SULI Alumni

2005
Brian Langstraat

Brian Langstraat
M.S., Engineering, Iowa State University – 2012
B.A., Physics, Central College – 2008

Brian Langstraat participated in Ames Laboratory’s SULI program in both 2005 and 2007, during which he worked with sparse matrix iteration and simulated the shearing of dense granular flows. Brian went on to work at Rockwell Collins, Inc., which develops and manufactures electronics components and technologies for use in communications, aviation, and national defense. As a Reliability, Maintainability, and Safety Engineer, Brian has worked on projects for the Airbus A350 XWB and the Boeing 787 and has been involved in developing efficiency software, documenting safety and reliability assessments, and enhancing testing procedures.

Thomas Maloney

Thomas Maloney
M.S., Physics, University of Cincinnati – 2009
B.S., Physics, University of Cincinnati – 2007

Thomas Maloney’s graduate work was focused on improving Magnetoencephalography (MEG) measurement techniques for neurosurgery, specifically for patients with epilepsy. He has also instructed physics classes and has done worke with a particle physics group analyzing data from the Stanford Linear Accelerator in Menlo Park, CA to determine branching ratios of particle decays. An expert in Python programming for data analysis and signal processing, Thomas currently works as a Research Assistant with the Pediatric Neuroimaging Research Consortium at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital where he engineers software that analyzes neuroimaging data.

Eric Poweleit

Eric Poweleit
Ph.D., Chemistry, Pennsylvania State University – 2014 (Expected)
B.S., Chemistry and Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison – 2007

Nearly finished with his Ph.D. program at Pennsylvania State University, Eric Poweleit found that his experience at Ames Laboratory not only motivated him to pursue a graduate degree, but also provided support for acceptance into graduate school. Having conducted research funded by the Department of Energy (DOE) beyond SULI, Eric has been a contributing author to three published articles and now researches magnetism and crystalline structures.

SULI at Ames Laboratory was a very positive educational experience and my mentor provided advice for the selection of a graduate program.

Andrew Shuff

Andrew Shuff
M.B.A, Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management, Rice University – 2013
B.S., Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, Texas A&M University – 2007

Andrew Shuff recently finished a M.B.A. program at Rice University.  After his experience at Ames Laboratory, Andrew went to work for chemical manufacturer Celanese Corporation. He has served Celanese as a Research Engineer working with reactors and developing process models and a Technology Analyst evaluating and modeling biofuels and synthetic fuels. Andrew now works as a Business Analyst for Celanese’s Advanced Engineering Materials division working to commercialize and develop new material technologies.

Image

Christopher Wong
M.S., Northwestern University – 2007
B.S., Materials Engineering and Economics, Northwestern University – 2007

Currently an Associate Consultant with ZS Associates, a marketing firm specializing in a data-driven analysis of customer demand, Christopher Wong has also done materials work for Dow Corning and Unilever HPC.  Having graduated in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Northwestern University, Christopher now does sales and marketing consulting for pharmaceutical and material companies.

2006

Jeffery Baker

Jeffery Baker
B.S., Environmental Systems Engineering, Pennsylvania State University – 2007

During his internship at Ames Laboratory, Jeffery Baker researched and developed biocomposite polymers, research that was eventually published in the Journal of Applied Polymer Science. He went on to work as a Volunteer Firefighter and a water treatment plant Chemist for the city of New Kensington, PA. Jeffery now works for WSP Environment & Energy, a global environmental and sustainability consulting firm. As an Associate Environmental Engineer, he evaluates and implements soil, groundwater, and wastewater technologies that provide value and protect business assets by managing actual and potential environmental liabilities. Jeffery specializes in groundwater and soil remediation, water and wastewater treatment systems, and mineral processing.

Ryan Glamm

Ryan Glamm
Ph.D., Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University – 2011
B.S., Materials Science and Engineering, The Ohio State University – 2007

Ryan Glamm is currently a materials engineer in the aerospace industry specializing in physical metallurgy, computational thermodynamics and kinetics, alloy design, powder metallurgy, and corrosion. Having worked at General Electric developing analytic quality control techniques and as a research assistant at Northwestern University studying high performance aluminum alloys, Ryan currently works at The Boeing Company as a Metallic Materials and Processes Engineer.  Ryan serves Boeing’s Research and Technology division developing advanced aerospace alloys through applied systems design.

Being a part of the SULI program helped me decide that I would like a career in technology development.  It was my first research experience outside of a university setting, and allowed me to see other facets of technology careers.  From this experience I was able to better apply my skills learned in the classroom to a real life project.”

Denae Rutherford

Denae Rutherford
B.S., Chemistry, Western Illinois University – 2006
A.A., Southeastern Community College – 2003

During Denae Rutherford’s internship experience at Ames Laboratory, she conducted research that was published in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. She later found that that the experience taught her how to conduct effective research and influenced her career aspirations. She went on to graduate with a degree in Chemistry and now works for Roquette America, Inc., one of the global leaders in starch processing. As an Analytical Services Associate Specialist, Denae does quality control testing of starch derivatives and sugars such as maltitol, mannitol, and sorbitol.

