I joined the group in 2005 following completion of a Bachelor of Science degree in my home state of California. After growing up in Lodi (the birthplace of A&W Root Beer), I attended the University of California, Berkeley, where I earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science and Engineering. Prior to arriving at Northwestern, I had the opportunity to participate in various summer research activities at Cornell University, UC Santa Barbara, and Bell Labs. These research experiences helped me discover the bulk of my interests intersect at the study of mechanical behavior. I was able to feed these interests in my final year at UC Berkeley with a project at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory concerning fatigue crack-growth mechanisms in cortical bone. Results from that project can be found here.
I am currently investigating a method to reduce the weight of planar solid-oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) by replacing monolithic interconnects with much lighter, iron-based metallic foams. Characterized by its use of a solid, ceramic electrolyte, the SOFC is a type of fuel cell that has cultivated recent interest due to some key advantages: high efficiency (~50-70%), fuel flexibility, and internal reforming. Despite these benefits, the requirement of high temperature operation (500-1000ºC) poses many problems ranging from thermal expansion mismatch to lengthy startup times, which have restricted SOFCs to use in primarily stationary applications. Ultimately, our goal is to develop ferritic steel foams for interconnects that will lead to significant weight savings in SOFCs, facilitating their mobility and potential use in the automotive and aerospace industries.