Megan Malara earned her B.S. (2014) and Ph.D. (2020) degrees in materials science and engineering from The Ohio State University. She began her specialization in biomaterials with research pertaining to
nanoscale polymeric fibers as a platform to sort cancer cells and as a 3D scaffolding for small diameter blood vessels. Malara conducted her graduate research in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Her doctoral research focused on developing
the dermal-epidermal junction (DEJ) of cultured skin grafts for the treatment of large total body surface area burns. Using techniques such as photolithography and laser ablation to pattern scaffold surfaces to mimic the native DEJ, Malara conducted
in vitro analyses of cell behavior to patterning and in vivo animal studies to translate this technology towards clinical application. Malara’s interest in science policy began while attending Material Advantage Congressional Visit
Days where she connected with the offices of elected officials and offered her experience as a scientist. She continued her interest in policy as a community team leader for a political campaign where she trained and organized volunteers to engage
with the public on policy-related issues. Influenced by her Rust Belt upbringing, Malara has policy interests in translating research to manufacturing jobs, increasing opportunities for education, and improving public confidence in science.
Alexander Martin earned his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from New York University (NYU) in 2018 and his B.S. in chemistry from Boston College in 2013. During
his undergraduate career, he conducted atmospheric physical chemistry research related to oxidation pathways, visible light absorption, and the associated radiative forcing of organic aerosols. In his doctoral dissertation, Martin developed polarimetric
and ellipsometric measurement techniques and optical modeling methods for material characterization of optically active crystals, thin films, metamaterials, and multilayer structures. These techniques have applications in quality control for optoelectronic
devices (e.g., solar cells, LCDs, and nonlinear optics) and expand the range of materials that can be easily characterized using common polarized light instruments.Alexander worked in Senator Schatz's office (D-HI) working on climate policy
Inspired by material science, renewable energy and the environment, Michele Bustamante received a dual B.S. degree in materials engineering and environmental engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in May 2012, and her Ph.D. degree in sustainability from Rochester Institute of Technology in May 2016.
Michele worked in the office of Senator Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) covering issues of energy, climate and the environment.
Scott Litzelman earned two degrees in materials science and engineering: a B.S. degree from North Carolina State University in 2002 and his Ph.D. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2009. His doctoral research focused on modulating the ionic and electronic conductivity of nanostructured thin films for solid oxide fuel cells with Dr. Harry Tuller. During his doctoral research, Litzelman received the Charlemagne Scholarship to perform secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) research for several months at the RTWH Aachen University in Germany.
After completion of his PhD, Litzelman joined Booz Allen Hamilton as a scientific consultant. For the past eight years, he has helped program directors at the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) implement and manage early-stage R&D funding programs. He supported research programs related to fuel cells, carbon capture and storage, battery separators, energy efficiency and nanostructured materials. During his time at Booz Allen, Litzelman also explored how open innovation and crowdsourcing methods could provide new means of solving persistent technical challenges.
Aaron Dunn earned his Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia (2016), and his B.S. and B.A. degrees in physics and mathematics, respectively, from Rice University in Houston, Texas (2008). His doctoral research focused on the development of stochastic computational tools for efficient simulation of radiation damage accumulation in metals in the research group of Dr. Laurent Capolungo. Aaron served as the Sandia National Laboratories/Georgia Tech Excellence in Engineering Fellow (2014-2016). Prior to that, Aaron's research was funded by the European Commission under project RADINTERFACES, leading to three years of study at Georgia Tech Lorraine in Metz, France.
Aaron's policy interests are influenced by his unique combination of experiences and range from STEM education to energy and climate policy. Additionally, he is excited for the opportunity to learn about and contribute positively to the legislative process in all areas of policy: "I think of the MRS/TMS Congressional Science and Engineering Fellowship as the opportunity of a lifetime. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute to the legislative process, and I think my unique background and varied experiences will help me to make a positive impact on science and education policy."
Jeremy W. Ward received his B.A. degree in physics and mathematics in 2006 from Simpson College and went on to earn his Ph.D. degree in physics in 2015 from Wake Forest University. His doctoral research interests included investigations on the self-patterning fabrication and electrical properties of solution-processed organic field-effect transistors within the Organic Electronics Research Group led by Oana D. Jurchescu. Ward was a 2013 Wake Forest University Richter Scholar, serving as a visiting researcher at the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB). He became a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow (NSF-GRFP) in 2012, and is currently serving in that position.
