Pentzer Group members are highly motivated undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral associates dedicated to building better organic materials. Group members come from a variety of backgrounds including chemistry, materials science and engineering, chemical engineering, and mechanical engineering. Our collaborative environment supports interdisciplinary efforts at the forefront of soft materials research, and our work is strengthened by collaborations with researchers from different labs.





Niradha was born and raised in Sri Lanka and earned her B.Sc. at the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. She joined Nelson group at Oklahoma State University and earned her Ph.D. in 2017 where she focused on the design, synthesis and characterization of Eumelanin-inspired materials as organic semiconductors. She expanded her research experience by working as a postdoctoral researcher at Seferos group, University of Toronto, Canada for two years. She joined Pentzer group in January 2020 and starting to research on azulene derivatives and incorporated polymers with enhanced performance as dielectric materials. In her free time, Niradha enjoys chatting with her mom and friends, cooking, watching movies and organizing trips and parties.

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Peiran is from Wuhan, China, a city with two rivers and hundreds of lakes. After receiving his bachelor’s degree at Wuhan Institute of Technology, Peiran joined the Pentzer Lab in 2013 and earned his Ph.D. degree at CWRU department of chemistry in 2019. Peiran is currently working on 1) asymmetrically functionalization of 2D particles, and 2) developing novel multifunctional inks for 3D printing. Though Peiran choses science as his lifetime pursuit, art and philosophy are in his soul. In his spare time, Peiran likes to paint, listen to music, read books, and visit museums.

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Miao is from Anhui China. She earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Soochow University and master’s degree at National University of Singapore. In 2015, Miao joined the Byers group at Boston College pursuing her Ph.D, where she worked on developing an electrochemically redox switchable polymerization system. She joined the Pentzer lab as a postdoc researcher, joint with Prof. Jodie Lutkenhaus in chemical engineering. Miao is working on the synthesis and electrochemical characterization of novel organic radical polymers. During her free time, Miao enjoys hiking and playing video games with friends.



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5th year, Chemistry

Maria Escamilla CV 01/2020

Maria comes to us from warm and sunny California. She earned her bachelor’s degree from California State University Los Angeles (CSULA). While at CSULA, she worked on the synthesis of resorcinarene based macrocycles under the mentorship of Professor Linda Tunstad. She is currently working with Pickering type emulsions using 2D particle surfactants and on the synthesis of redox-active small molecules for applications in organic flow batteries. During her free time, she enjoys the outdoors, reading, and music.

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5th year, Chemistry

Sarah Mitchell CV 01/2020

Sarah is from Erie, Pennsylvania where she earned her B.S. in chemistry at Mercyhurst University.  She currently works on the synthesis of redox active small molecules for the incorporation into deep eutectic solvents for new electrolytes and the polymerization of silyl ketenes.  In her spare time, she likes to read, listen to music and go camping.

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4th year, Chemistry

Katelynn Edgehouse CV 03/2021

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Katelynn earned her undergraduate degree from Cleveland State University where she worked with Prof. David Ball. Her current research focuses on the encapsulation of active liquids for contaminant removal and electrochemical applications. Outside of lab, her hobbies include running, crafting, cooking, reading, and watching her favorite sports team – the Cleveland Indians.

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3rd year, Chemistry

Sarah Lak CV 01/2020

Sarah received her bachelor's degree in chemistry from Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Pakistan. Her current research in Pentzer Lab focuses on encapsulation of phase change materials and functionalization and characterization of Janus nanosheets with tuned interfacial properties. Outside of lab, Sarah loves to travel and appreciates good music, art and food (read: chocolate).

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2nd year, Chemical Engineering

Huaixuan Cao CV 01/2020

Huaixuan is from Shandong, China, and he earned his undergraduate degree from East China University of Science and Technology. During this period, he had a one-year experience at the University of Houston as a transfer senior student. Currently, his research focuses on surface modification of 2D nanomaterials and self-assembly at liquid-liquid interfaces. In his spare time, he enjoys playing basketball, table tennis, and roller skating.

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2nd year, Materials Science & Engineering

Ciera Cipriani CV 01/2020

Ciera graduated with her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from North Carolina State University, where she worked jointly with Dr. Melissa Pasquinelli and Dr. Nelson Vinueza to determine the degradation mechanisms of industrially relevant textile dyes. As a student employee at NC State University Libraries and an intern at Formlabs, Ciera gained years of hands-on experience with 3D printing. Now a member of the Pentzer Lab, she combines this expertise with the group’s knowledge of Pickering emulsions to tune the microstructures of 3D printed materials. Outside of the lab, Ciera plays the drums, spends time with friends, wakes up early to hit the gym before other people are there to see her attempting to exercise, and tries to be a comedian.