I feel that the SULI program was a great experience for me. Not only did I receive hands on training for laboratory work, I was also able to help write part of an abstract/research paper that was published. The work that I did at Ames Laboratory had quite an impact on my work experience and possibly helped me get hired at my current job.”

Charles Pye

Charles Pye
B.S., Physics, University of Kansas – 2008

Though Charles Pye graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in Physics, most of his professional career has been devoted to computer programming. Charles has developed a theoretical physics computer model in C++ and has also created Android applications as a freelance developer, two of which he self-published on Google Play. He currently works as a Junior Software Developer with Rentrak Corporation, a global media measurement and research firm that serves the entertainment industry by tracking viewing behavior and trends in media consumption. Charles maintains database and back-end, server-side code for Rentrak’s systems.

My experience at Ames Laboratory showed me what research and grad school is really like. Because of this, it is good preparation for graduate school. I learned a lot in the SULI program.”

Benjamin Sikora

Benjamin Sikora
Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Northwestern University – 2013
B.S., Chemical Engineering, Colorado School of Mines – 2008
B.S., Chemsitry, Colorado School of Mines – 2008

After his experience at Ames Laboratory, Benjamin Sikora finished his undergraduate work at the Colorado School of Mines and went on to earn a Ph.D. from Northwestern University. While a graduate student, Benjamin did molecular modeling of adsorption selectivity of molecules in metal-organic frameworks, which have applications in gas storage and purification as well as catalysis. He recently began postdoctoral research at the University of Montpellier in Montpellier, France.

2007

Dustin Bales

Dustin Bales
M.S., Environmental Engineering, University of South Florida – 2012
B.S., Chemical Engineering, Missouri University of Science and Technology – 2010

After his experience at Ames Laboratory, Dustin Bales went on to work as a Chemical Engineering Intern for both ArcelorMittal, one of the largest steel plants in the U.S., and ExxonMobil. Dustin specializes in hydrology and well drilling techniques for the developing world and has done work treating industrial wastewater, creating manual water well drills, and optimizing biofilitration processes through water additive management. He is currently serving in the Peace Corps in Northern Uganda building the technical and business capacity of private sector hand-drillers for water wells. The long-term goal of his work is to build a self-sustaining network for well drilling that does not require subsidization by government funds. Having received an American Water Works Association Best Paper Award and an American Academy of Environmental Engineers Award for Outstanding Graduate Student in Environmental Engineering, Dustin is interested in creating renewable and affordable energy technologies for developing countries, especially those related to water supply and wastewater treatment.

While at Ames Laboratory, I developed a much better understanding of what grad school is and what it entails. It was a very good experience that taught me a lot about the research world and what research work was, even if my work wasn’t always the best (in my defense, I was 18!). The learning experience was invaluable.”

Thomas Brenner

Thomas Brenner
Ph.D., Applied Physics, Colorado School of Mines – 2013
B.A., Physics, Carleton College – 2009

Having recently received his Ph.D. from the Colorado School of Mines, Thomas Brenner found that his SULI experience at Ames Laboratory solidified his interest in solid state and condensed matter physics. Thomas is now a researcher at the Colorado School of Mines as well as a Graduate Research Assistant at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, CO. Studying metal oxide semiconductor and organic semiconductor interfaces for organic electronic devices, Thomas alters interface properties by attaching layers of an organic molecule to metal oxide in order to change its surface properties and enhance the interaction between the metal and the organic. He is interested in improving or inventing new renewable energy technologies and is striving to improve interface properties to advance organic electronic devices.

The SULI program is an amazing way to do undergraduate research. National labs have great facilities and a high density of smart people in many different stages in their research careers, upon which you can draw for advice and guidance. I especially recommend the SULI program if you're interested in applied science.

Matthew Cromwell

Matthew Cromwell
M.S., Nuclear Engineering, University of Idaho – 2011
B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Brigham Young University-Idaho – 2009

Matthew Cromwell completed his internship experience at Ames Laboratory in 2007 and went on to complete his graduate work in 2011. He has worked for the NanoSteel Company preparing samples of high-strength alloy steels and then became a research intern at Idaho National Laboratory where he used algorithms to model kinetics of phase change in a ternary alloy. Specializing in machine design, manufacturing, materials, thermal and fluid systems, and nuclear mechanical combination, Matthew currently works as a Mechanical Engineer for Merrick and Company, which provides energy, national security, nuclear, infrastructure, and geospatial services and consulting.

Andrew Fidler

Andrew Fidler
Ph.D., Physical Chemistry, University of Chicago – 2013
M.S., Physical Chemistry, University of Chicago – 2009
B.S., Chemistry and Physics, Albion College – 2008

A Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science (SC) Graduate Fellow from 2010 to 2013, Adrew Fidler recently earned his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago where he studied time resolved spectroscopic studies of energy transfer events in photosynthetic antenna complexes. He has been a contributing author to more than five articles published in several well-known journals including the Journal of Physical Chemistry and the Journal of Physics: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics. As a graduate student, Andrew also designed novel spectroscopic techniques and developed a refinement of solvation and energy transfer models. Interested in developing new photovoltaic materials, Andrew is just beginning as a postdoctoral researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, NM and hopes to obtain a permanent research position with a national lab or university.

