Skip to main content

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)

Current research assistants

  • Mr Spencer Hills (LinkedIn)
  • Mr Isaac Malsky
  • Ms Sarah O’Brien
  • Mr Viraaj Jayaram

Current visiting scientist

  • Prof. LiAn Chen

Former postdoctoral associates

  • Dr Kendra Letchworth-Weaver (Rahman Named Fellow)(Google Scholar)(LinkedIn)(Now Assistant Professor at James Madison University)
  • Dr Fatih Sen (Google Scholar)(LinkedIn)(Now Senior Scientist, Metallurgy and Modeling at Novelis)
  • Dr Denise Ford (Now a Provost Fellow at Duke University)
  • Dr Alper Kinaci (Google Scholar)(LinkedIn)(Now Senior Computational Specialist at Northwestern University)
  • Dr Ji-Sang Park (Website)(Now a Fellow at Imperial College London)

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)

Postdoctoral and internship positions are currently available (Fall 2018). Please contact me if interested.