Grad Student Spotlight

If you would like to have your name and research featured on the MRS website and the MatSE Department’s social media please fill out the following form: MRS Student Spotlight Form.

Here are the semi-famous grad students of the MatSE department! Keep checking in to learn about other students.

Sarith Bandara is a 4th year PhD student working in the labs of Dr. Cecília Leal and Dr. Kristopher Kilian. He investigates the fate of synthetic and biological lipid particles in extracellular matrix environments using small-angle X-ray scattering, confocal microscopy, and cryogenic transmission electron microscopy. Sarith enjoys playing volleyball and badminton, hiking, playing board games, music, cooking, and making miniatures.


Edmund Han is a 3rd year PhD student working in the lab of Dr. Pinshane Huang. He uses electron microscopy to probe the bending stiffness of 2D materials and heterostructures. They have shown that 2D multilayers are orders of magnitude softer than previously thought, among the most flexible electronic materials currently known (Link: Ultrasoft slip-mediated bending in few-layer graphene). In his free time, Ed plays ultimate frisbee, music, videogames, and volleyball with MRS.


Marley Dewey is a 4th year PhD student working in the lab of Dr. Brendan Harley.  She uses 3D printing to add mechanical reinforcements and shape-fitting structures to mineralized collagen scaffolds for bone repair. She uses SEM and Micro-CT to capture images of her composites and determine bone formation within her implants. Outside of the lab, Marley swims competitively on the Illini Swim Club and competes in official meets.