Principal Investigator


Postdoctoral Research Associates

  • Mostafa Abedi received his PhD in Chemistry from Technical University of Denmark in 2019, where he worked with Prof. Klaus B. Møller. His doctoral research involved studying excited-state molecular dynamics of materials relevant to solar energy conversion and storage applications in gas and mostly solution phase by means of theoretical chemistry tools. Prior to that, Mostafa received his M.Sc. in Physical Chemistry in 2012 from University of Zanjan, Iran.
  • Chris Almodovar joined the group as a postdoctoral research associate in August 2019. He currently operates the Brown shock tube, studies the decomposition of fuel additives, and is implementing new diagnostics for the lab's experimental efforts. Prior to joining the Goldsmith group, he received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (2013) from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and his M.S. (2015) and Ph.D (2019) in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. At Stanford, his Ph.D. research consisted of leveraging laser absorption spectroscopy for practical gas sensing in high-temperature and high-pressure environments.
  • Avik Mahata earned his Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering from Indian Institute of Science Engineering, Shibpur India (BESU, Shibpur) and Master of Technology in Materials Science and Engineering from National Institute of Technology, Trichy, India in 2010 and 2014 respectively. He briefly worked as a project associate in the Department of Aerospace Engineering in Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India in 2014-2015. He finished his PhD in 2019 from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla with Professor Mohsen Asle Zaeem. Currently, he is applying machine learning based methods to study the rate constants for various radical-radical reactions in solid-gas phase using variable reaction coordinate transition state theory.
  • Rachel Schwind received her PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 2019 focusing on experimentally probing the reaction kinetics of organic silicon compounds under Dr. Margaret Wooldridge. During her doctoral studies, she was also advised by Dr. Robert Tranter as a DOE-SCGSR fellow (2018) and NSF intern (2019) to conduct shock tube pyrolysis studies at Argonne National Laboratory and the Advanced Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Prior to joining the Wooldridge Combustion group in 2015, Rachel received her BSc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati (2015) and worked in the Mechanical Engineering and Testing Division at the Lubrizol Corporation where she devoted significant time to research in engine lubrication and tribology while designing the next generation of bench top testing for simulating proper hydrodynamic lubrication regime changes experienced by the piston ring and cylinder bore tribocouple. Additionally, as an undergraduate, she had significant research experience in computational fluid dynamics and test rig design for validating CFD results in Aerospace applications. Rachel has also been involved in the Engineering Education Research community focusing on successfully developing outreach and mentoring programs for increasing college preparedness and success for students from underrepresented groups.

Ph.D. Students

  • Jongyoon Bae is a Ph.D. student in chemical engineering. He joined Goldsmith group in fall of 2017 and is also jointly advised by Prof. Andrew Peterson. He received his B.S.E. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 2011 and received his M.S. in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University in 2014. His master’s study research topic was surface hydrophobicity of metal oxides made by atomic layer deposition (ALD). From 2014 to 2017, he worked at Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT), a Korean national lab, as a researcher. His research topic at KRICT was heterogeneous catalytic conversion of various hydrocarbons including plasma-catalytic non-oxidative conversion of methane (NOCM) and hydrocracking of light cycle oil (LCO). At Brown, he continues to study NOCM with various computational methods.

  • Katrin Blondal joined the group in 2017 as a Ph.D. student in Chemical Engineering. She is from Reykjavik, Iceland where she received her B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering in Spring 2017 from the University of Iceland. Katrin is interested in energy conversion processes and sustainability. Her current research is in the field of computational catalysis. This work includes various computational calculations for contributing to the database of RMG-Cat, an open-source software that is used for generating microkinetic mechanisms for heterogeneous catalysis.

  • Aaron Danilack's hometown is Mountain Top, Pennsylvania. Before coming to Brown for graduate school, Aaron studied at Hamilton College and Dartmouth College, earning a B.A. in Chemistry and a B.E. in Chemical Engineering, respectively. Immediately after completing his undergraduate studies, Aaron worked at a Federally Funded Research and Development Center in the Washington, D.C. area for two years. During his employment, Aaron performed computational modeling in topics pertaining to chemical and biological weapon defense. Through these experiences Aaron developed an interest in chemical kinetics and catalysis, which ultimately led him to pursue graduate school at Brown. When not working on his graduate studies, Aaron plays defense for the Brown University Club Ice Hockey Team and collects action figures.

