Principal Investigator

Prof. Shu Hu

- Postdoc Caltech, Chemistry

- Ph.D. Stanford, Materials Sciences

- B.S. Tsinghua, Materials Sciences

Shu Hu is an assistant professor of Chemical & Environmental Engineering at Yale University, and is also affiliated with the Energy Science Institute at Yale West Campus. His work spans fundamental and applied research areas in nanoscale materials epitaxy, atomic-layer deposition, solid-electrolyte interfaces and photocatalytic photonic devices for artificial photosynthesis.  His group is known for tunable “leaky” coatings for efficient and stable semiconductor/liquid interfaces, and for non-equilibrium models for photochemical processes involving photocatalyst/co-catalyst/liquid particulate interfaces. Dr. Hu has been awarded several honors for his work including the Ross N. Tucker Award and the ECS Young Investigator Award.  

Email: at
Phone: Office - (203) 737-6521, Lab - (203) 737-6521
Address: 810 West Campus Drive, West Haven, CT 06516
Location: Office - 17 Hillhouse Rm 431, Lab - Energy Sciences Institute - II, Yale West Campus

Postdoctoral Associates

Dr. Tianshuo “Leo” Zhao

- Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, Materials Science and Engineering

- B.S. Tsinghua University, Mechanical Engineering

Leo (Tianshuo) joined the Hu lab in March 2019 as a postdoc associate. In his PhD research, he focused on designing colloidal nanomaterials for electronic and optoelectronic devices through surface modification. In the Hu group, his goal is to fabricate particulate photocatalysts for more efficient and stable water splitting performance. Experimentally and theoretically, he spends efforts to understand and utilize the photophysical processes happening both within the bulk and at the interface of the photocatalytic system. 

Email: tianshuo.zhao at

Ph.D. Graduate Students

Xin Shen

Xin is a Ph.D. student under the guidance of Dr. Shu Hu. He received B.E in Renewble energy Science & Engineering from Xi’an Jiaotong University in 2017. His research focus on Semiconductor coating and photoelectrochemical devices. He is obsessed with classical literary films and loves to surf Zhihu and Quora to find novelty.

Email: xin.shen at

Rito Yanagi

Rito Yanagi is a Ph.D. student in Hu lab since Fall 2018. He received his B.E. in Applied Chemistry from Waseda University in Tokyo and M.S. in Chemical Engineering from New York University. His research at NYU focused on synthesis and characterization of semiconductor nanocrystals for electrochemical applications. He is currently working on developing novel semiconductor materials for photocatalytic systems. Besides doing research, he enjoys skiing, biking, and spending time at parks.

Email: rito.yanagi at

Jake Heinlein

Jake is a Ph.D. student in both the Hu Group and the Pfefferle Group. He received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering at Brown University. Currently, his research is focused on the synthesis and characterization of nanomaterials for catalyzing reactions, such as the electrochemical partial oxidation of methane to methanol.

Outside of research, Jake enjoys playing soccer, skiing, and flying trapeze. 

Email: jake.heinlein at


Haoqing Su 

Haoqing is a Ph.D. Student in Hu lab since 2019. He received his B.S. in Physics at Nankai University in China. Haoqing enjoys investigating energy conversion and storage processes. At Nankai University, he studied photo-electrical devices and electron behaviors in ferroelectric crystals. As a visiting student at Harvard University, he also worked on all-solid-state lithium-ion battery projects. In his leisure time, he likes traveling, singing, jogging and badminton. 

Email: at


Devan Solanki

Devan joined the group as a PhD student in 2019. He is interested in solar energy research. He aims to work at the interface of research and public policy after his PhD. Devan graduated from Rutgers University in 2019 with a B.S. in chemical engineering and chemistry. His undergraduate research consisted of two different project. The first was on the development of perovskite thin films for photovoltaic devices and the second on the use of tantalum nitride as a photoanode for water oxidation. Outside of research, Devan is interested in 1920-1960s American Literature, poker, and political philosophy. Devan is very interested in speaking with any prospective undergraduate or graduate students. Feel free to email him with any questions or thoughts of collaboration.

Email:  devan.solanki at

Master Students

Meiqi Yang

Meiqi Yang is a Master student majoring in Environmental Engineering. She received her B.E in Environmental Science from Shandong University in 2018. She is currently working on Semiconductor coating. Besides doing research, she likes to playing badminton and watching movies.

Email: meiqi.yang at


Visiting Students and Scholars 


Dr. Shiming Zhou

Shiming is a visiting professor from University of Science and Technology of China. His research interests are photoelectrochemical catalysis. His goal is to build a bridge between the physical properties and catalytic performances in transition-metal oxides. In the Hu group, he focuses on developing photoelectrochemical catalysts for highly efficient water splitting in acid media.

E-mails: shiming.zhou at; zhousm at


Junying Tang

Junying is a visiting Ph.D. student from Tongji University. Her research interests are mainly focused on developing novel metallic materials for photocatalytic overall water splitting and metal oxides for efficient hydrogen peroxide generation. In spare time, she likes some adventurous activities like watching horror movies and so on.

