John Keith

John was born and raised in central Minnesota, and he is the product of public schools in the area. He then attended Wesleyan University and became interested in computational quantum chemistry doing undergraduate research with George Petersson. After a gap year of being an exchange student in Costa Rica and then a student researcher in Don Truhlar’s group at the University of Minnesota, he joined Bill Goddard’s research group at Caltech, where he earned his Ph.D. doing computational chemistry studies of homogeneous catalysis. He then joined Timo Jacob’s group at the University of Ulm and was an Alexander von Humboldt postdoctoral fellow studying electrocatalysis and model development. John returned to the U.S. and then was an associate research scholar in Emily Carter’s group when she was at Princeton University studying solar fuels research.

Since 2013 he has been an R.K. Mellon Faculty Fellow in Energy in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. In 2017 he was awarded an NSF-CAREER award. In 2019 he was promoted to associate professor with tenure. In 2019-2020 he was a visiting researcher at the University of Luxembourg working in Alexandre Tkatchenko’s research group. A staunch advocate for enhancing diversity and inclusivity in STEM fields, he serves on the Swanson School of Engineering’s Engineering Diversity Advisory Committee.

Students in his lab have gone on to do prestigious postdoc fellowships at U.S. national labs, industry jobs in engineering, data science, publishing, and software development. Graduates from his group have also continued on to elite research and academic institutions, and they have earned national recognition with the NSF-GRFP and the AIChE CoMSEF graduate student award.

When he is not working as a professor, he is a husband and parent of three children. His hobbies include doing crosswords and playing the cello whenever he can.

C.V.            Calendar


Tae Hoon Choi

Assistant research professor since 8/2019

Professor - Chungnam National University, 2011

Post Doc - University of Chicago, 2010

PhD Chemistry - University of Pittsburgh, 2010

Chasz Griego

Graduate student since 1/2018

BS Chemical Engineering - New Mexico Tech, 2017

Awards: NSF GRFP fellowship (2019), Irving Wender fellowship (2017)

Alex Maldonado

Graduate student since 1/2019

BS Chemical Engineering - Western Michigan University, 2018

Awards: NSF GRFP honorable mention (2020), PITT STRIVE scholar (2018)

Lingyan Zhao

Graduate student since 1/2020

MS Materials Science - Carnegie Mellon University, 2019

BE Materials Science - Beijing University of Chemical Technology, 2018

Barbaro Zulueta

Graduate student since 6/2020

BS Chemistry, BA Physics - Temple University, 2019

Awards: PITT STRIVE scholar (2020)

Previous Members


Victor Oyeyemi

Postdoc 7/2014 - 6/2015

Current whereabouts: Data scientist at Bloomberg (2015)

Aude Marjolin

Postdoc 1/2014 - 10/2014

Current whereabouts: Sr. research editor at S&P global market intelligence (2018), executive director at PQI (2015)

PhD Students

Yasemin Basdogan

ChemE, 1/2016 - 1/2020

Awards: AIChE CoMSEF graduate student award
Current whereabouts: Postdoc at Caltech (2020)

Karthikeyan Saravanan

ChemE, 1/2014 - 12/2018

Awards: PQI graduate fellowship
Current whereabouts: Data scientist at Highmark (2018)

Mitchell Groenenboom

ChemE, 1/2014 - 4/2018

Awards: National Research Council postdoc
Current whereabouts: Data scientist at Brembo (2020), postdoc at NIST (2018)

Eric Gottlieb

Visiting chemistry PhD student from CMU, 1/2014 - 7/2015

Current whereabouts: CEO of Lignolix

MS Students

Minh Nguyen Vo

MS ChemE, 1/2015 - 4/2017

Current whereabouts: Postdoc at Argonne National Lab

William Belfield

Visiting ChemE MS student from Loughborough University, 2/2018 - 6/2018

Current whereabouts: Graduate sustainability consultant at Hoare Lea

Yaqun Zhu

MS ChemE, 1/2014 - 7/2015

Current whereabouts: CMP engineering intern at Micron technology

BS Students

Eli Lipsman

ChemE, 6/2020 - 9/2020

Current whereabouts: ChemE BS student at Pitt

Brian Gentry

MechE, 6/2018 - 9/2020

Awards: NSF GRFP fellowship (2020)
Current whereabouts: MechE PhD student at Carnegie Mellon

Peter Fatouros

Visiting student from Clarkson University, 6/2019 - 8/2019

Current whereabouts: ChemE BS student at Clarkson University

Ethan Henderson

ChemE, 1/2017 - 4/2019

Current whereabouts: Gas systems planning engineer at Equitrans Midstream

Angela Leo

ChemE, 1/2017 - 4/2019

Current whereabouts: Epic

Sarah Newton

ChemE, 1/2017 - 9/2018

Current whereabouts: Gas systems planning engineer at Equitrans Midstream

Caelin Celani

Visiting REU from Washington & Jefferson College, 6/2017 - 8/2017

Current whereabouts: Analytical chemistry PhD student at University of Delaware

Solomon Astley

CS, 2017

Current whereabouts: Software engineer at Airbnb

Charles Hansen

ChemE, 9/2016 - 4/2017

Current whereabouts: Chemistry fleet support engineer at Naval Nuclear Laboratory

Blaec Toncini

ChemE, 2016

Current whereabouts: Quality engineer at TE connectivity

James Dean

Visiting REU from Winthrop University, 6/2015 - 7/2015

Current whereabouts: ChemE PhD student at Pitt with Dr. Mpourmpakis

Dinesh Devarajan

Visiting REU from Anna University, 6/2015 - 7/2015

Current whereabouts: PhD student at Texas Tech University

Yinan Kang

ChemE, 9/2014 - 9/2015

Current whereabouts: Senior data science specialist at BASF

Jeffrey Carr

ChemE, 1/2014 - 4/2015

Current whereabouts: Program manager at Williams

Rohith Amruthur

ChemE, 1/2014 - 12/2014

Current whereabouts: Co-founder of The Intellectus Group

Gina Stinson

Visiting REU from Trine University, 6/2014 - 7/2014

Current whereabouts: Process automation engineer at Elanco

Bronson Lockwood

ChemE 2014

Current whereabouts: Chief content creator at Blawesome studio