REU Participants



Ms. Lanette Espinosa

Intern Major and College: Biochemistry, California State University

PI: Lena Kourkoutis

Cornell Mentor: Elisabeth Bianco

PARADIM REU Project: Probing 2-dimensional quantum materials at the atomic scale with scanning transmission electron microscopy


Lanette Espinosa was born and raised in Orange County, California and currently attends California State University, Fullerton majoring in Biochemistry. At CSUF, Lanette has been conducting computational research with Dr. Andrew Petit examining the photobasicity and structure-function relationships of aromatic heterocycles in the singlet excited states and now the triplet states. She is also part of the McNair Scholar’s Program where she is writing an undergraduate thesis on her research. She also works as a Supplemental Instruction (SI) Leader for the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at her home institution. Lanette is excited to expand her research experiences at PARADIM. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, hiking, swimming, and watching Marvel movies.


Mr. Alex Kurland

Intern Major and College: Material Science Engineering, Cornell University

PI: Darrell Schlom

Cornell Mentor: Darrell Schlom

PARADIM REU Project: Design of in situ Shadow Mask for Molecular Beam Epitaxy


Alex Kurland is from New City, NY. He is a rising junior at Cornell University studying Materials Science and Engineering, and he plans on minoring in mathematics and music. He is interested in developing biodegradable plastics from atmospheric carbon dioxide. This is his first research experience and he will be designing parts to create specifically shaped thin films via molecular-beam epitaxy. Outside of school, Alex enjoys baking, playing piano, and walking his dog, Waffles.




Mr. Nathaniel Luis

Intern Major/College: Chemistry, Harvey Mudd 

PI: Darrell Schlom

Cornell Mentor: Brendan Faeth

PARADIM REU Project: Determination of the influence of non-stoichiometry and disorder on superconductivity and spectral characteristics in a high-temperature superconductor.


Nathan Luis is from Novato, CA. He is currently a rising junior at Harvey Mudd College pursuing his bachelor’s degree in chemistry. At Mudd, he has done research with Professor Bob Cave looking at the rate of electron tunneling between a donor and acceptor in various solvents.  Nathan plans to attend grad school, where he would like to study the intersection of green energy and chemistry, particularly in the area of thin-film solar cells. Nathan is a member of the CMS swim team and in his free time likes to cook, lift, play video games, and read.



Mr. Nimit Mishra

Intern Major/College: Chemical Engineering, University of California Los Angeles 

PI: Darrell Schlom

Cornell Mentor: Betul Pamuk

PARADIM REU Project: Atomic Properties of Hexagonal Boron Nitride from First Principles


Nimit Mishra is from Portland Oregon and he's a rising junior at the University of California Riverside pursuing a Chemical Engineering degree. At UCR, he is working with Professor Matt Conley in conducting computational research on Surface Organometallic Chemistry (SOMC) and the synthesis of organometallic complexes with spectroscopic techniques (ss-NMR, FTIR, etc). In his spare time, Nimit watches the Blazers and plays video games. PRESENTATION REPORT(Posted 9/1/2021)



Mrs.Hanna Porter

Intern Major and College: Chemistry, Harvey Mudd College

PI: Lena Kourkoutis

Cornell Mentor: Berit Goodge

PARADIM REU Project: Probing structural and electronic phases in novel infinite-layer nickelate thin films with atomic resolution


Hanna Porter is from Crofton, Maryland, and is currently studying at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California. At HMC, Hanna is a chemistry major and a rising senior. She has been involved in research involving quantum dot size determination via pulsed-field gradient NMR and RF-plasma graphene synthesis. Hanna's future plans include pursuing a Ph.D. in materials science or physical chemistry and ultimately conducting materials science research investigating new solutions to energy storage and novel renewable energy sources to combat climate change.  In her free time, Hanna enjoys playing the viola, experimenting with new recipes, and knitting.


Ms. Veronica Show

Intern Major and College: Chemistry, Harvey Mudd College

PI: Darrell Schlom

Cornell Mentor: Felix Hensling

PARADIM REU Project: Characterization of epitaxial oxides on fluorite substrates for novel electronic applications


Veronica is from Fremont, CA, and a rising senior pursuing a chemistry major at Harvey Mudd College this summer. At HMC, she completed research with Professor Adam Johnson in the field of titanium-catalyzed chiral hydroamination. Veronica is also a goalie for CMS women's water polo. In her free time, she enjoys attempting various forms of art (mostly origami and drawing) and video games. She is excited to be exploring a very different field of chemistry and physics at PARADIM this year.


Ms. Sarah Uttormark

Intern Major and College: Physics, Math & Norwegian,  St. Olaf College

PI: Darrell Schlom

Cornell Mentor: Tomas Arias

PARADIM REU Project: Ab initio study of mismatch layered superconductors


Sarah Uttormark was born and raised in Plymouth, Minnesota and is a rising senior at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota where she is triple majoring in Physics, Mathematics, and Norwegian. With an additional minor in Engineering, Sarah plans to continue pursuing her interest in materials science, applied physics, and number theory in graduate school. Sarah has conducted research in both mathematics and physics at her home institution. Her mathematics research included an investigation of the cycles presented within subprime tribonacci sequences, and she is currently working on creating and testing a dichroic atomic vapor spectroscopy setup utilizing 3D printing and permanent magnets within the physics department. In her free time, Sarah can be found rehearsing as a percussionist with the St. Olaf Band, knitting Norwegian sweaters in non-traditional colors, or searching for the best taco joint in town.



Mr. Luc Capaldi

Intern Major and College: Mechanical Engineering,  University of Vermont 

PI: Tyrel McQueen

Cornell Mentor: Evan Crites

PARADIM REU Project: Development High Pressure Floating Zone Materials


Luc Capaldi was born in Knapp, Wisconsin and raised in Newport, Vermont. He is a rising senior at the University of Vermont (UVM) studying mechanical engineering. At UVM, he is an active member of the Sansoz Research Group where he uses atomistic simulations to study the oxidation of silicon carbide fibers in extreme atmospheric re-entry conditions. He has also published work on macroscale knotting in collaboration with researchers at McGill University. His research interests include nanotechnology, atomic-scale materials engineering, and knotting within biological systems. Outside of school, his hobbies include cooking and computer programming.


