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Maria K. Chan

Scientist, Nanoscience


Maria Chan is a scientist with the Center for Nanoscale Materials who studies nanomaterials and renewable energy materials, including solar cells and batteries and other energy storage, as well as photo- and electro-catalysts, thermal transport, and thermoelectrics. Particular focus is on using machine learning for efficient computational approaches and for interfacing computational models with materials characterization (x-ray, electron, and scanning probe).


  • BSc, Physics and Applied Mathematics, University of California at Los Angeles
  • PhD, Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Research topics

  • first principles and atomistic modeling of nanomaterials and renewable energy materials, including photovoltaics, energy storage, photo- and electro-catalysts, thermal transport, and thermoelectrics
  • development of first principles and machine learning approaches for materials property prediction
  • methodology and software development for integrating atomistic modeling and experimental measurements

You can watch my Argonne Outloud presentation From Atoms to Clean Energy Technologies” here.

Current/previous projects

Current postdoctoral associates

Current doctoral student

  • Mr Eric Schwenker (Northwestern University, co supervised with Professor Chris Wolverton)
  • Mr Weixin Jiang (Northwestern University, co supervised with Ollie Coissart)
  • Mr Mingren Shen (University of Wisconsin Madison, co supervised with Dane Morgan)
  • Mr Chaitanya Kolluru (University of Florida, co supervised with Richard Hennig)

Current research assistants

  • Mr Marcel Chlupsa
  • Ms Sankhya Hirani
  • Mr Rahim Raja

Current visiting student

  • Ms Yiming Chen

Former postdoctoral associates

Former doctoral student

  • Dr Chris Buurma (Now at Sivananthan Laboratories)
  • Mr Joseph Kubal (visiting from Purdue University)
  • Ms Lynza Sprawl (visiting from Oregon State University)

Former research assistants

  • Ms Karen Zheng (Now at UIUC)
  • Ms Jessi Hartman (UCDavis) (Now PhD student at UIUC)
  • Ms Amy Wey (Cornell University)
  • Mr Mutian (Josh) Liu (University of Chicago)(Now at Facebook)
  • Mr Ryan Pencak (Bucknell University) (Now MS student at Cornell Tech)
  • Mr Michael Toriyama (UIUC) (2018 Barry Goldwater Scholar)
  • Mr Thierry Wambo (University of Texas San Antonio)
  • Mr Ryan Pederson (Virgnia Tech) (Now PhD student at UC Irvine)
  • Ms Grace Lu (Northwestern University) (Now PhD student at UIUC)
  • Mr Jackson O’Donnell (University of Chicago)
  • Mr Spencer Hills (LinkedIn)
  • Mr Isaac Malsky
  • Ms Sarah O’Brien
  • Mr Viraaj Jayaram

Postdoctoral and internship positions are currently available (Summer 2020). Please contact me if interested.