Jeff.jpgJeff Sakamoto

Jeffrey Sakamoto is an Associate 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 materials scientist and engineer with an interest in synthesis, processing, and functionalization of ceramics and hydrogels, his research is highly interdisciplinary guided by the fields of energy storage/conversion and biomedicine.


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).


Post-doctoral Fellows

IMG_7454Nathan Taylor

PhD in Materials Science & Engineering. University of Michigan (2015); M.S.E. in Materials Science & Engineering. University of Michigan (2013); B.S.E. in Materials Science & Engineering. University of Michigan (2009).

My work focuses on understanding the chemical and electrochemical interactions between oxide electrolytes and sulfide based electrolytes and cathodes to enable the construction of low-cost all solid-state batteries with metallic Li anodes.


Ph.D students

Regina Garcia (Fulbright Scholar)

Ph.D Candiate in Materials Science & Engineering

M.S. in Materials Science & Engineering. Michigan State University (2014). B.S. in Chemical Engineering. Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, Guatemala (2012)

My research is focused on understanding the chemical, electrochemical and mechanical stability of sulfide electrolytes for use in solid-state batteries with metallic lithium as an anode. 


Mike Wang

Ph.D Candidate in Materials Science & Engineering

B.S.E in Mechanical Engineering. Princeton University (2016)

My research focuses on understanding the mechanical interactions between LLZO and lithium metal. I also work on designing mixed ionic and electronic conductors for composite cathodes in solid state batteries.


Arushi Gupta

Ph.D Candidate in Macromolecular Science & Engineering

B.Tech. in Plastics Technology-Chemical Technology, Harcourt Butler Technological   Institute (HBTI), India (2015).

My research focus is on the development of polymer-ceramic (LLZO) blend based solid electrolytes for solid state batteries.


Bryan Kinzer

PhD Student in Mechanical Engineering

B.S.E. in Mechanical Engineering. Tulsa University.  (2018)

My research focuses on mechanical and electro-chemical testing of solid electrolytes.  I am always on the lookout to see what novel cell configurations, such as thin film and molten lithium batteries, can reveal about the underlying mechanisms of solid state battery cycling.



Masters Student

Minji Namkoong

Masters student in Mechanical Engineering

B.S.E. in Engineering Physics. University of Michigan. (2017)

My work ranges from fabrication and analysis of LLZO solid-state electrolytes to producing Li-ion batteries and modifying the architecture.




Undergraduate Students

Nathan Houghteling

Electrical Engineering (2020)

 My work focuses on the production and characterization of composite cathode samples. I assist with powder processing, sample sintering, and hybrid cell assembly. I also collect and analyze data from characterization techniques such as XRD, SEM, and GCPL.



Rishav Choudhury

Materials Science and Engineering (2020)

My research focuses on interfacial phenomena between a lithium metal anode and the ceramic electrolyte LLZO. 







Former Post Docs

Travis Thompson

Kendell Pawelec

Former Graduate Students

Asma Sharafi (Ph.D 2017)

Dena Shahriari (Ph.D 2016, Currently a post-doctoral scholar at MIT)

Yunsung Kim (Ph.D 2015, Currently a post-doctoral scholar at Sakamoto Lab at the University of Michigan)

Travis Thompson (Ph.D. 2015, Currently a post-doctoral scholar at Sakamoto Lab at the University of Michigan)

A. Lynam (Ph. D. 2014, currently employed by Cook Biomedical)

Isabel David (M.S. 2014, Currently employed by Ohio State University)

Ezhiylmurugan Rangasamy (Ph. D. 2012, currently employed by Applied Materials)

Ryan Maloney (Ph. D. 2011, NSF GRF, currently employed by Apple)

Former Undergraduate Students

Marcus Lee (Undeclared, 2019)

Harsh Jhaveri (Aerospace Engineering and Computer Science, 2020)

Catherine Haslam (Materials Science Engineering 2018)

Diego Toral (Aerospace Engineering 2020)

Jon Johnson (Currently a Mechanical Engineering BS student at the University of Michigan)

Nate Johnson (Currently a Mechanical Engineering MSE student at the University of Michigan)

Eli Goldin (Mechanical Engineering Class of 2018)

Andrew Prince (Class of 2020)

Jacky Li (Class of 2020)

Bryce Paputa (Currently a Computer Science and Engineering B.S. student at the University of Michigan)

Ashwin Johri (Currently a Mechanical Engineering B.S. student at the University of Michigan)

Christopher Scott (Currently a Computer Science and Engineering B.S. student at the University of Michigan)

Tom Heuser (NSF GRF)

Kayla Wolf (NSF GRF, Currently a bioengineering Ph. D. student at UC Berkeley )

Bridget Bednark (Currently employed by Terumo, Ann Arbor, MI)

Alexa Coffman (Currently a medical student at Ohio State University)

Derek Miller (NSF GRF, Currently a Materials Science & Engineering PhD candidate at Ohio State University)