a Research Immersion in Materials Science & Engineering (RIMSE) program of the UC San Diego MRSEC, a National Science Foundation Materials Research Science and Engineering Center

2023 SSPA Participants

Correal Lopez, Sergio

ORCID: 0000-0002-7822-195X
BIO: Sergio is a first-year Ph.D. student in Materials Science and Engineering, currently working in Professor Tod Pascal’s group at UC San Diego. He completed his B.S. in Chemistry in 2019 and B.S. in Physics in 2021 from Universidad de los Andes, Colombia. Sergio’s research involves utilizing first-principles calculations to gain insights into excited state phenomena and reaction mechanisms, focusing on applications in energy science and catalysis.

Douglas, Jack

ORCID: 0009-0009-4445-9247
BIO: Jack is an incoming undergraduate EECS student at University of California, Berkeley. He is currently working under Professor Tod Pascal at UCSD’s ATLAS materials physics lab, training predictive models for dynamic mechanical loss of materials subjected to variable frequencies and temperatures.

Fune, Beneen

ORCID: 0009-0001-3257-9825
BIO: Beneen is an undergraduate student at UC San Diego (class of 2026) where she is pursuing a degree in NanoEngineering and Mathematics-Computer Science. She is currently interested in developing and applying computational tools for material science research. Beneen is engaged in undergraduate research on first-principles simulations of dynamic mechanical loss properties in the ATLAS Labs under Professor Tod Pascal. She will be participating in the UC San Diego MRSEC 2023 RIMSE Summer School on Predictive Assembly (SSPA). In her free time, Beneen enjoys thrifting, watching anime, and paddling with the UCSD dragon boat team.

Gomez, Mynel

ORCID: 0009-0006-1805-4885
BIO: Mynel is an undergraduate student at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring in Metallurgical & Materials Engineering with a concentration on Extractive and Process Metallurgy. Afterwards, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in Metallurgical & Materials Engineering, as the next steps toward her career goal: to contribute to the development of new industrial processes and materials for a sustainable future.


Huang, Evan

ORCID: 0009-0006-3759-4692
BIO: Evan is an undergraduate student at UC San Diego majoring in chemistry and works with Dr. Shaowei Li for undergraduate research. Evan is participating in the UC San Diego MRSEC 2023 RIMSE Summer School on Predictive Assembly (SSPA).

Kret, Rita

ORCID: 0000-0003-3207-7259
BIO: Rita Kret is an undergraduate student pursuing a degree in Chemical Engineering at the Ohio State University. She is interested in creating more efficient and accessible renewable energy. In her free time, Rita likes to read, hike, and brush up on her French and Arabic.

Lee, Yeji

ORCID: 0009-0007-8387-7404
BIO: Yeji (Jenny) is an undergraduate student at Oberlin College (class of 2024), participating in the UC San Diego MRSEC 2024 RIMSE Summer School on Predictive Assembly (SSPA). She is currently pursuing a degree in Chemistry with a Global Health concentration. She is interested in organic synthesis and is excited to learn how to build predictive models that capture chemical and physical complexities.

Luo, Kevin

ORCID: 0009-0007-8610-0086
BIO: Kevin is a high school student currently attending Canyon Crest Academy (class of 2024). His academic interests are mainly in physics and computer science. He also likes working on engineering projects and building new things. Outside of academics, he enjoys hiking, watching tv shows, and playing chess and other board games.

McClure, Shawn

ORCID: 0000-0003-2433-7786
BIO: Shawn is a recent UC San Diego Chemistry and Biochemistry graduate and furthering his studies by pursuing his PhD in Inorganic Chemistry at UC San Diego starting in the fall. He will be participating in the summer school for predictive assembly as part of the UC San Diego MRSEC RIMSE program. He is interested in learning how to use computational chemistry to model complex supramolecular structures.

Paul, Deiya

ORCID: 0009-0000-9415-0728
BIO: Deiya is an undergraduate student pursuing a Computer Engineering and Physics degree at California State University, Long Beach. Her interests include nanoengineering, hardware engineering, and embedded systems. In her free time, she does archery!

Sandoval, Daniel

ORCID: 0009-0006-5009-7340
BIO: Daniel is a first-generation college student at Rio Hondo College who comes from a hardworking Mexican family. Daniel is excited to be conducting research for the first time. His love for applying physics and science to help others motivates him to one day pursue doctoral studies in biomedical engineering.

Schacher, Daniel

ORCID: 0000-0002-4095-6635
BIO: Daniel is a current masters student in the Nevada Extreme Conditions Laboratory at the University of Nevada Las Vegas where he is completing his degree in theoretical condensed matter physics. He is interested in electronic structure theory and interactions between x-rays and condensed matter systems. His goal is to learn more about ab initio methods that can be used to calculate and describe the outcomes of these interactions.

Thompson, Elizabeth

ORCID: 0009-0002-9832-980X
BIO: Elizabeth Thompson is a current biochemistry and molecular biology student at Truman State University. She is currently in an organic synthesis lab working on synthesizing a potential drug targeting a protein found in late-stage and hard-to-treat cancers, and also does work in a physiology lab at A.T. Still University doing molecular biology research. In addition to STEM, she loves spending time with dogs, making music, and hiking.

2023 SSPA Mentor Participants

Black, Kianna

ORCID: 0000-0001-7026-2637
BIO: Kianna is a student at Francis Parker High School in San Diego (Class of 2024). She is a returning participant in the RIMSE Summer School on Predictive Assembly at UC San Diego and will be serving as a mentor.

Dai, Michael

ORCID: 0000-0001-8426-0448
BIO: Michael is a rising senior at Folsom High School, participating in the 2023 RIMSE summer school on Predictive Assembly as a student mentor for his second year back. He has a strong interest in chemistry and engineering and wishes to continue to develop his knowledge of predictive assembly, while also giving aid to any newer members who require it. He hopes that his prior experience as an intern last year will come in handy while he continues to study how to apply the use of computational tools and simulations to better understand how self-assembly functions

Infante, Emily

ORCID: 0000-0003-0315-7436
BIO: Emily is an undergraduate B.S. Biochemistry major at UC San Diego. She works with ATLAS Labs on computational chemistry projects under Professor Tod Pascal. Emily is interested in the intersection of fundamental research and chemistry. When not researching, Emily dedicates time to her plants and her work as a lab assistant at the Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute.

Young, James

ORCID:   0000-0002-7250-0966
BIO: James is an undergraduate student at UC San Diego (class of 2025) majoring in Computer Science with a specialization in Bioinformatics. He participated in the Summer School on Predictive Assembly in 2022 and is returning this year as a mentor and to continue his ongoing work as a MRSEC research assistant. James currently works in the Tao Group on the development of inorganic nanoscale materials and focuses on the programmable assembly of gold nanoparticles with binary shape and size. Outside of academics, he practices Chinese martial arts and can be found performing for events with the wushu club at UCSD