I have nothing but good memories of my summer at Ames. The research opportunities continue to be of a high caliber and offer a great opportunity for undergraduates to see what a career in science is like. Ames, IA is a charming town to be in for a summer and there are many nice outdoor attractions nearby. My mentor has been extremely supportive in my career and has written several letters of recommendation for graduate school, fellowships, and job applications.”

Chris Knorowski

Christopher Knorowski
Ph.D., Physics, Iowa State University – 2014 (Expected)
B.S., Physics, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University - 2009

After his internship experience at Ames Laboratory, Christopher Knorowski completed his undergraduate work and then returned to Iowa State University and Ames Laboratory as a graduate student and Research Assistant. Chrsitopher has published five articles while at Ames Lab and has worked with the synthesis and characterization of bioinspired hierarchical self-assembling polymer-inorganic nanocomposites. Interested in climbing and hiking, he now uses both analytical and theoretical tools to study soft matter systems.

I think the SULI program at Ames Lab was a strong part of my undergraduate experience. It presented me a long period to work on a research project when I didn't have to worry about classes. I also met a lot of new people who challenged me to think differently. The SULI program was a chance for me to grow and gain much needed experience.”

Fiona Groninger-Poe

Fiona Groninger-Poe
Ph.D., Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – 2013
B.S., Chemistry, Manchester University – 2008

Fiona Goninger-Poe is currently completing her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and works as a research assistant for the University of Illinoins at Urbana-Champaign’s Institute for Genomic Biology. Her specialties include enzyme kinetic analysis, NMR spectroscopy, small-scale organic synthesis, cloning, mutagenesis, and protein purification. Fiona has also served as a teaching assistant and lab manager and received the Robert L. Switzer Teaching Award in 2012. She hopes to pursue a career in industry after graduate school and is most interested in studying biomass as a fuel source.

My research at Ames Laboratory helped prepare me for graduate school. It was a necessary experience to see chemistry both at its best as well as at its worst. My project was successful in determining the reaction conditions for the reduction of sugars, but it was a much more complicated and tedious process than it looked like on paper. The DOE internship helped me think in a completely different way than any classroom experiment ever could, mainly because I had to think for myself. Furthermore, it is almost impossible to get into a good lab without previous research experience. I fully believe that the SULI program is vital for preparation for graduate school.”

Timothy Pica

Timothy Pica
B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of California, Berkley – 2008

Timothy Pica is a licensed professional engineer and a veteran of the United States Air Force. As an Airborne Communications Technician, Timothy graduated first in his class and went on to maintain communications systems on USAF aircraft. After his service, Timothy received his bachelor’s degree and then worked as a Well Production Engineer in Saudi Arabia providing engineering solutions to optimize oil well production. His specialties include reservoir stimulation, fracturing operations, and process engineering. Timothy now works with S&B Engineers and Constructors as a Process Engineer designing systems for downstream oil and gas production.

George Scott

George Scott
M.S., Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University – 2011
B.S., Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University – 2008

Following his internship at Ames Laboratory, George Scott completed his bachelor’s degree at Northwestern and went on to obtain a M.S. in Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering in 2011 from Virginia Commonwealth University. As a Nuclear Engineer with the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, George supported the refueling of U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt and U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln aircraft carriers by constructing operations and procedures to replace radiological systems and reactor components. He now works for security and defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton in Washington D.C. as a Senior Consultant.

Josh Weber
Ph.D., Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison – 2014 (Expected)
B.A., Physics, Grinnell College – 2009

Following his internship experience at Ames Laboratory, Josh Weber went on to participate in SULI once more at Argonne National Laboratory. Currently working to complete his Ph.D., he works as a Research Assistant in an experimental physics laboratory supporting an atomic, molecular, and optical physics project. Having also worked as an instructor for the Physics Department and the Physics Learning Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Josh is the recipient of several teaching and research awards and hopes to become a physics professor at a college or university. Though not the subject of his current research, he is mostly interested in renewable energy.

If you are unsure if you want to pursue a research career or graduate school, I would strongly recommend that you pursue an internship program like the one at Ames Lab. My mentor provided me an opportunity to get involved research and my internship experience at Ames Lab convinced me that I wanted a career in research science. It was more like graduate school than anything else I experienced as an undergraduate. It was fun, and it helped me to decide on a career path.”

2008

 


 


Torrey Dupras

Torrey Dupras
Secondary Education Certification, Physics and Mathematics, Northern Michigan University – 2011
B.S., Physics, Mathematics, and Computer Science, Northern Michigan University – 2009

Torrey Dupras has spent time as a computer technician and website developer and currently works for the City of Marquette, MI as an IT Specialist. Torrey is handles all the IT issues for the city and is responsible for managing security alerts and network problems. As a successful web developer, he has designed and implemented web applications using Javascript, PHP, WordPress, and CSS. Torrey is also the co-owner of online design company, Revision Design, for which he designed and maintains the company ecommerce website.