Accepted to the University of Pennsylvania Mech Eng PhD program


Ms. Avery Lenihan

Intern Major and College: Chemical Engineering, Western Kentucky University

PI: Tyrel McQueen

JHU Mentor: David Elbert

PARADIM REU Project: Streaming by Design: A new paradigm to optimize the PARADIM data ecosystem


Avery Lenihan is a rising sophomore from Western Kentucky University. Inspired by the intersection of chemical engineering and economics to make sustainable materials, Avery began research while still in high school at Northern Kentucky University with Dr. Seyed Allameh on the fatigue properties of 3D-printed metals. She has also worked with Dr. Allameh on a book chapter about biomimicked materials. At WKU, Avery is working on both research in economics with Dr. Jacob Byl on credibility heuristics regarding drug risk beliefs and research in chemistry with Dr. Bangbo Yan on possible green catalysts for furfural acetalization. In her free time, Avery competes on the Lincoln-Douglas debate team, holds leaderships positions in the Chemistry Club and the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics, and is an avid non-fiction reader. 


Ms. Megan Michaud

Intern Major and College: Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, Clarkson University

PI: Tyrel McQueen

JHU Mentor: Mojammel Khan

PARADIM REU Project: Tunable spin splitting in the two-dimensional transition metal chalcogenides.  


Megan Michaud was born and raised in Manchester, NH. Megan is a first year student studying at Clarkson University for a double major in Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering. She is currently doing research on the pseudoelastic properties of nanowires with Dr. Ioannis Mastorakos. In her free time I enjoy working at the Makerspace, riding horses, and listening to music.


Mr. Jonathan Mbuqua

Intern Major and College: Materials Engineering, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

PI: Tyrel McQueen 

Mentor: Ben Redemann

PARADIM REU Project: Development of New High Pressure Laser Pedestal Synthesis Capabilities


Jonathan “Muchiri” Mbugua is from Ellicott City, Maryland. He is a rising sophomore and Meyerhoff Scholar at the University of Maryland, Baltimore College pursuing a major in Mechanical Engineering. He has previously interned in Nairobi, Kenya under Mr. Roy Ombati, the founder of African Born 3D Printing (AB3D), where he worked to develop and create 3D printers from recycled materials. Mr. Ombati later selected him to be a spokesperson for AB3D in a Kenya Television Network interview. Outside of school, Muchiri’s interests include learning Swahili, strength and conditioning, and watching anime with his younger siblings.



Ms. Beatriz Avila-Rimer

Intern Major and College: Applied and Computational Math, Caltech

PI: Lena Kourkoutis

Cornell Mentor: Noah Schnitzer

PARADIM REU Project: Characterizing lattice and electronic Structure in narrow gap semiconductors with cryogenic scanning transmission electron microscopy


Ms. Beatriz E. Avila-Rimer, was born in Gainsville, Florida but grew up in between Brazil, Venezuela, Miami and Houston. I am currently a freshman at Caltech interested in pursuing ACM (applied and computational math or chemical engineering). Her research interests are in the potential applications of quantum properties, as well as other properties such as piezoelectricity. Beatriz is part of the Caltech tennis team and outside of school she enjoys hanging out with my friends, and biking. 


Mr. Sean Chang

Intern Major and College: Mechanical Engineering, California Institute of Technology

PI: Darrell Schlom

Cornell Mentor: Y. Eren Suyolcu

PARADIM REU Project: Structural and Electrical Properties of Dysprosium Barium Copper Oxide (DyBa2Cu3O7-δ) Thin Films


Sean Chang is from Diamond Bar, California and is a rising sophomore at the California Institute of Technology pursuing a major in mechanical engineering. He competed in robotics all four years of high school and hopes to expand his knowledge on the Caltech Robotics Team. Sean was always impressed by the utility of physics and hopes to learn more about superconductivity and its potential to be used in future technologies. In his free time, Sean enjoys hanging out and talking with friends, playing volleyball, biking along the beach, and personal projects.


Joe Dill

Mr. Joseph Dill

Intern Major and College: Physics, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

PI: Darrell Schlom

Cornell Mentor: Darrell Schlom

PARADIM REU Project: Design of an Improved Ozone Injector Nozzle for Oxide Molecular-Beam Epitaxy


Joseph Dill  is from Mendota Heights, MN. He is a rising senior at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities pursuing a major in physics. At his home university, Joseph works with Dr. Paul Crowell studying spin dynamics in ferromagnet-semiconductor heterostructures. In his spare time, Joseph enjoys running, playing the cello, and studying New Testament Greek.

Currently:   Cornell Applied Physics Ph.D. program

Jessica Dong

Ms. Jessica Dong

Intern Major and College: Physics, Harvard University

PI: Darrell Schlom

Cornell Mentor: Brendan Faeth

PARADIM REU Project: Development of a next-generation Ultra-High Vacuum electrical transport system


Jessica Dong was born in North Dakota and has been living in Uvalde, Texas for the past 6 years. She is currently a rising junior at Harvard majoring in Physics. While at Harvard, she has been conducting research with Professor Julia Mundy in the field of designing new quantum materials with molecular beam epitaxy. Here, she gained experience using atomic force microscopy to evaluate film surface topography and has been working on developing a fluorination chamber for post-film growth treatment. She is excited to build upon these experiences throughout the PARADIM REU. In addition to research, she is involved in educational outreach. During the semester, she devotes her time to serving as a mathematics teaching assistant and volunteering at an after-school enrichment program in Dorchester, MA. She aims to attend graduate school, where she hopes to continue conducting research. In her free time, she enjoys running, curating playlists, and drawing comics.



Ms. Zubia Hasan

Intern Major and College: Physics, Johns Hopkins University

PI: Darrell Schlom

Cornell Mentor: Betul Pamuk

PARADIM REU Project: Effect of Strain on the Atomic, Electronic, and Vibrational Properites of RuO2


Zubia Hasan was born in Karachi , Pakistan and moved to the US to pursue a bachelors degree at Johns Hopkins. Interested in both physics and chemistry, she majored in physics but chose to do research at the interface of both subjects. She has been working at McQueen Lab since her freshman year on high temperature superconductivity and exotic magnetism. She is very interested in novel forms of magnetism and plans on pursuing this interest further in graduate school. Outside of academics, Hasan enjoys reading South Asian Literature and playing with cats and increasing visibility of women in STEM fields.


