Panel Discussion

The goal of the panel discussion is to give CBE graduate students insights and advice on how they can make the most of their time here at Notre Dame to have a successful dissertation, and to ensure that they are fully equipped to go on to the next part of their careers. We are excited to have a great lineup of panelists this year, with representation from department faculty, industry, academia, national research laboratories, and US government research agencies.

Dr. Jacob Weidman (KeyLogic)

Jacob Weidman graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from West Virginia University in 2011. He attended University of Notre Dame Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in 2011 working under William Phillip and graduating in 2016 with Ph.D. with a dissertation on polymeric materials for water treatment with chemical-specific removal. He continued his studies serving as a postdoc for one year at Notre Dame, followed by a year as a postdoc at the Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology Research with the University of Maryland synthesizing specialized polymers for vaccine delivery. He next joined National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) part of the Department of Energy, working as a postdoctoral researcher through the Oak Ridge Institute of Science Education (ORISE) in cross-cutting research focusing on testing desalination systems for wastewater from power plants. In 2020, he began my current position as a Senior Energy Engineer for KeyLogic, supporting NETL in its management of the portfolio of projects across Advanced Turbines, Supercritical CO2, Carbon Capture, and Carbon Utilization programs. As for his personal life, in 2016 he married Dr. Jennifer Weidman, who was also a Ph.D. graduate from the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering program at Notre Dame (class of 2017).


Dr. Yushan Zhang (McKinsey & Co.)

Yushan Zhang graduated from University of Notre Dame with PhD in Chemical and Molecular engineering, co-advised by Dr. Edward Maginn and Dr. Mark McCready as well as master in Applied Statistics, advised by Dr. Fang Liu on 2019. Her PhD thesis is in assisting material discovery with computational chemistry methodologies. After graduation, Yushan has been working at McKinsey & Company. She has served as both data scientist and management consultant including COVID-19 response for state and local governments, bridging gender inequality for a multilateral foundation, building machine learning and optimization models for mining clients, and chemical process optimization for a factory.


Dr. Hui Li (Cummins)

Hui Li graduated from ND CBE in 2018. During her PhD she worked in Prof Schneider’s lab and her thesis title was “Cu-SSZ-13 dynamics and consequences on adsorption free energies and sulfur poisoning”. She joined Cummins in 2018 in the systems performance analysis group, and the chemical systems modeling team. She worked on a variety of projects such as developing component-level and system-level aftertreatment system models, developing tools for system analysis, and commercial catalyst evaluation.


Dr. Brian Yoo (Fero Labs)

Brian is an Applied Research Scientist at Fero Labs. Previously, he was a Senior Research Scientist at BASF Corporation. He obtained his B.S. (2012) in chemical engineering at UC Berkeley, MS, and Ph.D. (2017) in chemical engineering at Notre Dame under the supervision of Ed Maginn and Elaine Zhu, and most recently, a master's degree (2021) in computer science at UIUC.


Dr. Ashish Kushwaha (Intel)

Ashish Kushwaha is currently working as a Process Development Engineer in Intel's Logic Technology Development group in Oregon. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, and a Ph.D. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Notre Dame. His graduate thesis work was on the development of polymer membranes for gas separation applications.