Libby Geison

Elizabeth (Libby) Geison
Pharm.D., Pharmacy, University of Iowa – 2014 (Expected)
B.A., Biochemistry, Augustana College – 2010

Elizabeth Geison completed her undergraduate work in 2010 and is now in her final year in the Doctor of Pharmacy program at the University of Iowa’s College of Pharmacy. A member of the Rho Chi Society and the Phi Lambda Sigma Pharmacy Leadership Society, Elizabeth has worked as a pharmacy technician at Hy-Vee Pharmacy and Jewel Osco Pharmacy and has worked with the St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington, IL. She found that her SULI experience at Ames Laboratory gave her insight into her vocational calling and provided a valuable addition to her resume, making her a well-rounded student for her future pursuits.

 “The SULI program at Ames Lab provides students with hands-on advanced laboratory research opportunities that can lead to publications, poster presentations, and career advancement opportunities. The program is well-organized and helped me meet and work with students from different parts of the country. My Ames Lab SULI research was valuable and provided me with a great learning experience, but it also helped me realize what type of research I did not want to pursue for my career.

Karen Haman

Haman, Karen
Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Minnesota – 2014 (Expected)
B.S.E., Chemical Engineering, University of Iowa – 2009

After completing her undergraduate work at the University of Iowa in 2009, Karen is now working on her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Minnesota. As a research assistant and graduate student, her research and thesis work is focused in amphiphilic block copolymers, which are complex binding molecules useful in the delivery and absorption of pharmaceuticals and many other applications.

“Undergraduate research is a great chance to try out graduate school and understand what it’s like to study a narrow problem. The connections I made in my time at Ames Laboratory and another undergraduate research experience have extended beyond the scope of those summers. SULI was a great experience for me in the way that it exposed me to a wide variety of research areas through the various tours while I was focusing on my specific project. Finally, having a tremendous research mentor helped me to know what to look for in a research advisor when I got to graduate school. My SULI mentor is the primary reason I went on to graduate school. His recommendation to attend graduate school and then reference in my application definitely made it happen for me.

Brita Kilburg

Brita Kilburg
Ph.D., Human Toxicology, University of Iowa – 2014 (Expected)
B.S., Biology, Loras College – 2009

Following her experience at Ames Laboratory, Brita Kilburg finished her coursework at Loras College and is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Human Toxicology at the University of Iowa. Indicating that the SULI program provided support for acceptance into graduate school, Brita also feels that the experience taught her how to conduct effective research and influenced her career aspirations. Brita presented the research she conducted at Ames Laboratory at the 2010 Department of Energy (DOE) Science and Energy Research Challenge (SERCh) and received the 3rd place $1000 scholarship. She is currently working on her thesis project, which involves validating a passive sampling device (EDC) to analyze settled dust in an effort to better predict health outcomes by improving household sampling of dust particles.

I think the internship at Ames Laboratory was important for me to develop an interest in research and helped me decide whether or not it was something I wanted to pursue. The nice thing about SULI in particular is meeting other students and touring labs, which gave me a better idea of the variety of research being conducted. The lab I worked in was very functional and my mentor and my lab worked well together giving each other feedback and criticism. For me, this kind of reaffirmed the belief that research can be done collaboratively and can be enjoyable. The graduate students I worked with were great as well.

Steve Nason

Steven Nason
M.S., Materials Science and Engineering, University of Central Florida – 2011
B.S., Engineering Technology, University of Central Florida – 2008

Steven Nason finished his undergraduate work in 2008 and then returned to the University of Central Florida to complete a master’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering. He has worked on multiple projects for NASA as well as a joint university venture developing photovoltaic devices for use on future Lunar and Martian bases. He is currently a Materials Science Engineer with Precision Test Solutions, which administers electronic component testing for military, aerospace, and space applications. Steven conducts failure assessments of discrete and complex components and administers screening and environmental testing for aerospace environments.

SULI was my first full summer internship that I participated and it not only challenged me to think out-side the box, but assisted me in the developing of valuable research and communication skills. Those things alone have propelled me into the field of renewable energy and have given me the credentials as an undergraduate to be accepted into an elite materials engineering Ph.D. program at the University of Central Florida.

Kevin Yang

Kevin Yang
B.S., Electrical and Computer Engineering, Cornell University – 2011

After his internship experience at Ames Laboratory, Kevin Yang when on to work as a research intern designing algorithms in C++ for natural language processing for autism research. He has also worked as a technical intern at MITRE—a non-profit that manages Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) supporting the Department of Defense (DoD), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)—where he designed C++ algorithms that use video feeds from aerial vehicles for mapping. Kevin now works at Amazon.com, the world’s largest online retailer, as a Software Development Engineer.

"From my experience at Ames Laboratory, I learned many invaluable skills that have helped me a great deal with my research and academic endeavors. My out-of-classroom experience working in the artificial intelligence lab gave me an opportunity to take more advanced computer science courses at my university and opened up further opportunities for research. I feel no hesitation in asserting that SULI is an invaluable program that fosters America’s future scientific researchers.

