Principal Investigator

Professor Jacob Jones is a Kobe Steel Distinguished Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Director and Principal Investigator of the Science and Technologies for Phosphorus Sustainability (STEPS) Center, Director and Principal Investigator of the Research Triangle Nanotechnology Network (RTNN), former Director of the Analytical Instrumentation Facility, and a University Faculty Scholar.

More details about Jones are available at this site:

Phone: 919-515-4557
Office Location: PSB 3128

Current Group Members

Name Position Contact Email Research Focus
Thomas Rowe Postdoc
Darrell Harry PhD Student The study of metal cations for phosphorus recovery through batch equilibrium experiments of metal-cation-containing materials in water matrices containing ortho-phosphate, and characterizing these materials and water systems before, during, and after immersion.


Andre Hillsman PhD Student
Alex Hsain PhD Student Investigating effects of mechanical clamping on ferroelectric and piezoelectric properties of hafnium-based (HZO) material systems using analytical techniques.


Academic Twitter: @alexhsain

Britney Rickman PhD Student Her research involves the synthesis of new materials for phosphate adsorption.
Elizabeth Trubchaninov PhD Student Her research is a part of STEPS and focused on standardizing phosphorus analytics utilizing the following characterization techniques: EELS, EDS, XRD, XPS, Tof-SIMS, Raman Spectroscopy, and XANES.
Nadia Chapple Undergraduate Student Research focuses on nanomaterials. She is working with both the Jones Research Group and STEPS.



Grace Kiel Undergraduate Student
Vedika Shah Undergraduate Student
Carolyn Szemprunch Undergraduate Student Identifying potential metal cations for phosphorus recovery, with a focus on removing these metals from wastewater systems so that they may be captured and then redistributed into the environment.




Our PhD and Postdoc Alumni

Name Completion Date Link Current Affiliation
Mesut Varlioglu PhD 2009 Senior Materials Engineer at Hewlett-Packard
Author of “Idea to Product: DIY Invention Commercialization
Abhijit Pramanick, PhD 2009 Department of Physics and Materials Science City University of Hong Kong
Christopher Fell PhD 2012 Sr. Research Engineer at Tesla Motors
Elena Aksel PhD 2012 Project Manager at SCHOTT
Anderson Prewitt, PhD 2012 Prewitt Solutions – Founder
Krishna Nittala PhD 2012 Applied Materials
Shruti Seshadri PhD 2012 Lead – Corporate Security Management at Sutherland Global Services
Sungwook Mhin PhD 2013 Professor at Korea Institute of Industrial Technology
Tedi-Marie Usher-Ditzian PhD 2016 Postdoctoral Research Associate at Oak Ridge National
Thanakorn Iamsasri PhD 2016 King Monkut’s University of Technology North Bangkok
Jennifer Forrester PhD 2013 University of Leeds
Chris Fancher PhD 2016 Postdoctoral Researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Dipankar Ghosh PhD 2009 Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Old Dominion University
Goknur Tutuncu PhD 2012 No current affiliation
Stephen Podowitz-Thomas PhD 2016 Faculty at Haverford College
Ching-Chang Chung, Ph.D. 2018 X-Ray Diffraction Laboratory Manager (NCSU)
Giovanni Esteves, PhD, 2017 Post-Doctoral Researcher at Sandia National Lab
Dong Hou, PhD 2017 Postdoctoral Researcher at NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Deepika Saini, PhD 2018 Eastman Chemical Company
Brienne Johnson, PhD 2018 Northrop Grumman
Hanhan Zhou, PhD 2019 Postdoctoral Researcher at the Analytical Instrumentation Facility at NC State University Sr. Electrical Failure Analysis/Package
Failure Analysis Engineer at GLOBALFOUNDRIES
Alisa Paterson, PhD 2019 Postdoctoral Associate at University of Calgary Development of analyses for diffraction data from ferroelectric materials

Google Scholar

Alexandria Cruz 2021 PhD Student
Jianwei Zhao 2021 PhD Student
Younghwan Lee 2021 PhD Student
Alexandra Henriques 2021 PhD Student
Alexis Payne 2021 PhD Student
Josh Harris, PhD 2023
Ryan Newell, PhD 2023 Temposonics Materials Engineer
Rachel Broughton, PhD 2023
Corrado Harper, PhD 2023

Jones Research Group – 2022