Graduate Students

Elena Ewaldz
Iowa State University
B.S. in Materials Engineering - 2017
Minors: German and Apparel, Merchandising, and Design.

During her time at Iowa State, Elena performed research under Dr. Chunhui Xiang in electrospun bio-renewable polymer mats for pesticide filtration. She also did a co-op working as a plant process engineer at Bemis North America (Oshkosh, WI) and as an engineering intern for two summers at UTC Aerospace Systems (Rockford, IL). After her first year as a Ph.D. student she completed an experiential internship at AbbVie (North Chicago, IL) in NCE Formulation Sciences LC, studying the effects of drug product formulation on dissolution rate for the design of amorphous solid dispersions. Elena is currently a Ph.D. student in the Materials Science and Engineering Department and a recipient of the GAANN fellowship. Her research in the Brettmann lab is focused on the influence of particles and their interactions in electrospinning ultrafine fibers.

Contact: eewaldz AT

Nasreen Khan

Drexel University
B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering - 2013
M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering - 2013

In 2011, she did a co-op in the Biosurgicals R&D team at Ethicon, Inc. (Johnson and Johnson). Her Master's research focused on creating Hierarchically Ordered Nanofibers for Biomimetic Applications under Dr. Christopher Li. After graduating, she worked in industry in the Material Science group at DePuy Synthes (Johnson and Johnson), Technical Service at Dunmore Corporation, and R&D at TerraCycle, Inc. She is currently a Ph.D student in the School of Materials Science and Engineering and a Renewable Bioproducts Institute Fellow. Her research in the Brettmann Lab focuses on rational design of polyelectrolyte complexes for use in paper manufacturing. In Nasreen's spare time, she co-hosts Talk Green to Me, a podcast on materials and sustainability, with Manali.

Contact: nasreen AT

Alexandra Marnot
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
B.S. in Chemical Engineering - 2019
Minor: Biomedical Engineering

While at Virginia Tech, Alex worked in both the DREAMS Lab, and the Polymers and Composite Materials Lab, doing research on stereolithography and fused filament fabrication additive manufacturing. She also interned with the Technology Commercialization Office at Virginia Tech, reviewing and making recommendations for technology licensing. Alex spent a summer abroad at the Technical University of Denmark for a course in Unit Operations. Alex is currently a Ph.D. student in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Georgia Tech. Her research focus in the Brettmann lab is on 3D printing for construction in space environments. Alex is a recipient of the GAANN fellowship, the NSTGRO fellowship and a student in the TI:GER program in Georgia Tech's Scheller School of Business.

 Contact: amarnot3 AT

Jonathan Cotler
California Institute of Technology
B.S. in Chemical Engineering - concentration in Materials Science - 2019

As an undergraduate, Jon worked with Dr. David Tirrell, where he investigated the effects of high shear forces on protein-mediated colloidal assembly, along with Dr. Julia Greer, where he studied the reversible addition of hydrophobic moieties to hydrophilic polymers, and most recently, with Dr. Julie Kornfield, where he studied the rapid isolation and analysis of bacteria at ultralow concentrations. He is currently a graduate student in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Georgia Tech and a recipient of the Renewable Bioproducts Institute Fellowship. His research focuses on the design and fabrication of degradable polymers for recyclable and sustainable packaging.

Contact: jcotler3 AT

Jaehyun Cho
University of Iowa
B.S. in Chemical Engineering - 2012
Seoul National University
M.S. in Chemical Engineering - 2015

During his Master’s degree at SNU, he was supervised by Dr. Jae Young Jho and studied the relationship between polymer structure and properties. He dealt with many different kinds of thermoplastics, which are mechanically superior engineering plastics. After his M.S. degree, he joined the Korea Institute of Science Technology, where he spent several years developing carbon fiber-based composite materials and worked on manipulating the interfaces of the polymer matrix and carbon fibers. He is currently a Ph.D. student in the Chemical Engineering department at Georgia Tech, focusing on developing new types of polymers that are mechanically resilient, and recyclable or depolymerizable under the Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) project.