Harvard Graduate student (Mundy group)

Soros Fellowship winner


Mr. Chase Hanson

Intern Major and College: Physics and Mathematics, Arizona State University

PI: Darrell Schlom

Cornell Mentor: Betul Pamuk

PARADIM REU Project: Atomic and Electronic Structure of Nickelate Superconductors


Chase Hanson was born and raised in Mesa, Arizona and is a rising senior at Arizona State University studying physics and mathematics. He is interested in pursuing a career in theoretical condensed matter physics and is fascinated by the fundamentals of strongly correlated systems as well as the truly bizarre physical phenomena that come from various topological phases of matter. He has worked with faculty at Arizona State University and staff scientists at Los Alamos National Lab. Other than school, his hobbies include computers, Reddit, Twitter (@fizsx), and watching the Star Wars prequels.


Rachael Keneipp

Ms. Rachael Keneipp

Intern Major and College: Physics, University of Pennsylvania

PI: Darrell Schlom

Cornell Mentor: Eren Suyolcu

PARADIM REU Project: Atomic-scale control and atomic resolution identification of superconducting thin films and interfaces


Rachael Keneipp was born and raised in Evansville, Indiana, Rachael is a rising senior at the University of Pennsylvania studying physics. Through her research experiences, Rachael has developed a passion for experimental materials research with an interest in exploring materials with unique emergent properties. Her research at the University of Pennsylvania focuses on the development and applications of 2D ferromagnetic materials as an avenue for creating quantum bits. Rachael plans to attend graduate school to pursue a PhD in Physics, Applied Physics, or Materials Science and Engineering. Outside of the lab, she enjoys powerlifting, horseback riding, and swing dancing. 


Sophia M


Ms. Sophia Madelone 

Intern Major/College: Nanoengineering, SUNY Polytechnic's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE)

PI: Darrell Schom

Cornell Mentor: Saien Xie

PARADIM REU Project: Designing and Building Mechanical Parts for MOCVD Facility


Sophia Madelone was born and raised in Burnt Hills, New York for the past 16 years. This fall she will be a junior at CNSE as she continues towards her major in Nanoengineering. At the college, for her first two years, she has been working in the organic chemistry lab of Professor Robert Brainard on the MORE project (Molecular Organometallic Photoresists for EUV). She has completed research in the form of exploring new ideas by synthesizing compounds that are of interest in the photolithography industry and show promise of being good photoresist materials. Outside of school, Sophia likes to spend time hanging with friends, playing tennis, reading, and listening to her favorite artists. 


Patrick S

Mr. Patrick Singleton

Intern Major and College: Physics, Harvard University

PI: Darrell Schlom

Cornell Mentor: Felix Hensling

PARADIM REU Project: Characterization of epitaxial oxide pyrochlores with unusual physical properties for novel electronic applications


Patrick Singleton was born in Niagara Falls, New York and is currently enrolled as an undergraduate at Harvard University with a joint concentration in Math and Physics. His interests include topics in material science and number theory. In his free time, Patrick likes to make music, run and play basketball. In the future, he plans to pursue a degree in Applied Physics.

Jacob S

Mr. Jacob Steele

Intern Major and College: Material Science Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University

PI: Darrell Schlom

Cornell Mentor: Patrick Vogt

PARADIM REU Project: Understanding the Nucleation Kinetics of Ga2O Suboxide MBE by RHEED Intensity Data Analysis’


Jacob Steele was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia and currently goes to school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at Carnegie Mellon University. At CMU, Jacob is a rising senior majoring in Materials Science and Engineering with a minor in electronic materials, additionally, he has conducted research on the thermal stability of gallium oxide schottky contacts for high energy applications. This summer, Jacob will be working on a project titled ‘Understanding the Nucleation Kinetics of Ga2O Suboxide MBE by RHEED Intensity Data Analysis’. His future plans are to attend graduate school for a doctorate in electronic materials, hopefully with a focus on green energy applications. In his freetime, Jacob enjoys listening to music, trying new food, and talking to friends."

Currently: Cornell graduate student, Material Science Engineering (Schlom Group)

Wiliam T

Mr. William Taranto

Intern Major and College: Physics, Cornell University

PI: Darrell Schlom

Cornell Mentor: Eun-Ah Kim

PARADIM REU Project: Using machine learning to quantify the symmetry breaking of STM twisted bilayer graphene data


William Taranto was born and raised in Ridgefield, Connecticut. He currently studies physics at Cornell University in the class of 2021. Will has been working on describing the symmetry breakings that magic angle twisted bilayer graphene exhibits under different voltage biases. Specifically, he is using machine learning techniques to quantify the degree of such symmetery breakings. He believes that computing is the future of physics, and enjoys employing advanced computational techniques to solve physical problems. In Will's personal time, he enjoys listening to classical music, reading Tolkein's literature, playing Magic: The Gathering, and personal programing projects.


Mr. Boris Tsang

Intern Major and College: Physics, Cornell University

PI: Darrell Schlom

Cornell Mentor: Kyle Shen

PARADIM REU Project: Simulating ARPES measurements of quantum materials


Boris Tsang is a rising senior majoring in physics at Cornell. After joining Professor Kyle Shen's research group in the spring of 2019, he drafted the vacuum chamber support frames that were later installed in Cornell's CONQUEST (Creation and Observation of Novel Quantum Electronic Structures) facility and performed electron transport measurements on a variety of epitaxial thin films. Prior to the suspension of research activities in March, he was implementing a system for mounting thin-film samples in vacuo during the transfer between MBE and ARPES systems. Outside of the lab, Boris is serving his second term as the photography editor of The Cornell Daily Sun, an independent newspaper run by Cornell students. He also enjoys speedcubing and currently averages around twelve seconds on the 3x3.

