Leadership and Faculty
Dr. Sanjeev Mukerjee
Dr. Sanjeev Mukerjee is a College of Science Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Northeastern University; where he has been since September of 1998. Since founding it in 2009, he has been Director of the center for Renewable Energy Technology and its subset the Laboratory for Electrochemical Advanced Power (LEAP). His research on charge transfer dynamics at both two and three dimensional electrochemical interfaces encompasses development of new materials, in situ synchrotron spectroscopy, and electro-analytical methods; which has resulted in more than 150 peer reviewed publications and 6 US patents. He has led NUCRET towards the initiative of developing novel non noble metal electrocatalysts, new materials to enable Li-air batteries, novel materials for hybrid solutions in large scale energy storage, high temperature membranes for fuel cell applications and anion exchange membranes. He has secured industry partnerships with De Nora and BASF which provide an outlet for real world application of NUCRET research, along with local startup companies. Dr. Mukerjee holds a PhD in Analytical Chemistry, M.Tech in Catalysis, and M.S. in Chemistry.
Dr. Serge Pann
Serge brings to NUCRET over 25 years of combined academic, engineering, business, international collaboration, and entrepreneurial experience. He runs NUCRET day-to-day operations, plans and contributes to research, advises on the aspects of MOF catalyst technology development, takes care of all administrative, financial, personnel, equipment, facilities, lab safety, IP protection, technology commercialization and transfer. Serge started his career at a large research/academic institution where he created and led his research group specializing in technology development and characterization of non-equilibrium metal alloys, powder metallic, ceramic and composite materials for structural and functional applications, such as ceramic doped high-temperature superconductors, plastically shapeable ceramic matrix composites, ceramic fuel cells, nanostructured super-magnets. As part of his group research he formalized phenomenological model of amorphous alloys strengthening via alloying. He also served as Director of the Overseas Operations of a multinational public corporation and as Director of its spin-out joint venture company developing and commercializing technology for lithium ion batteries, supercapacitors, porous blocks to replace space shuttle honeycomb panels, and super-strong/light metallic materials. Prior to Northeastern, Serge, for over 10 years, served as a Vice President of a Boston-based consulting company involved in publishing, conferences, specialized reports in the fields of materials science, renewable energy and (bio)defense. He holds PhD degree in Solid State Physics, MS in Physical Metallurgy, and Diploma of Metallurgical Engineer. His additional background is in Business Administration and Computer Science.
Dr. K. M. Abraham
Dr. K. M. Abraham is Research Professor at the Center for Renewable Energy Technology (NUCRET), Northeastern University, and the principal of E-KEM Sciences, a battery consulting company in Needham, Massachusetts. K.M. has had a 44 year career in lithium battery research and development with emphasis on rechargeable Lithium and Li-ion batteries. He, along with his colleagues at EIC Laboratories in Norwood, Massachusetts, has made many pioneering contributions to advance primary and secondary lithium batteries. Dr. Abraham received his undergraduate education at St. Berchmans’ College of Kerala University, India, where he was a gold medalist and a National Merit Scholarship winner. He received his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from Tufts University, Medford, MA in 1973 and conducted post-doctoral research at Vanderbilt University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a member of the American Chemical Society, The Electrochemical Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Sigma Xi Honor Society. K.M has published more than 200 papers in journals, meeting proceeding volumes and book chapters, and authored 16 US patents. He received a number of awards for his work including the Battery Research Award of the Electrochemical Society (1995), The National Aeronautics and Space Administration Group Achievement Award for the Rechargeable Battery Team (1995), Two NASA Certificates of Merit for invention (1983 and 1997, and election as Fellow of the Electrochemical Society and Fellow of The Royal Society of Chemistry.
Dr. Qingying Jia
Dr. Qingying Jia is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and a Senior Research Scientist at NUCRET. University. He received his Ph.D. in Material Sciences at Illinois Institute of Technology, USA in 2010. While at NUCRET, Dr. Jia’s research focus is on synchrotron-based in situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) characterization of (electro) catalysts with applications to fuel cells, elecrolyzers and batteries. Dr. Jia is also teaching graduate courses in quantum chemistry, thermodynamics and spectroscopic analytical methods.
Senior Research Staff
Dr. Ian Kendrick
Dr. Ian Kendrick is a postdoctoral researcher focusing on the development and characterization of catalysts for hydrogen evolution and oxygen evolution. He is also spearheading NUCRETs efforts to create methods for acquiring in-situ vibrational spectra of catalytic surfaces. In addition, he contributes to projects related to carbon dioxide reduction. His previous research activities included polymer electrolyte synthesis and characterization, electrochemical reactor design, organic synthesis, and protein overexperession.
Ershuai Liu is a first year PhD student in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and graduate researcher at NUCRET. His research interest is catalyst for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) in alkaline electrolytes. Prior to joining NUCRET, he received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Zhiyuan College, Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 2013 under the advisory of Prof. Zi-Feng Ma
Jiao Li is a PhD Candidate at the Department of Chemical Engineering (College of Engineering at Northeastern University). She joined NUCRET as graduate researcher in the Fall 2017 and has since worked on development of PGM-based catalysts for HER-HOR. Prior to joining NUCRET, she received Bachelor and Master Degrees from Nanjing Forestry University (PR China) and her research had focused on the nanomaterials fabrication and application.
