Frances Houle is Deputy Director of the Liquid Sunlight Alliance 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 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 Past Chair of the American Physical Society Ethics Committee.
Current Lab Members
Thomas Cheshire earned a Ph.D. in physical chemistry under the mentorship of Dr. Andrew Moran at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill (UNC-CH), where he worked in parallel with a team of extraordinary experimentalists complementing their work developing 2D-Resonant Raman spectroscopy and conducting research with femtosecond stimulated Raman and pump-repump-probe spectroscopies. He developed the models used to simulate these spectroscopies as well as non-equilibrium non-radiative processes, such as photoinduced electron transfer and coherence transfer. Nonlinear spectroscopists often employ response function formalism to make rigorous and physically meaningful insights into experimental results. There is a natural bridge in this formalism from microscopic events to macroscopic measurements. As a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, he is mapping the fundamental photophysics of chromophores, dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), and dye-sensitized photoelectrosynthesis cells (DSPECs) onto their kinetic pathways. In doing so, he aims to uncover the principle processes and bottlenecks in solar harvesting devices. Collaboration between experimentalists and theoreticians across a range of concentrations strengthen the impact of this endeavor. When he is not investigating photo-initiated phenomena, he enjoys spending time with his family. He and his wife both enjoy running, wandering through the city, and strolling through the woods. They have a very high energy German Shorthaired Pointer that appreciates joining them for all of their activities. Prior to the graduate program at UNC-CH, he worked as chef for many years. He often finds himself transforming an average dinner into haute cuisine or an authentic meal from around the globe. In addition, he always finds time to read French literature and history from the 18th and 19th centuries, especially Victor Hugo.
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.
Chenqi Fan is from China. She is a transfer student from Santa Monica College and is now a junior in chemistry at UC Berkeley. She participated in a research internship program called CSD-UP in the summer of 2021, working with Thomas Cheshire, and is now continuing her research. She wants to pursue a career in the medical field. She can play the piano, is interested in photography, fashion design, drawing, and baking.
Ethan Yu is a Chem E major at UC Berkeley, working with Sirui Li on kinetics simulations of aqueous CO2 chemistry related to the durability of (photo)catalysts. He is from the Bay Area. He hopes to pursue a career in the renewable energy and climate mitigation field in the future. Outside of his academic life, he enjoys cooking, and taking to the outdoors, whether it be biking, running, or just going on a hike with some friends.
Bill Hinsberg, Co-author of Kinetiscope, Columbia Hill Technical Consulting
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
Jeb Boodry, now an engineer at the California Air Resources Board
Ramzi Massad, now a PhD student in chemistry at UCLA