The Manthiram Lab has moved to Caltech!
Meet our team of tinkerers, white-boarders, engineer-scientists, and experimental theorists.
Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
California Institute of Technology
B.S. Chemical Engineering, Stanford University, 2010
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, UC Berkeley, 2015
Postdoctoral Research Associate, California Institute of Technology
Karthish received his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University and his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from UC Berkeley. As a graduate student in Professor Paul Alivisatos’ group, Karthish developed transition-metal oxide hosts for redox-tunable plasmons and nanoparticle electrocatalysts for reducing carbon dioxide. During his postdoctoral research in Professor Robert Grubbs’ lab at Caltech, Karthish developed new anion-exchange ionomers. Karthish joined the MIT faculty as an Assistant Professor in 2017. In 2021, he moved to Caltech as a Full Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. The Manthiram Lab is focused on the molecular engineering of electrocatalysts for the synthesis of organic molecules, including pharmaceuticals, fuels, and commodity chemicals, using renewable feedstocks. Karthish’s research has been recognized with several awards, including the NSF CAREER Award, DOE Early Career Award, Sloan Research Fellowship, 3M Nontenured Faculty Award, American Institute of Chemical Engineers 35 Under 35, American Chemical Society PRF New Investigator Award, Dan Cubicciotti Award of the Electrochemical Society, and Forbes 30 Under 30 in Science. Karthish’s teaching has been recognized with the Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, C. Michael Mohr Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, the MIT Chemical Engineering Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award, and the MIT Teaching with Digital Technology Award. He serves on the Early Career Advisory Board for ACS Catalysis and on the Advisory Board for Trends in Chemistry, Chem Catalysis, and the MIT Science Policy Review.
B.S. Chemical Engineering, Seoul National University, 2018
Minju received her B.S. in Chemical and Biological Engineering from Seoul National University in 2018. As an undergraduate, Minju worked in Prof. Kookheon Char’s group studying inverse-vulcanization of elemental sulfur with a dual-reactive monomer such as Allyl Glycidyl Ether. She also studied the synthesis of sulfur copolymer nanoparticles via interfacial polymerization in water. Minju is currently studying the selective electrochemical oxidation of olefins. Minju is a recipient of the Kwanjeong Educational Foundation scholarship.
B.S. Chemical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2016
Nathan received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2016. As an undergraduate, Nathan worked in Dr. Jean-Luc Brédas’ lab studying the electronic and vibrational properties of donor-acceptor molecular crystals using ab initio quantum mechanical computations. He also spent one summer as a process engineering intern for Dow Corning. His current research focuses on developing catalysts which can operate in new architectures for the electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide. Nathan is a recipient of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.
B.Eng. Chemical Engineering, University of Delaware, 2016
B.S. Chemistry, University of Delaware, 2016
Nik received a B. Eng. in Chemical Engineering and a B.S. in Chemistry with a minor in Computer Science from the University of Delaware in 2016. Nik received a B. Eng. in Chemical Engineering and a B.S. in Chemistry with a minor in Computer Science from the University of Delaware in 2016. As an undergraduate, he worked with Dr. Joseph Fox studying catalytic interconversion of tetrazines and dihydrotetrazines. He also spent a summer as a process engineering intern at DuPont. Nik is currently developing new catalysts for electrochemical reduction of nitrogen to ammonia, with the support of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.
B.S. Chemical Engineering, UC Berkeley, 2016
Aditya received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from UC Berkeley in 2016. Aditya received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from UC Berkeley in 2016. As an undergraduate, he worked with Prof. Paul Alivisatos on modeling the mechanical properties of polymer-nanocrystal composites, and later on studying the catalytic properties of bimetallic platinum-gallium nanocrystals. Prior to starting his graduate studies, Aditya worked for two years as a Scientific Associate at D. E. Shaw Research. There, he developed high-accuracy force fields for molecular dynamics simulations of protein-ligand complexes. Aditya is co-advised by Prof. Adam Willard and is working on formulating improved models of chemical dynamics at electrode interfaces. His work is supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.