Lynne LaRochelle Richard is a first-year physical chemistry Ph.D. student. She returns to the academic environment after years in the public and private sectors where she was a secondary science educator and, later, an industrial chemist in a local Boston company that produces materials for a variety of industries, including batteries. Lynne is thrilled to be back in an intense research environment where she will learn the fundamental electrochemistry and learn to design innovative materials for lithium batteries. Lynne holds a Master’s degree in inorganic chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania, where she co-authored several papers and published a thesis on the catalytic, asymmetric addition of diethylzinc to ketones. She received her (Honors) Bachelor of Science from the University of Delaware and wrote her thesis on a di-copper hemocyanin model complex. In her free time, Lynne enjoys weightlifting, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and knitting.
Thomas Stracensky is a 1st year PhD candidate in the department of chemistry and chemical biology and graduate researcher at NUCRET with a focus on physical/electrochemistry. He is currently involved in increasing the efficiency of CO2 to O2 conversion using electrochemical hydrogen separation technologies as well as designing novel flow cell batteries. Prior to joining Northeastern he graduated from Salve Regina University with a B.S. in chemistry and worked for 1 year as a senior Associate Scientist at Euorfins. As a part of Eurofins’ personal scientific services, he investigated precipitation kinetics of weakly basic drugs bydeveloping in-vitro testing methods for in-silico modeling.
Undergraduate Student Researchers
Dr. Emory S. De Castro
Dr. Emory S. De Castro, is a CTO of Advent Technologies, Inc. He also is the Lead Project Scientist (Associate) at NUCRET. Emory brings over 18 years of fuel cell experience and 30 years of taking electrochemical R&D concepts to commercialization. Advent specializes in membranes, gas diffusion electrodes, and membrane electrode assemblies as they can be applied to energy creation, storage, or reducing energy consumption during electrolysis. Dr. De Castro has led teams that have won the Electrochemical Society’s New Electrochemical Technology Award for introducing energy saving gas diffusion electrodes in the electrolysis of HCl, and DOE’s Manufacturing R&D award for high throughput roll coating of gas diffusion electrodes. Focus of Advent’s joint projects (led by Emory) with NUCRET are for the Advent to identify technologies that can make both commercial and societal impacts.
Dr. Ryan Pavlicek
Dr. Ryan Pavlicek is a Senior Scientist with Advent Technologies, Inc., a renewable energy R&D company based in Patra, Greece, while also conducting joint research with NUCRET scientists at NUCRET’s Boston based laboratories. Advent’s work includes a broad range of energy technology, including catalyst,electrode, and membrane development for a variety of energy systems, including HT-PEM (single cells and stacks) as well as redox flow batteries. He completed his PhD in 2017 working under Prof. Sanjeev Mukerjee. His work was primarily focused on fuel cell technologies, in particular PEM, AEM, and HT-PEM. His work focused on the development and evaluation of non-PGM materials for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction, both in terms of performance and long-term stability. Prior to joining NUCRET, he completed both a B.S. in Chemistry and B.A. in European Studies at Carnegie Mellon University in 2011.
Amell Alsudairi is a fifth year PhD candidate in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and a graduate researcher at NUCRET. Her research focuses on the effect of electrolytes on the Oxygen Reduction Reactions in Lithium-air batteries. Before joining NUCRET, she received B.S. and M.S. in Chemistry from King Abdulaziz University. She is on a scholarship from her employer, King Abdulaziz University, and she intends to return to her country and resume her work there as an assistant Professor in the Chemistry Department.
Atma Spring graduated with his B.S. in Chemistry, minor in writing, from Fort Lewis College in Durango Colorado in May of 2015. At the time of his graduation he had completed over 300 research hours under Dr. Kenneth Miller and Dr. William Collins stamina. Much of the work was on developing the synthesis of an interesting class of conformationally constrained biaryl ethers, among other projects. Atma completed the NSF REU program at Northeastern over the summer of 2014 under Associate Professor Ke Zhang. His work while there was to continue research on Polycondensation of polymer brushes via DNA hybridization published in JACS, July 2014. He was able to successfully synthesize twelve tri-block polymers in his ten weeks there, four of which had PDI’s below 1.15. He brings to NUCRET strong background focused heavily in organic and materials chemistry. He is in the first year of the PhD program in the Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology.
Huong “Harsha” Doan
Huong “Harsha” Doan graduated in May 2014 from Worcester State University (Worcester, MA). She is in her forth year of pursuing her Ph.D at NUCRET under advisement of Prof. Sanjeev Mukerjee. Her previous publication focused on a non-PGM OER catalyst, Ni-Fe (Co)/ Raney-PANI, which was published on November 2015. She also has experience on developing and optimizing the water splitting cell system, with the main purpose of producing hydrogen gas at low cost in alkaline media, using non-PGM OER and HER catalysts (both were developed at NUCRET with Harsha’s major contribution). She conducts two sponsored research projects funded through DOE and ARPA-E in collaboration with NUCRET partners.
Manav Sharma, graduated from Northeastern University (BS in Chemistry) in August 2017. Past his graduation, he has been working as a Research Scientist at Advent Technology, Inc. (Cambridge, MA). His focus has been on fabrication of MEAs and Electrodes for both R&D as well as Commercial Fuel Cells (Low and High temperature). Not only limited to the Fuel Cell world, he has also been actively involved in membrane Characterization for Redox Flow Battery Systems. As a part of a joint projects with NUCRET, he has been working on automation of various lab instruments using Lab View. He has also actively been a part of Inorganic catalyst synthesis and testing for NASA’s Plasma Pyrolysis Assembly Project as well as Catalyst Prep and Testing for a Project on Prevention of Noble Metal from Halide poisoning. He has also been a part of various low and high temperature fuel cell testing as well as water splitting experiment using alkaline membrane.