assisted in laying the groundwork for synthesizing and researching crystalline transition-metal cathode materials for rechargeable aluminum-metal batteries. His research interests in energy storage have continued onto the investigation of deep eutectic solvents for high energy- and power-dense redox-flow batteries. When not in the lab, Brian enjoys playing tennis and riding his bike.

Yun-Yang Lee

PhD Student

Lee earned his B.S. and M.S. in Chemical Engineering in 2016 from National Tsing-Hua University, Taiwan. After his graduation, he continued his training at the University of Tokyo, Japan for a year (2017-2018). His past research lies in monomer/polymer synthesis, polymer physics, physical chemistry, and battery techniques (fuel cell & LIB). As a PhD student, his research interests focus on the synthesis and characterization of functionalized IL and PIL, and their applications on LiB as well as CO2 capture. When not in lab, he enjoys jogging, mountain climbing, cooking, and playing Chinese musical instrument.  

William Dean

PhD Student

William earned his B.Ch.E in Chemical Engineering and Chemistry from the University of Minnesota in the spring of 2018. After graduation he worked as a researcher, studying polymer membranes, polymer solutions and polymer microfibers. As a PhD student, his research interests lie in studying and characterizing deep eutectic solvents in the context of energy storage applications. When not in lab, William enjoys running, weightlifting and cooking.

Drace Penley

PhD Student

Drace earned his B.S. and M.S. in Chemical Engineering in 2019 from the Ohio State University. There, his research focus was in carbon capture using Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs). He helped develop a charge assignment method for atoms in newly discovered MOFs using atom connectivity. As a Ph.D. student, his research interests focus on understanding the solvation structure and transport mechanism of solute ions in multicomponent ionic liquids. Outside of the lab, he enjoys playing water polo and cooking.

Henry Squire

BS/MS student

Henry is a senior chemical engineering student at CWRU and pursuing his MS degree at the same time. He is interested in energy storage for the advancement of low carbon, renewable energy sources. When not in the lab, Henry is on the tennis court competing for the Men's Varsity Tennis Team or recovering wasted food on campus with the Food Recovery Network.

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Post-doctoral Researchers

Hongchao Mao

Hongchao received his PhD degree from Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry (CIAC), Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2015. After graduation, he worked as a full-time researcher at CIAC brielfy and then at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His past areas of research were centered on the design and synthesis of novel membrane materials for gas separation and water treatment. He joined the Energy Lab in the spring of 2019. His current research interests focus on the preparation of ionic liquid based membranes and their application in CO2 separation process.

Sundar Rajan Aramavamuthan

Sundar received his PhD in 2015 from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc). His research interest during his PhD is on developing iron electrodes for rechargeable alkaline nickel-iron batteries. After graduation, he continued his research at IISc on lead dioxide - carbon hybrid ultracapacitor. Then, he moved to the University of Southern California as a postdoctoral scholar to continue his research on alkaline nickel-iron batteries. He joined the energy lab in November 2019. His current research interest is on the electro-reduction of carbon dioxide using ionic liquid electrolytes. Outside of the lab, he enjoys running and playing badminton.

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Undergraduate Researchers

Aidan Klemm

Undergraduate Researcher

Aidan is a 4th year chemical engineering student. He has research interests in organic chemistry, biochemistry and engineering including ionic liquids based membranes for separation processes. His other involvements include being a staff member at the CWRU LGBT Center and singing in the Case Concert Choir.

Dylan Klaiber

Undergraduate Researcher

Dylan is a sophomore at CWRU studying Chemical Engineering and Business Management. He is interested in energy storage, exploring deep eutectic solvents for high energy, power-dense, redox-flow batteries. When not in lab, Dylan is an executive member of CWRU Baja. He enjoys playing soccer, fishing, and backpacking.

Max Pennington

Undergraduate Researcher

Max is a sophomore chemical engineering student at CWRU. He has research interests in the synthesis and characterization of ionic liquids, specifically for their applications with CO2 capture. When not in lab, Max is an executive member of Sigma Chi. He also enjoys playing intramural sports and going to the gym.

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Past Members


Qianwen (Vivian) Huang, PhD  

Suchitra Selvaraj, MS, Researcher at Ecolectro, Inc.

Ningjin (Karen) Xu, MS, Currently a PhD student at University of California Riverside

Undergraduate Researchers

Caleb Wilt (2018-19)   

Evio Panichi (2018 summer)

Guillermo F Gonzalez (2018)  

Jinyi Zhang (2018 summer)

Neil Chavan (2017-18)

Phoebe Huang (2017 -18)

Nicholas Asher Day (2017) 

REU Students

Victoria Zubizarreta (2019), University of Pittsburgh

Reagan Hairston(2018), Mississippi State University

ViAnn Thuy Pham (2017), University of Arizona

Kyle Terraciano (2017), University of Connecticut(co-advised with Prof. Daniel Lacks)

Art Interns

AlexanderStojkov (2018 – 19)

Joseph Williams (2017 – 19)

Ian Filo (2017)

Thomas Thornton (2016-17)

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