Currently: MIT graduate student, Physics


Bryce C

Mr. Bryce Coyne

Intern Major and College: Physics, Occidental College

PI: Tyrel McQueen

JHU Mentor: Veronica Stewart

PARADIM REU Project: Screening of MnBi2Te4 as an axiom insulator through electronic structure calculations


Bryce Coyne was born in Colorado and grew up in Woodinville, Washington. He is a rising senior at Occidental College in Los Angeles pursuing a major in physics. He has previously worked as a research assistant with the University of Alabama at Birmingham under Dr. Vladimir Fedorov, where he focused on the spectroscopic characterization of various iron doped crystals for mid-infrared laser applications. In February 2020 he presented this research at Photonics West in San Francisco. He is an active member of the Occidental community as a pitcher on the college’s baseball team. In his spare time, Bryce enjoys traveling, visiting art museums, and listening to music and podcasts. 

Morgan F

Ms. Morgan Fernandez

Intern Major and College: Physics, Bryn Mawr Colege

PI: Tyrel McQueen

JHU Mentor: Shannon Bernier

PARADIM REU Project: Laue interfacing moving parts with computer and writing program to give real life data about position and how to move crystals.  


Morgan Fernandez  is a rising senior at Bryn Mawr College studying Physics and Economics. She has an interest in materials science and ways to incorporate the study of new materials into renewable energy applications. She has been involved in materials research including working with a post doc in the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute (HEMI). In her free time Morgan likes to dance and is on the executive board of two dance clubs at BMC.

Deidre G

Ms. Deidre Grogan

Intern Major and College: Chemistry, Morgan State

PI: Tyrel McQueen JHU

Mentor: David Elbert 

Project: Building open training stacks for image segmentation of boron carbide experiments. 


Deidre Grogan is a junior chemistry major at Morgan State University. This is her first internship and she is excited to learn from experts in their fields. She will be working on labeling radiographs of experiments on boron carbide for her summer project. Outside of school her interests include musical theatre, journaling and nutrition.

Xi Zhang

Mr. Xin (Jason) Zhang

Intern Major and College: Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University

PI: Tyrel McQueen JHU

Mentor: Tanya Berry 

Project: Understanding the fermionic physics of double-Dirac materials and its physical property characterizations


Xin (Jason) Zhang is from Russellville, Arkansas. He is a rising sophomore at The Johns Hopkins University pursing a major in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and a minor in business. He is working on data analysis remotely using various statistical and analytical software on understanding the band structures and fermionic physics of various topological materials, particularly double-Dirac materials. Jason’s personal research interests are in magnetic materials. Previously, he has worked on the synthesis of Spintronic materials. In his free time, Jason enjoys outdoor hikes, breakdancing, practicing Taekwondo, and listening to music with friends.


REU Participant - Caroline Fedele

Ms. Caroline Fedele
Intern Major & College: Physics, University of North Florida
PI: Darrell Schlom
PARADIM REU Project Title: Electrical and Structural Characterization of Superconducting Ruthenate Ruddlesden-Popper (RP) Thin Films


Caroline Fedele was born in New York but has lived in St. Augustine, Florida, for the past 14 years. She is a rising senior at the University of North Florida pursuing a major in physics and a minor in computer science. She has previously worked as a research fellow with the U.S. Department of Energy in computational materials engineering research, modeling defect chemistry and analyzing energy properties of tritium-producing materials for nuclear applications. Currently, she is working with several professors at the University of North Florida in nanophotonics and condensed matter physics, where she is investigating optical properties of complex oxides and plasmonic systems on the nanoscale by employing microscopy and spectroscopy. In her spare time, Caroline enjoys playing the piano, going for long runs, and reading classic literature.


PhD program University of Florida, computer science


Mr. Oluchi Onwuvuche
Intern Major & College: Electrical Engineering, University of the District of Columbia
PI: Darrell Schlom
PARADIM REU Project Title: Growth of LaAlO3/SrTiO3 Superstructures with Conducting Interfaces


Oluchi Onwuvuche was born and raised in Washington, D.C. to the parents of Mr. Oluchi I. Chukwunyere and Mrs. Lovelyne H.A. Chukwunyere. In fall 2017, Oluchi arrived at University of the District of Columbia to study Electrical Engineering as an undergraduate course. This summer, Oluchi will be working on a project titled Growth of LaAlO3/SrTiO3 Superstructures with Conducting Interfaces. He is excited about this opportunity and hopes it prepares him for Graduate school. In his free time, he enjoys nature walks and pick up basketball.

REU Participant - Jonathan Ortiz

Mr. Jonathan Ortiz
Intern Major & College: Mechanical Engineering, New Mexico State University
PI: Darrell Schlom
PARADIM REU Project Title: Improving the Capabilities of PARADIM’s MBE Hardware


Jonathan Ortiz was born in El Paso, Texas and is currently enrolled at New Mexico State University majoring in Mechanical Engineering. He has been working with the department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering on developing reliable reduced-order model for carbon nanotube-based sensors. His interests include experimental solid mechanics and biomedical engineering. His future plans are to attend graduate school with a focus in biomedical engineering and drug delivery systems. On his free time, Jonathan enjoys traveling abroad, playing the drums, and playing soccer.


MS New Mexico State University

REU Participant - Priscilla Santiesteban

Ms. Priscilla Santiesteban
Intern Major & College: Computer Science & Physics, Coe College
PI: Darrell Schlom
PARADIM REU Project Title: Understanding the structure of IV-VI semiconductors


Priscila Santiesteban is a first generation college student from Denver, Colorado. She is a rising junior pursuing a Computer Science and Physics double major at Coe College. She was the winner of the Arthur Wright Eskine Physics Award for outstanding achievement as a Freshman and has been consistently on the Dean’s List every semester. She is also a member of Alpha Lambda Delta Honorary Society. Recently, she completed an internship as a software engineer where she helped develop code to assist in the application of Artificial Intelligence of automated vehicles. Through her experiences, she has been able to become fluent in nearly five different programming languages. Currently, she is working on research with Pennsylvania State University simulating mechanical properties of glass using Molecular Dynamics. She plans on pursuing a PhD in engineering. In her free time, she likes to go hiking, and trying new foods.

