About Our Team

Group Leader

James M. Rondinelli

James M. Rondinelli


Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Northwestern University
2220 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208-3108, USA

3037 Cook Hall


Tel: (847) 491-3198
Fax: (847) 491-7820
Email: jrondinelli@northwestern.edu
Skype: james.rondinelli

Professional Preparation (CV)

Joseph Katz Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow, Argonne National Lab. (06/2010–08/2011)
PhD in Materials, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA
BS in Materials Science, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL


Professor, Northwestern University, Dept. of Materials Science & Engineering (09/2020 – present)
Associate Professor, Northwestern University, Dept. of Materials Science & Engineering (09/2017 – present)
Morris E. Fine Junior Professor of Materials and Manufacturing, Northwestern University (09/2016 – present)
Fellow, Northwestern-Argonne Institute of Science and Engineering (03/2015 – present)
Assistant Professor, Northwestern University, Dept. of Materials Science & Engineering (09/2014 – 08/2017)
Assistant Professor, Drexel University, Materials Science & Engineering Dept. (09/2011 – 08/2014)

Honors and Awards

Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellow, National Academy of Sciences (2018)
MRS Outstanding Young Investigator Award (2017)
Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Physics (2016)
Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE, 2016)
3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award (NTFA, 2016)
Journal of Materials Chemistry C, Emerging Investigator in Materials Chemistry (2016)
NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award (2015)
ACS Select Virtual Issue on Solid-State Chemistry, Emerging Leader (2014)
American Ceramic Society Ross Coffin Purdy Award (2014)
Outstanding Research Award, Materials Science & Eng. Department, Drexel University (2012)
ACS Petroleum Research Fund, Doctoral New Investigator Grant (2012)
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Young Faculty Award (2012)
Army Research Office, Young Investigator Program (YIP) Award (2012)
Joseph Katz Named Fellowship, Argonne National Laboratory (2010)
Materials Research Society (MRS) Graduate Student Gold Award (2010)
NSF – ICMR International Research Fellow (2008)
National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellow (2007)
National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellow (2007)

Professional and Service Activities

Member-at-Large, Division of Materials Physics (DMP), Executive Committee, American Physical Society (2018-2021)
Editorial Board Member, Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter (2017 – present)
Member, Argonne Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM) Users’ Executive Committee (UEC) (2016 – 2019)
Editorial Board Member, NPJ Computational Materials (2015 – present)
Member, MRS Academic Affairs Committee and University Chapters Subcommittee (2015 – present)
Faculty Adviser, Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society at Northwestern University (2015 – present)

Meetings, Workshops, and Sessions Organized

ACerS Electronic Materials and Applications (EMA) Symposium S4: Complex Oxide Thin Film Materials Discovery (Orlando, FL, 2019)
ACerS Electronic Materials and Applications (EMA) Symposium S8: Multifunctional Nanocomposites (Orlando, FL, 2018)
ISIF-17 Session C: Science and technology of multiferroics and magnetoelectrics (New Delhi, India, 2017)
International Workshop on Oxide Electronics (iWOE-24) (Chicago, IL, 2017)
APS March Meeting Focus Topic: Magnetic Oxide Thin Films and Heterostructures (New Orleans, LA, 2017)
ACerS Electronic Materials and Applications (EMA) Symposium S14: Multifunctional Nanocomposites (Orlando, FL, 2017)
APS March Meeting Focus Topic: Complex Oxide Interfaces & Heterostructures (Baltimore, MD, 2016)
ACerS Electronic Materials and Applications (EMA) Symposium S5: Multifunctional Nanocomposites and Symposium S6: Computational Design of Electronic Materials (Orlando, FL, 2016)
Fall MRS Symposium DDD: Lighting the Path Towards Non-Equilibrium Structure-Property Relationships in Complex Materials (Boston, MA, 2015)
Materials Science and Engineering 32nd Annual Hilliard Symposium (Evanston, IL, 2015)
APS March Meeting Focus Topic: Computational Discovery and Design of Novel Materials (San Antonio, TX, 2015)
APS March Meeting Focus Topic: Emergent Properties of Bulk Complex Oxides (San Antonio, TX, 2015)
APS March Meeting Focus Topic: Complex Oxide Interfaces & Heterostructures (Baltimore, MD, 2013)
Fall MRS Symposium AA: Oxide Nanoelectronics and Multifunctional Dielectrics (Boston, MA, 2012)
Workshop on Oxide Interfaces by Design (Newport, RI, 2012)
APS March Meeting Focus Topic: Dielectric, Ferroelectric & Piezoelectric Oxides (Dallas, TX, 2011)

Graduate Students

Xuezeng Lu

MS (Physics), Fudan University, Shanghai, China
BS (Physics), University of Jinan, Jinan, China

Research Interests
First-principles electronic structure studies on multiferroic and improper ferroelectric materials.

