Principal Investigator:

Dr. Gerald Knizia, Assistant Professor of Chemistry


Hometown: Halle an der Saale, Germany

– Dipl.-Phys., TU-Dresden 2002-2006 and MPI-PKS 2006
– Dr.rer.nat. in chemistry, Univ. Stuttgart, 2006-2010, in the group of Hans-Joachim Werner

Professional Experience:
– Postdoc Associate with Garnet K.-L. Chan at Cornell University (2012) and Princeton University (2013)
– Research Staff at Univ. Stuttgart 2013-2014
– Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the Pennsylvania State University (2015–now)

Research interests:
– Researching theoretical methods which help in real-world
computational chemistry
– Developing them into useful computer programs

Hobbies: Visiting zoos and national parks across the globe, watching cat
videos, and playing Starcraft 8)

Graduate Students:

Mieke Peels


Hometown: Fort Wayne, Indiana (originally from the Netherlands!)

Education: B.S.C. in Chemistry, minors in Physics and Mathematics, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW)

Research Interests: Using semi-empirical quantum chemistry methods to quickly explore reaction mechanisms

Hobbies: Video games, playing with my cat Cupcake, and having too much fun coming up with funny titles for group meeting slides B)

Alyssa Bienvenu


Hometown: New Iberia, Louisiana

Education: B.S. in Chemistry and B.S. in Mathematics, University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Awards: National Science Foundation GRFP Fellowship, Paul and Harriet Campbell Distinguished Graduate Fellowship

Research Interests: Computational prediction of chemical reactivity via machine learning

Hobbies: Dancing, playing with my cat Xenon, swimming, soccer, graphite sketching, and reading

Jessica Schulze


Hometown: South Jordan, Utah

Education: H.B.S in Chemistry and B.S. in Mathematics, University of Utah

Research Interests: Computational techniques to predict solvent effects in reactions.

Hobbies: Teaching dance classes, playing piano, reading, going for walks, watching Netflix, and taking naps.

Postdoctoral Scholars:

Dr. Cong Wang

(Not Pictured)


Undergraduate Students:

Sylvia Bintrim

Education: Saint Francis University (2012-2015), Penn State (2015-2019) majoring in Chemistry and Mathematics

Research Interests: Computational and Physical Chemistry

Hobbies: “I enjoy the pursuits of an amateur naturalist and reading widely.”

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