Meet the Team

Leadership

Arizona State University

Robert Nemanich

ULTRA Director

480/965-2240
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 1, Thrust 2, Thrust 3

Nemanich's research group has applied advanced microscopy and spectroscopy techniques to characterize the growth and properties of thin film interfaces and nanostructures.

Stephen Goodnick

Deputy Director

480/965-9572
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 2, Thrust 3, Thrust 4

Goodnick is the deputy director of ASU Lightworks. Some key research contributions: photovoltaics, global modeling of high frequency devices, fabrication and characterization of nanoscale semiconductor devices.

Lisa Molloy

Operations Manager

Lisa Molloy provides support to ULTRA through financial and administrative post-award management. Serving as a central resource for the ULTRA team, she is responsible for overall program organization and communication. 

Lisa holds a bachelor's from Arizona State University and a master's from The Ohio State University. Most recently, Lisa worked at the…

Stanford University

Srabanti Chowdhury

Science & Collaboration Director

650/724-7252 (office)
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 3

Professor Srabanti Chowdhury (PhD '10, George and Ida Mary Hoover faculty fellow '19, Gabilan Fellow '19, Alfred P. Sloan Fellow in Physics '20) is an associate professor of Electrical Engineering (EE) and Center Fellow, by courtesy, at the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford University. Her research focuses on wideband gap (WBG) and ultra wideband gap (UWBG) materials…

Principal Investigators

Arizona State University

Stephen Goodnick

Deputy Director

480/965-9572
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 2, Thrust 3, Thrust 4

Goodnick is the deputy director of ASU Lightworks. Some key research contributions: photovoltaics, global modeling of high frequency devices, fabrication and characterization of nanoscale semiconductor devices.

Robert Nemanich

ULTRA Director

480/965-2240
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 1, Thrust 2, Thrust 3

Nemanich's research group has applied advanced microscopy and spectroscopy techniques to characterize the growth and properties of thin film interfaces and nanostructures.

Fernando Ponce
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 1, Thrust 2

Marco Saraniti
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 3, Thrust 4

From 1996 to 1998, Marco Saraniti was a faculty research associate with the Electrical Engineering Department of Arizona State University. He joined the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, in 1998, where he was awarded tenure in 2004 and was promoted to the rank of full professor in June 2007. He joined the faculty of the School of…

Arunima Singh photo
480/965-6073
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 1, Thrust 2

Arunima K. Singh is an assistant professor in the Department of Physics at Arizona State University and a graduate faculty of the Materials Science and Engineering department at ASU. In the EFRC center, Singh is the co-leader of Thrust 2 and a PI of Thrust 1 and 2. Prior to joining the ASU faculty, Singh was a postdoctoral associate at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, in the…

David Smith
480/965-4540
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 1, Thrust 2

David Smith is Regents’ Professor of Physics at Arizona State University. He received his Ph.D. in Physics (1978) and D.Sc. (1988) from the University of Melbourne, Australia. He served as Director, Cambridge University High Resolution Electron Microscope (1980 to 1984) and Director, ASU Center for High Resolution Electron Microscopy (1991 to 2006), and he was President of the Microscopy…

Yuji Zhao
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 1, Thrust 2, Thrust 4

Cornell University

Debdeep Jena
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 1, Thrust 2, Thrust 4

H. Grace Xing
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 2, Thrust 3

Huili Grace Xing is currently the William L. Quackenbush Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering at Cornell University. She was with the University of Notre Dame from 2004 to 2014. She received B.S. in physics from Peking University (1996), M.S. in Material Science from Lehigh University (1998) and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from University of…

Michigan State University

Timothy Grotjohn
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 1, Thrust 4

Dr. Grotjohn received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Purdue University in 1986. He joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Michigan State University as a faculty member in 1987. He is currently Professor in the ECE Department where he works on diamond process and device research and development. He served for 9 years as the Department Chairperson and for six…

Sandia National Laboratories

Jack Flicker
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 3

Jack Flicker, Sandia National Laboratories has B.S. degrees from Penn State University in Physics and Chemistry (2006) and a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Georgia Tech (2011). After graduate school, Jack joined Sandia National Laboratories as a postdoctoral appointee focusing in power semiconductor reliability in photovoltaic applications, and is currently a Principle Member…

Bob Kaplar

Bob Kaplar received a B.S. degree in Physics from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Ohio State University, Columbus. He joined Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM, in 2002 as a post-doctoral researcher, was subsequently a member of the technical staff, and is now manager of the Semiconductor Material and Device…

