Diane joined the group in August 2015 to begin her Ph.D. following her graduation from the University of Arizona with a B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering. Her current research is focused on applying electron microscopy to identify structure-activity relationships in visible-light absorbing photocatalytic nanomaterials for solar hydrogen production. Within this topic, she is applying low-dose rate TEM imaging and aloof-beam EELS to nondestructively characterize structural graphitic carbon nitride powders. Diane currently mentors two undergraduate students: Tu-Uyen Phan, who is synthesizing mixed-metal oxide interfaces for visible-light hydrogen production, and Alex Bravenec, who is designing/building improvements to the ex-situ photoreactor.
As an undergraduate student, Diane was highly involved with recruiting and STEM outreach through Engineering Ambassadors and Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society at the U of A. She researched the environmental degradation of polymers and the optoelectronic properties of wide band gap semiconductors for photovoltaic applications during her sophomore and senior years, which sparked her interest in renewable energy. As a teaching assistant for an introductory materials engineering course for two years, Diane was involved with instructing labs and tutoring students. She also obtained industry experience throughout two summer internships at Medtronic (a medical device company) where she worked on miniaturized cardiac monitoring device packing and development of reliability metrology.
As an Arizona native, Diane loves the year-round sunny weather. In her free time, she is either listening to podcasts or dancing the Melbourne shuffle to house music.