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2019 Student and Postdoc Team Science Contest

There are more than 1,400 graduate students postdoctoral researchers involved in the Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) program. To highlight their accomplishments and further the development of the future scientific energy workforce, the Department of Energy’s Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES) sponsored a Student and Postdoc Team Science Contest as part of the 2019 EFRC Principal Investigators’ Meeting in Washington, D.C. on July 29-30, 2019.  Each Director was invited to nominate a team of two or more graduate student and/or postdoctoral researchers to present a joint talk about their center research.  The DOE EFRC management team selected 14 finalists.  At the meeting, teams of DOE program managers selected the top six teams based on how well the research exemplified the opportunities provided by the center funding modality, scientific excellence, topical diversity, and quality of the presentation.  The winners received an award certificate from Harriet Kung, Associate Director of the DOE Office of Basic Energy Sciences, during a ceremony at the end of the meeting.

The abstracts of all the finalist talks can be found here. The teams are listed below. Team members are highlighted in red; presenters at the meeting are underlined.

Team Science Winners

Team Science Winners

(Standing, from left) Xin Gao, Bryan Kudisch, Andrew Miechan, and Daniel Oblinsky. (Sitting, from left) Simon Cooper, Kyle Biegasiewicz, and Michael Black.

Discovery of a new photobiocatalyst platform:
Non-natural radical photochemistry enabled by flavoproteins

[BioLEC] Kyle F. Biegasiewicz1, Bryan Kudisch1, Simon J. Cooper, Xin Gao1, Michael Black1, JiHye Kim1, Daniel Oblinsky1, Braddock A. Sandoval1, Andrew Meichan1, Samuel E. Garfinkle1, Gregory D. Scholes1, and Todd K. Hyster1

1Princeton University

Bioinspired Light-Escalated Chemistry (BioLEC)

Team Science Winners

(From left) Daniel Martin and Samantha Johnson

The Effect of Electrostatics on Small Molecule Binding and Catalysis using a Polycationic Iron Porphyrin

[CME] Daniel J. Martin1, Samantha I. Johnson2, James M. Mayer1, Simone Raugei2

1Yale University; 2Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)

Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis (CME)




Team Science Winners

(From left) Chris Bartel, Sage Bauers, Karen Heinselman, Bor-Rong Chen, Rachel Woods-Robinson, John Mangum, and Elisabetta Arca (not shown)

Designing New Nitride Semiconductors: From Computational Discovery to Experimental Realization

[CNGMD] S.R. Bauers1, C.J. Bartel2, R. Woods-Robinson3, J.S. Mangum4, B.R. Chen5, K. Heinselman1, E. Arca1, W. Sun6, A.M. Holder2, A. Zakutayev1, S. Lany1, G. Ceder3, 6, L. Schelhas5, M. Toney5

1National Renewable Energy Laboratory; 2University of Colorado Boulder; 3University of California, Berkeley; 4Colorado School of Mines; 5SLAC National Laboratory; 6Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Center for Next Generation of Materials Design (CNGMD

Team Science Winners

(From left) Tyler Mathis, Xuehang Wang, Nicolette Sanders, Ray Matsumoto, Lukas Vlcek, and Matt Thompson

Dynamics of Electrolytes under Confinement in Next Generation (Pseudo)capacitive Materials

[FIRST] X. Wang1, L. Vlcek2, M.W. Thompson3, T.S. Mathis1, R. Matsumoto3, N.C. Sanders4

1Drexel University; 2ORNL/UTK; 3Vanderbilt University; 4Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Fluid Interface Reactions, Structures and Transport Center (FIRST)





Team Science Winners

(From left) Segolene Antoine, Sally Jiao, Rahul Sujanani, and Malgorzata Chwatko

Understanding the Impact of Mesoscale Membrane Architecture on Water Transport

[M-WET] Segolene Antoine1, Malgorzata Chwatko2, Dipak Aryal2, Rahul Sujanani2, Sally Jiao1, Venkat Ganesan2, Nathaniel Lynd2, Rachel Segalman1, Lynn Katz2, Benny Freeman2

1University of California, Santa Barbara; 2The University of Texas at Austin

Center for Materials for Water and Energy Systems (M-WET)



Team Science Winners

(From left) Nicholas H. Bashian, Andrew Dawson, Rebecca Kubena, and Josh Zak

Investigating the Redox Activity and Lithiation of Icosahedral Boron Clusters in the Solid State

[SCALAR] Rebecca M. Kubena1, Dahee Jung1, Zeeshan Parvez1, Jonathan C. Axtell1, Nicholas H. Bashian2, Andrew Dawson1, Josh Zak3, Anton Van der Ven4*, Brent C. Melot2*, Kimberly A. See3*, Sarah H. Tolbert1* & Alexander M. Spokoyny1*

1University of California, Los Angeles; 2University of Southern California; 3Caltech; 4 University of California, Santa Barbara

Center for Synthetic Control Across Length-scales for Advancing Rechargeables (SCALAR)



Team Science Finalists

Team Science Finalists

(From left) Rachel Bangle and Jenny Schneider

Transparent Conducting Oxides As Highly Versatile Dye-Sensitized Photoelectrodes

[AMPED] Rachel E. Bangle1, Jenny Schneider1, Renato N. Sampaio2, Ludovic Troian-Gautier1 and Gerald J. Meyer1