Stanford University

Srabanti Chowdhury

Science & Collaboration Director

650/724-7252 (office)
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 3

Professor Srabanti Chowdhury (PhD '10, George and Ida Mary Hoover faculty fellow '19, Gabilan Fellow '19, Alfred P. Sloan Fellow in Physics '20) is an associate professor of Electrical Engineering (EE) and Center Fellow, by courtesy, at the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford University. Her research focuses on wideband gap (WBG) and ultra wideband gap (UWBG) materials…

University of Alabama, Birmingham

Mary Ellen Zvanut
205/934-6661
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 1, Thrust 2

Mary Ellen Zvanut is a Professor of Physics and Graduate Program Director at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Throughout her career, her research has focused on point defects in semiconductors and insulators, particularly those pertinent to advanced technology. While early work focused on electrical characterization, most has been based on magnetic resonance studies of impurities and…

University of Bristol

Martin Kuball
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 2, Thrust 3, Thrust 4

Professor Martin Kuball, FIEEE, FInstP, FIET, Fellow of MRS and the Society of Photographic Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) is Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging Technologies, Professor in Physics and Director of the Centre for Device Thermography and Reliability (CDTR) at the University of Bristol. He spearheads the UK development of next generation wide bandgap and ultra-wide…

University of California, Riverside

Alexander Balandin
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 4

Alexander A. Balandin is a Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the University of California Presidential Chair Professor of Materials Science. His research covers a wide range of nanotechnology, materials science, electronics, and phononics fields. He is a recipient of the MRS Medal from the Materials Research Society and the Pioneer of Nanotechnology Award from…

Richard Wilson
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 4

Richard Wilson is an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Program at University of California Riverside. His research focuses on using optical pump/probe techniques to understand thermal transport phenomena and ultrafast material dynamics. As part of the Ultra center, his group is working to understand how structure,…

Research Staff

Arizona State University

Joy Acharjee
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 4

Joy Acharjee received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Bangladesh in 2016 and M.S. from Texas Tech University in 2019. His primary research focus includes modeling and simulation of nanoscale semiconductor devices using Monte Carlo methods. For the ULTRA team, he is working on the characterization of ultra-wide bandgap…

Tathagata Biswas
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 1, Thrust 2

Dr. Tathagata Biswas is a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of Physics at Arizona State University. Dr. Biswas completed his PhD from the Department of Physics at the Indian Institute of Science. His PhD work involved the study of electronic and optical properties of oxides and defects in oxides using various ab-initio methods. Dr. Biswas joined the ULTRA team to work on high=throughput…

Placeholder image
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 1, Thrust 2

Jesse Brown is currently a graduate student at Arizona State University. He received his B.S. degree in Physics at Colorado State University in 2015. His main research work is related to the growth of cubic boron nitride thin films using plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition, and the investigating of interface physics between cubic boron nitride and diamond. 

Alec Fischer
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 1, Thrust 2

Alec M. Fischer is a Research Professor at the Department of Physics at Arizona State University. He received his B.S. degree in Physics from the National university of Engineering in Lima, Peru in 2004 and his Ph.D. degree in Physics from Arizona State University in 2009. His main research work is related to correlating the optical and structural properties of III-nitrides in optoelectronic…

Kai Fu
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 3

Kai Fu is an Assistant Research Scientist in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering (ECEE) at Arizona State University. He received his B.S. degree in 2008 from Ocean University of China and his Ph.D. degree in 2013 from Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-Bionics (SINANO), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). His research interests are in the area of wide bandgap and ultra…

Placeholder image
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 1, Thrust 2

Placeholder image
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 1, Thrust 2

Franz Alexander Koeck received his M.S. in Physics in 2003 from North Carolina State University where he started working on diamond as electronic material. 

Robert Mecham
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 1, Thrust 2

Robert received his B.A. in mathematics and physics from Lake Forest College in spring 2018. In fall 2018, Robert was admitted to the physics PhD program at Arizona State University where he joined the Nanoscience Lab, NSL, under Dr. Robert Nemanich. Within the lab Robert focuses on atomic layer deposition and material analysis via XPS/UPS. Robert’s contributions to ULTRA belong to the…

Ky Merrill
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 3, Thrust 4

Ky merrill received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in 2010 and 2012, respectively. He received a Ph.D. from Arizona State University in 2020. His research has focused on the realization of atomistic simulation methods and the application of Monte Carlo methods to the modeling, design, and optimization of both charge and heat…

Cody Milne

Cody Milne is a first year PhD student at Arizona State University. He graduated from Idaho State with a BS in Physics, minor in math, where he also spent time working toward a MS before coming to Arizona State. His past research experience includes detector design and other work in experimental neutrino physics. Now he is eager to start doing research in solid state physics. He is…

