The Manthiram Lab has moved to Caltech!
Want to meet Santa Claus? Join the Manthiram Lab.
We are building an interdisciplinary team of engineers and scientists who are interested in using fundamental molecular-level understanding of electrocatalysts to develop practical solutions to pressing societal problems associated with chemical synthesis. We seek to work with our group members to help them develop the scientific and communication skills they need to become leaders in academia and industry. We believe that how we do our science is just as important as the science we do – to this end, we have developed a set of Core Values which sets forth our commonly held ideals.
Get in Touch
We are building an interdisciplinary team of engineers and scientists who are intersted in using fundamental molecular-level understanding of electrocatalysts to develop practical solutions to pressing societal problems associated with chemical synthesis. We seek to work with our group members to help them develop the scientific and communication skills they need to become leaders in academia and industry.
- Graduate Students: Students who have been admitted to Caltech are encouraged to reach out to our lab members, whose contact information is on the Team page (just click on any student’s profile to learn more about them and find their contact information). Spending time with our group members to hear their open reflections on their experience in the group is critical and encouraged, whether that is casually chatting with them in the office (Church B106), over coffee, or lunch. Students interested in rotating with the lab should refer to the Rotations section below.
- Postdocs: Please send Karthish an e-mail with your resume, three journal articles you have published, and what you propose to work on in the Manthiram Lab. Please include [Postdoc_Applicant] in the subject line of your e-mail.
- Undergraduates: For Caltech undergraduates, we recommend applying to the SURF program. For undergraduates from other institutions, please reach out to Karthish well in advance of the deadlines for the WAVE and Amgen programs, for which applications are due in January/February.
Applicants with backgrounds in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Materials Science and Engineering, Physics, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and related subjects are encouraged to apply.
If you are interested in rotating in our group:
- Email Karthish to mention your interest in rotating. CC Michael Yusov (email@example.com) and Emma Cosner (firstname.lastname@example.org) on this message, who are the rotation and onboarding leads, respectively.
- Take care of onboarding tasks. The onboarding lead, Emma Cosner (email@example.com), will reach out to you with more details about this.
- Attend a rotation orientation meeting. The rotation lead, Michael Yusov, will reach out to you with more details about this.
- Read a few papers related to an area of interest within our group. Suggested papers will be provided during the rotation orientation meeting.
- Reach out to our group members in your area of interest to chat about their work, your ideas for future work, and any questions about how the group works. See our Team page for the full roster. You can also informally chat with Karthish during his office hours, labelled as OH in the calendar at the bottom of this page.
- After having these initial conversations and attending a rotation orientation meeting, email Karthish with CC to Martha Hepworth (firstname.lastname@example.org) to schedule a 45 minute 1:1. This will typically involve whiteboarding prior research undertakings (research from before coming to Caltech), followed by a discussion of the papers that were read, charting out the frontier of the field, and brainstorming new areas for investigation. Come prepared to share an idea you have for a direction you might like to go in. Schedule follow-up conversations based on where the conversation leaves off.
- The earliest that decisions are made regarding joining our group are on December 1, with decisions made on a rolling basis thereafter.
We expect all rotators to:
- Attend at least one subgroup meeting every week, prioritizing the subgroup(s) that align best with the rotator’s research interests, and participate in the discussions.
- Attend weekly group meetings and participate in the discussions.
- Take initiative in gaining exposure to the laboratory research done in our group by, at a minimum, shadowing students and postdocs within the chosen subgroup(s) of interest. Before running any experiments yourself, please chat with Karthish first.
- Interact with a wide range of our group members to hear about their experiences in the group and understand the research problems they are tackling. It is important to interact with many group members to get a wide-range of perspectives on science and hear about different experiences in the group.
- Develop an idea for a possible research question to tackle in our group, with input from group members. It is also helpful to chat about the ideas you are developing with as many people in the group as you can to integrate their feedback and thoughts.
- (Quarter-long rotators only) Prepare a semi-formal presentation on research progress for the last subgroup meeting of their rotation. Coordinate with the subgroup lead to fit this into the current subgroup schedule.
- Continue to explore and engage with other groups on campus that you might be interested in possibly joining, even while rotating in our group – always good to keep more than one option open
- Fulfill any additional department-specific requirements.
If you are on campus, you are welcome to attend our Group Meetings to see our group in action (please note the timezone shown at the bottom of the calendar):
The meetings on the calendar are labeled as follows:
- Manthiram Group Meeting: Weekly all-hands meeting
- Sub-B: Biological electron transfer subgroup
- Sub-C: Carbon dioxide utilization subgroup
- Sub-N: Nitrogen cycle subgroup
- Sub-O: Oxygen-transfer subgroup
- OH: Office hours when Karthish will be available in the lab for discussion
“Fundamentals Fridays” are student and postdoc led discussions of fundamentals related to research in our group.