REU Participant - Samuel Straney

Mr. Samuel Straney
Intern Major & College: TBD, College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, Albany
PI: Saien Xie
PARADIM REU Project Title: Growing 2D Transition Metal Dichalcogenide (2D-TMDC) Materials for PARADIM Users


Samuel Straney is from Saint Johnsville, New York. He attends SUNY Polytechnic’s College of Nanoscale Engineering, (CNSE), in Albany.  He is expected to graduate in May of 2020.  Samuel has researched PDMS membrane optical based pressure sensors with sub Torr resolution under Professor Michael Carpenter.   During his free time Sam enjoys athletics, competitive video games, and hiking. 

REU Participant - Jarek Viera


Mr. Jarek Viera
Intern Major & College: Chemistry, University of North Georgia
PI: Saien Xie
PARADIM REU Project Title: Growing 2D Transition Metal Dichalcogenide (2D-TMDC) Materials for PARADIM Users


Jarek Viera was born in and raised in Lawrenceville, Georgia. As a rising senior, Jarek is expected to graduate in 2020 with a Bachelor’s in Chemistry and a Minor in Mathematics proudly as a first generation American. He has taken a strong interest in nanomaterials, participating in research with 2D nanomaterials and their applications in quantum computing with Professor Rosi Gunasinghe at the University of North Georgia. Jarek is dedicated to quantum mechanics and hopes to inspire the next generation of scientists to have the same passion for chemistry/physics as he does. In his off time Jarek enjoys listening to live music from his favorite bands/rappers, cooking, and reading science fiction.


JHU REU Phoebe Appel

Ms. Phoebe Appel
Intern Major & College: Chemical Engineering, Purdue University
PI: Tyrel McQueen
PARADIM JHU REU Project Title: Automation of Floating Zone Processes using Data Analytics


Phoebe Appel is a rising senior in chemical engineering at Purdue University . In the Department of Chemical Engineering, she researches the formation and dynamics of liposomes under Dr. Vivek Narsimhan. This summer she is a PARADIM REU intern working on using supercritical fluids for materials discovery. After graduation, Pheobe plans to attend graduate school to pursue a PhD in chemistry. 

JHU REU Julia Trowbridge

Ms. Julia Trowbridge
Intern Major & College: Chemistry, Colorado State University
PI: Tyrel McQueen
PARADIM JHU REU Project Title: Crystal Growth of “Active Substrates” for Quantum Material Thin Films


Julia Trowbridge is a dual chemistry and economics major with a minor in math set to graduate from Colorado State University May 2020. Outside of classes, Trowbridge works in Dr. Jamie Neilson's research lab on understanding fundamental properties of hybrid perovskites and is also involved in the University's American Chemical Society affiliated student chapter.

Currently: Johns Hopkins University graduate student, Energy and Climate Policy


Miguel Castro-Rivera

Mr. Miguel Castro-Rivera
Intern Major & College: Mechanical Engineering, Interamerican University of Puerto Rico
PI: Darrell Schlom
PARADIM REU Project Title: Understanding the Structure of Germanium Sulfide (GeS)

Miguel Angel Castro Rivera was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. First born child of Freddie A. Castro Vazquez and Luz M. Rivera Rosario. Even though Miguel lived most of his life in Ponce, which is in the south part of the island, he currently resides near the Inter American University of Puerto Rico (IAUPR) in Bayamon. He enrolled at IAUPR as a Mechanical Engineer major with a minor in Quality Control Systems. Since his early undergrad years, Miguel has worked as a math and physics tutor, and is currently a member of the Honor’s Dean list at IAUPR. Thanks to his past research with Dr. P. Seshaiyer in disease modeling, Miguel realized that Computational Sciences was his target for Graduate school. During his free time, Miguel likes to watch movies, read and run in the afternoons.

Anthony Coleman

Mr. Anthony Coleman
Intern Major & College: Physics Engineering, Chicago State University
PI: Darrell Schlom
PARADIM REU Project Title: STEM Imaging and Composition Mapping of Multiferroic Oxides

Anthony Coleman is from Chicago, Illinois. He is currently enrolled at Chicago State University majoring in Physics engineering. Anthony’s research includes “Transport properties of a magnetic semiconductor P-N Heterojunction Diodes”, analyzing data from CERN Proton-Proton Collisions, Neutrino detection, and research at Fermi-lab National Laboratories.  Anthony has a goal to attend The University of Chicago for Medical Physics. His hobbies include writing music, working out, and studying Einstein's Theory of Everything.

Currently: Georgia Tech Student in Medical Physics

Stephanie Eberly

Ms. Stephanie Eberly
Intern Major & College: Mechanical Engineering, North Carolina State University 
PI: Darrell Schlom
PARADIM REU Project Title: Implementing a Functional ARPES System

Stephanie Eberly was born in Ohio, but has been living in North Carolina for the past 13 years.  She is a rising junior in Mechanical Engineering at North Carolina State University where she is part of Engineering Without Borders and serves on the executive board of Scholars Council.  She previously helped develop a DNA nanotechnology bio-sensing device designed to detect cancer under Dr. Carlos Castro in a lab at Ohio State University.  Currently, she works in the environmental engineering lab at NC State aiding research on the atmospheric evolution and impact of aerosols emitted from stationary combustion sources in India under Dr. Andy Grieshop. Her interests within engineering are varied, but she knows she will be content as long as she is always gaining knowledge, being challenged, and helping others.  Her future plans include attending graduate school in the field of neuroengineering and one day conducting research of her own as a professor.  In her free time, Stephanie enjoys exploring the outdoors, playing soccer, doing art projects, and traveling.


UC Berkeley, PhD MechE

Iryna Glushcenko

Ms. Iryna Glushchenko
Intern Major & College: Physics, Princeton University
PI: Darrell Schlom
PARADIM REU Project Title: Investigating the Structure of Multiferroic Oxides with STEM Imaging and Diffraction Mapping

Iryna Glushchenko hails from Colorado Springs, CO, right beside the gorgeous Rockies. She is a rising junior at Princeton University pursuing a major in physics and a minor in computer science. Before coming to Princeton, she explored the effects of ferroelectric nanoparticles on liquid crystals and she is excited to expand this knowledge through this REU project. Her interests also include theoretical physics and her professional goal is to secure a position in academia. In her spare time, she plays piano, goes on long walks, and adores reading fantasy novels.

