Argonne offers mentorship and resources to students in Department of Energy-sponsored graduate student research

A graduate student in the SCGSR Program

A graduate student in the SCGSR Program conducts important lab research in a state-of-the-art facility at Argonne National Laboratory. (Image: Argonne National Laboratory)

ALCF staff members Taylor Childers and Anouar Benali will mentor two of the Argonne students participating in DOE's Graduate Student Research program.

For the second of two 2019 funding stages of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program, 62 graduate students were chosen to conduct doctoral thesis research across the national laboratory complex. Twelve of these students will be mentored by scientists at DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory.

The research program will provide the students high-level mentorship, technology and resources for their theses, while preparing them for bright science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers at national laboratories.

By exposing graduate students to the professional and world-changing STEM resources at Argonne, we not only support their ongoing thesis research but also advance the future of scientific fields critical to the nation,” said Meridith Bruozas, Argonne Educational Programs and Outreach manager. ​And by acting as mentors for the students, our researchers connect with and share their incredible knowledge and experience with the next generation of STEM leaders.”

Through the SCGSR program, these exemplary graduate students receive awards for supplementary funds to perform key research for their theses at national laboratories such as Argonne. Periods for the research range from three to 12 months. The students selected must be working toward a Ph.D. in a STEM field within the Office of Science’s priority research areas, such as data science, soil microbiology, high energy physics and isotope development. Over the course of the research, they will collaborate with professional researchers who, as mentors, guide the graduates into high-level scientific research.

Taylor Childers and Anouar Benali

The ALCF's Taylor Childers (left) and Anouar Benali are among the mentors for the incoming class of Argonne students participating in the DOE Office of Science's Graduate Student Research program.

More details on the full list of 62 graduate students for the SCGSR 2019 Solicitation Phase 2 can be found here. The first SCGSR projects for this solicitation phase will start in June 2020.

The 12 graduate students working with mentors at Argonne National Laboratory include:

  • Alejandra Arroyave, University of California-San Diego (Mentor: Jeremy Kropf, Physicist) – Assessing the Catalytic Function of Low-Valent Metal Isocyanide Coordination Networks using X-ray Spectroscopic Techniques
  • Carly Byron, University of Delaware (Mentor: Massimiliano Delferro, Chemist/Catalysis Science Program Group Leader) – Probing the Catalytic Platinum/Boron Alloy with X-Ray Absorption Spectroscopy
  • Timothy Goetjen, Northwestern University (Mentor: Massimiliano Delferro, Chemist/Catalysis Science Program Group Leader) – Understanding Catalyst Evolution in Structurally Well-Defined Heterogeneous Olefin Oligomerization/Polymerization Systems Using In-situ X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy
  • Ryan Hawtof, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Mentor: Robert Tranter, Senior Chemist) – Investigating Reaction Kinetics Critical to Soot Formation
  • Waleed Helweh, Northwestern University (Mentor: Xiaoyi Zhang, Physicist/Group Leader) – Investigating Photoinduced Structural Transformations in Covalent Organic Framework-Derived Macrocycles Using Time-Resolved X-Ray Diffraction
  • Matthew Jordan, Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College (Mentor: YuPo Lin, ElectroChemical and Bioprocessing Engineer) – Tuning Electrostatic Interactions for Selective Electrochemical Separations
  • William Judge, University of Illinois at Chicago (Mentor: Vincent De Andrade, Physicist/Beamline Scientist) – Operando Chemical Tomography of Single Battery Particles Enabled by Deep Learning
  • Julian Kosacki, Missouri University of Science & Technology (Mentor: Pietro Lopes, Assistant Scientist) – Establishing the Functional Links between Energy Storage and Failure Mechanisms in Lead-Acid Electrochemical Interfaces
  • Jan Offermann, University of Chicago (Mentor: Taylor Childers, Computer Scientist) – Overlap Removal in Jets at the ATLAS Experiment Using Neural Networks
  • Saran Pidaparthy, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Mentor: Daniel Abraham, Senior Materials Scientist) – Identification of Failure Mechanisms in Li-Ion Battery Electrodes Subject to Fast-Charging
  • Timothy Shaffer, University of Notre Dame (Mentor: Ian Foster, Data Science and Learning Division Director/Argonne Distinguished Fellow) – Enabling Distributed HPC for Loosely-Coupled Dataflow Applications
  • Shiv Upadhyay, University of Pittsburgh (Mentor: Anouar Benali, Computational Scientist) – Quantum Monte Carlo Treatment of Positron Complexes


Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation's first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America's scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit