Frances Houle is Deputy Director of the Liquid Sunlight Alliance Energy Innovation Hub, Thrust Lead in the Center for High Precision Patterning Science EFRC, and Senior Scientist in the Chemical Sciences Division and the Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Her scientific interests are in the areas of mechanisms of interfacial, thin film and droplet transformations, particularly at the nanoscale, investigated using both experimental and computational techniques. She received the BA from the University of California at Irvine and the PhD from the California Institute of Technology, both in chemistry. Prior to her current appointment she was a postdoctoral fellow at LBNL and the UC Berkeley Chemistry Department, Research Staff Member in the IBM Research Division in San Jose, California, Manager of Materials Development at InVisage Technologies, a startup company making nanoparticle-based image sensors that has been acquired by Apple, and Director of Strategic Initiatives in the Chemical Sciences Division at LBNL. She served as Deputy Director for Science and Research Integration of the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis. She has received numerous awards including a 2022 R&D100 Award, the 2009 American Vacuum Society John A Thornton Memorial Award and Lecture, the 1999 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Northern California Section Research Project of the Year, and the 1998 IBM Environmental Affairs Excellence Award. She is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and Fellow of the AVS, and member of the American Chemical Society, the Materials Research Society and the Electrochemical Society. She has been active in professional service, and is currently serving on several scientific advisory boards.
Current Lab Members
Sirui Li is a postdoc in the Liquid Sunlight Alliance (LiSA) DOE Energy Innovation Hub. He obtained his Ph.D. at the Fontana Corrosion Center at The Ohio State University, using theory to understand corrosion mechanisms. In LiSA he will be modeling water ion kinetics in confined spaces to understand factors that affect durability of solar fuels devices. Outside of his research life, he is an outdoorsy person who enjoys hiking in the summer and snowboarding in the winter.
Jake Milton is a postdoc in the Center for High Precision Patterning Science (CHiPPS) EFRC. He earned his PhD at Purdue University under the direction of Hilkka Kenttämaa, where he used theory (particularly quantum chemical calculations) to study gas-phase ion-molecule reactions related to ionization processes and polyradical ions. In his free time, he is a voracious consumer of fiction, video games, and classical music, an avid fan, cook, and baker of French, Indian, and Korean food, learning Japanese, and has been known to partake in the occasional hike.
Gabriel Benitez received his B.S. in Chemistry from Colorado Mesa University in December 2022. While at Colorado Mesa University Gabriel discovered his interest in renewable energy research which motivated him to pursue graduate studies and renewable energy-related research. Gabriel is currently searching for a suitable Ph.D. program while studying light intensity dependence of water oxidation on metal oxide photoanodes in the Houle lab as a SULI intern.
Luisito Cruz has finished his Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering with a Chemical Sciences Minor at the University of California, Merced. His research interests are in Renewable Energy Sources and Synthesis of Semiconductors with analysis being done via Cyclic Voltammetry – the research is relevant in synthesis of materials on the nanoscale. He has previous experience with synthesizing semiconductors in an experimental lab located on UC Merced and his current research placement at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories is in Mechanisms of Nanoscale Photopatterning of Polymers by Extreme UV Light.
Bill Hinsberg, Co-author of Kinetiscope, Columbia Hill Technical Consulting
Thomas Cheshire, Northeastern University. Expertise in spectroscopy theory.
Aaron Weigel, now a data scientist at Synthego Corporation
Matthew Liu, now a PhD student in chemical engineering at Stanford University
Marielle Soniat Pointer, now a data scientist at LG ESS
Connor Pollak, now a PhD student in chemistry at Princeton University
Jéa Boodry, now an engineer at the California Air Resources Board
Ramzi Massad, now a PhD student in chemistry at UCLA
Chenqi Fan, now completing her degree in Chemistry at UC Berkeley
Ethan Yu, recently graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering at UC Berkeley