B.S. Chemical Engineering, Stanford University, 2017
Joseph received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University in 2017. Joseph conducted undergraduate research with Professor Matteo Cargnello in the Chemical Engineering department at Stanford University studying palladium-cerium based heterobimetallic complexes. He used these as controlled precursors for the synthesis of atomically dispersed methane oxidation catalysts. Later, he studied nickel-cobalt bimetallic nanoparticles to reduce coke formation in the dry reforming of methane. Joseph is currently studying the selective electrochemical oxidation of methane to more valuable products such as methanol. Joseph is the recipient of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. In 2019, he was also awarded a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship.
B.S.E. Chemical Engineering, Princeton University, 2016
Zachary received a B.S.E. from Princeton University in Chemical and Biological Engineering with minors in applications of computing and materials science. As an undergraduate, he worked with Prof. Craig Arnold studying the coupling of mechanics and electrochemistry in lithium ion batteries. He also spent a summer simulating the dispersion of bioagent releases using an emergency preparedness toolkit at Sandia National Laboratories. Zachary currently is studying the electrochemical reduction of nitrogen for ammonia production, with support from the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program and an MIT Energy Initiative Fellowship.
B.S.E. Chemical Engineering, Case Western Reverse University, 2019
Katherine received a B.S.E. in Chemical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University with minors in Environmental Studies and French. As an undergraduate, she worked in Professor Rohan Akolkar’s lab studying electrochemical reaction kinetics in resistive deep eutectic solvents, and was a Think Energy Fellow. She also spent a summer as an intern in Procter & Gamble’s Feminine Care R&D division. Katherine is currently studying electrocatalytic reduction of nitrogen to ammonia with the support of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.
B.S. Chemical Engineering, University of Alabama, 2016
B.S. Chemistry, University of Alabama, 2016
Kindle received her bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering with majors in Chemical Engineering and Chemistry from the University of Alabama in 2016. She was a member of the Computer-Based Honors Program. As an undergraduate, Kindle worked on the organic synthesis of molecular electronic components with Dr. Stephen Woski and studied heterogeneous catalysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison withProfessor James Dumesic. In graduate school, Kindle has studied the effect of gas impurities on electrochemical carbon dioxide reduction. She is now working on organic electrosynthesis reactions. Kindle is a member of the GSAB and also completed Practice School in Fall of 2017. She is the recipient of the 2018 William C. Rousseau Award in Leadership and Ethics in Chemical Engineering Practice, the 2020 Rock Award, and a 2020 MIT ChemE Individual Citation, honoring her leadership on key issues in our department.
B.S. Chemical Engineering, Stanford University, 2017
Joy received a B.S in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University in 2017. As an undergraduate, she worked in Prof. Bruce Clemens’ lab and studied GaAs nanowires coated with protective and catalytic metal oxide layers for solar water splitting applications. She has also spent a summer interning at Shell Oil and a summer interning at Sila Nanotechnologies, a battery materials startup. Joy is now studying molecular complexes for the electroreduction of carbon dioxide. She is an MIT Energy Fellow and a recipient of a Mathworks Engineering Fellowship .
B.Tech. Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, 2020
M.Tech. Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, 2020
Simar received her B.Tech + M.Tech (Dual Degree) in Chemical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi in 2020. She has worked with Prof Shantanu Roy (IITD), as a part of her M.Tech thesis, to study hydrodynamics and heat transfer in Corning Advanced Flow Reactors (microreactors). She has also worked as a Research Intern at WashU with Prof Pratim Biswas’s group on characterization of low cost air quality monitors. She is enthusiastic about sustainable technologies and her current research is focused on lithium mediated electrochemical ammonia synthesis.