2009

Breina Burgin

Breina Burgin
Ph.D., Physical Chemistry, Iowa State University – 2015 (Expected)
B.S., Chemistry and Mathematics, Upper Iowa University – 2010

Currently a Ph.D. candidate at Iowa State University, Breina Burgin has done a wide range of chemistry research. A research assistant and chemistry instructor, she received an ISU Teaching Excellence Award in 2013. Breina has been published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry and currently studies mesoporous silica nanoparticles with solid-state Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR).

Colin Campbell

Colin Campbell
M.S., Computer Science, Digipen Institute of Technology – 2014 (Expected)
B.S., Computer Science, University of Tennessee, Knoxville – 2012

Colin Campbell graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2012 and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Computer Science at the DigiPen Institute of Technology, one of the only colleges in the U.S. specializing in video game design and development. Following his experience at Ames Laboratory, his research in which earned recognition at the annual Supercomputing Conference in 2009, he participated in another SULI internship at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s National Institute for Computational Sciences (NICS). Planning to work in the Computer Science Industry, Colin now studies and designs graphics and gameplay for video games. His first release is entitled Robotstacle Course.

The SULI program at Ames Lab was a fantastic experience for me as it gave me the opportunity to get some real world experience, which has helped me to revise my plan for the furthering of my education. The knowledge and experience you gain working in the SULI program is invaluable for a career in the sciences. Even if the research lifestyle is not your cup of tea, the experience is helpful in making decisions about your future. Internships with the Department of Energy are an excellent addition to a CV and I doubt I would have had the desire or ability to further my education without having participated in them.

Jacob Canfield

Jacob Canfield
B.A., Studio Art and Psychology, Carleton College – 2012

Though Jacob Canfield feels as though he was in over his head when he arrived at Ames Laboratory, he left after his SULI experience with a much better understanding about how to conduct effective research. An artist interested in visual storytelling and the comics medium, Jacob now runs the Ypsilanti, MI branch of the Ann Arbor T-Shirt Company where he creates artwork for custom apparel and designs retail apparel. He is also a web designer, a publisher of comics and other art visual art pieces, and the co-founder of Carleton College’s student-run comics magazine, The Carleton Graphic Press.

Elliot Combs

Elliot Combs
Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Minnesota – 2016 (Expected)
B.S., Chemical Engineering, Iowa State University – 2011

The recipient of the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship in 2012 as well as a University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering Fellowship, Elliot Combs is currently gearing up to present his preliminary research for his graduate work at the University of Minnesota. A Graduate Research Fellow working towards his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, Elliot’s SULI experience at Ames Laboratory included research that was published in Topics in Catalysis and helped him earn a Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges award. Elliot is interested in working to develop renewable fuels or chemicals for use in photovoltaics and hopes to pursue a career as a research scientist at a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory.

The Ames Lab SULI program played an instrumental role in my development as an undergraduate researcher. It provided me with the opportunity to contribute substantially to a research project, and I was featured as the second author on a manuscript as a direct result of the internship. My mentor played a central role in my interests in research and my application/acceptance into graduate school.

Trishelle Copeland-Johnson

Trishelle Copeland-Johnson
Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Delaware – 2018 (Expected)
B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of South Florida – 2012

Having participated in the SULI program at Ames Laboratory twice (2009 and 2010) as well as once at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (2011), Trishelle Copeland-Johnson has done chemical work with companies like Air Liquide and Dow Corning and is currently a distinguished graduate student pursuing a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Delaware. She has attained many academic awards, scholarships, and other commendations and has presented her research at several national chemical engineering conferences. The recipient of a 2013 NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship (NSTRF), Trishelle is mainly interested in the field of photovoltaics with the goal of reducing or eliminating dependence on non-renewable resources. Her NASA funded project seeks to enhance the specific power of II-VI thin-film cells by improving the electrical properties of the constituent materials that absorb electromagnetic radiation, improving its transport properties.

My experience at Ames Laboratory helped develop my confidence as both a research scientist and an engineer. Furthermore, the technical skills that I gained during my appointment have professionally distinguished me versus that of my fellow peers on a number of occasions, translating into additional opportunities to engage in research.

Robert Ireland

Robert Ireland
Ph.D., Materials Science and Engineering, Johns Hopkins University – 2015 (Expected)
B.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Davis – 2011
B.S., Materials Science and Engineering, University of California, Davis – 2011

Robert Ireland completed his work in the Nanostructured Functional Materials Lab at Ames Laboratory in 2009 and went on to graduate from the University of California, Davis in 2011 with degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Engineering. He is currently at Johns Hopkins University working towards a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering and is interested in developing solid-state fuel cells using integrated renewable sources, eliminating dependence on nonrenewable fuel sources. With support from the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and Air Force Research Laboratories (AFRL), Robert has been a contributing author to seven published articles. He has also served as a technical editor, materials and design consultant, and research assistant. Robert specializes in nano- and micro-fabrication, structural and electrical characterization of thin-films, interfaces, and nanostructured materials, and organic and hybrid electronic devices.

This internship program at Ames Laboratory just so happened to be the perfect experience for me, and I just so happened to discover there that my passion in life is research and materials. I think working on solar cells will do that for most people. My mentor sparked my interest in research, materials science, and graduate school. He really supported my enthusiasm for the research and experimentation, and without that experience I don’t think I would have realized the dream I live in today. Anyone’s lab experience is likely to be rewarding and eye opening in many ways. Find out what you are interested in and take any opportunity to try something you haven’t done before. Get as much exposure while you can, so you can find the research that really wakes you up in the morning!

