Ph.D. student receives DOE Office of Science Graduate Student Research Award

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3rd year graduate student Mai-Anh Ha (Alexandrova lab) has been selected for a prestigious SCGSR award to work at the NREL this summer & fall quarters. 

Mai-Anh’s project is titled “Modelling of High-Performing Pt-Based ORR Catalysts to Facilitate Future Design and Development of New Materials”. Her research at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will focus on extended surface catalysts such as Pt-Ni and Pt-Co NW for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), in order to understand the effect of a Pt-M oxide interface on ORR reactants. 

Mai-Anh received a B.A. in Chemistry and English from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts in 2013. She joined the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry as a graduate student in 2013 where she conducts research in the laboratory of physical chemist Prof. Anastassia Alexandrova. In 2014 Mai-Anh was lead author on a paper published in ACS Catalysis on Pt-Pd Clusters on a rutile support, analyzing the stability of subnanoclusters from a statistical mechanical point of view amongst other factors. She is a member of the Organization for Cultural Diversity in Chemistry (OCDC).

According to their website, the goal of the SCGSR program is to prepare graduate students for science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) careers critically important to the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science mission, by providing graduate thesis research opportunities at DOE laboratories. The SCGSR program provides supplemental awards to outstanding U.S. graduate students to pursue part of their graduate thesis research at a DOE laboratory in areas that address scientific challenges central to the Office of Science mission. The research opportunity is expected to advance the graduate students’ overall doctoral thesis while providing access to the expertise, resources, and capabilities available at the DOE laboratories. 

To learn more about the Alexandrova group’s research visit their website.