Contact: jcho361 AT

Mona Amrihesari
Baha'i Institute for Higher Education (BIHE)
BS in Applied Chemistry - 2016

Mona graduated from BIHE despite all the limitations that she faced as a Baha'i student in Iran. As an undergraduate, Mona spent her internship working with an analytical lab in the industry. She did her bachelor thesis on the study of marine corrosion, advised by Dr. Shiva Farabi. She joined the Recyclable or Depolymerizable Study with the Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) project, focusing on polymer solubility measurements.

Contact: mona.amrihesari AT

Haley Carroll
The University of Southern Mississippi
B.S. in Polymer Science and Engineering – 2021
Minor: Chemistry

During her time at Southern Miss, Haley spent all four years in Dr. Yoan Simon’s research lab covering a range of projects including mechanochemistry for self-healing applications, to hydrogel synthesis for targeting monothiols in cancer cells. The largest project, and topic of her Honors College thesis was, “Utilizing polyisobutylene oxygen barrier properties to enhance triplet-triplet annihilation based upconversion in thermoplastic elastomers.” Haley is currently a Ph.D. student in the School of Materials Science and Engineering and a GAANN fellow. Her research for Dr. Brettmann consists of electrospinning, a processing method that produces ultrafine polymer fibers and how rheology of the electrospun solutions can predict the quality of the subsequent fibers.

Contact: hcarroll30 AT

Alexa Dobbs
Fort Lewis College
B.S. Chemistry - 2019
Minor: Mathematics
Georgia Institute of Technology
M.S. Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering - 2021

Alexa joined the Brettmann lab in 2021 to research the relationships between formulation factors and material properties in high solids suspensions, such as propellants. Previously, she had completed a thesis-based M.S. with Professor Kohl at Georgia Tech, which focused on developing catalyst slurry formulations for improved durability in anion exchange electrolyzers. She is traditionally trained as an analytical chemist and completed 3 years of chemistry research at Fort Lewis College with Dr. Cole as an undergrad.

Contact: adobbs8 AT

Shiqi Wei
Donghua University
B.S. Material Science and Engineering - 2020
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
M.S. Bioengineering - 2021

During her undergraduate degree, Shiqi worked on the preparation and modification of nano-silicon as fillers for dental composites. During her time at UIUC, she performed research under Prof. Jianjun Cheng to study the synthesis and characterization of polypeptides as well as the stability of N-carboxyanhydride (NCA) monomers for polypeptides. She is currently a Ph.D. student in the School of Materials Science and Engineering. She spent her first year in Prof. Zhiqun Lin's lab working on the synthesis of cellulose-based nanoreactor via ATRP. Her current research in the Brettmann lab focuses on the influence of particle-polymer interactions on electrospinning ultrafine fibers.

Contact: swei86 AT

Undergraduate Students

Amari Murry
School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (2023)

Daniel Collins
School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (2023)

Thomas Thwaite
School of Material Science and Engineering (2022)

Lena Konzelman
School of Mechanical Engineering (2025)

Jillian Armstrong
School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (2024)

Joanna Thomas
School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (2023)

Former Members

Graduate Students

Dr. Manali Banerjee
2016 - 2021
Ph.D. in MSE

Hannah Woods
2017 - 2019
Masters in MSE

Undergraduate students

Grace Willows
2017 - 2019
joined Boston Scientific

Elizabeth Sinner

Mofolu Popoola
2018 - 2019

Joshua Randrup
2018 - 2019

Carly Travis
2018 - 2019
University of Washington, MSE Master's program

Mitchell Ketcham
2018 - 2019

2017 MSE Undergraduate Research Scholar 2018 Fall PURA award recipient 2018 MSE Undergrad Poster Competition - 2nd place
Riddhi Patel

2017 - 2020
joined Diageo

Zachary Adams
2018 - 2021
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MSE PhD program

Sisira Saraswatula

2018 - 2020
joined Flow Medtech

Ian Campbell
2018 - 2020
University of Washington, MSE PhD program

Nadia Zaragoza
2018 - 2020
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MSE PhD program
Heather Witherow

Morgan McLeroy
2020 - 2021
University of Colorado Boulder, MSE PhD program


Christina Sun
2020 - 2021


Anna Williams
2019 - 2020


Petra von Grey
2020 - 2021


Eli Winterscheidt

Madison Miller

Lexi Renfroe