B.S. Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2019
Trent Weiss received a B.S. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering with a minor in Economics from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2019. As an undergraduate, he worked in Dr. Michael Filler’s lab studying selective surface chemistry and polymerization techniques to develop area selective patterning methodologies on nanowires. Trent also spent two summers interning for ExxonMobil at their Baytown Technology Engineering Complex. Before attending graduate school, he spent one year working in ExxonMobil’s Supply Chain Optimization group. There he developed mathematical models to analyze and improve decisions made by schedulers, traders, and refinery coordinators. Trent’s research will focus on the role of blended electrolytes in oxygen atom transfer reactions.
B.Eng. University of Minnesota, 2020
Sayandeep received a B.Eng in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Mathematics for the University of Minnesota in 2020. As an undergraduate, Sayandeep worked with Dr. Alon McCormick focusing on optimizing ammonia separation using silica supported metal halide absorbents. He has also worked with Dr. Qi Zhang and focused on developing inverse optimization techniques for surrogate modelling. Currently, Sayandeep is researching ways to develop sustainable electrochemical processes to generate C-N bonds.
B.S. National Taiwan University, 2019
Fang-Yu received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from National Taiwan University in 2019. As an undergraduate, Fang-Yu worked in Dr. Kuo-Chuan Ho’s lab synthesizing electrocatalysts applied in dye-sensitized solar cells. He also spent six months working as a research assistant in the same group, synthesizing novel organic electrochromic materials. His current research focuses on developing electrochemical reactions to produce acrylic acid.
Hee Jo Song
B.S. Materials Science and Engineering, Seoul National University, 2010
Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering, Seoul National University, 2017
Hee Jo received his B.S. and Ph.D. degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Seoul National University. His research interests involve the design and synthesis of nanomaterials for electrochemical energy conversion and storage devices. As a graduate student, Hee Jo developed pyrophosphate-based nanomaterials for sodium-ion batteries under the supervision of Professor Seong-Hyeon Hong. During his postdoctoral research in Professor Dong-Wan Kim’s group at Korea University, Hee Jo developed electrocatalysts for water-splitting. In the Manthiram Lab, Hee Jo is currently focused on the electrocatalytic nitrogen reduction to ammonia.
B.S. Chemistry, University of California Irvine, 2016
Ph.D. Chemistry, University of California San Diego, 2021
Glen received his B.S. in chemistry from the University of California Irvine (UC Irvine) in 2016. He obtained his PhD in chemistry in 2021 working with Professor Guy Bertrand at UC San Diego. During his PhD, Glen studied how molecular electronic structure governs reactivity through the synthesis and application of low-valent and low-coordinate main-group compounds, like carbenes, phosphinidines, borylenes, aminoboranes, phosphorus ylides, ketenes, and organometallic complexes. Going forward, he will apply these lessons towards electrocatalytic nitrogen reduction.
Jess is an undergraduate at MIT, majoring in Materials Science and Engineering. She would like to minor in Energy Studies and French. She went to Spackenkill High School and worked in Dr. Hailiang Wang at Yale University for 3 years on bifunctional catalysis for carbon dioxide reduction. She is a Graduate of Distinction, Regeneron Scholar, Dutchess County Science Fair winner, and ISEF fourth place winner.
Michal was an undergraduate in Chemical Engineering at MIT, minoring in computer science and chemistry. He graduated from high school in Poland having represented his country at the International Chemistry Olympiad twice. Freshman year Michal did research under Prof. Richard Schrock on dinitrogen reduction during his Freshman year and spent a summer at the Shell Technology Center in Bangalore using machine learning in new materials discovery. He worked in the Manthiram Lab for three years on the electrochemical synthesis of ammonia from dinitrogen. Michal was supported by the SuperUROP program at MIT. He is currently a graduate student at Stanford, where he is a Knight-Hennessey Scholar.
