Sandia National Labs NM Partnerships Collaboration Report 2021-2022

2022 Distinguished Hruby and Truman Fellows join Sandia

The two Jill Hruby and two Harry S. Truman Distinguished Postdoctoral Researchers started their independent research at Sandia in October 2021. The Hruby Fellows are to “develop advanced technologies to ensure global peace,” and the Truman Fellows are to perform “exceptional service in the national interest.” Sommer Johansen , a 2022 Hruby Fellow, received her doctorate in physical chemistry from the University of California, Davis, and aims to improve models that demonstrate how burning bio-derived fuels affect the Earth’s planetary ecology and severe forest fires caused by climate change during her Hruby fellowship. Johansen is working with the gas-phase chemical physics department, studying gas-phase nitrogen chemistry at Sandia’s Livermore site under the mentorship of Lenny Sheps and Judit Zádor. “ UC Davis is close to Livermore, and the Combustion Research Facility there was always in the back of my mind. I wanted to go there, use the best equipment in the world and work with some our field’s smartest people. ” Alex Downs , a 2022 Hruby Fellow, completed her doctorate at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and wants to create wearable biosensors for long duration, real-time molecular measurements of health markers that would be an ongoing measurement of a person’s well-being. When she saw the Hruby posting on LinkedIn, she thought, “ There’s a huge opportunity here for freedom to explore my research interests. I can bring my expertise in electrochemistry and device fabrication and develop new skills working with microneedles and possibly other sensing platforms. ” Downs’ mentor, Ronen Polsky, is an internationally recognized expert in wearable microneedle sensors, and she is working with Sandia’s biological and chemical sensors team.

Hruby Fellow Sommer Johansen hopes to help improve comprehensive

chemical kinetics models of the after-effects on Earth’s planetary ecology of burning bio-derived fuels and the increasingly severe forest fires caused by climate change.

Hruby Fellow Alex Downs plans to create wearable biosensors that gather real-time molecular measurements. She plans to make the sensors longer lasting by improved understanding of how the sensors are impacted by biofouling in media.


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