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Meet our Recent Alumni

Class of 2021

Daixuan Zhang, PhD
Research Group: Sheiko Lab
Thesis: Stimuli-responsive Bottlebrush Elastomers with Tissue-mimetic Mechanical Properties
Currently: Scientist at Slingshot Biosciences. 

The strong interdisciplinary nature of our department opens a lot of unexpected doors. BEAM also provides very helpful real-life applicable trainings.”

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 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.
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: Looking for opportunities with companies that work with scientific or optical instruments in the RTP area.
“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