The Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellows program supports outstanding scholars whose research is related to energy and the environment with a focus on innovative technological solutions, smart economic analyses, and/or impactful policy solutions to our most pressing energy and environmental challenges.
Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellows collaborate with Princeton faculty and/or senior researchers within an energy or environment-related field to articulate an interdisciplinary research plan that is aligned with the mission of the Andlinger Center. Applicants are encouraged to develop research plans that establish new collaborative links to or between faculty and researchers.
This program provides a unique opportunity for postdoctoral fellows to develop their careers through independent and interdisciplinary research, while working with one or more research mentors who are experts in their fields, pursue broad inter-disciplinary research combining science, engineering, technology, policy, and social dimensions, and engage in theoretical and/or experimental research, which is either fundamental or applied in nature.
Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellows
McGaughey received her doctorate in civil and environmental engineering in 2020 from the University of Southern California, where she studied membrane-based water treatment systems for desalination and wastewater reclamation. Her dissertation focused on the role of material properties in performance for membrane distillation, a thermal desalination process that is promising for the reclamation of high-salinity waste streams.
As a Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow at the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, McGaughey is working with professors Rodney Priestley and Z. Jason Ren to explore advanced polymer materials for water treatment processes, specifically, highly effective antifouling materials that can improve performance and lower energy consumption.
Mohan has a Ph.D. in Engineering & Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University where he studied the technology policy challenges of electric and automated vehicles. His dissertation highlighted the trade-offs between automation and electrification for light vehicles and the societal costs and benefits of electrifying ride-hailing services.
As a Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow at the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, Mohan studies the role of emerging technologies in transport, electricity, and carbon removal for achieving deep decarbonization, collaborating with Dr. Eric Larson and Professor Jesse Jenkins.
Nusrat Molla is working to understand community-level impacts of clean energy transitions. She will work with Simon Levin, the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Elke Weber, to study how communities relying on extractive industries will be impacted by clean energy transitions. She plans to combine perspectives from the social sciences with a complex systems modeling approach to understand the social and institutional dynamics that underlie community-level outcomes of energy policies and the factors that govern overall community resilience. Molla plans to conduct fieldwork for her research in the coal-mining regions of Appalachia.
Temprano-Coleto earned his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering in 2021 from the University of California Santa Barbara. His doctoral research focused on the effect of surfactants on the performance of superhydrophobic surfaces, coatings designed to reduce fluid drag and improve the energy efficiency in areas such as maritime transportation or pipeline hydraulics.
As a Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow at the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, Temprano-Coleto is working with Professors Howard Stone, Sujit Datta, and Z. Jason Ren to develop techniques based on diffusiophoresis for the manipulation of colloids. These methods are targeted towards the characterization of microplastics, as well as their efficient remediation from natural water.
Tomholt holds a Doctor of Design (DDes) degree from Harvard Graduate School of Design. Driven by the need for more energy-efficient building thermoregulation, her research focused on biologically inspired concepts for compliant façades with tunable heat transfer. Her work has the fundamental objective of integrating the fields of science, technology, and design.
As a Distinguished Postdoctoral fellow at the Andlinger Center for Energy and Environment, Tomholt works with professors Reza Moini and Forrest Meggers to explore novel solutions for 3D-printed ceramic systems with energy-efficient heat transfer for building thermoregulation, inspired by architectural design rules of plant leaves.
Nathaniel Wei is working to realize the full potential of wind energy. He will work with Marcus Hultmark, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, and Elie Bou-Zeid, professor of civil and environmental engineering, to study how atmospheric dynamics influence wind energy production. He plans to aid in the construction of a state-of-the-art wind tunnel on Princeton’s Forrestal Campus to better understand atmospheric surface layer dynamics, which could inform efforts to optimize the power production of wind farms. He also hopes to explore the use of drones to characterize atmospheric flows at scales in between the coarse resolutions of most climate models and the relatively granular resolutions of current experimental techniques, a gap in the scientific literature often referred to as the terra incognita of atmospheric dynamics.
Former postdoctoral and presidential fellows
In the News
New Light Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow Seminar Series – Our Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellows held a public seminar this summer to talk about their research and answer questions from the academic community and prospective postdocs.
- Revolutionizing lithium production on a stringPrinceton researchers have developed a new approach for extracting lithium that slashes the time and land needed to harvest the silvery-white metal.
- New lithium-extraction technology wins first prize at Innovation ForumThe PureLi team was awarded first place in the STEM division for its new, solar-powered approach to extracting lithium from brine.
- Distinguished postdoctoral fellows to leverage new technology to achieve net-zero and develop energy smart ceramicsDistinguished postdoctoral fellows to leverage new technology to achieve net-zero and develop energy smart ceramics By Michele Hujber, For the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment Two new Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellows ...
- Making the switch to a net-zero mindsetIllustration by Matilda Luk by Denise Valenti, Office of Communications Green technology holds the promise of significantly reducing carbon emissions and helping humanity to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. ...
- Overcoming clean energy opposition and catching tiny microplastics in water are themes of research by newest Distinguished Postdoctoral FellowsHolly Caggiano and Fernando Temprano-Coleto are the Andlinger Center’s two newest Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellows. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski) By Molly A. Seltzer Two new Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellows have joined the Andlinger ...
- New Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellows to advance organic semiconductors and water treatment processesJulie Euvrard, left, and Allyson L. McGaughey, right. Photo was taken in compliance with University COVID-19 policies. At the time of the shoot, there were no longer mask and ...
- New Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow to develop novel carbon capture materialBy Molly A. Seltzer Sunxiang (Sean) Zheng has been selected as the newest Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow with a focus on developing a novel material for capturing carbon dioxide at industrial facilities ...
- Comprehensive look at U.S. fuel economy standards shows big savings on fuel and emissionsResearchers cite that CAFE standards saved $5 trillion in fuel costs and prevented 14 billion metric tons of carbon from being released into the atmosphere. (Photos: Adobe) By Molly A. ...
- Fix to longstanding flaw in sensor readings could lead to energy-saving building design improvementsResearchers constructed a small pavilion in Singapore, left, with technology that can cool inhabitants without the need for any air conditioning. A participant at the 2019 opening of the ...
- Getting the power back after disasters is focus of new Distinguished Postdoctoral FellowThe Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment has appointed Luis Ceferino as its newest Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow to study the behavior of power grids during and after natural disasters, ...