Jonah Shoemaker
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 3

Placeholder image
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 3

Harshad Surdi
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 3

Harshad received his M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University in 2016 with a thesis topic on 2DEG and parametric applications of kinetic inductance. He is now a PhD student with Dr. Stephen Goodnick working on diamond physics. His research focus is developing diamond devices for high power, high frequency and extreme environment applications. His expertise involves…

Reza Vatanmeidanshahi
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 3

Reza Vatanmeidanshahi received M.S. degrees in Material Chemistry and Physical Chemistry from Sharif University of Technology, Iran in 2011 and from Arizona State University (ASU) in 2014, respectively and the PhD degree in Electrical Engineering from ASU in 2019. Reza is currently a Postdoc student in Professor Goodnick's lab at ASU. Reza has passion to simulate and model semi-classical…

Placeholder image
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 4

Yongjie Zou

Postdoctoral Researcher

Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 3

Yongjie obtained his Ph.D. from Arizona State University for his work on multiscale modeling for 3-terminal GaPNAs/Si tandem solar cells. After that, he worked as a postdoc supervised by Dr. Stephen Goodnick at ASU on indoor photovoltaics and on nonequilibrium phonon effects on hot carriers. He recently joined Dr. Marco Saraniti as a postdoc. For ULTRA, he will work on thermal and electrical…

Cornell University

Yongjin Cho
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 1, Thrust 2

Takuya Maeda
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 2, Thrust 3, Thrust 4

Dr. Takuya Maeda received his PhD degree in March 2020 from Kyoto University, Japan. His research interests are focusing on wide-bandgap (WBG) semiconductors (GaN, SiC, Ga2O3, AlN), their heterostructure with new functional materials, and their application to future electronic devices. He has experience and expertise in characterization of avalanche breakdown, Schottky/p-n junctions, and Franz…

Thai-Son Nguyen
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 1, Thrust 2

Chandu Savant
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 2, Thrust 3

Michigan State University

Placeholder image
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 1, Thrust 2

Dr. Matthias Muehle is a Scientist at Fraunhofer USA, Inc. Center for Coatings and Diamond Technologies, specializing in growth of diamond materials and understanding thereof. Dr. Muehle graduated with a doctorate in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State University in 2017 with his doctorate studies focusing on industrial scaling of diamond wafer production. His expertise covers a wide…

Afaq Piracha
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 1, Thrust 2

Dr. Afaq Piracha is a Research Associate in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Michigan State University. Dr. Piracha completed his PhD in single crystal diamond membranes for nanophotonics and nanomechanics from University of Melbourne, Australia. Before joining MSU, he did postdoc fellowships at Harvard University in diamond nanophotonic quantum devices and diamond on GaN for heat…

Sandia National Laboratories

Andrew Binder
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 3

Andrew Binder (PhD '19 - University of Central Florida) is a Senior Member of Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories. His research is focused on the development of vertical GaN (vGaN) power devices. At Sandia, Andrew leads a small fab team developing vGaN JBS and MOSFET devices. Under his leadership, this fab team has successfully demonstrated the 1st vGaN trench MOSFETs at Sandia.…

Placeholder image
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 3

Stanford University

Mohamadali Malakoutian
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 1, Thrust 2

Mohamadali is an experienced postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University with a demonstrated history of working in high-power high-frequency transistors, all-diamond diodes, and diamond integration for thermal management, III-V…

Kelly Woo
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 3

Kelly Woo is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University advised by Professor Srabanti Chowdhury in the WBG Lab. She received her M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 2020 and B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology in 2018. Her current research interest is in fabricating various high-…

University of Bristol

Placeholder image
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 2

Xiang Zheng

Postdoctoral Researcher

Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 4

Xiang Zheng is a research associate in Center for Device Thermography and Reliability (CDTR) at the University of Bristol. He got a PhD degree from Beijing University of Technology in 2020. His PhD research included the trapping effect in GaN-based HEMTs and the temperature measurement of wide bandgap semiconductors. His current research interests are the transport and thermal management of…

University of California, Riverside

Placeholder image
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 4

Erick Guzman

Graduate Researcher

Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 4

Erick Guzman joined the University of California Riverside in Fall 2020 as an Electrical engineering PhD student under Dr. Alexander Balandin. He received his B.S. (2017) and M.S. (2020) in Physics from the California State University Northridge.

Placeholder image
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 4

Samreen Khan
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 4

Samreen Khan joined University of California Riverside in Fall 2020 as a PhD student under Dr. Richard Wilson. She received her B.E. in Mechanical Engineering from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani in 2020.

Placeholder image
Research Thrust(s):

Thrust 4