Kelly Wu is an undergraduate majoring in Chemical Engineering at MIT. She graduated from Memorial High School in Madison, Wisconsin, where she spent two summers researching drop-in biofuel synthesis at UW-Madison. At MIT, Kelly is involved in the MIT Energy Club, including as the director of the 2020 EnergyHack. She has previously interned at Acciona and ExxonMobil, and is interested in decarbonizing the electricity and manufacturing sectors. She is currently working on developing models of the chemical industry of the future. Kelly is supported by the SuperUROP program at MIT.
Alex Liu is an undergraduate at MIT, majoring in Chemical Engineering and pursuing a minor in Atmospheric Chemistry. He graduated from Montgomery High School near Princeton, NJ, and spent a summer working with Dr. Jing Li at Rutgers University on synthesizing luminescent inorganic-organic hybrid materials. He was recognized as a Siemens Competition Regional Finalist for his work. At MIT, Alex developed interest in carbon capture and sequestration technology, conducting projects with Dr. Zachary Smith on synthesizing hybrid membranes for energy-efficient CO2 separation and modeling transport in polymers with high fractional free volume. He is currently working with Joy to develop a more rigorous statistical framework for fitting kinetic parameters in CO2 electroreduction.
B.S. Materials Science and Engineering, Seoul National University
Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering, Seoul National University, 2017
Kyoungsuk received his B.S and Ph.D in Materials Science and Engineering from Seoul National University, under the supervision of Professor Ki Tae Nam. During Ph.D course, he developed bio-inspired Mn based water oxidation electrocatalysts and investigated oxygen evolving reaction mechanism. His research in the Manthiram lab focused on the development of new electrocatalysts for oxygen atom insertion reactions. Kyoungsuk completed a Post-Doc in 2020 and is currently an Assistant Professor at Korea University.
B.S. Chemistry, Lanzhou University
B.Eng. Computer Science, Lanzhou University
M.S. Chemistry, Lanzhou University
Ph.D. Chemistry, Queens University
Dengtao received his BSc in Chemistry, BEng in Computer Science and Master in Chemistry from Lanzhou University, PhD from Queen’s University in 2017 under the supervision of Prof. Suning Wang. His PhD research focused on the transformation of boron (B), nitrogen(N)-heterocycles driven by external stimuli, such as heat, light and excitons in OLEDs. His research in the Manthiram lab focused on organic electrosynthesis to generate chemical feedstocks. Dengtao completed a Post-Doc in 2020 and is currently an Assistant Professor at Northwestern Polytechnical University.
B.S. Chemical Engineering, MIT, 2019
Sierra completed her undergraduate research in the Manthiram Lab in 2019 and is currently a graduate student in Chemical Engineering at UT Austin, working in the Alper Lab.
B.S. Chemical Engineering, Zhejiang University, 2011
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, Lehigh University, 2017
Postdoctoral Research Associate, MIT, 2018
Minghui obtained his B.S. from Zhejiang University in 2011, and his Ph.D. from Lehigh University in 2017 under the supervision of Prof. Israel E. Wachs. His Ph.D. research focused on in situ/operando spectroscopy study of heterogeneous catalysis for various applications (high temperature water gas shift reaction, selective catalytic reduction of NOx, conversion of ethanol to butadiene, etc.). His research in the Manthiram lab focused on atomically precise catalysts for carbon dioxide reduction. Minghui completed a Post-Doc in 2018 and is currently an Assistant Professor at East China University of Science and Technology.
PB.S. Chemistry, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 2012
Ph.D. Chemistry, Rice University, 2017
Postdoctoral Research Associate, MIT, 2018
Ruquan received his B.S from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (2012), under the supervision of Prof. Ben Zhong Tang, and Ph.D. in Chemistry from Rice University (2017), under the supervision of Prof. James M. Tour. His Ph.D. research focuses on the synthesis of nanomaterials in diverse dimensions, from 0D graphene quantum dots to 3D graphene, and their use in fluorescence and electrochemical reactions. His research in the Manthiram lab focused on electrocatlaysts for alcohol oxidation. Ruquan completed a Post-Doc in 2018 and is currently an Assistant Professor at City University of Hong Kong.