Mallory Mueller

Mallory Mueller
M.S., Physical Chemistry, Indiana University – 2012
B.S., Chemistry, University of South Carolina – 2009

As a Project Coodinator at Indiana University, Mallory Mueller researches the different regulations that exist throughout the world regarding Persistent Bioaccumulative and Toxic (PBT) chemicals. She is currently working on a report that discusses the differences between PBT chemical policy and science, which will ultimately provide recommendations on how to change policies to better mirror the science. Mallory would eventually like to devote her professional career to solar energy.

Marlie Quintero

Marlie Quintero
B.S., Chemical Engineering, Iowa State University – 2013

Marlie Quintero completed her internship at Ames Laboratory in 2009 and went on to graduate from Iowa State University in 2013. Having presented the research she completed in the SULI program, Marlie indicated that her experience provided her with a stronger resume for a job in science and technology. She is currently looking for employment in the chemical engineering field.

SULI at Ames Lab is very worth it. The program continues to be beneficial even years after my participation. I am very glad that I had the opportunity to be in SULI since it not only allowed me to sharpen up my research skills, but also allowed me to network with some research professors at Iowa State. The program helped me become more comfortable when speaking the research language and I enjoyed meeting other students who have the same goals as me and who are working to obtain their degrees in similar fields.

John Solomon

John Solomon
B.S., Materials Engineering, Iowa State University – 2012

John Solomon recently graduated from Iowa State University and promptly went to work in industry with Caterpillar Inc., the world leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment as well as a major supplier of diesel and natural gas engines and diesel-electric locomotives. As a Senior Associate Engineer, John supervises a quality laboratory that performs metallurgical tests to ensure equipment parts meet stringent strength and load requirements. Johns has also worked with Caterpillar performing failure analysis on engine castings.

Autumn Wassmuth

Autumn Wassmuth
B.S., Chemistry, Southern Utah University – 2010
B.S., Broadcast Communications, Southern Utah University – 2010

Experienced in TV and radio production as well as laboratory research, Autumn Wassmuth has spent time as a radio DJ, a lab technician doing water analysis and nitrate testing, and a chemistry teacher instructing undergraduate students in a lab setting. She spent two years with Samsung in its semiconductor division as a Photolithography Process Engineer. Autumn is now an Analytical Chemist with Cerium Laboratories in Austin, TX, which does chemistry analysis for photovoltaics, semiconductor support and manufacturing, and reverse engineering.

Nikki Wearth

Nikki Wearth
M.S.E., Civil Engineering, Arizona State University – 2013
B.S.E., Civil Engineering, Arizona State University – 2010

Recently completing a M.S. degree in Civil Engineering at Arizona State University, Nikki Wearth’s coursework featured an environmental and hydrosystems focus. She is currently a civil engineering project management intern with the Kroger Co., a national food retail company, where she works on facility improvements and the construction of new facilities. Experienced in both environmental and construction engineering, Nikki plans to optimize efficiency to relieve sustainability problems that civil engineers may face in the future. She specializes in fluid mechanics, hydrology, and urban water systems design.

I can say I gained more from the SULI experience at Ames Lab than any single college course. In addition to preparing me for a future career, SULI changed my mind about graduate school and allowed me to focus on what I really wanted to be involved in, alternative energy.

Laura Whitney

Laura Whitney
M.S., Aerospace Engineering, Florida Institute of Technology – 2013
B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Norwich University – 2011

Following her internship at Ames Laboratory, Laura Whitney completed her undergraduate coursework and went on to pursue a master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering. Having recently finished at the Florida Institute of Technology, she currently works for the Department of Defense-Air Force as a Range Safety Engineer at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS). Laura provides support to the USAF’s 45th Space Wing, which operates Delta IV and Atlas V rockets as well as other rockets and projectiles. As a member of the Launch Group, she helps range users meet launch criteria and supports launches from Cape Canaveral from the safety console. Her research interests reside mainly in rocket propulsion.

My experience at Ames Lab gave me a boost when looking at jobs, and also helped direct my career path away from research. I realized from my internship that I didn’t like sitting in a lab doing research all day. The experience and knowledge I gained from the program were invaluable. It helped me learn what direction I wanted to take my career, and has helped me obtain a job.

2010

Justin Conrad

Justin Conrad
Ph.D., Computational and Theoretical Chemistry, Iowa State University – 2015 (Expected)
B.S., Mathematics, College of the Ozarks – 2011
B.S., Chemistry, College of the Ozarks – 2011

Following Justin Conrad’s internship experience at Ames Laboratory, an experience that included research he was able to present at a symposium at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Edwards Air Force Base, he completed his undergraduate work at the College of the Ozarks. Recently returning to Ames Laboratory and Iowa State University as a graduate assistant and researcher, Justin is a member of Mark Gordon’s Quantum Theory Group at Ames Lab performing research in the areas of computational and theoretical chemistry. The 2012 recipient of the Sleight Graduate Student Chemistry Fellowship, his research interests include energetic ionic liquids, whose unique thermal stability and low vapor pressure make them ideal for explosives and other defense related applications.