  • Eduardo Guzmán is a Los Angeles Native and a recent graduate from the University of Rhode Island. He received bachelor’s degrees in Chemical Engineering, French and Mathematics. Before joining the Goldsmith group in 2020, Eduardo worked at the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) and the French National Centre for Scientific Research in Strasbourg (CNRS-Stras). At Brown, Eduardo hopes to meld his research training in catalysis with academic experience in Kinetics. The goal of his project is to study Polyfluorinated Substances (PFAS) using The Brown Shock Tube and other combustion methods. Outside of graduate school, Eduardo enjoys learning new languages, kayaking and engaging in political discourse online.

Sc.M. Students


Previous Group Members


Bjarne Kreitz

  • Bjarne Kreitz received a DAAD fellowship to visit the group for several months in 2019 to develop a microkinetic mechanism for methanation. He is a Ph.D. candidate at the Institut für Chemische und Elektrochemische Verfahrenstechnik at the Technische Universität Clausthal, Germany, in the research group of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Turek and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gregor D. Wehinger.


Dr. Vitaly Kiselev

  • Vitaly G. Kiselev was a postdoctoral research associate from February 2018 through October 2019. He received his PhD in Chemical Physics from the Institute of Chemical Kinetics and Combustion in Novosibirsk, Russia, in 2009. He also worked as a short-term visitor at the universities of Heidelberg, Germany and Leuven, Belgium.

Geyuan Yin

  • Geyuan Yin received a CSC fellowship to work in our group from October, 2018, through October, 2019. She is a Ph.D candidate in Engineering and Engineering Thermophysics in Zuohua Huang’s group at Xi’an Jiaotong University in China.


Dr. Xi Chen

  • Xi Chen successfully defended her doctoral thesis, "The Application of Variational Transitions State Theory in Combustion Related Reactions", for the Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry in September, 2019. Xi's work focused on the application of machine learning methods for barrierless reactions. She received her B.S. in Physical Chemistry from University of Science and Technology of China– Hefei, China in 2013. She now works as a data scientist for Amazon.


Dr. Malte Döntgen

  • Malte Döntgen was a Feodor Lynen Postdoctoral Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation from September 2018 through June 2019. He received his PhD in Engineering (Dr.-Ing.) in 2017 at RWTH Aachen University, Germany. From 2017-2018, he was a post-doc with Arkke Eskola at the University of Helsinki, Finland. He is presently a post-doc in RWTH Aachen University.

Dr. Mark Fuller

  • Mark Fuller successfully defended his doctoral thesis, "Design and Construction of a Shock Tube Facility for Investigations of Nitrogenated Fuel Additives" for the Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering in May, 2019. Mark was the principal architect of the Brown Shock Tube, which he used to investigate the kinetics of alkyl nitrates. During his graduate studies, Mark conducted additional shock tube studies as a guest researcher both at Argonne National Laboratory with Dr. Robert Tranter in 2016 and at CNRS in Orleans, France with Dr. Nabiha Chaumeix in 2018. From 2011 to 2014, he was a member of the energy and propulsion group for unmanned and autonomous systems at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, RI, working on batteries, fuel cells, and thermal engines. Mark received his M.S. in mechanical engineering at Cornell in 2011 and his Sc.B. in mechanical engineering at Brown in 2009. He is currently a postdoctoral research associate at RWTH Aachen University, Germany.


Dr. Alireza Khorshidi

  • Alireza Khorshidi was a postdoctoral research associate in 2018. He received his PhD in Engineering-Solid Mechanics from Brown University in early 2018. Alireza current lives in California and works on machine learning methods for pharmaceuticals.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gregor D. Wehinger

  • Dr. Gregor Wehinger received a DAAD fellowship to visit the group for several months in 2015 as part of his Ph.D. dissertation. He completed his Ph.D. at the TU Berlin under Prof. Kraume. He is currently the Professur für Dynamik chemischer Prozesse within the Institut für Chemische und Elektrochemische Verfahrenstechnik at the Technische Universität Clausthal, Germany.


Dr. Jiajue Chai

  • Dr. Jiajue Chai was a postdoctoral research associate from 2014 through 2016. Jiajue received his Ph.D. under Prof. Theodore Dibble at SUNY-College of Environmental Science and Forestry, where he focused on experimental atmospheric chemistry. Following a postdoc with Dr. Meredith Hastings at Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences (DEEPS) here at Brown, he is presently an Assistant Professor of Research at the Institute of Environment and Society, and DEEPS.


Danna Nozik: undergraduate


Jessica Orr: graduate student


Aaron Rosenthal: undergraduate


Mal Skowron: undergraduate


Eric Tierney: master's student