1UNC Chapel Hill; 2Brookhaven National Laboratory

Alliance for Molecular PhotoElectrode Design for Solar Fuels (AMPED)

Team Science Finalists

(From left) Xing Wang, Zhe Fan, and Yang Tong

Tuning Local Atomic Environments to Control Radiation Damage

[EDDE] Yang Tong1, Zhe Fan1, Xing Wang1, Sai Mu1, Shijun Zhao1, Chenyang Lu2, Li Jiang2, Dilpuneet Aidhy3, Gihan Velisa1, Lumin Wang2, Fuxiang Zhang1, Karren L. More1, Yanwen Zhang1

1Oak Ridge National Laboratory; 2University of Michigan; 3University of Wyoming

Energy Dissipation to Defect Evolution (EDDE) 

Team Science Finalists

(From left) Kaining Duanmu, Georgios Giannakakis, Paul Kress, and Zhen Qi

Mechanistic Studies Of Non-Oxidative Ethanol Dehydrogenation On NiAu Single Atom Alloys

[IMASC] Georgios Giannakakis1; Kaining Duanmu2; Paul Kress1; Zhen Qi4; Jurgen Biener3; Simon R. Bare4; Charles Sykes1; Philippe Sautet2; Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos1

1Tufts University; 2University of California, Los Angeles; 3Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; 4SLAC National Laboratory

Integrated Mesoscale Architectures For Sustainable Catalysis (IMASC)


Team Science Finalists

(Top row from left) Jie-Xiang Yu, Ashlyn Hale, Rainier Berkley, and Dian-Teng Chen
(Bottom row from left) Jonathan Marbey, Haoming Jin, Xiaochen Zhu, and Tuhin Ghosh

Synthesis, Characterization and Predictive First-Principles Calculations

[M2QM] Jie-Xiang Yu1, Jonathan Marbey2, Tuhin Ghosh1, Ashlyn Hale1, Dian-Teng Chen1, Rainier Berkley3, Hoaming Jin1, Xiaochen Zhu1, George Christou1, Arthur F. Hebard1, Talat Rahman3, Stephen Hill2, and Hai-Ping Cheng

1University of Florida; 2Florida State University; 3University of Central Florida

Center for Molecular Magnetic Quantum Materials (M2QM)

Team Science Finalists

(From left) Santanu Roy, Fei Wu and Haimeng Wang

Bridging the Gap between Theory and Experiments on the Structure, Dynamics, and Thermodynamics of Molten Salts

[MSEE] Santanu Roy1, Fei Wu2, Haimeng Wang3, Shobha Sharma2, Yong Zhang3, Matthew S. Emerson2, Vyacheslav S. Bryantsev1, Edward J. Maginn3, Claudio J. Margulis2, Alexander S. Ivanov,1 Shannon M. Mahurin,1 Phillip Halstenberg,1 Simerjeet Gill,4 Mehmet Topsakal,4 Bobby Layne,4 Kotaro Sasaki4

1Oak Ridge National Laboratory; 2University of Iowa; 3University of Notre Dame; 4Brookhaven National Laboratory

Molten Salts in Extreme Environments (MSEE) 

Team Science Finalists

(From left) Hyeyoung Cho, Jiaoyan Li, Jiaqi Jin and Hassnain Asgar

Property changes under confinement in architected materials

[MUSE] Pranay Asai1, Hassnain Asgar2, Michael Bartl1, Darryl Butt1, Hyeyoung Cho1, Milind Deo1, Greeshma Gadikota2, Jan Goral1, Hai Huang3, Jiaqi Jin1, Jiaoyan Li3, Jan Miller1, Subhash Risbud4, Viktoriya Semekina1, Yiping Xia4, Ilya Zharov1

1University of Utah; 2University of Wisconsin; 3Idaho National Laboratory; 4University of California, Davis

Multi-Scale Fluid-Solid Interactions in Architected and Natural Materials (MUSE)



Team Science Finalists

(From left) Antonin Grenier, Julija Vinckeviciute, and Zachary Lebens-Higgins

From Cation to Anion Redox: Pushing the ultimate limit of layered oxides

[NECCES] Zachary W. Lebens-Higgins1, Antonin Grenier2, Julija Vinckeviciute3, Karena Chapman2, Louis F. J. Piper1

1Binghamton University; 2Stony Brook University; 3University of California, Santa Barbara

NorthEast Center for Chemical Energy Storage (NECCES)

Team Science Finalists

(From left) Qiming Shao and Víctor H. Ortiz

Ferrimagnetic Insulator for Ultrafast and Ultralow-power Spintronic Devices

[SHINES] Victor H. Ortiz1, Qiming Shao2, Mohammed Aldosary1, Alexander Grutter3, Junxue Li1, Guoqiang Yu2, Yawen Liu1, Chi Tang1, Kang L. Wang2, and Jing Shi1

1University of California, Riverside; 2University of California, Los Angeles; 3NIST

Spins and Heat in Nanoscale Electronic Systems (SHINES)