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Meet our Recent Alumni

Class of 2024

Haoyang Jiao
Research Group: Huang Lab
Thesis: Stability improvement of perovskite solar cells and modules.
Currently: Perotech Inc.

Class of 2023

Margaret Daly
Research Group: Freeman Lab (
Thesis: Dynamic reconfigurable and adaptive materials for new-age medicine
Currently: Postdoc Freeman Lab – UNC Chapel Hill

Micah Papanikolas
Research Group: Freeman Lab (
Thesis: Reversing mucus assemblies to restore airway function
Currently: Freeman Lab – UNC Chapel Hill

M. Hossein Eybposh
Research Group: Pégard Lab
Thesis: Deep Learning Methods in Computer Generated Holography
Currently: Software Engineer at Science Inc. Alameda Ca.

Liang Zhao
Research Group: Huang Lab
Thesis: Perovskite radiation detectors for Gamma-ray spectroscopy
Currently: First Solar

Wenzheng Shi
Research Group: Nazockdast Lab
Thesis: Physic of Cuvatture sensing in septin assemblies

Currently: Postdoc NYU

Peter RuddPeter Rudd
Research Group: Lopez Lab
Thesis: Synthesis, characterization, and passivation of semiconductor thin film for photovoltaic…

Class of 2022

Xuezeng DaiXuezeng Dai
Research Group: Huang Lab
Thesis: Developing Efficient Perovskite Solar Modules
Currently: Perotech Inc.
Anna FraserAnna Fraser
Research Group: Dingemans Lab
Currently: I am working as a research scientist for Solvay, specifically their specialty polymers division, in Alpharetta, Georgia.
Min-zhi JiangMin-zhi Jiang
Research Group: Li Group
Thesis: Supervised and Unsupervised Learning in Genetics
Currently: Postdoc with Yun Li group
Stephanie SamsonStephanie Samson
Research Group: You Group
Thesis: Molecular weight control for intrinsic ally stretchable solar cells
Currently: AkzoNobel
“APS works well with other disciplines. It feels like a very interdisciplinary department.”
“So many programs focus on churning out good researchers, but I feel that not as many programs focus on developing and preparing individuals for a professional career with a PhD.”
“It’s a very interdisciplinary program and I can learn lots of different things from experts of different departments.”
“I liked how interdisciplinary the department was. We got to choose what we work on, even if it wasn’t APS related.”
Stephanie SamsonIan Seim
Research Group: Klotsa Lab
Thesis:Multi Scales Study of Molecular self assembly in Biology
Currently: Postdoctoral fellow, Gladfelter Lab, UNC Chapel Hill

Class of 2021

Yueting LuoYueting Luo
Research Group: Otto Zhou Lab
Thesis: Image Reconstruction for Stationary Head CT Systems with Carbon Nanotube Source Arrays
Currently: Otto Zhou’s lab as a postdoc
Derrek SpronkDerrek Spronk
Research Group: Otto Zhou Lab
Thesis: Development & Evaluation of a Prototype Stationary Head CT (s-HCT) Scanner
Currently: TrackX Instrument Tracking Technology – Data Imaging Scientist
Qishun TangQishun Tang
Research Group: Michael Rubinstein
Thesis: Structure and rheological properties of airway mucus
Currently: Health Advances; Senior Analyst, Life Sciences consulting firm in Boston
Thomas DrombrowskiThomas Dombrowski
Research Group: Daphne Klotsa Lab
Currently: Enderling Lab at Moffitt Cancer Center
“The APS department is highly collaborative and connects the research from different departments. “It’s a great opportunity to have a broad selection of research opportunities.”
“I changed my research direction from chemistry to X-ray imaging and the department was fantastic in supporting this change in direction. I enjoyed the fact that professors can collaborate on research from so many departments – this couldn’t have happened in any other department.”
“Faculty in the department come from many different backgrounds. It’s helpful to have exposure to such different fields of research, all of them applied to real world problems.”
Daixuan Zhang, PhD
Research Group: Sheiko Lab
Thesis: Stimuli-responsive Bottlebrush Elastomers with Tissue-mimetic Mechanical Properties
Currently: Scientist at Slingshot Biosciences. 
Xun Xiao, PhD
Research Group: Huang Lab
Thesis: Physical Properties of Perovskite Materials: Understanding and Managing Carrier Behavior for Efficient Solar Cells
Currently: Postdoctoral researcher in APS Professor Bai’s lab
“The strong interdisciplinary nature of our department opens a lot of unexpected doors. BEAM also provides very helpful real-life applicable trainings.”
“The guidance from both my Ph.D advisor and senior Ph.D students or postdoc in the research group are most helpful for my PhD research. They also provide great support during job searching after my graduation.”