It was a great experience to be able to participate in real scientific research and was advantageous for me in helping me to decide whether I wanted to pursue a career in science. My mentor at Ames Lab opened the door for me to experience the areas of theoretical and computational chemistry, the field in which I am now pursuing a doctorate degree.

Ethan Currens

Ethan Currens
M.S., Materials Engineering, Brown University – 2011
B.S., Materials Engineering, Brown University – 2010

Ethan Currens has done research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in addition to his experience at Ames Laboratory. After his internship, Ethan returned to Brown University as a graduate student and research assistant where he focused on metal-polymer interface structure and the synthesis of high-mobility transparent oxide films. He has gone on to do rare earth metal work for semiconductor company Silanna and developed a process for solar-cell manufacturer Calisolar that provided upgraded raw material purity. Ethan has also done crystal processing and experimental design and analysis of next generation solar cells for photovoltaic company Integrated Photovoltaics, Inc. He is currently an independent contractor providing consultance for furnace design, precious metal scrap-recovery, novel reaction simulation, and silicon crystallography. Ethan’s specialties include photovoltaic processing and manufacturing, metallic crystal growth and characterization, as well as novel renewable energy generation and storage.

Riley Hanus

Riley Hanus
B.S., Materials Science and Engineering, Iowa State University – 2013

Riley Hanus participated in the SULI program at Ames Laboratory twice (2010 and 2012). His internship experience resulted in research that was published in the Journal of Applied Polymer Science. After graduating from Iowa State University, Riley returned to Ames Laboratory where he now works as a Research Assistant developing high efficiency thermoelectric materials.

The Ames Laboratory SULI program was fantastic. My mentor was a great motivator.

Lars Mattison

Lars Mattison
Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota – 2018 (Expected)
M.S., Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota – 2015 (Expected)

Lars Mattison recently completed his undergraduate coursework at South Dakota State University and is now preparing to begin a graduate program at the University of Minnesota. He has worked as a computer programmer developing database applications for farming efficiency and energy saving solutions as well as a collegiate athletic coach and trainer. He is currently a Graduate Research Assistant analyzing grain drying energy consumption in an effort to develop more efficient processes to dry corn, reducing farmers’ expense and energy use.

SULI is a great opportunity for students to get a chance to dive into the world of research. It was a chance for me to learn more about my area of interest and expand my network of friends that had similar interests. I would recommend this opportunity to anyone who is thinking of research as a possible future career path. My mentor provided me with countless letters of recommendation and was always more than willing to help me with anything that I would need.

David Meyer

David Meyer
M.S., Physics, University of Maryland – 2014 (Expected)
B.S., Physics, Brigham Young University – 2012

David Meyer received a bachelor’s degree in Physics from Brigham Young University in 2012 and is now pursuing a master’s degree in Physics at the University of Maryland. His time at Ames Laboratory, during which he participated in published research involving ions and regulated charged interfaces, motivated him to pursue his master’s degree and greatly influenced his career aspirations. David currently works with the Army Research Laboratory in Maryland where he experiments with cold atom optics, specializing in trapping atoms with microchips.

My internship at Ames Lab was very good. It is a well-organized program and a great working environment. My mentor ended up writing one of my letters of recommendation for Graduate School. Having evidence of a variety of research experience was rather helpful.

Jon Soong

Yanping (Jon) Soong
B.S., Chemistry, University of Virginia – 2013

Jon Soong recently graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry. After his experience at Ames Laboratory, which included research using differential interference contrast (DIC) microscopy to find new forms of intercellular transport of gold nanoparticles, he began working as a Research Assistant at the University of Virginia. Jon is currently designing behavioral tracking algorithms using MATLAB scripts to help measure the neurobehavioral impact of genetics and drugs. He is also a part-time photographer.

2011

James Anderson

James Anderson
Ph.D., Optics, University of Central Florida – 2016 (Expected)
B.S., Physics, California Institute of Technology – 2012

After his internship with Ames Laboratory, James Anderson went on to graduate with a B.S. from the California Institute of Technology in 2012. James is now a graduate student at the University of Central Florida’s Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers as well as a research assistant studying mid-infrared combs, which are useful in precision spectroscopy and direct frequency comb spectroscopy.

SULI at Ames Lab is a great learning experience with wonderful people. The experience was critical to acceptance in grad school. My mentor served as a mentor for a technical writing project at Caltech and wrote numerous letters of recommendation for graduate schools and research funding.

Pavel Brodskiy

Pavel Brodskiy
Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Notre Dame – 2017 (Expected)
B.S., Chemical Engineering, Biology, Iowa State University – 2013

Pavel Brodskiy’s internship experience at Ames Laboratory resulted in research that he presented at both Research in the Capitol, a poster presentation session held in the Iowa Statehouse rotunda, and the Department of Energy (DOE) Science and Energy Research Challenge (SERCh), for which he was named a finalist. He went on to graduate from Iowa State University and is now beginning a Ph.D. program at the University of Notre Dame. As a graduate student and research assistant, Pavel is studying spermidine transport in the Drosophila trachea, which has translational implications in cancer vascularization.