Currently: MSc Student at Imperial College, London

Ken Ho

Mr. Ken Tai Ran Ho
Intern Major & College: Electrical and Computer Enginnering, Cornell University
PI: Kyle Shen
PARADIM REU Project Title: Automating a Cryogenic Transport System for Measuring Quantum Materials

Ken Tai Ran Ho was born in Singapore but has spent much of his life abroad in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the US. As a sophomore studying Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell University, he is actively involved in project team initiatives within the College of Engineering, namely Cornell University Unmanned Air Systems. Some of Ken’s interests and responsibilities include the design and fabrication of system-specific PCBs. More recently, he has also taken on firmware development, including the adaptation of existing module code for a new multiprocessing uC architecture. He is excited to be helping to develop new test hardware for the lab this summer and looks forward to being a part of the program.

Yonghun Lee

Mr. Yonghun Lee
Intern Major & College: Engineering Physics, Cornell University
PI: Kyle Shen
PARADIM REU Project Title: Non-Equilibrium Investigations of Canted Antiferromagnet Under Flowing Electrical Current

Yonghun Lee was born in Seoul, South Korea, and lived there in his youth. He then came to the United States and attended high school in Minnesota. After finishing his sophomore year at Cornell, he took a leave of absence to go back to South Korea to fulfill a mandatory two-year military service. Yonghun is currently rising senior at Cornell University, majoring in Engineering Physics. 

Aside from his main study in physics, Yonghun is also interested in the embedded system, and he has been exploring his interests by taking classes and doing research in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Recently, Yonghun built a wireless power transfer system that operates on a vibrating motor on a beehive, which simulates bees’ self-vibrating motions upon the prospect of foraging activity.

Yonghun intends to pursue a graduate degree in Applied Physics. More specifically, he is interested in the physics and experimental techniques behind angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy, the specialty of his REU PI, Professor Kyle Shen.



Intern at Stanford

Cesar Lema

Mr. Cesar Lema
Intern Major & College: Physics and Mathematics, New York University
PI: Darrell Schlom
PARADIM REU Project Title: Growing and Characterizing Monolayer Transition Metal Dichalcogenides (2D TMDs) Materials for PARADIM Users

Cesar Lema is from Brooklyn, NY. He is a first generation college student and will be a sophomore at NYU in the fall of 2018 as a Physics and Math major with a minor in Computer Science. His curiosity for the physical world and passion for understanding the mechanism behind natural phenomena have fueled his pursuit of a career in Physics. Outside of the physical perspective of the world, science fiction has elicited, in him, an interest in the subject of consciousness and consequently nurtured an enthusiasm for Artificial Intelligence and other future technologies. As a way to unwind he likes to cook all types of foods and pastries, with a strong Latin American influence, introduce himself to unintuitive physics concepts, and explore the large array of food, art, technology and education NYC’s diverse culture has.

Marcus Marracci

Mr. Marcus Marracci
Intern Major & College: Chemistry, California State University Fullerton
PI: Darrell Schlom
PARADIM REU Project Title: Growing and Designing 2D Transition Metal Dichalogenide (2D-TMDC) Materials for PARADIM Users

Marcus Marracci was born in the Los Angeles area and has lived in Southern California his whole life. He was a Computer Science student before changing majors to Chemistry.  He found a combination of the two fields in Dr. Andrew Petit’s Theoretical Chemistry lab at CSUF, which uses DFT and other computational methods to map out mechanistic pathways of reactions. In his free time Marcus likes to write and record music, as well as read and spend time at California’s beaches.


UC Irvine (Chemistry)

Cyrus Zeledon

Mr. Cyrus Zeledon
Intern Major & College: Engineering, Cornell University 
PI: Darrell Schlom
PARADIM REU Project Title: Spin-Orbit Torques from SrRuO3-SrIrO3 Epitaxial Heterostructure

Cyrus Zeledon (B.S.’19) is from Coral Gables, FL. He is expected to graduate Cornell University College of Engineering in 2019 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Materials Science and Engineering. Cyrus has research experience in both Molecular Beam Epitaxy and Pulse Laser Deposition as part of both on campus research involvement and summer REU programs. Cyrus has worked with Professor Caroline Ross at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. At MIT, he worked with Ethan Rosenberg on the spintronic characterization and applications of terbium iron garnet thin films. He will continue to work in the Schlom Research group for the summer.


University of Chicago

William Zhang

Mr. William Zhang
Intern Major & College: Mechanical Engineering, Cornell University 
PI: Kyle Shen
PARADIM REU Project Title: Development of a Multipurpose Ultrahigh Vacuum System for Electrical and Optical Measurements of Surface-Modified Quantum Materials

William Zhang was born in New York City but has spent most of his life in Buffalo, New York. As a rising sophomore, William is studying Mechanical Engineering at Cornell University and is an active part of Cornell University Unmanned Air Systems (CUAir), a project team that designs, and builds a custom aircraft that specializes in search and rescue. William is on the airframe subteam and was responsible for the design and manufacturing of the tail system. In his free time, William enjoys taking walks with his dog, following basketball and football, listening to music and spending time with his friends. 


Zack Kennedy photo

Mr. Zak Kennedy
Intern Major & College: Physics, Georgia Institute of Technology
PI: Tyrel McQueen
JHU PARADIM REU Project Title: High Dynamic Gas Pressure Single Crystal Growth

Zak Kennedy is a rising senior studying physics at the Georgia Institute of Technology. There he studies quantum spin chains in the lab of Dr. Martin Mourigal. This summer he is a PARADIM REU intern at Johns Hopkins University studying the high pressure single crystal growth of high valent quantum magnets. Next year, Zak plans to continue studying frustrated magnetic systems in a PhD program.


Cornell Physics PhD

Michael Straker

Mr. Michael Straker
Intern Major & College: , Morgan State University
PI: Tyrel McQueen
JHU PARADIM HEMI REU Presentation Title: Crystal Growth and Characterization of Boron Carbide

Michael Straker is enrolled in the M.S. program at Morgan State University. He is interested in materials by design, especially as applied to materials of technological relevance. He was supported in a summer internship at PARADIM through the HEMI Extreme Internships Program, and worked with Morgan State users to develop the growth of new materials.


