Jeff Sakamoto Headshot
Jeff Sakamoto

Jeffrey Sakamoto is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan. Prior to joining UM, he was a faculty at Michigan State University for six years. Prior to that, he was a Senior Engineer at the California Institute of Technology, Jet Propulsion Laboratory for 7 years. He earned his Ph. D. (2001) in Materials Science and Engineering from UCLA. As a mechanical engineer and materials scientist with an interest in synthesis, processing, and functionalization of advanced and state-of-the-art battery materials, his research is highly interdisciplinary guided by the fields of energy storage/conversion and transportation.

Awards and Honors
  • Kavli Fellow.
  • National Academy of Sciences, Organizing Committee, Frontiers of Science, Indonesia (2014).
  • National Academy of Engineering, Symposium Organizer, Irvine, CA (2014).
  • National Academy of Sciences, Invited Speaker, Frontiers of Science, Agra India (2013).
  • Michigan State University, Teacher-Scholar University-Level Award (2013).
  • National Academy of Engineering, Invited speaker, Frontiers of Engineering, Warren, MI (2012).
  • National Academy of Engineering, paper titled, “Keeping up with the Demands for Electrochemical Energy Storage”, National Academy of Engineering The Bridge (2012).
  • National Academy of Sciences, US Delegate, Kavli Frontiers of Science, Bogor, Indonesia (2011).
  • Withrow Distinguished Teaching Award (2008-2009).
  • NASA Inventions and Contributions Board, Major Space Act Award for intellectual property: “Development of Novel Materials and Materials Processing Enabling A New Class of Thermoelectric Generators” (2006).
  • JPL, Solar System Exploration Programs Directorate Bonus Award (2004).
  • United States Army, Commissioned Officer, Distinguished Military Graduate (1996).

 Research Staff

Dr. Tom Vaid Headshot
Dr. Tom Vaid

Tom is studying the solid electrolyte NaSICON for use in redox flow batteries and other applications.

Ph.D students

Kiwoong Lee Headshot
Kiwoong Lee

Kiwoong’s work focuses on understanding mechano-electrochemical behaviors of in situ formed Li-metal anodes.

Alex Moy Headshot
Alex Moy

Alex’s work is focused on the grain boundary, heteroionic, and cathodic interphases and interfaces of solid-state electrolytes for next-generation electric vehicle batteries. 

Catherine Haslam Headshot
Catherine Haslam

Catherine studies the mechano-electrochemical behavior of in situ formed Li anodes in “Li metal-free” cells with LLZO solid-state electrolyte.

Max Palmer Headshot
Max Palmer

Max studies the interface and chemical/electrochemical interaction between LLZO and sulfur cathodes. He investigates various acid treatments of LLZO and its effects for sulfur chemistry in glyme and highly solvating electrolytes. 

Flora Tseng Headshot
Flora Tseng

Flora works on NaSICON for energy storage.

Wonjoon Suk Headshot
Wonjoon Suk

Wonjoon studies mechanical and interfacial properties of novel high-formability solid-state catholyte for Li-metal batteries.

Masters Student

Makomoto Kimura Headshot
Makoto Kimura

My research focuses on the grain size and mechanical properties of NASICON.

PhD Students


  1. Wonjoon Suk, High formability solid-state electrolytes for solid-state batteries. Student Current Position: PhD pre-candidate
  2. Flora Tseng, NaSICON thin film electrolytes for long duration energy storage. Student Current Position: PhD candidate
  3. Catherine Haslam, Operando electrical and mechanical analysis of solid-state batteries. Student Current Position: PhD candidate
  4. Max Palmer, Hybrid Li-S Batteries. Student Current Position: PhD candidate
  5. Kiwoong Lee, Mechano-electrochemical phenomena at the Li metal/solid electrolyte interface. Student Current Position: PhD candidate
  6. Alexandra Moy, Solid-state ionic analysis of single and bi-crystal solid electrolytes. Student Current Position: PhD candidate