I would say that anyone interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) should apply to this program.

 

Javier Grejada

Javier Grajeda
Ph.D., Chemistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – 2018 (Expected)
B.S., Chemistry, University of Texas at El Paso – 2013

Following his internship at Ames Laboratory, Javier Grajeda returned to his coursework the University of Texas at El Paso where he was a student in the National Institute of General Medical Sciences’ (NIGMS) Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) program. The recipient of the Department of Energy (DOE)/ National Society of Hispanic Physicists (NSHP) Award for Outstanding Research Presentation in 2010 and having been named and American Chemical Society (ACS) Scholar in 2012, Javier recently finished his undergraduate work. Javier is currently a research assistant working with coordinatively unsaturated bimetallic systems to model catalytic activation, which has applications in energy conversion and environmental remediation. He is gearing up to begin a Ph.D. program at UNC-Chapel Hill where he will be supervising undergraduate chemistry laboratory courses and will soon be joining a research laboratory. Javier is interested in catalysis development for renewable energy sources.

I learned many things at Ames Laboratory; not only about my area of research and laboratory techniques, but about the life of the graduate student as well. It also provided me with key insight into key scientific skills, such as performing successful literature searches, data interpretation, and poster preparation and presentation. My mentor gave invaluable career advice and has provided me with letters of recommendation for numerous scholarships and graduate school applications.

Douglas Grosser

Douglas Grosser
B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of California, San Diego – 2013

Douglas Grosser recently graduated from the University of California, San Diego and will soon begin graduate work in pursuit of a Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering. As a research assistant in the UCSD nano-engineering laboratory, he has worked developing algorithms and simulations with Fortran and Matlab. In his most recent project, Douglas simulated nano-cube aggregation via the Meakin cluster-cluster aggregation model. Douglas is also an avid archer and has spent several years as an archery instructor. His main goal is to work with energy research developing new technologies that enhance energy efficiency.

Kaitlin Hafer

Kaitlin Hafer
M.S., Forensic Science, Cedar Crest College – 2014 (Expected)
B.S., Chemistry, Cedar Crest College – 2012

Kaitlin Hafer participated in the SULI program at Ames Laboratory in both 2011 and 2012. Following her experience at Ames Lab, she returned to Cedar Crest College and finished her undergraduate coursework. She is now working towards a graduate degree in Forensic Science and hopes to pursue a career in Forensic Chemistry or Forensic Toxicology.

I would recommend the experience at Ames Laboratory to anyone who has the opportunity to become involved in it. My mentor was available to answer questions whenever I needed help, but he allowed me to work solely on my own for much of my time spent at the Ames Lab. I feel this greatly benefitted me in terms of learning how to be a successful research student.

 

Marissa Kruse

Marissa Kruse
B.S., Chemical Engineering, Iowa State University – 2013

Before graduating from Iowa State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering, Marissa Kruse was a member of the Society of Women Engineers and Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society. She went on to work as an Engineering Intern with General Mills before she researched organometallics under Ames Laboratory scientist and Iowa State professor Aaron Sadow, Ph.D. Having also worked as a Production Intern with Dow Chemical where she led a team of production engineers to implement a controlled manual valve procedure and initiated a Management of Change (MOC) for a safety system, Marissa now works at LyondellBasell, which is a multination company that refines polymers, chemicals, fuels, and technology to manufacture polyolefin (polypropylene and polyethylene) materials.

Hannah Philiph

Hannah Philiph
M.A., Education, Truman State University – 2012
B.S., Chemistry, Truman State University – 2012

Hannah Philiph graduated in 2012 from Truman State with a BS in Chemistry and an MA in Education. Currently a chemistry teacher at Battle Creek High School in Columbia, MO, she instructs both regular and honors chemistry to high school juniors.

I would recommend SULI at Ames Lab to any undergraduates who are high-achieving and would benefit from research experience. I loved my experience and it gave me a much greater appreciation for research.

Brian Sparber

Brian Sparber
B.S., Materials Science and Engineering, Drexel University – 2014 (Expected)

Brian Sparber is currently working to complete his undergraduate degree at Drexel University. As a research assistant, Brian works with the Dynamic Characterization Group where he studies the diffusion of alloying additive particles in ferrous powder metal compacts. In 2011, Brian was one of four recipients of the Center for Powder Metallurgy Technology’s (CPMT) Axel Madsen Award and attended the PowderMet conference, which is an international conference on powder metallurgy and particulate materials. He has also been published in the International Journal of Powder Metallurgy. Brian plans to pursue a graduate degree once he completes his undergraduate work.

Steven Szalewski

Stephen Szalewski
B.S., Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln – 2013

Stephen Szalewski recently completed his undergraduate work at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Having worked with ExxonMobil as a Process Engineering Intern where he led projects concerning plant efficiency, environmental hazards, and energy loss, Stephen recently finished a research project at UNL involving the mechanics of nano-thin films. He now works for GPS manufacturer Garmin International as a Process Engineer.