Joined Group
October, 2014

Hometown: Shandong, China
Favorite Linux command: chmod
Favorite vim command: ctrl+V
Favorite element: Manganese
Favorite structure: Perovskite
Favorite space group: R3 (no. 146)


Jaye Harada

BS (Physics) University of California, Santa Barbara

Research Interests
Developing theories to understand mixed-anions systems through experiments and first principles electronic structure calculations.

Joined Group
October, 2015

Hometown: Davis, California
Favorite element: Co
Favorite structure: Perovskite
Favorite Linux command: awk
Favorite vim command: gg


Lauren Walters

MS (Polymer Science and Engineering) Case Western Reserve University
BS (Polymer Science and Engineering) Case Western Reserve University

Research Interests
Understanding Stability for Rational Synthesis of Stimuli-Responsive Heteroanionic Compounds

Joined Group
October, 2017

Hometown: Maple Valley, WA
Favorite Linux command: echo
Favorite vim command: gg
Favorite element: Carbon
Favorite structure: Perovskite

Kathleen Mullin

BS (Materials Science and Engineering), Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL

Research Interests
Designing new electronic materials through first-principles studies and informatics

Joined Group
October, 2018

Hometown: Shawnee, Kansas
Favorite Linux command: cd
Favorite vim command: G
Favorite element: Magnesium
Favorite structure: Perovskite
Favorite space group: P6/mcc (No. 194)


Yongjin Shin

BS (Materials Science and Engineering), Korea University, Korea

Research Interests
Structure-property relationship in oxides with ordered oxygen vacancies. Materials trend in energetics and associated orbital structure applicable for design strategy. 

Joined Group
October, 2015

Hometown: Seoul, Korea
Favorite Linux command: grep
Favorite element: Carbon
Favorite vim command: dd
Favorite structure: Perovskite
Favorite space group: Fd\bar{3}m (no. 227)


Daniel Hickox-Young

BA (Physics and Mathematics), St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN

Research Interests
Relating molecular structures to macroscopic electrical, optical, and magnetic properties.

Joined Group
October, 2016

Hometown: Reno, NV
Favorite element: Chromium
Favorite mineral: Titanite
Favorite structure: BCC
Favorite Linux command: ls
Favorite space group: F\bar{4}3m (no. 216)


Yiqun (Raymond) Wang

BS (Chemistry), Fudan University, Shanghai, China

Research Interests
The mechanism and applications of metal-insulator transition materials.

Joined Group
March, 2018

Hometown: Nanjing, China
Favorite Linux command: make
Favorite element: Helium
GitHub: https://github.com/raymond931118
Email: raymondwang@u.northwestern.edu

Sean Koyama

BS (Materials Science and Engineering), University of California, Berkeley, CA

Research Interests
Designing materials with ordered anion vacancies to exhibit functional electronic properties. Discovering new materials with symmetry-protected persistent spin texture.

Joined Group
October, 2019

Hometown: Woodland Hills, CA
Favorite Linux command: sed
Favorite vim command: w
Favorite element: N
Favorite structure: Perovskite
Favorite space group: R/bar{3}c (No. 167)


Nathan Koocher

MS (Chemistry) University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
BA (Biochemistry and Biophysics) University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Research Interests
Materials out of equilibrium and nonlinear optical materials

Joined Group
October, 2015

Favorite element: Titanium
Favorite mineral: Rutile
Favorite structure: Perovskite
Favorite Linux command: grep
Favorite vim command: q
Favorite space group: P4mm (no. 99)


Richard Saballos

BS (Material Science and Engineering) University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Research Interests
Relating property changes in transition metal oxides with anionic substitution of oxygen.