B.A. Chemistry, Harvard University, 2021
Thu received a B.A in Chemistry from Harvard University in 2021. As an undergraduate, she worked in Prof. Jarad Mason’s lab and studied the assembly of porous frameworks composed of metal nanocrystals bridged by organic linkers. She has also spent a summer studying the self-assembly of block copolymers using dissipative particle dynamics (DPD) in Prof. Alexander-Katz’s group. Thu is currently studying methods of functionalizing carbon dioxide-derived organic molecules with nitrogen derived from air.
B.S. Chemistry, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, 2021
Channing received a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities in 2021. As an undergraduate, she worked with Prof. Ian Tonks on the synthesis and characterization of Ti-based catalysts for making heteroaromatic rings. She also worked as a peer tutor and volunteered for ChemFoundations providing extra help to students struggling with general chemistry. Currently, she is developing proton donors for more efficient lithium-mediated electrochemical synthesis of ammonia from nitrogen.
B.S. Chemistry, University of British Columbia, 2020
Chenyu received a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of British Columbia in 2020. As an undergraduate, she worked in Prof. Jennifer Love’s lab and studied carbon-carbon bond formations from Pt(IV) complexes. She presented her research in a poster session at the 102nd Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition in June 2019. She also spent a summer working with Prof. Ian Tonks at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities as a LANDO/NSF fellow to explore the effect of dative directing groups on the regioselectivity of Ti-catalyzed alkyne hydroamination. Chenyu’s current research will be focusing on synthesizing complex organic compounds from CO2 reduction products using electricity and bacteria.
B.S. Mechanical Engineering, ETH Zürich, 2020
Florian did his undergrad in mechanical engineering at ETH Zürich, Switzerland before temporarily joining Climeworks to work in their plant and process engineering teams. During his master’s degree at ETH he did projects in the Electrochemical Energy Systems Laboratory of Prof. Maria Lukatskaya and Energy and Process Systems Engineering Group of Prof. André Bardow. Bacteria and biochemical interfaces have quickly become a passion of his. Here at Caltech, his 6-month research project focuses on bioelectrochemical cell design to study charge transfer from electrodes to bacteria via bacterial nanowires.
B.S. Engineering Chemistry, Queen’s University, 2017
Ph.D. Organic Chemistry, University of Toronto, 2022
Rachel received her B.A.Sc. in Engineering Chemistry from Queen’s University in 2017. While at Queen’s, Rachel worked with Professor P. Andrew Evans on the development of metal-catalyzed allylic amination reactions. She obtained her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Toronto in 2022 under the supervision of Professor Mark Lautens. Rachel’s graduate research involved the exploration of cyclopropene reactivity in rhodium-catalyzed cyclopropanation reactions. In the Manthiram group, Rachel will be applying her experience in domino chemistry to electrochemical carboxylation reactions.
B.S. Chemical Engineering, Stanford University, 2016
Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, Princeton University, 2021
Wes received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University and his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Princeton University, where he worked with Professor Daniel Steingart developing a new operando ultrasonic characterization technique for lithium metal batteries. He is currently applying his understanding of battery interphases to lithium-mediated nitrogen reduction as the Arnold O. Beckman Postdoctoral Fellow, before he starts his own group in Sep 2023 as an Assistant Professor at Drexel University.
Erin is an undergraduate student from the University of Cambridge studying Chemical Engineering via Natural Sciences. Her previous experience includes a summer internship at Imperial College London with Professor Nilay Shah conducting a feasibility study on sustainable fuel sources as an end-of-life option for mosquito nets in collaboration with BASF, as well as a scoping study on the renewable energy capacity of Lao PDR. She has also spent a summer developing a high-resolution P-wave tomographic image of the mantle beneath the Canadian-Alaskan border with Bullard Laboratories at the University of Cambridge. Her summer research project at Caltech focuses on electrolyte engineering for optimal lithium morphology in Li-mediated electrochemical ammonia synthesis.