• Chemical engineering postdoc Antoni Forner-Cuenca (far right) explains work in the Brushett Lab on advanced flow batteries for grid-level energy storage to 2017 MPC-CMSE Summer Scholars (l-r) Kaila Holloway, Gaetana Michelet, Alexandra Oliveira, Saleem Iqbal, and Alejandro Aponte-Lugo. Forner-Cuenca is holding carbon paper where battery reactions take place.

    Chemical engineering postdoc Antoni Forner-Cuenca (far right) explains work in the Brushett Lab on advanced flow batteries for grid-level energy storage to 2017 MPC-CMSE Summer Scholars (l-r) Kaila Holloway, Gaetana Michelet, Alexandra Oliveira, Saleem Iqbal, and Alejandro Aponte-Lugo. Forner-Cuenca is holding carbon paper where battery reactions take place.

    Photo: Denis Paiste/Materials Processing Center

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  • Summer Scholar Alexandra Oliveira looks inside a sputtering chamber used for building up atomically-thin layers of special magnetic materials such as manganese, gallium, and ruthenium. The machine is in the lab of Assistant Professor Luqiao Liu.

    Summer Scholar Alexandra Oliveira looks inside a sputtering chamber used for building up atomically-thin layers of special magnetic materials such as manganese, gallium, and ruthenium. The machine is in the lab of Assistant Professor Luqiao Liu.

    Photo: Denis Paiste/Materials Processing Center

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  • NanoStructures Laboratory postdoc Reza Baghdadi discusses a project under Professor Karl Berggren to study superconducting nanowires for cutting energy consumption during data processing.

    NanoStructures Laboratory postdoc Reza Baghdadi discusses a project under Professor Karl Berggren to study superconducting nanowires for cutting energy consumption during data processing.

    Photo: Denis Paiste/Materials Processing Center

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  • Summer Scholar Kaila Holloway looks over a 3-D printed gear from the lab of associate professor of mechanical engineering John Hart.

    Summer Scholar Kaila Holloway looks over a 3-D printed gear from the lab of associate professor of mechanical engineering John Hart.

    Photo: Denis Paiste/Materials Processing Center

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  • Chemical engineering graduate student Matt Ashner (left) explains laser lab bench experiments in the Tisdale Lab.

    Chemical engineering graduate student Matt Ashner (left) explains laser lab bench experiments in the Tisdale Lab.

    Photo: Denis Paiste/Materials Processing Center

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  • Summer Scholars Kirill Shmilovich (left) and Saleem Iqbal examine vials containing samples of oxygen sensor materials in David H. Koch Professor of Engineering Michael Cima’s lab.

    Summer Scholars Kirill Shmilovich (left) and Saleem Iqbal examine vials containing samples of oxygen sensor materials in David H. Koch Professor of Engineering Michael Cima’s lab.

    Photo: Denis Paiste/Materials Processing Center

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  • Graduate student Karthik Akkiraju explains the work in the Electrochemical Energy Lab of Yang Shao-Horn to Summer Scholars Saleem Iqbal, Ben Canty, and Luke Soule. Soule has chosen to work in the lab for the summer.

    Graduate student Karthik Akkiraju explains the work in the Electrochemical Energy Lab of Yang Shao-Horn to Summer Scholars Saleem Iqbal, Ben Canty, and Luke Soule. Soule has chosen to work in the lab for the summer.

    Photo: Denis Paiste/Materials Processing Center

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  • Eugene Bell Career Development Professor of Tissue Engineering Katharina Ribbeck describes her research on developing artificial substitutes for naturally occurring mucus in the body.

    Eugene Bell Career Development Professor of Tissue Engineering Katharina Ribbeck describes her research on developing artificial substitutes for naturally occurring mucus in the body.

    Photo: Denis Paiste/Materials Processing Center

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  • Mechanical engineering graduate student Caroline Wagner (right) explains equipment in the Ribbeck Lab for testing the microscopic mechanical properties of biological gels such as mucus, to 2017 MPC-CMSE Summer Scholars (l-r) Luke Soule, Alexandra Oliveira, Stephanie Bauman, Amy Duggal, and Gaetana Michelet.

    Mechanical engineering graduate student Caroline Wagner (right) explains equipment in the Ribbeck Lab for testing the microscopic mechanical properties of biological gels such as mucus, to 2017 MPC-CMSE Summer Scholars (l-r) Luke Soule, Alexandra Oliveira, Stephanie Bauman, Amy Duggal, and Gaetana Michelet.

    Photo: Denis Paiste/Materials Processing Center

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  • Electrical engineering and computer science graduate student Joseph Finley (center) explains research in the lab of Assistant Professor Luqiao Liu to Summer Scholars Amy Duggal (left) and Luke Soule. Finley uses processes such as electron sputtering and ion milling to make magnetic thin films.

