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Robert G

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at Harvard University


semiconductor physics, mechanical engineering design, analog circuit design, chemical engineering, renewable energy


Hi! I am a soon-to-graduate PhD candidate in Applied Physics at Harvard University and an entrepreneur working on my startup in manufacturing novel solar panels. I am motivated to translate the research experience in solar energy that I gained while working in Prof. Gordon's group in the chemistry department to find new, scalable renewable energy solutions. While at Harvard, I assisted teaching three courses on climate science, electrical engineering, and energy technologies. I also participated in the Boston area Citizen Schools program as an instructor for middle school students to develop solar powered cars and in Clubes de Ciencias, a US-Mexcio joint science outreach program, as an instructor in Mexico to teach research techniques in electrical engineering. Before coming to Harvard, I had worked in various other research labs including industrial ones like GE and Bosch in Germany, as well as academic spaces like Cambridge University in England.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Solar powered car:

This project will expose students to a wide array of engineering system challenges facing designers, scientists, and engineers. The aim of this project will be to expand on the Junior Solar Sprint competition ( to develop an optimized vehicle that is validated through mathematics, engineering design, and modeling. Topics covered will include solar energy, automobile mechanics - gearboxes, drive trains, motors, chassis, etc - impedance matching, Newtonian mechanics, and material science. Additionally, the student will gain experience in Computer Aided Drafting (CAD), 3D printing, and power electronics design, time and interest permitting. The project will conclude with the student testing his/her vehicle and writing a journal article on the design process and results for the Journal of Emerging Investigators (

High resolution amplifier for semiconductor research:

This project will expose the student to the current limitations in measurement in the research lab. The aim of the project is to learn why accurate measurements are so important to research, how electronics have enabled breakthrough research through accurate measurements, and how to design a special pre-amplifier for measuring semiconductor material properties. Topics covered include electronic sensors, semiconductor physics, transistors, analog circuit design, electronic filters, python coding, and analog-to-digital conversion. The student will gain hands on experience simulating his/her circuit design in LT Spice, making a printed circuit board (PCB) of the final design, and test the design in a university research setting. The student will write a standard operating procedure for the device including instructions on how to use it and its expected device performance.

Coding skills




Purdue University
BS Bachelor of Science (2011)
Physics, Mechanical Engineering
Harvard University
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Applied Physics

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