Eckert Postdoctoral Fellows

The 18-month Eckert Postdoctoral Fellowships, provided by Emeritus Professor Charles Eckert, include a salary and funds for travel and other needs. See more details on the program and application process.

Eckert Postdoctoral Fellows:

Adjunct Professor Symone Alexander is an Eckert Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at Georgia Institute of Technology in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. She is currently leading investigations on extreme organismic biophysics with a focus on ultra-fast motion in nature in Assistant Professor Saad Bhamla’s research group. She earned her PhD in Macromolecular Science and Engineering as an NSF Graduate Research Fellow at Case Western Reserve University, advised by Professor LaShanda Korley. During her graduate career, she led investigations on the influence of high molecular weight polymers on self-assembling small molecules, and how those networks can be utilized to generate responsive polymer composites. She obtained a BS in Chemical Engineering from Howard University in 2013, where she investigated DNA-polymer assemblies utilizing Atomic Force Microscopy under the advisement of Dr. Preethi Chandran and Dr. Joseph Cannon. Alexander recently served as the elected chair of the 2019 Polymers Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) and actively participates in science communication through her role as a social media contributor for the Biophysics Journal. She is a recipient of numerous awards and honors, including numerous fellowships, selection as a 2019 American Chemical Society Future Faculty Scholar (ACS PMSE), and being selected as a 2018 Rising Star in Chemical Engineering by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).


Madelyn Ball was born and raised in Potsdam, NY and obtained her BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of New Hampshire in 2010. During her time as an undergrad, she developed a passion for exploring the world through research, working on a range of research projects, including work on catalytic upgrading of biomass pyrolysis vapors. This work introduced Madelyn to catalysis and inspired her to continue studies in the field.

She received her PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin – Madison under the supervision of James Dumesic in July 2019. Her PhD research focused on the synthesis of well controlled bimetallic catalysts with the goal of developing fundamental structure-activity relationships for a range of systems. A controlled surface reaction approach enabled the formation of well-defined catalytic active sites for the development of structure-activity and structure-selectivity relationships. Additionally, Madelyn uses transmission electron microscopy to study catalyst structure for metal, metal oxide, and zeolite-based materials.

Her current postdoctoral research in the Jones Group is focused on material synthesis for both catalytic and adsorption applications. She is working to synthesize single atom alloy catalysts for hydrogenation applications to study the relationship between metal surface structure and catalytic activity and selectivity. Additionally, she is working on the synthesis of organic and polymeric materials for direct air capture of CO2 and using infrared spectroscopy to investigate the mechanism of adsorption and desorption on these materials.


Sarah Marques has BS is in biology and chemistry, and MS in chemistry at St. John’s University in Queens, NY. She earned her PhD at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, on probing charge and energy transfer in isolated organic nanoscale assemblies using single molecule spectroscopic and microscopic techniques. As an Eckert fellow in Professor Elsa Reichmanis' group, she will use advanced nonlinear optical measurements to probe the impact polymer processing techniques have on the photophysical properties of commercially viable polymeric materials, as a means of creating new design paradigms for optoelectronic devices.




Other Past Eckert Fellows:

Thomas Berkemeier (Sally Ng, advisor)

Gozde Tutuncuoglu (Mike Filler, advisor)