Class of 2020

Ryan Fox
Ryan Fox, PhD
Research Group: Dingemans Lab
Dissertation: Solution Structure, Rheology, and Nanocomposites of a Liquid Crystalline Polyelectrolyte
Future Plans: Scientist in the Polymer Science and Materials Chemistry Division at Exponent.
Teddy Feng
Teddy Feng
Research Group: Huang Lab
Thesis: CsPbBr3 Single Crystal Growth For Gamma-Ray Detector
Future Plans: Employment in the field of LED lighting technology at Sodask – Uniyond Education Technology Inc.
Logan Howard
Logan Howard, PhD
Research Group: Allbritton Lab
Dissertation: Analyzing the effects of scaffold and synthesized material property in an in vitro clinic epithelial cell model.
Future Plans: Postdoctoral researcher in David Hill’s lab at UNC’s School of Medicine
Charles Van Brackle
Charlie Van Brackle
Research Group: Huang Lab
Thesis: Understanding and Controlling the Optoelectronic Properties of Hybrid Perovskites for Photovoltaics
Future Plans: Optical Engineer at Cree / Wolfspeed
“When I was in my first year, I was assigned to be a TA in BeAM. Being a TA was a great experience. I would recommend all the first year students to be a TA because I got the chance to interact with so many different students on campus, and learned so much about myself, too.” – Teddy
“The biggest strength is how interdisciplinary the program is, that was what essentially drew me to the program at the beginning. Our field requires a lot collaboration & conversations, so being able to have interpersonal relationships with a good number of people in the department is the key. I’d recommend other students join this program.” – Logan
“The collaborative culture and seeing people of different fields coming together in our department are what I’ve really appreciate about APS. The people in the department are all very nice and I could talk or approach anyone here, even the department chair. I’ve enjoyed the discussions I had at our weekly coffee get-together or holiday parties a lot. Heidi’s seminar class (MTSC710) is fantastic; I learned a lot from that course.” – Charlie

Class of 2019

Sherry You
Sherry You, PhD
Research Group: Atkin Lab
Dissertation: Tip-enhanced Raman advances and its applications
Currently: Postdoctoral researcher at UT Austin
Shane Brogan
Shane Brogan
Research Group: Lopez Lab
Thesis: The Synthesis and Characterization of SrTiO3 Thin Film Photoelectrodes
Currently: Teaching Lab Manager, Dept. Physics & Astronomy at UNC
Yehao Deng
Yehao Deng, PhD
Research Group: Huang Lab
Dissertation: Scalable Coating of Hybrid Perovskite for High Efficiency Solar Modules
Currently: Postdoctoral researcher in APS Professor Jinsong Huang’s lab
“The APS program offers a very diverse non-discriminating environment. I benefited from the high diversity of APS both academically and personally.” – Sherry
“Science is a collaborative process. The interdisciplinary nature of the department not only gives students exposure to a variety of areas of study, but the course work and department culture actively builds the skills needed to work across fields.” – Shane
“My project is developing high efficiency solar cells. The department has everything (CHANL, BEAM, labs) that allows me to start with raw materials and end up with a real product! I enjoy fabricating my own solar cells and see how they power a toy car or charge my iPhone on a sunny day! Want to improve the solar cell efficiency? That’s where science come into play.” – Yehao