Ward draws from his passion of working with people, specifically those interested in learning and working together in creative and productive ways. He will provide a unique perspective to a Congressional office by drawing from his experiences in the United States military, as a youth soccer coach, as a PhD scholar within the materials science community, and through his strong ties to the secondary education community. While Ward's future policy interests include STEM education, ranging from early childhood to post-secondary stages, he is looking forward to learning about the interdisciplinary nature of using federal policy to address the science and education-related problems of today.
Adria Wilson earned her Ph.D. degree in chemistry (2014) from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and her B.S. degree in chemistry (2009) from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her thesis work was focused on synthesizing and characterizing bimetallic nanoparticle catalysts with well-controlled structures for investigating the influence of the nanoparticle structure on its performance as a catalyst.
Wilson worked in the office of Senator Bernie Sanders (VT) working on energy and the environment.
Megan Brewster earned her Ph.D. degree in materials science and engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2011) and B.S. degree in material science and engineering from the University of Washington (2006).
After receiving her Ph.D. in 2011, Brewster moved to GE Global Research in Schenectady, New York, where her broad and deep scientific expertise supported the Durathon battery start-up by developing next-generation technologies.
Brewster spent her fellowship year with the majority staff of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. She focused on issues related to energy, including: renewable energy, energy efficiency, the energy-water nexus, critical minerals, advanced manufacturing, funding for energy-related research and energy-related tax policy. On these topics, she convened stakeholders, developed legislation, briefed Chairman Ron Wyden, drafted communications and speeches, and attended committee hearings and business meetings.
As the MRS/TMS Fellow, Andrew Steigerwald worked in the personal office of Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) with the legislative staff on energy, manufacturing, and tax policy, helping to develop ideas and strategies to implement different policies in Congress. This included developing responsible energy and environmental policies in areas dealing with shale gas production, R&D tax credit policies to encourage innovation and investment, and reform of manufacturing tax policy to encourage economic growth and expansion in the advanced manufacturing sector.
Steigerwald earned his B.E. degree (2005) from Ohio State University, M.S. degree (2007) from Fisk University and Ph.D. degree (2010) in interdisciplinary materials science and engineering from Vanderbilt University as an National Science Foundation (NSF) Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) Fellow. His thesis work focused on the development of photoacoustic spectroscopy as a technique for characterizing radiation damage in semiconductors. While working on his Ph.D., Steigerwald worked extensively on novel thin-film growth techniques, studied ultrafast dynamics of diluted magnetic semiconducting systems for use in potential spintronic devices, and spent time as a visiting scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Following his Ph.D., Steigerwald continued as a post-doctoral researcher at Vanderbilt, working to understand the nanoscale relationship between structural disorder and opt oelectronic modification in optical devices.
Jennifer Nekuda Malik earned her Ph.D. (2008), M.S. (2006) and B.S. (2005) degrees in metallurgy and materials engineering from Colorado School of Mines (CSM). Her thesis work was a collaborative project between CSM and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) that focused on development and optimization of deposition and processing conditions for liquid-based precursors for copper-indium-gallium-diselenide (CIGS) photovoltaics. While working on her Ph.D. degree, Malik earned both an R&D 100 Award and recognition for Excellence in Technology Transfer for her work with hybrid CIGS. Following her Ph.D., Malik worked as a post-doctoral researcher at Imperial College London, characterizing and optimizing the microstructure of both hybrid (organic-inorganic) and organic materials for electronic applications.
Edward D. Herderick received his Ph.D. degree in materials science and engineering from The Ohio State University in August 2009. He received his B.S. (2005) and M.S. (2007) degrees in MSE from Ohio State as well. His graduate research has been done under the advisement of Prof. Nitin Padture and is focused on the synthesis, characterization and property measurement of metal-oxide-metal heterojunction nanowires. During his graduate studies, Ed was an NSF IGERT fellow (2005-2008) and received a Diamond Award from the American Ceramic Society (2008). In addition to his academic work, Ed has been an active member of the campus community, serving on the OSU council of graduate students for two years and also taking part in many outreach activities to bring students and teachers to campus. His main area of policy interest is in solutions to the 21stcentury energy challenge; that is improving the way we generate, transmit and consume energy to provide economic growth and strengthen national security in an environmentally sustainable manner.
Herderick was assigned to the office of Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH).
Ticora V. Jones earned her Ph.D. degree in polymer science & engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 2006 and her B.S. degree in materials science and engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2000. Jones was both a NIH fellowship recipient and a Ford Foundation Pre-doctoral Fellow during her graduate career.
Upon completing her doctorate, Jones worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where her research was focused on creating and characterizing metal nanoparticles for catalysis applications and merging them with polymer nanocomposites to create functional materials.
Jones accepted a position in Senator Russell Feingold's (D-WI) office.