Email: junying.tang at  


Xiaomei Liu

Xiaomei Liu is a visiting Ph.D. student from Beijing University of Technology. Her research interests are mainly focused on deposition and characterization of ceramic coating for medical applications. She is currently working on gas separation. Besides doing research, she enjoys running and yoga. 

Email: xiaomei.liu at  


Xianbing Miao

Xianbing is a visiting Ph.D. student from University of Science and Technology of China. His research interests are mainly focused on exploring the potential correlation between intrinsic oxygen-evolving activity and electronic structure of the transition metal oxides. Now, his project is to develop novel ruthenates as highly efficient and stable electrocatalysts for acidic water oxidation.

Email: xianbing.miao at  


Euan Gillham

Euan is a visiting Masters student from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Studying Chemical Engineering, he is interested in renewable fuels and sustainable energy systems. In the Hu group his research focus is on the electrochemical partial oxidation of methane to methanol. Outside of the lab, Euan enjoys distance running and spending time with friends. 

Email: euan.gillham at  


Sammy Hillenmeyer

Sammy is a high school intern working for the Hu group.  He is currently a junior in high school at King School in Stamford, Connecticut.  He is currently doing research in the electrochemical conversion of methane to methanol

Email: samuel.hillenmeyer at  

Undergraduate Students

Dea Koco

Dea is a rising junior from Albania majoring in Chemical Engineering and Applied Mathematics. She is also part of the Energy Studies Multidisciplinary Program, aiming to give her contribution to the transition to more sustainable energy systems. She enjoys learning about carbon capture and storage, electrochemical reduction of CO2, hydrogen as a potential motive power and energy storage medium among others. In her free time, she volunteers with MathCounts and Bridges ESL. She also enjoys yoga, travelling, Broadway Shows and Ballet.  

Email: dea.koco at

Roxie Trachtenberg

Roxie is a rising senior Environmental Studies major in Pierson College interested in pursuing environmental engineering post-grad. She will be focusing on sulfur doping of copper oxide nanosheets in lab. Here at Yale and outside of the lab, she is committed to the varsity gymnastics team, works with the Sustainability Service Corps, and enjoys meeting up with friends and hammocking around campus in nice weather! 

Email: roxanne.trachtenberg at

Grace Callander

Grace is a rising junior studying Chemical Engineering and Energy Studies. Following graduation, she is committed to making renewable energy technologies more accessible. Outside of the lab, she is on the board of Yale Undergraduate Prison Project and enjoys reading about history and running in New Haven.

Email: grace.callander at

Peter Prastakos

Peter is a rising sophomore from Athens, Greece, interested in studying Chemical Engineering, Applied Mathematics, as well as Energy Studies. In the Hu group, he is conducting research on the electrical and optical properties of CuO nanosheets for use in photocatalytic water splitting. In his free time, he enjoys eating food, playing puzzle games like Minesweeper and Sudoku, swimming, playing basketball, and hanging out with friends.

Email: peter.prastakos at

Jacob Miller

Jacob is a rising senior studying Applied Physics and Energy Studies. With the Hu group, Jacob is working on the functionalization of copper oxide nanosheets for solar-driven chemical fuel production. In his downtime, Jacob enjoys singing, cooking, and putting things atop other things.

Email: jacob.e.miller at

Past Group Members

Postdoctoral Associates

Dr. Georges Siddiqi (Aug 2016 - Oct 2017, now an engineer at Northrop Grumman)

Dr. Zhenhua Pan (Jan 2017 - Sep 2018, starting Zhuo University in Tokyo, Japan in 2020)

Dr. Jason A. Rohr (Jan 2018 - Jan 2019, now a postdoc at NYU)

Dr. Zackchary Fishman (Nov 2017 - May 2019, now a postdoc at UNC Chapel Hill)

Master Students

Yifan Deng (Fall 2016, now at University of Pittsburgh)

Undergraduate students and Summer Researchers

Ian Billinge (2017-2019, Columbia University PhD program)

Jiaye Chen (Summer 2019, University of Science and Technology of China)

Yulin Liu (Summer 2019, University of Science and Technology of China)

Yijie Xu (Summer 2019, Tsinghua University)

Yu Chen (Summer 2019, Peking Universikty)

Shuyu Dong (Summer 2019, Tianjin University)

Michael Mattessich (Fall 2017, Yale Chemical Engineering and Economics)

Yuzi Luo (Summer 2017, now at Stanford Materials Science Engineering)

Zuyang Ye (Summer 2017, now at UC Riverside)

Zhenya Luo (Summer 2017, University of Science and Technology of China)

Dawei Xi (Summer 2017, University of Science and Technology of China)

Avram Durling (Spring 2017 - Summer 2017, Yale Intensive Physics, also currently Duke’s man)

Daniel Raynor (Spring 2017, now at Ramboll Environmental Consulting)

Sheng Li (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017, now at University of Toronto)

Xi Chen (Summer 2016, now at Brown University)

Constance Lam (Summer 2016, Yale Applied Mathematics)

Visiting Students and Scholars

Prof. Xihao Chen (Liaoning University)

Xiangyan Chen (Xi’an Jiaotong University)

Jiahui Li 

Yudong Xue