Post-Doctoral Researchers

Naomi Deneke
Purdue University
Ph.D. in Materials Engineering - 2022
Prairie View A&M University
B.S. in Chemical Engineering - 2017

As an undergraduate, Naomi studied the release behavior of protein-doped hydrogels for therapeutic ocular treatments. After obtaining her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Prairie View A&M University in 2017, she joined the Prof. Chelsea Davis’s lab at Purdue University as a graduate student, receiving her Ph.D. in 2022. Naomi’s graduate school research focused on developing novel adhesive materials for pick-and-place material handling and understanding the interfacial properties of highly deformed silicone elastomers. Naomi is currently a postdoctoral research scientist within the Materials Science and Engineering Department at Georgia Tech where her work focuses on developing sustainable adhesives for packaging materials.

Contact: ndeneke3 AT

Graduate Students

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

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

Harsh Kumar Verma
Pandit Deendayal Energy University
B.Tech. in Petroleum Engineering - 2022

As an undergraduate student, Harsh studied energy sustainability through the development of natural gas resources such as shale gas and gas hydrates. As an intern at the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), he conducted simulation studies on the application of polymers for Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) techniques. Currently, he is co-advised by Dr. Josiah Hester in the School of Interactive Computing and Dr. Blair Brettmann. His research focuses on developing a biodegradable, thin, and flexible acoustic vibration transducer. He is also working on defining sustainability in computational devices and developing a metric for the same, emphasizing the entire device life cycle, from manufacturing to disposal.

Contact: hverma32 AT

Steven Emad Renfroe
University of Missouri-Columbia
B.S. in Chemical Engineering – 2023
Minor: Mathematics

During his time at MU, Emad researched with Dr. Justin Walensky and Dr. Yangchuan Xing. In the Walensky lab, Emad explored the synthesis and reactivity of dinuclear coinage metal amidinate complexes. Then in the Xing lab, he explored the synthesis and characterization of metal oxide coatings on silicon nanoparticles with the goal of developing a more stable silicon-based lithium-ion battery anode. Throughout these experiences, he was on several research fellowships including one through the Missouri Center for Advanced Power Systems and one through the MU Honors College. Emad is currently a Ph.D. student in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Georgia Tech. His research in the Brettmann lab will focus on powder engineering using resonant acoustic mixing (RAM).

Contact: srenfroe3 AT

Matteo Palesati
Sapienza - Università degli Studi di Roma
B.S. in Mechanical Engineering – 2020
Georgia Institute of Technology
M.S. in Mechanical Engineering – 2023

Matteo received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering writing a thesis on properties and possible applications of recycled carbon fibers. Deciding to pursue a M.S., he then joined the double degree program between Sapienza and Georgia Tech. In 2023 he graduated at Georgia Tech presenting his work on quantitative models for hydrogel swelling equilibrium. Matteo is currently a PhD student in Materials Science and Engineering at Georgia Tech. Co-advised by Dr. Natalie Stingelin, he investigates possible new methods to enhance chemically upcycling of multilayer plastics, focusing on adhesive dissolution at buried interfaces.

Contact: mpalesati3 AT

Preksha Vichare
Mumbai University
B.E. in Chemical Engineering- 2018
Georgia Institute of Technology
M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering- 2023

During her undergraduate, Preksha wrote her thesis on studying the mechanical properties of polymers using nanoindentation technique. After her B.E. degree, she worked as a patent associate, investigating patents in the chemical and semiconductor industry. She then started her M.S. at Georgia Tech, where her research focused on solid-state depolymerization of polymer composites using variable frequency microwave. Currently, Preksha is a Ph.D. student in the School of Materials Science and Engineering and an RBI fellow. Her research mainly aims to solve the re-wetting problem in the press section process of the paper-making industry.

Contact: pvichare6 AT

Laurel Hilger
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
B.S. in Chemical Engineering – 2023 | B.S. in Computer Science - 2023
Indian Hills Community College
A.A. – 2018 | A.A.S. in Computer Software Development – 2019

As an undergrad at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Laurel spent 2 ½ years in Dr. Mona Bavarian’s lab researching textile-based supercapacitors (TSCs) made with MXenes and conductive polymers, which led to two publications. For her contribution, Laurel developed equivalent circuit models for TSC testing, performed life cycle analysis of the TSCs to determine cradle-to-grave ecological effects, devised procedures for oxidative chemical vapor deposition of conductive polymers onto fibers, and studied the long-term effects of wear and deformation on the electrochemical properties of the TSCs. Laurel is a Ph.D. student in the Materials Science and Engineering department. Her research in the Brettmann lab focuses on the rheology and 3D printing of graded dielectric inks using a real-time active mixing process.

Contact: lhilger3 AT

Undergraduate Students

Heejoon Jeon
School of Materials Science and Engineering (2024)

Mitch Messer
School of Materials Science and Engineering (2025)

Nolan O'Kelly
School of Materials Science and Engineering (2025)

Alicia Park
School of Materials Science and Engineering (2025)

Christine Kim
School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (2026)

Samuel Durbin
School of Mechanical Engineering

Irene Dumitriu
School of Materials Science and Engineering (2026)

Mallika Digavalli
School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (2026)

Caira McClairen
School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (2026)

Phi Cai
School of Materials Science and Engineering (2027)

Ellenrae Dixon

Stephanie Li
School of Materials Science and Engineering

Former Members

Graduate Students

Alexandra Marnot
2019 - 2024
Ph.D. in CHBE

Jonathan Cotler
2019 - 2022
Masters in ChBE

Dr. Elena Ewaldz
2017 - 2022
Ph.D. in MSE

Dr. Nasreen Khan
2017 - 2022
Ph.D. in MSE

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

Mofolu Popoola 2018 - 2019

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

Riddhi Patel 2017 - 2020

joined Diageo

Sisira Saraswatula 2018 - 2020

joined QGenda

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

Anna Williams 2019 - 2020
joined Ethicon

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

Eli Winterscheidt 2021

Ellenrae Dixon 2022

Joanna Thomas 2021-2022

Jillian Armstrong 2021-2022

Thomas Thwaite 2022

Tyra Jones 2022

Yvonne Walker 2023
joined Vantage Specialty Chemicals

Amari Murry 2023

Heejoon Jeon 2023

Claire Joo 2023

Sofia Moreno 2023

Gabrielle Keith 2023


Elizabeth Sinner 2018

Joshua Randrup 2018 - 2019

Juliette Carpet 2019

Mitchell Ketcham 2018 - 2019
joined Area-I

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

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

Heather Witherow 2020
joined WestRock

Christina Sun 2020 - 2021

Petra von Grey 2020 - 2021

Madison Miller 2021
Vanderbilt University, MSE PhD program

Samuel West 2021
University of Texas at Austin, ChE PhD program

Lexi Renfroe 2021-2022

Lena Konzelman 2021-2022

Daniel Collins 2022

Jami Miliken 2023

Qihong Cao 2023

Gabriella Osorio-Palo 2023

Julia Fleischman 2023

Rachel Hobby 2023

Kolin Kurey 2023

Daemon Le 2023