University of Maryland (in Biomaterials)

Jessica Zahn photo Ms. Jessica Zahn
Intern Major & College: Chemistry & Mathematics, Sewanee University of the South
PI: Tyrel McQueen
JHU PARADIM REU Project Title: Systematic Floating Zone Single Crystal Growth for Machine Learning Objectives  

Jessica Zahn is a current senior at Sewanee: The University of the South, where she majors in chemistry and mathematics. In the Department of Chemistry, she researches the aggregation of platinum diimine complexes under Professor Robert Bachman. She also is a member of the Varsity Dive team. This summer she is a PARADIM REU intern at the bulk-crystal growth facility studying crystal growth in the Laser Diode Floating Zone Furnace for machine learning purposes and the PARADIM data collective. After graduation, Jessica plans to attend graduate school to pursue a PhD in chemistry. 


Georgia Tech (Chemistry) for PhD


2017 REU - Daniel Boughman

Mr. Daniel Bouman
Intern Major & College: Chemistry, CSU Fullerton
PI: Darrell Schlom
REU Project Title: Design and Manipulation of Ferroelectric Domains in BaTiO3 Thin-Films

Daniel Bouman has lived in Southern California his entire life and is the youngest of four. He is a first generation college student studying chemistry and minoring in physics at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF). While attending CSUF, Daniel remains busy by participating in research and working with the chemistry stockroom team. His research with Dr. A. Fry-Petit has drawn his attention to inelastic neutron scattering as a method for understanding solid-state phonon dynamics. While remaining enthusiastic about school and his academic career Daniel likes to spend his free time camping, hiking, and exploring the California outdoors.


Working for Elements Material Technology

2017 REU - Kaynan Goldberg

Ms. Kaynan (Kay) Goldberg
Intern Major & College: Materials Science & Engineering, North Carolina State University
PI: Darrell Schlom
REU Project Title: Compositional Analysis of Off-Stoichiometric Multiferroic LuMnO3 and Electrode Nanopatterning of (SrTiO3)n (BaTiO3)1 SrO Thin Films

Kay was born in Atlanta, GA, and has been living in Raleigh, NC for approximately the last ten years. She is a junior in Materials Science and Engineering at North Carolina State University, where she is also pursuing a minor in economics. Kay is concentrating on nanomaterials, gradually narrowing her focus to electrochemistry and clean energy. She works in Dr. Veronica Augustyn’s lab in the MSE department at NC State, where she primarily researches fuel cell catalysts. She also works as a chemistry tutor on and off campus, and is a member of the Honors Village at NC State. During her free time, Kay enjoys jogging the trails around her campus, slowly teaching herself the guitar and ukulele, and seeing local bands’ shows.


University of Texas at Austin - Doctor of Law

2017 REU - Morgan Grandon

Ms. Morgan Grandon
Intern Major & College: Chemistry, Truman State University
PI: Darrell Schlom
REU Project Title: Electrical and Structural Characterization of Superconducting Ruthenate Ruddlesden-Popper (RP) Thin Films

Morgan Grandon hails from Troy, MO, where she remained passionately curious about science and mathematics despite living in an area where these subjects were not emphasized. She is a proud first generation student and McNair scholar. Currently, Morgan is a senior chemistry major at Truman State University, a small liberal arts college in northeast Missouri. Last summer, she conducted research at Texas A&M University and was introduced to nanochemistry and materials science through her work in the lab of Dr. James Batteas. After graduation in December, Morgan plans to attend graduate school to pursue a degree in materials science, primarily focusing on energy research. In her spare time, Morgan enjoys reading science fiction, kayaking, and celebrating all things chemistry by her involvement in Truman’s student chapter of the American Chemical Society and Alpha Chi Sigma, the professional chemistry fraternity. She is also a professional Netflix binge watcher and a proud cat mom of one.


Charlotte's Web - Company

2017 REU - Jacob Waelder

Mr. Jacob Waelder
Intern Major & College: Physics, University of Washington
PI: Lena Kourkoutis
REU Project Title: Tracking Atoms in Two-Dimensional Materials Using Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy

Jacob was born in Hannibal, Missouri but has lived in Seattle, Washington since age 6. He did not start attending college at the usual age, but rather worked as an electrician. Though he was always enthusiastic about science, this job gave him a larger interest in the details of how electronics function, and more generally, how the world works on a very small scale. Eventually he worked his way through a local community college and transferred to the University of Washington. Jacob is now a senior majoring in physics. He has taken a strong interest in condensed matter physics and has been participating in research with 2D materials and their applications to nanophotonics with Professor Arka Majumdar. He is passionate about science and is interested in anything that will benefit climate or energy research. He plans on attending graduate school for physics or materials science to conduct research in 2D materials. Outside of school he likes to binge watch TV shows and bike around the city with his wife.


University of Michigan, graduate program Physics 


Heather Calcaterra

Ms. Heather Calcaterra
Intern Major & College: Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan
PI: Tyrel McQueen
JHU REU Project Title: Probing Single Crystal Growth Experimentally and through Computational Simulations

Heather is a rising senior in Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. She is utilizing COMSOL Multiphysics, a finite element differential equation solver, to investigate the impact of a supercritical fluid on the stability of a molten zone and decide what parameters might be ideal for crystal growth. She is investigating the effects of pressure, temperature gradient, and other materials-specific properties on the surrounding fluid environment in accordance with the Navier-Stokes Equations. Based on her positive research experience, she plans to apply to graduate school in chemistry and/or chemical engineering next year to pursue a Ph.D.


Northwestern graduate student with Mirkin Research Group, CBE   


2017 REU - Maggie Anderson

Ms. Maggie Anderson
Intern Major & College: The California Institute of Technology
PI: Darrell Schlom
REU Project Title: Characterization of Multiferroic Thin Films Generated with Molecular Beam Epitaxy

Margaret Anderson hails from Edwardsville, IL just outside of St. Louis. This coming year she will be a sophomore at the California Institute of Technology pursuing a double major in physics and medieval history. Last year, Maggie competed in the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium with her previous research in Nanosphere Photolithography from the Thermal Radiation Lab at Missouri S&T. She is excited to be researching and characterizing Multiferroic Materials in the Schlom Lab this summer. Outside of science, Maggie enjoys netflix, crafting, archery, and teaching herself random skills.


