Former LLE Undergraduate Receives Dissertation Award

Zachary Piontkowski is one of five 2020 graduating Ph.D. students who received Outstanding Dissertation Awards in the College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering. He is a former University of Rochester undergraduate research student who worked in LLE’s Optical Materials Laboratory under the direction of Kenneth Marshall performing computational chemistry modeling of physical and optical properties of liquid crystal materials. Zachary’s award was in the area of Natural Sciences (Chemistry) for his dissertation, “Excited State Torsions and Electron Transfer in Dye-Sensitizers for Light Harvesting and Photodynamic Therapy.” His thesis adviser was Professor David McCamant in the Department of Chemistry. He is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Sandia National Laboratories continuing work in Raman imaging and modeling of electron–phonon properties in novel transparent conducting oxide materials.