  1. Joey Valle, Ceramic Electrolytes for Grid Storage. Student Current: Postdoc Purdue University.
  2. Alvaro Giovanni Masias, Mechano-electrochemical phenomena of the solid-state battery interfaces, United States of America.
  3. Student Current Position: Manager Solid-state Battery Research , Place of Employment: Ford, Dearborn, MI, United States of America
  4. Michael Joseph Wang, Coupled Electro Chemo-Mechanical Phenomena at the Anode/Electrolyte Interface in Solid-State Batteries. Student Current Position: Postdoctoral Scholar, Place of Employment: MIT, Cambridge, MA, United States of America
  5. Arushi Gupta, Analyzing the Stability and Kinetics of Ceramic Electrolyte/Organic Electrolyte Interfaces for Li Metal Batteries. Student Current Position: Battery Engineer, Place of Employment: Tesla, Palo Alto, CA, United States of America
  6. Maria Regina Garcia Mendez, Correlating Structural and Interfacial Effects of Ceramic Solid Electrolytes with Cycling Stability of Li metal in Solid-State Batteries.
  7. Student Current Position: Postdoctoral Scholar, Place of Employment: Cornell, Ithaca, NY, United States of America
  8. Asma Sharafi, Microstructural and Interface Engineering of Garnet-Type Fast Ion-Conductor for Use in Solid-State Batteries. Student Current Position: Battery Engineer , Place of Employment: Rivian, CA, United States of America
  9. Dena Shahriari, Degradable Microchannel Nerve Guidance Scaffolds for Central and Peripheral Nerve Repair – From Soft to Rigid. Student Current Position: Tenure Track Assistant Professor , Place of Employment: University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
  10. Yungsung Kim, Enabling Higher Energy Density and Power Density Lithium Ion Batteries Through Electrode Design and Solid-State Electrolytes. Student Current Position: Battery Engineer , Place of Employment: Hyundai Motors, Seoul, Korea, South
  11. Travis Thompson, Nanocomposite oxide thermoelectric materials for waste heat recovery.
  12. Student Current Position: Solid-state Battery Program Manager , Place of Employment: Umicore, Brussels, Belgium
  13. Daniel Lynam, Multifunctional hydrogel scaffolds for spinal cord repair.
  14. Student Current Position: Biomaterials Engineer , Place of Employment: Cook Biomedical, Bloomington, IN, United States of America
  15. Ryan Maloney, High surface area aerogels for energy storage and efficiency.
  16. Student Current Position: Battery Engineer , Place of Employment: Apple, Cupertino, CA, United States of America
  17. Ezhiylmurugan Rangasamy, Fast ion conducting ceramic electrolyte based on Li7La3Zr2Ogarnet. Student Current Position: Battery Engineer , Place of Employment: Applied Materials, Sunnyvale, CA, United States of America

Research Personnel Supervised

Research Faculty

  1. Research Faculty, Dr. Travis Thompson, Solid electrolytes for solid-state batteries, 01/2015 – 08/2016

Visiting Research Scientists

  1. Professor Ryoji Inada, Toyohashi University of Technology, 04/2019 – 0/5/20192.
  2. Dr. Youngsam Kim, High temperature ceramics for automotive thermoelectric generator technology, 03/2013 – 02/2015

Postdoctoral Fellows

  1. Dr. Kendell Pawelec, Bioengineered scaffolds for nerve repair, 04/2016 – 2018 Current Position: Research Faculty at Michigan State University, United States of America
  2. Dr. Nathan Taylor, Solid-state cathode composite electrodes, 06/2015 – 2020 Current Position: COO Zakuro, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI, United States of America
  3. Dr. Robert Schmidt, Solid electrolytes for solid-‐state batteries, 01/2015 – 05/2017 Current Position: Battery Engineer, General Motors, Warren, MI United States of America
  4. Dr. Eric Cheng, High temperature ceramics for automotive thermoelectric generator technology, 01/2015 – 05/2017 Current Position: Assistant Professor, Tohoku University, Japan
  5. Dr. Long Zhang, Investigated the synthesis and characterization of bulk nanocomposite thermoelectric materials., 05/2010 – 12/2011 Current Position: Associate Professor of Physics, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China
  6. Dr. Hyunjoong Kim, Developed solution based synthesis techniques for high surface area electrodes and ceramic electrolytes for energy storage, 02/2009 – 01/2011

M.S. Students

  1. Makoto Kimura, 2022 – present, Correlating NaSICON grain size and thermal mismatch anisotropy
  2. Flora Tseng, 2020 – 2021, NASICON electrolytes for electrical grid storage
  3. Rita Cheng, 2019 – 2020, Mechanical Property Analysis of Alkali Metals
  4. Sheila Smith, 2016 – 2017, Solid-state electrolytes for Li flow cells
  5. Isabel David, 2013 – 2014, Ceramic electrolytes for advanced energy storage

