Graduate Students

Lauren Clarke

Graduate Student, ChemE
lclarke@mit.edu

Lauren received her B.S. and M.S., both in Chemical Engineering, from the University of North Dakota in 2016 and 2018, respectively. Her master’s research was performed under prof. Gautham Krishnamoorthy, where she focused on improving the performance of the CFD code MFiX by incorporating high-performance preconditioners and solvers. She was also a four-year member of the Division-I Women’s Volleyball team, and was selected to the CoSIDA Academic All-America third-team. Lauren is currently focusing on cell design for electrochemically-mediated carbon dioxide separation.

Alexis (AJ) Fenton

Graduate Student, ChemE
afenton@mit.edu
CV | LinkedIn

Before working in the Brushett group, AJ received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Rice University (2016). During his undergraduate career, he participated in two REUs at Rutgers University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). At Rutgers, he conducted Monte Carlo simulations of water adsorption onto graphene and carbon nanotubes under the mentorship of Prof. Alexander Neimark. While at UAB, AJ studied vanadium (V) anodes for solid oxide fuel cells under the mentorship of Prof. Renato Camata; this inspired AJ to study renewable energy technologies in graduate school. AJ is currently exploring advanced diagnostic techniques to investigate the behavior of active species in both aqueous and nonaqueous flow batteries.

Weiran (Sasha) Gao

Graduate Student, ChemE
wgao2@mit.edu
LinkedIn

Sasha received her B.S. in Chemical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in 2017, and her M.S. in Chemical engineering from WPI in 2018. For both her undergraduate and Master’s theses, she researched in the lab of Professor Ron Grimm at WPI focusing on the surface chemistry of perovskite materials. She enjoys playing piano, skiing, snowboarding and cooking. Her current research focuses on the development of convection enhanced electrochemical energy storage.

Katharine Greco

Graduate Student, ChemE
kvgreco@mit.edu
LinkedIn

Katharine received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2016. As an undergraduate, Katharine worked with Paul Dauenhaur to investigate substrates for biomass pyrolysis. She also participated in Research Experience for Undergraduates (REUs) at UConn (2014), where she studied atomic layer deposition for solar energy applications in Brian Willis’s group, and MIT (2015), where she synthesized and characterized core/shell nanoparticles in the Will Tisdale lab. For her honors thesis, Katharine used molecular dynamics simulations to study hydrogen fuel cell membranes in Scott Auerbach’s group. In the Brushett group, Katharine is currently studying transport in flow battery electrodes. She is supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

McLain Leonard

Graduate Student, ChemE
mclainl@mit.edu
CV | LinkedIn
McLain received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering and Minor in Economics from Montana State University in 2015 and an M.S.CEP from MIT in 2017. He enjoys hiking, snowboarding, rock climbing, music, cooking, travel, and, of course, coffee in all its wonderous forms. In his thesis work, he uses experimental and computational models to evaluate, understand, and improve properties of porous electrodes for carbon dioxide reduction that will enable stable, selective, high-current density electrochemical conversion at low cell voltages.

Chris Mallia

Graduate Student, DMSE
cmallia@mit.edu
Chris received his B.A. and M.A. in Physics from Hunter College, CUNY in 2019. His research as both an undergraduate and master’s student was done on energy storage materials using solid-state NMR techniques under Professor Steven Greenbaum. He focused on characterizing the dynamics of materials for electrolyte applications using field cycling NMR and high-pressure diffusion measurements. In 2017, he participated in a fellowship at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to model the process of spark plasma sintering for solid ceramic electrolyte applications. In his free time he enjoys nature through hiking, and spending time with animals. He is supported through a National Defense Science and Engineering (NDSEG) fellowship since 2020. 

Bertrand Neyhouse

Graduate Student, ChemE
neyhouse@mit.edu
LinkedIn
Bertrand received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio in 2018. His undergraduate research was centered on electrochemistry, studying molecular electrocatalysts with Dr. Travis White as well as industrial electrolysis and electrochemical sensors with Dr. Gerardine Botte. In the Brushett group, Bertrand is pursuing research in electrochemical characterization of redox-active molecules and separation strategies for nonaqueous redox flow batteries. In addition to research, he is a ChemE Communication Lab Fellow and 3rd year representative to the ChemE Graduate Student Advisory Board. He is supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

Alex Quinn

Graduate Student, ChemE
quinnale@mit.edu
LinkedIn

Alex graduated in 2018 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University. He studied load-bearing/energy-storing composites in the Lutkenhaus Lab at A&M, characterized commercial Li-ion materials as a DOE SULI Intern at the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), and probed the thermal performance of battery packs at NASA JSC. He also studied biosensors under Dr. McShane at A&M, developed software at OSIsoft, and formulated propellant at NASA. Alex enjoys skateboarding, music, and the outdoors. His research interests lie in energy storage, and he is currently focused on rechargeable organic fuel cells. He is supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Minority Ph.D. (MPHD) Program.

Kara Rodby

Graduate Student, ChemE
krodby@mit.edu
CV | LinkedIn

 

Kara received her B.S. in Environmental Engineering from Northwestern University in 2017. Kara’s undergraduate thesis at Northwestern focused on microbial uptake of mercury in aquatic systems. Her hobbies include fitness, student activism, and reality TV. Kara's research is both experimental and computational, focusing on systems-level engineering and techno-economic analysis of aqueous redox flow battery chemistries for long duration grid storage.

Kevin M. Tenny

Graduate Student, ChemE
kmtenny@mit.edu
LinkedIn

 

Kevin received his B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Kansas (KU) in 2017 and his M.S. in chemical engineering practice from MIT in 2019. As an undergraduate, he completed research at Iowa State University in the biochemistry lab of Professor Basil J. Nikolau (NSF REU), at the University of South Carolina in the solid oxide fuel cell lab of Professor Xiao-Dong Zhou (NSF REU), and at MIT in the lab of Professor Brushett (MSRP). At KU, Kevin also worked in the tissue engineering lab of Professor Michael S. Detamore before joining the fuel cell and battery lab of Professor Trung Van Nguyen. Kevin is co-advised by both Professor Brushett and Professor Yet-Ming Chiang (DMSE), and his work focuses on combining experimental techniques and computational tools for engineering electrode microstructures for redox flow batteries. He is supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

Charles Tai-Chieh Wan

Graduate Student, ChemE
ctwan@mit.edu
LinkedIn

 

Charles received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University (2017).  His research in Prof. Lynden Archer’s group at Cornell focused on stabilizing the interphases of the lithium-oxygen battery for enhanced cycling and capacity. Co-advised by Prof. Brushett and Prof. Yet-Ming Chiang, Charles is investigating new paradigms for engineering the surface chemistry and microstructure of redox flow battery porous carbon electrodes. He is supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.