Principal Investigator

Matthew G. Panthani

Assistant Professor
Herbert L. Stiles Faculty Fellow
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Office: Sweeney Hall 2037
Phone: 515.294.1736
email: panthani[at]iastate edu

Matthew G. Panthani started as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering in 2014. He earned a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 2011 under the supervision of Brian Korgel. Prior to joining ISU, he completed postdoctoral training at University of Chicago, working with Dmitri Talapin. He has been awarded the Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Award and the Herbert L. Stiles Faculty Fellowship from the ISU College of Engineering. His research focuses on designing new optoelectronic materials that have new properties that arise from size, structure, and interfacial chemistry.

CBE Website Link

Graduate Students

Atefe Hadi

B.S., University of Tabriz
M.S., New Mexico State University
atefe[at]iastate edu

Rainie Nelson

B.S., University of Washington at Seattle
rainie[at]iastate edu

Yujie Wang

B.S., Henan University
ywang[at]iastate edu

Umar Hamdeh

B.S., University of Kansas
uhamdeh[at]iastate edu

Brad Ryan

B.S., Iowa State University
bryan[at]iastate edu

Utkarsh Ramesh

B.S., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Undergraduate Students

Michael Zembrzuski


Lindsay Timko

Beatrice Hosier

Kevin Shoucair

Jonathan Slobidsky

Previous Students

Previous Undegraduate Students:

Alex Verburg
Bryan Cote
Christian Pinnell
Iver Cleveland
Ivy Wu
Kevin Prince
Matthew Milot

Biographical Information

Atefe received a M.S. in chemical engineering from New Mexico State University where she worked on the energy-efficient filtration of brackish groundwater using a Nanofiltration/Reverse Osmosis Hybrid desalination system. Her interest in studying nanostructured materials and their applications in energy-optimized systems motivated her to change her research direction. Besides research, she is interested in teaching and was recently recognized as the recipient of a Teaching Excellence Award by Iowa State University’s Graduate College. Atefe’s research focuses on the synthesis of nanostructured inorganic perovskites using solution-based synthesis methods. In her free time, she loves to hike, swim, and play volleyball.

Rainie was the recipient of an NSF GRFP in 2016. Her current research uses three different material systems to study how decreasing the dimensionality of materials can alter their properties as compared to 3D bulk materials. She has been working on synthesis and characterization of Cs3Bi2X9 nanocrystals (X = halide), layered double perovskite materials, and bismuth seed particles. In her free time, Rainie enjoys playing sports (especially soccer), playing and listening to music, camping, biking, and cooking.

Yujie was awarded a National scholarship in 2013 in China. Her research focuses on group IV nanomaterials.  In her free time she likes to watch movies and read books.

Umar is a PhD student in Chemical Engineering with the Panthani Lab and anticipates degree completion in Spring of 2019. Umar has received both the Bioeconomy Institute Presidential Fellowship and Trinect Fellowship during his time at Iowa State University. He completed his M.S. degree in Chemical
Engineering at Iowa State University in the Spring of 2017, and his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Kansas in the Spring of 2014. His research passion since undergraduate has been in the field of renewable energy. At the University of Kansas, he worked with Dr. Susan Williams developing a procedure for the hydrothermal liquefaction of algae for biofuel applications. Here at Iowa State University, Umar’s research focuses on the fabrication and characterization of novel solution processable semiconducting materials for optoelectronic applications. His M.S. thesis was on the
fabrication of BiI 3 thin film photovoltaic devices, and his PhD dissertation will be a continuation of his work with bismuth based semiconductors, developing bismuth halide perovskite thin films for optoelectronic applications. He is also developing CsPbI 3 and CsSnI 3 quantum dot thin film semiconductors for optoelectronic applications as a viable alternative to the MAPbI 3 material system. In his free time, Umar enjoys playing and watching sports, and playing music with his friends. He is a diehard KU basketball fan.

Google scholar:


Brad Ryan was born and raised in Davenport, IA. He earned his B.S. degree in 2016 from Iowa State University in Chemical Engineering, graduating in the top 2% of the College of Engineering. After graduating, he worked for DuPont Pioneer, where he conducted research in electromagnetic morphological characterization, transient chemical reactions, and fluid flow in variably saturated porous media. His prior research experience includes two internships with Ames National Laboratory (DOE funded), and two internships with Nahant Education Center (NSF funded).

He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. under both Matthew G. Panthani and Luke T. Roling, where he is studying the design of nanostructured electronic materials via computationally-directed experiments. Brad is using density functional theory (DFT) as a predictive technique for high-throughput screening of optoelectronic materials to drastically increase the speed at which novel materials are developed through bypassing the need to experimentally fabricate and characterize each composition for each structure. His research consists of both computational screening and experimental fabrication.

Outside of school, Brad thoroughly enjoys working with his hands (and brain). He finds great satisfaction in honing his skills and becoming an overall useful and independent person. Specifically, he enjoys general carpentry, and home repair, electronic diagnostics, and machining. He spends a healthy portion of time cooking and repairing broken items.

Utkarsh obtained his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2016. During his time there, he worked on continuous scale synthesis of quantum dots which got him interested in nanocrystal systems. Currently, he is working on surface functionalization of Si and Ge based nanocrystals. In his free time, he enjoys reading books, listening to music and following tennis.