Joined Group
October, 2016

Hometown: Miami, FL
Favorite element: Gallium
Favorite mineral: Calcite
Favorite Linux command: clear
Favorite structure: Perovskite




Kyle Miller

BS (Physics and Mathematics), University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA

Research Interests
Leveraging first-principles calculations and informatics to explore the physics of metal-insulator transitions

Joined Group
October, 2018

Hometown: Yakima, WA
Favorite element: Hydrogen
Favorite mineral: Millerite
Favorite structure: Buckminsterfullerene
Favorite Linux command: locate -i
Favorite vim command:%
Favorite space group: P6/mmm (no. 216)


Research Fellows

Danilo Puggioni

PhD (Physics), Università di Cagliari, Italy

Research Interests
Theoretical description of solid-state systems, including the electronic properties, magnetism, correlations, and phase transitions in complexoxides. The main techniques that I use are first-principles methods based on density-functional theory, and on post-DFT treatments for correlated systems.

Joined Group
June, 2012

Hometown: Chiaramonti (SS), Italy
Favorite Linux command: grep
Favorite emacs command: ctrl+x r-k
Favorite element: Copper
Favorite structure: Perovskite
Favorite space group: Pnma (no. 62)


Alexandru Georgescu

PhD (Physics), Yale University

Research Interests
Phase transitions (metal-insulator, magnetic) and the roles of the different order parameters, many-electron interactions and correlated materials, machine learning, topological materials, materials for quantum computing, material ‘sandwiches’ (heterostructures) and solid solutions.

Joined Group
April, 2020

Hometown: Bucharest, Romania
Favorite Linux command: grep
Favorite emacs command: ctrl+s
Favorite element: Mn
Favorite mineral: Magnetite
Favorite space group: Pbnm (no. 62)


Mingqiang (Kurt) Gu

PhD (Physics), Nanjing University, China

Research Interests Magnetic oxides and non-equilibrium physics of complex perovskites.

Joined Group November, 2014

Hometown: Guangzhou, China
Favorite Linux command: awk
Favorite vim command: s
Favorite element: Carbon
Favorite lattice: Honeycomb
Favorite space group: Im\bar{3}m (no. 229)


Michael Waters

PhD (Materials Science and Engineering), University of Michigan, MI

Research Interests Computational Methods, Atomistic Kinetics, Excited states and Optical Properties, Scoville-productivity relationships in correlated graduate student systems

Joined Group June, 2018

Hometown: Midwestern Nomad
Favorite Linux command: grep
Favorite vim command: :tabn
Favorite element: O
Favorite lattice: FCC
Favorite musical: Hamilton
Favorite space group: P1



Institution at Time of Visit

Ms. Astrid Marthinsen, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Inorganic Materials and Ceramics Group

Mr. Shiming Lei, PennState, Gopalan Group

Dr. Alessandro Stroppa, CNR-SPIN, L’Aquila, Italy, MODEM Group


Post-doctoral Fellows

Dr. Prasanna Balachandran, (2012-14), Assistant Professor, Materials Science and Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, University of Virginia

Dr. Antonio Cammarata, (2011-13), Assistant Professor, Applied Physics, Czech Technical University in Prague

Dr. Liang-Feng Huang, (2014-18), Research Scientist, Materials Science and Engineering, Ningbo Institute of Materials Technology & Engineering




Dr. Nicholas Wagner, PhD (2019), Institute for Defence Analyses

Dr. Nenian Charles, PhD (2017), MIT

Dr. Joshua Young, PhD (2016), New Jersey Institute of Technology

Mr. Emrys Tennessen, MS (2016)

Mr. Adam Cordi, MS (2014), Sage Analytical Lab, LLC

Dr. Nina Lane, PhD (2013), Intel



Undergraduate Researchers

Mr. Peiwen Ren, Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University 2018-

Mr. Kyujin Jang, Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University 2016-17

Mr. Parth Lalkiya, Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University 2015-16

Mr. Sam Kulsa, Materials Science and Engineering, Drexel University, 2014

Mr. Paul Cheung, Mechanical Engineering, Drexel University, 2013

Ms. Nesya Havela, Mechanical Engineering, Rutgers University, 2011-12



Senior Design Projects

Mr. Yinong Cao, Theoretical Study of ZnxSn1-xS Quantum Dots, Materials Science and Engineering, Drexel University

Mr. David TriderSeebeck Coefficients and Thermopower from First-Principles, Materials Science and Engineering, Drexel University