He received his bachelor's in chemistry from Reed College in 1990, and his doctorate in chemistry from Harvard University in 1996. He specializes in multi-disciplinary problem solving in the physical sciences and their corresponding engineering disciplines. Over his 22-year research and development (R&D) career, he has developed expertise in physical chemistry, chemical kinetics, atmospheric chemistry, instrumentation, electronics (digital, analog, power, and RF), spectroscopic sensing, lasers, fiber optics and wave guides, classical optics, electro-optics, electromagnetics, electromechanical systems, heat transfer, materials science, mechanical engineering, manufacturing processes, and renewable energy technologies.
He has won four R&D 100 Awards, holds numerous patents, has 10 active licenses on his inventions, and given many invited talks on the subject of serial innovation. In 2015, he was selected by the U.S. Department of Energy as its Inaugural SunShot Innovator in Residence. He invented the Radical-Ion Flow Battery under the SunShot Innovator in Residence Program to address the need for low-cost, highly scalable electrochemical grid storage, and the performance limitations of prior art battery chemistries in this demanding application. His current research portfolio is focused on electrochemical grid storage, the elimination of rare-earth magnets in wind turbines, and semiconductor thermal management (power electronics, CPUs, GPUs).
She is a member of the Building Envelope Systems Research Group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) with her current research includes evaluating the performance of easy-to-install air barrier technologies, examining the feasibility of new air leak detectors for building enclosures, assessing the cost-effectiveness of various techniques to retrofit commercial building envelopes, and exploring the potential use of advanced manufacturing in building envelopes. In 2015, she was selected among researchers who were collaborating under the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center for Building Energy Efficiency (CERC BEE) to brief Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz on advancements in air sealing technologies. As a continuation of this work, she is leading a project under the second phase of CERC BEE aiming to improve the energy performance of architectural insulated concrete precast panels using latest developments in advanced composites, 3D printing, and material science. With the support from the National Science Foundation, she received a doctorate in civil engineering from the University of Texas-Austin for her work on human exposure to hazardous air pollutants in homes. She is a registered professional engineer (inactive) and a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional.
She is a materials engineer for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in charge of determining new fluid formulations (molten salts, liquid metals, supercritical) for thermal applications. She is researching in corrosion mitigation to control degradation at high temperature under extreme conditions (mechanical, chemical, and thermal). She has become a material’s expert in solar thermal applications. She successfully managed complex, multimillion dollar projects, including coordinating multiple partners and professional scientists and engineers. Her understanding of the interaction of materials with the surrounding environment is key for selecting the appropriate materials used in thermal energy storage and heat transfer fluid systems. She has a patent, multiple publications in molten-salt utilization and characterization with applications as sensible heat fluid and phase-change materials, and other publications on corrosion evaluation of ceramics, alloys and surface treatments for high-temperature applications in harsh environments. She earned a bachelor’s and master’s in materials engineering from Simon Bolivar University and a doctorate from Colorado School of Mines in metallurgical and materials engineering. She also holds a research assistant professor appointment in the Metallurgical & Materials Engineering Department at the Colorado School of Mines. She has accumulated over 25 years of experience in materials science and engineering.