Spencer Talks at the National Undergraduate Research Conference

Last week, sophomore undergraduate researcher Spencer Hong (supervised by PhD student Blaire Sorenson) gave an inspiring talk on his research on new materials for renewable energy sources, specifically hybrid organic-inorganic perovskites, at the National Undergraduate Research Conference in Oklahoma City, OK. For the focus of his presentation, Spencer discussed the predictive ability of different solvation models in these perovskite systems using the intramolecular binding energies as a metric. Outside of his talk, Spencer also had the opportunity to discuss the perovskite field with interested students from across the US. Overall Spencer had a positive experience and is eager for his next opportunity to travel and present at another conference.

Former Undergrad Angela Receives the Gates Cambridge Scholarship

Former Clancy group undergraduate researcher extraordinaire, Angela Harper, has won a Gates Cambridge Scholarship which recognizes academic ability and leadership potential. Angela is currently completing her MPhil degree in Physics at Cambridge University, U.K., as part of her Churchill Fellowship studying Li-ion battery anodes using ab initio computational approaches. Angela also won the 2018 APS LeRoy Apker “for significant contributions to printed electronics research and outstanding leadership of the Society of Physics Students and Society of Women in STEM fields.”

Blaire Wins 2018 Ford Foundation Fellowship

Blaire Sorenson (MSE, PhD candidate) was awarded a prestigious 2018 Ford Foundation Fellowship, administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The Ford Foundation Fellowship identifies future faculty who will increase the diversity of the professoriate. Blaire was honored for her research scholarship on renewable energy systems and for her commitment to enriching the education of all students. She is a recent winner of the Toni Morrison award for service to diverse communities at Cornell. She was instrumental in creating the “I’m the First” campaign to celebrate “first gen” college students, both UG and graduate students and even faculty.

Blaire’s research is focused on understanding the solution processing of hybrid organic-inorganic perovskites (of which PbI3MA is the best known example). These materials are exciting the solar PV community with solar efficiencies that rival the market-leader, silicon (over 21%). She has already published in this area, with a number of additional publications in preparation. She has helped create new collaborations with an impressive number of U.S. and international collaborators, from Oxford University (Henry Snaith’s group) to the University of Virginia (Josh Choi), UCLA (Jane Cheng), Stanford (Kevin Stone) and Princeton (Lynn Loo).

Iron Ring Ceremony

This weekend was a special one for two of our group members: Seun Romiluyi and Andrew Ruttinger. Seun, who graduated from McMaster University in 2017, took the engineer’s obligation during the Ritual of the Calling of the Engineer. Meanwhile, Andrew, who graduated from the University of Western Ontario and took the engineer’s obligation in 2016, attended his ceremony as an alumni and mentor.

The Ritual of the Calling of the Engineer is held at Canadian universities and is open to students who are graduating after a four year engineering degree. The ceremony’s purpose is to instruct engineering students about the ethical, moral, and professional obligations of a working engineer. At the end of the ceremony, the students receive the Iron Ring, which is a symbol of their obligation and a reminder to these future engineers that they have a responsibility to society to uphold a high standard of work. Recipients wear the Iron Ring on the pinky of their dominant hand, as it is the first object to touch their paper while they perform their engineering work – again, to remind the engineer of their responsibilities.

Congratulations to Seun as he takes this step in his professional career, and to Andrew as he continues working towards his Professional Engineering license.

Best Wishes to Binit and Anjali!

We are happy to congratulate Dr. Binit Lukose, a former post-doc of the Clancy group, on the occasion of his wedding last month to his beautiful and talented bride, Anjali. They will reside in Boston, where Binit is working as a post-doc. We wish you many years of a long and contented life together.

Nikita Travels to California for the APS Meeting

Nikita Sengar presented a well-received talk at the American Physical Society (APS) March Meeting in LA, California, highlighting her exciting work on integrating a Bayesian Optimization technique with Molecular Dynamics. Her talk focused on the potential of using this novel approach to uncover the relationship underlying the structure and the properties of polymorphs of thin film organic semiconducting materials, and guide the choice of experiments during material design.

Nikita presenting her talk at the APS meeting.

APS is one of the biggest conferences in physics that brings together a broad spectrum of the physics community to share groundbreaking research in topics including atomic, molecular, and computational physics. It has also been very active in promoting gender equality through their “Women in Physics” programs. Congratulations to Nikita for her successful sojourn at APS!

Welcome to the Clancy group!

We would like to give a warm welcome to all the new members in the Clancy group for the 2017-2018 academic year!

New AY 17-18 additions to the Clancy group. From left to right: Greg Casee, Meng Min, Oluwaseun Romiluyi, Karthik Balakrishnan and Aaron Chen. Not shown: Divya Sharma and Wang (Leo) Gao.

We have two incoming MS/PhD students, Greg Casee and Oluwaseun Romiluyi. Greg joins us as a chemical engineering graduate of Lehigh University in Pennsylvania and will be studying quantum dot formation and structure. Meanwhile, Seun comes to us as a chemical engineering graduate from McMaster University in Canada and will investigate the stability of hybrid organic-inorganic perovskites.

We also have four MS students joining our group. Aaron Chen will be working with Nikita Sengar to study crystal morphology of organic conductors. Wang Gao will work alongside Henry Herbol in his development of a Simple Molecular Reactive Force Field (SMRFF) and the Physical Analytics pipeLine (PAL). Meng Min will work with mentor Yaset Acevedo to quantify the demetalation of covalent organic frameworks. Last but not least, Divya Sharma will work with Andrew Ruttinger to better understand the behaviour of antibacterial peptides towards drug discovery.

Finally, we have one new MEng student, Karthik Balakrishnan, who will be working under Blaire Sorenson’s guidance to study solvent etching patterns of Co/Pt systems.

We look forward to all of the exciting work that our new members will bring to the group as they progress forward in their respective degrees!

Ryan passes his A exam

Congratulations to Ryan for passing his admission to candidacy exam (A exam) on the 24th of January! Ryan provided an in-depth discussion on his work in studying Covalent Organic Frameworks (COFs) and his application of COFs to explosives detection through their fluorescence behaviour. Ryan’s committee consisted of Profs. Tobias Hanrath, Peter Frazier and Paulette Clancy (Chair). We wish him continued success as he heads into the second half of his thesis work.

The Clancy Group attends Fall MRS in Boston

The Clancy group had a strong showing at the 2017 Fall Materials Research Symposium (MRS) in Boston, Massachusetts with three group members presenting their research. Henry Herbol led the charge with two posters on his research in Bayesian optimization and hybrid inorganic-organic perovskites, respectively, and a wonderful oral presentation on his work in developing a reactive force field for perovskites. Mardochee Reveil followed up with a very insightful oral presentation on his study of Si diffusion in III-V materials, garnering significant interest from the audience. The conference was capped off with Andrew Ruttinger’s eye-catching poster on the nucleation mechanism of PbS quantum dots in solution. Congratulations to Henry, Mardochee, and Andrew on their successful deliveries at MRS, and we look forward to another good showing at MRS 2018 in Phoenix!