Harvard graduate school in Condensed Matter Physics

2017 REU - Vibha Vijayakumar

Ms. Vibha Vijayakumar
Intern Major & College: The California Institute of Technology
PI: Darrell Schlom
Project Title: Investigation of Ferroelectric Properties of Oxide Superlattices at Low Temperatures: How do Strain, Dimensionality, and Polarization Compete in the Low-Dimensional Structure, (SrTiO3)n(BaTiO3)mSrO?

Vibha Vijayakumar is from San Marcos, California and is a rising sophomore at Caltech. She has been interested in STEM from a young age and while in high school, she sought ways to explore interdisciplinary sciences and better understand her broad scientific interests, such as the Oncofertility Science Academy summer program at UCSD, where she explored cancer biology, reproductive physiology, IVF, and bioethics. She also spent a summer in Professor Sailor’s chemistry lab at UCSD, where she learned about the chemical properties and applications of porous silicon based nanomaterials and was part of a project researching the use of porous silicon nanoparticles in dopamine detection. While she intended to major in chemistry or chemical engineering when she entered Caltech, Vibha recently switched to majoring in electrical engineering. She isn’t sure what she wants to do in the future, but she is hoping that researching at Professor Schlom’s lab will give her a better idea. In her free time, Vibha likes to read, hike, play flute, and watch comedy.


Software Development Engineer at AWS Marketplace




Ms. Betty Hu
Intern Major & College: Applied Physics, Columbia University
PI: Kyle Shen
REU Project Title: A next-generation system for artificially engineering quantum materials by molecular beam epitaxy

Betty Hu comes from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Growing up in a college town as the daughter of two scientists, she was exposed to science from a young age and liked to come up with science experiments in her parents’ garage, which they were rarely happy about. She spent two summers working in Professor Nouri Neamati’s chemistry lab at the University of Michigan before coming to Columbia University, where she switched disciplines and recently finished her freshman year as an applied physics major. If she ever graduates, she plans on pursuing a graduate degree as well. In her free time, Betty enjoys napping in sunny spots, eating, and exploring New York City with her friends.


Harvard Graduate School, Physics Ph.D. program


Columbia University Award Winner 2019

Scientific American article

2016 REU - Mark Marsailis

Mr. Mark Marsalis
Intern Major & College: Physics and Math, Texas Tech University
PI: David Muller
REU Project Title: Seeing and building 3D structures from 2D materials

Mark Marsalis was born in Detroit, Michigan, and he moved to Houston, Texas when he was about six years old. After graduating high school, he was accepted to Texas Tech University where he is a senior currently pursuing a double major in Physics and Mathematics. He had done some research in Astrophysics for about a year before moving on to research in Nanofabrication. He is open to exploring any field of Nanotechnology, while not solely focusing on the material science aspect of it all. After he graduates, he plans to attend graduate school for Physics where he will continue to conduct research in a desired field of Nanotechnology. Outside of academia, some of Mark’s hobbies consist of martial arts, hiking, bike-riding, swimming, working out. He also reads any magazines, books, or articles pertaining to any field of science and technology that catch his interest.


Technical Consultant at Marsalis Technologies, Inc

2016 REU - Arthur McRay

Mr. Arthur McCray
Intern Major & College: Physics, Carleton College
PI: Lena Fitting Kourkoutis
REU Project Title: Understanding nanostructured materials atom-by-atom using scanning transmission electron microscopy

Arthur is a rising junior and physics major at Carleton College. His interests include general condensed matter physics, nanotechnology, math, as well as sculpture and pottery. This past year he has been working in the lab of Professor Melissa Eblen-Zayas with colossal magnetoresistance in europium oxide films, and he hopes to continue this project in his remaining time at Carleton. He is from Seattle, Washington and loves hiking, climbing, mountaineering, and just about anything outdoors. In addition, he plays ultimate frisbee for the Gods of Plastic, enjoys reading, and occasionally gets super passionate about chess for two months at a time.


Northwestern University, Graduate Student at Argonne National Lab.


2016 REU - Cameron Ruhl

Mr. Cameron Ruhl
Intern Major & College: Physics and Mathematics, Dickinson College
PI: Darrell Schlom
REU Project Title: Structural and Electrical Characterization of Oxide Thin Films Grown by Molecular-Beam Epitaxy

Cameron Ruhl comes from Camp Hill, a small town located directly across the Susquehanna River from Pennsylvania’s capital, Harrisburg. Currently, he attends Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where he is a double major in both mathematics and physics; he will be a senior next semester. He is interested in nearly all areas of science, although he is particularly interested in the material sciences, plasma physics, theoretical physics, and areas of both pure and applied mathematics. In his free time, he reads about the history of science, especially mathematics and physics, different theories from mathematics and physics, as well as fantasy. He also enjoys playing video games, hanging out with his friends, and having lively discussions about a wide variety of topics. He is a dedicated teaching assistant; this role allows him to help other students to understand different aspects of the sciences. Furthermore, he has been an avid advocate for the education learning disabilities and of concussions ever since he was diagnosed with ADHD during high school and with Post-Concussion Syndrome during his freshman year of college. Cameron plans to pursue a PhD in material science, plasma physics, or theoretical physics, with the intention of performing research before becoming a professor later on in life.


2016 REU - Nicolo Zulaybar

Mr. Nicolo Zulaybar
Intern Major & College: Chemistry (EE Minor), Stanford University
PI: Tyler M. McQueen
REU Project Title: Synthesis and Characterization of the Next Generation of Electronic Crystalline Matter

Nicolo Zulaybar graduated from Chaminade College Preparatory High School in Los Angeles and currently studies Chemistry at Stanford University where he will be a junior in the fall. He is interested in Materials Science and Electrical Engineering. Nicolo’s experiences developing electronic materials as a member of Stanford’s Xia Lab have sparked his interest in using Chemistry to build novel electronic systems and devices. He hopes to continue pursuing these interests as an investigator at a major research university, an interest developed from his research involvement throughout his academic career, and his experiences teaching and mentoring as an officer in his high school robotics and Science Bowl teams. Outside of lab, Nicolo enjoys socializing with his siblings in Stanford’s Alpha Chi Sigma chemistry fraternity, going on weekend bike rides, and traveling.


Stanford University