Visiting International Students

  1. Till Fuchs, University of Giessen Germany, from Professor J. Janek’s Lab 07/2021 – 10/21.
  2. Sakina Kaneko, Toyota Research and Development, Central Labs, 02/2020 – 01/2021
  3. Dr. Marie Claude-Bay, EMPA, Switzerland 04/2019 – 07/2020
  4. Masumi Sato, Toyota Research and Development, Central Labs, 02/2018 – 01/2019

Undergraduate Students

  1. Tori Caraciollo, 2022 – 2023, Creep behavior of garnet electrolyte
  2. Darius Daud, 2021 – 2021, Safety Analysis of Li Batteries
  3. Hannah Ho, 2021 – 2021, Scaffolds for Nerve Repair
  4. Dhruv Tatke, 2020 – 2021, NASICON Ceramic Electrolyte for Grid Storage Batteries
  5. Rishav Choudhury, 2019 – 2020, The Effects of Electric Field Distribution on the Interface Stability in Solid Electrolytes; Published this paper as the first author.
  6. Nando Felton, 2018 – 2020, Elastic, Plastic, and Creep Properties of Li Metal
  7. Angelica Galvin, 2016 – 2021, Scaffolds for bioengineered tissue implants
  8. Sandra Strangeland-Molo, 2016 – 2018, Solid-state batteries
  9. Catherine Haslam, Catherine is now a PhD Pre-Candidate in my group and and NSF GRF Awardee, 2016 – 2018, Solid-state batteries
  10. Nathan Johnson, 2016 – 2018, Solid-state batteries
  11. Marcus Lee, 2016 – 2018, Solid-state batteries
  12. Harsh Jhvehri,2016 – 2017, Solid-state batteries
  13. Bennet McGlade, 2016 – 2017, Solid-state batteries
  14. Jack Lucci, 2015 – 2016, ME UROP, Scaffolds for bioengineered tissue implants
  15. Kayla Felger, Goldwater Scholar, NSF GRF Awardee, 2012 – 2014, Biomaterials for nerve repair
  16. Camilla Cendra, International exchange program (from Madrid, Spain), 2012 – 2014, Solid-state batteries
  17. Megan Buczkowski, 2012 – 2013, Scaffolds for nerve repair
  18. Thomas Heuser, Von Ehr Scholar, NSF GRF Awardee, 2011 – 2012, Ambiently Dried Aerogel
  19. Whitney Benson, 2011 – 2012, Scaffolds for spinal cord repair
  20. Isabel David, 2011 – 2012, SEM and FIB analysis of garnet-based solid electrolytes, College of Engineering Fellowship
  21. Chelsea Frid, 2011 – 2011, Mechanical property evaluation of agarose hydrogels
  22. Sarah Saleh, 2010 – 2011, Nerve growth factor delivery for nerve repair
  23. Derek Miller, NSF GRF Awardee, 2010 – 2011, Aerogels for NASA space applications
  24. Danielle Vasko, 2010 – 2011, Functionalizing of hydrogels for drug delivery
  25. Minyoung Jeong, 2010 – 2010, Electrochemically synthesized skutterudite
  26. Lucille Thomas, 2010 – 2010, Chitosan/agarose scaffolds for nerve repair
  27. Christine Barry, 2010 – 2010, Hydrogels for nerve repair
  28. Chantelle Pline, 2009 – 2011, Chitosan/agarose hydrogels for nerve repair
  29. Alexa Garrison, 2009 – 2011, Biodegradation rate of hydrogels for nerve repair
  30. Bridget Bednark, 2009 – 2011, Templating scaffolds for spinal cord repair
  31. Travis Thompson, 2009 – 2009, Aerogels for waste heat recovery
  32. Dena Shahriari NSF GRF Awardee, 2009 – 2009, Multifunctional scaffolds for nerve repair
  33. Daniel Lynam, 2008 – 2009, Multifunctional scaffolds for nerve repair
  34. David Putnam, 2008 – 2008, Characterization of materials for electrochemical energy storage
  35. Chelsea Peterson, 2007 – 2010, Multifunctional scaffolds for nerve repair