    Electrical engineering and computer science graduate student Joseph Finley (center) explains research in the lab of Assistant Professor Luqiao Liu to Summer Scholars Amy Duggal (left) and Luke Soule. Finley uses processes such as electron sputtering and ion milling to make magnetic thin films.

    Photo: Denis Paiste/Materials Processing Center

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Summer interns' lab work underway

Chemical engineering postdoc Antoni Forner-Cuenca (far right) explains work in the Brushett Lab on advanced flow batteries for grid-level energy storage to 2017 MPC-CMSE Summer Scholars (l-r) Kaila Holloway, Gaetana Michelet, Alexandra Oliveira, Saleem Iqbal, and Alejandro Aponte-Lugo. Forner-Cuenca is holding carbon paper where battery reactions take place.

Summer Scholars in materials science and engineering are tackling projects ranging from magnetic thin films to catalysts for energy.


Press Contact

Denis Paiste
Email: dpaiste@mit.edu
Phone: 603-479-5600
Materials Processing Center

The Summer Scholars in materials science and engineering have settled on their research projects and lab assignments. The interns, co-sponsored by the Materials Processing Center and the Center for Materials Science and Engineering, faced difficult decisions to choose labs after hearing enticing faculty presentations and taking lab tours.

Luke Soule found all the possible projects interesting, but has honed in on electrochemistry, choosing to work in Department of Materials Science and Engineering Professor Yang Shao-Horn’s Electrochemical Energy Lab (EEL). During a tour of the lab, graduate student Karthik Akkiraju presented several research projects on the role of catalysts in lowering the energy needed to stimulate electrochemical reactions in energy devices. Akkiraju says Shao-Horn looks for students who are excited about the work and encourages students to be independent and to work together as a community. He also emphasizes the family-like atmosphere of the group. “At EEL, you never work alone,” Akkiraju says.

Stephanie Bauman has chosen to work in Assistant Professor Luqiao Liu’s lab, after listening to electrical engineering and computer science graduate student Joseph T. Finley explain how he uses processes such as electron sputtering and ion milling to make magnetic thin films. The lab is developing new magnetically switchable materials for computer memory. “It seems to be mostly focused toward physics which is my major and more so than a lot of the other bio or chem projects,” Bauman says.

Alexandra Oliveira has chosen to work under Fikile R. Brushett, the Raymond A. (1921) and Helen E. St. Laurent Career Development Professor of Chemical Engineering, on redox flow batteries. ‘”Right now I’m working on the permeability of different microstructures for carbon electrodes and I’ll be attempting to electrograft molecules onto the electrodes to change their chemical properties for aqueous and non-aqueous flow batteries,” Oliveira says.

Summer Scholar Grace Noel is working in the lab of Charles and Hilda Roddey Career Development Professor in Chemical Engineering William A. Tisdale, on a project to make and study metal halide perovskite nanoplatelets. These platelets, which are like flat quantum dots, are sometimes just over one-half of a unit cell in thickness, and their color can be adjusted by altering their composition.

Ben Canty is involved in a project to develop a catalyst for breaking down lignins in plant biomass into industrially useful chemicals like benzene, working in the lab of associate professor of chemical engineering Yuriy Román. “I’m mixing in stuff in a tiny little batch reactor, putting it on a heater on a shelf, watching it so it doesn’t explode, centrifuging it, and then running it on gas chromatographs and mass spectrometers,” Canty explains.

NanoStructures Laboratory postdoc Reza Baghdadi impressed Summer Scholar Saleem Iqbal while explaining how Professor Karl Berggren aims to develop superconducting nanowires made of niobium nitride for reducing data processing energy consumption. In the Berggren lab, Iqbal is getting a chance to learn different fabrication skills, such as photolithography and electron beam lithography, and thin film deposition and etching processes, with optical and electrical studies at liquid helium temperatures of about 4.2 kelvins.

AIM Photonics Academy interns were matched separately to their projects. Stuart Daudlin is working on statistical modeling of photonic device variations with Duane Boning, the Clarence J. LeBel Professor of Electrical Engineering. Ryan Kosciolek is working on nonlinear photonic devices with Microphotonics Center Principal Research Scientist Anuradha Agarwal. Summer Scholars attend regular weekly or bi-weekly lab group meetings. Larger groups have dedicated subgroups as well that meet regularly.

The internships are supported in part by the National Science Foundation’s Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers program. Participants will present their results at a poster session the last week of the program, which runs from June 15 to August 5.


Topics: School of Engineering, Materials Processing Center, Materials Science and Engineering, National Science Foundation (NSF), Energy, Sustainability, Classes and programs, DMSE, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (eecs)

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