Postdocs     Grad Students     Undergrad Students     Alumni

Principal investigator

Charles M. Schroeder                       Brief Bio 
James Economy Professor
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
Co-Leader, Molecular Science and Engineering Research Theme
Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
email: cms .at.

Coordinator of research programs

Mary Power
Mary received her BS in Family and Consumer Sciences from Illinois State University in 2002. Following several years in the non-profit sector, she came to the University of Illinois in 2013. Mary joined the Beckman Institute in March 2021 as Coordinator of Research Programs. Outside of the office, she enjoys traveling, crafting, baking, playing the piano, and spending time on the family farm.

email: mpower .at.


Dr. Gabriel Burks
Gabriel is interested in the nanoscale control, characterization, and in situ imaging of semicrystalline soft matter. In the Schroeder Group, he is focused on furthering our understanding of structure-property relationship of nanoparticles found in nature. In addition to studying polymers and soft materials, Gabriel has much experience as an engineering education researcher and as an upper level leader in an Illinois start-up company focused on mitigating issues related to spring frost in wine vineyards.

email: gabrielb .at.



Dr. Inkyu Oh
Inkyu’s research is focused on understanding the physico-chemistry of droplets and dynamics of adaptive soft materials. His work on new multi-functional system is based on soft solid-liquid hybrid platforms that commonly appear in nature. He enjoys tackling problems by integrated approach of experiment and theory of continuum physics.

email: inkyuoh3 .at.



PhD Students

Jialing (Caroline) Li
Jialing (Caroline) Li is interested in studying charge transport in redox-active polymers. As an undergrad at Rice, she took part in the research of magnetically actuated colloid chains and the research of resolving flow assurance problems in oil industry. Outside of lab, she enjoys traveling, music and art.

email: jli151 .at.




Jonathan Deutsch
Jonathan is studying the dynamics of GPCR proteins using single molecule techniques. His work includes the development of new methods to trap and study single molecules using the Stokes trap.

email: jcd5 .at.



Hao (Alvin) Yang
Hao (Alvin) Yang is studying charge transport at the single molecule level. In particular, his work focuses on understanding the mechanisms behing long-range charge transport in heme-containing peptide polymers using the STM break junction method. Outside of the lab, Alvin is a coffee enthusiast who dedicated to extract the most flavorful and aromatic compound out of coffee bean.

email: haoy7 .at.>


Hung Nguyen
Hung Nguyen is studying the dynamics of entangled linear polymers in flow, including the transient dynamics of linear and ring polymers under highly non-equilibrium conditions. Outside of the lab, Hung enjoys traveling, drawing, painting, and swimming.

email: hvn2 .at.




Seungjoo Yi
Seungjoo Yi is interested in automated chemical synthesis of organic small molecules and functional polymers. He is designing and building new libraries of organic molecules using a custom Molecule Maker instrument that enables automated synthesis of diverse compounds. Outside of the lab, he enjoys playing and watching tennis.

email: yi22 .at.




Seongon Jang
Seongon Jang is co-advised with Professor Christopher Evans in Materials Science and Engineering. He is interested in the design, synthesis, and characterization of mixed ion/electron conductors. His work includes the material synthesis of oligomers and polymers using automated iterative methods, in addition to materials characterization. Outside of the lab, he enjoys traveling and watching documentaries.

email: seongon2 .at.


Sagar Chaudhary
Sagar Chaudhary’s work focuses on understanding the dynamics of colloidal particle clusters in flow using automated flow control methods. He received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Kanpur. For fun, he likes to play music (keyboard and a little bit of guitar), make videos, and occasionally play basketball or table tennis.

email: sagarc2 .at.


Seonghwan Kim
Seonghwan Kim is interested in molecular charge transport and computational modeling of soft materials. In the Schroeder group, he is focused on design and discovery of new organic and polymeric materials using AI and molecular simulations. Before joining the group, he received his B.S. in Physics from Seoul National University and worked at Samsung Electronics applying Bayesian optimization to semiconductor processes. He enjoys working out at the gym and likes to watch penguin pictures and videos.

email: sk77 .at.


Rajarshi (Reeju) Samajdar
Rajarshi (Reeju) Samajdar is interested in research at the interface of chemistry and biology, including polymers, peptides and biomaterials. He received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT, formerly known as UDCT), Mumbai in 2021. Outside of lab, Reeju is a big sports fan (he supports Real Madrid in Soccer and the Indian Cricket team) and he likes to travel and explore new places.

email: rs38 .at.


Brittany Prempin
Brittany Prempin is a PhD student in the Department of Chemistry co-advised with Prof. Jeff Moore. She received her B.S. in Chemistry with a concentration in Biochemistry from Duke University in 2021. She is a recipient of an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Outside of lab, she enjoys crafting and making Spotify playlists.

email: prempin2 .at.


Elli Williamson
Elli is a PhD student in Biophysics and Quantitative Biology. She received her Bachelor’s in Biological Sciences with a concentration in Biochemistry & Biophysics from Northwestern University. She is interested in the design and characterization of biomaterials. Outside of the lab, she enjoys digital painting and photographing insects.

email: efw4 .at.



Sanbera Piuly
Sanbera is a PhD student in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering. She is interested in the non-equilibrium dynamics of multicomponent lipid vesicles in flow. Sanbera received her B.Sc. in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. In her free time, she loves reading, going on walks and video calling her cats back home.

email: spiuly2 .at.

Undergraduate Students

Kyle Gray

Kyle is in the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at Illinois. He is working with Dr. Gabriel Burks to understand the structure and properties of self-assembled biomaterials known as brochosomes, which are produced naturally by leafhoppers. Outside of the lab, he enjoys traveling, music, and working out.




Nikita Lukhanin

Nikita is in the Department of Mechanical Science & Engineering at Illinois. He is working under the Schroeder Group and Rodríguez-López Laboratory on the ElectroLab, which is an electroanalytical instrument for high throughput redoxmer testing. Outside of the lab, Nikita enjoys art, music, and traveling.




Group Pictures

June 2021 – Group dinner to celebrate Dinesh Kumar and Songsong Li (recent PhDs)
May 2019 – Schroeder Group Photo in front of Beckman Institute
June 2018 – GAMES Camp activities (Girls Adventures on Mathematics, Engineering, and Science); Eddie Jira and Charles Schroeder (not pictured: Shivani Patel and Dinesh Kumar)
April 2018 – Illinois Marathon, Relay Team (Songsong Li, Dinesh Kumar, Charles Schroeder, Michael Tu)
September 2017
April 2016