2nd year, Chemistry

Randinu Pulukkody CV

Randinu graduated from Texas A&M University in May 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. As an undergraduate researcher she worked in the Wooley lab on developing plant-derived, mussel-inspired polycarbonates from quercetin and lysine. After graduating she worked as a research assistant in the Michaudel Lab on sequence-controlled polymerizations through metal-free deprotection/click reaction cascades. She joined the Pentzer group in August 2019 and is currently working on polymerizations of silyl ketenes. Outside of lab, Randinu enjoys listening to music, hanging out with friends and watching sports.

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2nd year, Materials Science & Engineering

Yifei Wang CV 01/2020

Yifei is now a PhD student of the Pentzer Lab in Materials Sciences & Engineering at Texas A&M University. Her research interest focuses on properties of emulsions stabilized by 2D particle surfactants and application-oriented encapsulation of ionic liquids. In her spare time, she likes reading books and watching movies.

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1st year, Materials Science & Engineering

Michael joins us from Indiana, where he graduated from Purdue University with a B.S. in Materials Science & Engineering. At Purdue, Michael split his time between developing custom lab equipment for the Davis Research Group and microencapsulating aromatic oils for P&G. He looks forward to his time in the Pentzer Lab, where he will focus on understanding microplastic. In his free time, Michael enjoys running, cooking, and snowboarding.

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1st year, Materials Science & Engineering

Cameron graduated from Colorado State University in May 2020 with a B.S. in Chemical and Biological Engineering and a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering. During his undergraduate years, he worked with Dr. Ashok Prasad researching the mechanics of cancer cells and developing his customer service skills through multiple jobs with the university. As a member of the Pentzer Lab, he is developing his skills in polymer synthesis. Outside of school and lab, he enjoys trying new recipes, exploring, and yearning for his next opportunity to travel.



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2nd year, Materials Science & Engineering

Gaur CV

Samanvaya comes from the Indian desert state of Rajasthan; he completed his undergraduate studies in Mechanical Engineering with specialization in Energy Engineering from Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT), India. During this period, he was a member of Centre of Nanotechnology Research headed by Dr. A.N. Grace where he worked on preparation, characterization, and energy storage applications of polymer nanocomposites. Currently, his research focuses on incorporation of new chemistries  for the enhanced stabilization of ionic liquid capsules and exploring their potential applications in diverse fields. Other than academics, he loves playing soccer and is a huge FC Barcelona fan, also he enjoys occasional reading, listening to music, visiting museums, collecting coins & stamps, among many other diverse interests.



Former Postdocs: Brendan McGrail (2014-2015, now at Arkema); Al De Leon (2016-2017, now at ThermoFisher)

Former PhD students: Brad Rodier (PhD 2017, Rochal Industries); Rachel Matthews (PhD 2018, Saint Gobain); Peiran Wei (PhD 2019, postdoc at Texas A&M); Yuanhui Xiang (PhD 2019, postdoc at Notre Dame); Qinmo Luo (PhD 2019, postdoc at University of Virginia); Kevin Pachuta (PhD 2020, postdoc at Case Western Researve University)

Former MS students: Nolan Kovach (PhD student at Colorado School of Mines); Bowen Li (PhD student at Case Western Reserve University); Houming Leng

Former Undergraduate students: Abdallahameen Bello (2019-2020, undergraduate student at Texas A&M); Lee Kendall (2017-2019, now PhD student at University of Virginia Arlington); Michael Lu Diaz (REU student 2017, PhD student at UMass Amherst); Emily Glasser (2016-2018, law school student); John Kwon (2017-2018, medical school student); Paul Advincula (2016-2018, PhD student at Rice University); Spencer Burton (2013-2017, PhD student at Northwestern University); Eric Mosher (2013-2017, PhD student at Johns Hopkins); Taylor Frey (2016-2017, PhD student at UC Irvine); John McCaffrey (2014-2017, Lubrizol); Riki Drout (2014-2016, PhD student at Northwestern); Laura Alonso (REU 2015, PhD student at UIC); Ann Davies (REU student 2015, MD/PhD student Northwestern); Ty Densmore (2014-2016, medical school student); Emily Young (2013-2016, medical school student); Kelly Peterson (2013-2015, PhD student UCSB); Jordan Swisher (2013-2015, PhD student at UPitt)

Former High School students: Louisa Wang (2018-2019, still in high school); Daphney Bonner (2014-2016, undergraduate at Howard University); RhayAuna Dent (2017-2018 through ACS SEED, undergraduate at Univ. Miami Ohio); Jaylen Williams (2016-2018 through ACS SEED, undergraduate at Univ. Miami Ohio); Kim Gliebe (2013-2014, now PhD student at CWRU)