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Lab Members



Prof. Abel Chuang

Dr. Abel Chuang got his undergraduate and master degrees in Aerospace Engineering from National Cheng-Kung University in Taiwan. In his master's work, he designed, fabricated, and tested a 10-lbf altitude control monopropellant thruster for a satellite. In 1999, he came to Penn State University to start his doctoral research, where he worked on a passive two-phase heat transfer device called loop heat pipe in Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering. Currently, he is an assistant professor at University of California, Merced focusing on both high temperature and low-temperature PEM fuel cell research and development. In his spare time, Dr. Chuang likes to do sports, including jogging, swimming, and playing tennis.

UC Merced Faculty Webpage

Personal Website

Dr. Chuang's CV

Current Visiting Scholar


Dr. Yvonne Ligaya F. Musico


Year joined the laboratory: 2018, Post-Doctorate

Major: Chemical Engineering

Hometown: Banton, Romblon, Philippines

Why I joined: As a chemical and environmental engineer who has better understanding about the link between environment, climate change and energy, I feel that I must take part in bridging the gap between them. This has greatly influenced me in my research interest on fuel cells as an alternative clean energy conversion over the conventional fossil fuels technology. With my research background and interest on graphene chemistry, I have discovered the amazing properties and structure of this nanomaterial which can be tailored and fine-tuned to develop and design new cost-effective electrocatalysts for fuel cells. I joined TEEL lab because I believe that this is the perfect platform for me to pursue my research on graphene and graphene oxide for green energy development. I am so glad and grateful to be part of the research group with wonderful and brilliant people under the supervision of great minds like Dr. Joey D. Ocon and Dr. Abel Chuang.

Future goals: Once I am done with my research, I will go back to my home country, the Philippines, and impart my knowledge about clean energy and fuel cells technology to my students, researchers, engineers and scientists. It is my hope that my study will contribute to the fund of knowledge in designing cost-effective processes and materials that can be used for clean energy technology. I will continually upgrade myself with the new knowledge/technology and do considerable researches that will be significant to the sustainable development. I am looking forward to handle projects where I can share my expertise in nanoscience, nanotechnology and engineering.

Julie Anne D. del Rosario


Year joined the laboratory: 2017, Ph.D. Student

Major: Chemical Engineering

Hometown: Bulacan, Philippines

Why I joined: I joined TEEL as part of my Sandwich Program under the Philippine-California Advanced Research Institute (PCARI) Scholarships Project. The program offers Ph. D. students like me opportunities to continue or finish our dissertation in one of the University of California campuses. I chose to go to TEEL to be trained by top specialists who are active in my research field.

Future goals: After finishing my Ph.D., I would return as a faculty member in the University of the Philippines Diliman to train more students and scholars as researchers, and to head projects solving societal problems using electrochemical engineering. Hopefully, I can drive my own fuel cell car in the future.


Dr. Guangfu Li


Year joined the laboratory : 2015, Post-Doctorate

Major : Chemical Engineering

Hometown : Shaoyang, China

Why I joined : I really want to join TEEL group and take it as a lifetime opportunity to pursue the career development and personal ambition. I am very, very grateful to everyone who helped me to come here. It is time to give something back.

Future Goals : I am looking forward to 2016 as a year filled with faith, hope and love, and also as a new starting point to strive for excellence. For a longer time, I want to become an extraordinary enterpriser who can make a great contribution to the current society.

Dr. Li's CV


Staff is currently in transition.


Graduate Student

Felipe Mojica


Year joined the laboratory : 2015, 2016 Master Student

Major : Mechanical Engineering

Hometown : Bakersfield, CA

Why I joined : I am fascinated with the automotive industry and with fuel cells being a powerful zero emission candidate to replace the standard internal combustion engine in automobiles it was only a matter of time before I became drawn to fuel cells. At first glance, a fuel cell appears to be a simple device but upon closer inspection it requires a wealth of knowledge to understand the science that turns hydrogen and oxygen into water, electricity, and heat. It is a very exciting field of ongoing research.

Future Goals : It is my hope that I will eventually obtain a career in the automotive industry working with fuel cells.

M. Azimur Rahman


Year joined the laboratory : 2016, 1st Year Ph.D. Student

Major : Mechanical Engineering

Hometown : Dhaka, Bangladesh

Why I joined : TEEL has an extremely organized environment which I feel is very important for doing high-quality research. I joined here because I want to do research in the thermal management section of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel cell and I believe Professor Chuang will be an excellent guide for me to achieve the experimental and computational skills in heat transfer that I wish to obtain. I consider myself very lucky to be a part of this brilliant group and I want to make the best use of this opportunity.

Future Goals : To complete my PhD and become a highly-skilled engineer.

Donglei Yang


Year joined the laboratory : 2015, Ph.D.

Major : Mechanical Engineering

Hometown : Xinbin, China

Why I joined : I have been working on fuel cells for 4 years and got my master's degree in China. To develop highly efficient fuel cell products is always my career goal. With advanced experiments, excellent group and professor, TEEL lab is a great place to further promote my professional knowledge and skills to shape my mind to get closer to this goal.

Future Goals : To become an excellent fuel cell product designer.

Mrittunjoy Sarker (Joy)


Year joined the laboratory : Fall 2017, as a 1st year Ph.D. student

Major : Mechanical Engineering

Hometown : Dhaka, Bangladesh

Why I joined : I worked a lot on large and modern diesel engines in power plants. Now I want to acquire knowledge about something special which is used for almost the same purposes but having a different working principle. I think research on Fuel Cell has a prodigious prospect which may bring unique outcome for the well-being of the civilization. Moreover, I had a craving to be a part of the renowned UC system. TEEL has provided me with the opportunity to fulfill that dream. It’s really remarkable to me right now and I do have the resolution to make the future better. I love to make dreams true.

Future Goals : To be a doctorate and then to be an academician for spreading the light of education.

Mrittunjoy Sarker's CV/website

Marc Francis Labata


Year joined the laboratory : August 2017, Ph.D. Student

Major : Environmental Systems

Hometown : Tagum City, Davao del Norte, Philippines

Why I joined : With the lack of available resources back in my home country, it is a privilege to be a member of TEEL believing that it can provide me the necessary training and skill set as an aspiring researcher. I am also positive that TEEL will not only bring me advancement in doing scientific inquiries but will also prepare me to be a critical thinker in major personal life decisions. The professor is also committed in his role as an advisor who inspires his students to do well in the vast field of fuel cell research.

Future Goals : It is my responsibility as a scholar of my home country to participate in efforts aimed at developing technology for sustainable energy. I hope that I would be able to supervise research projects in the future and would have collaborations with seasoned researchers from across the world as well as mentor the younger generations interested in fuel cell research.

Undergraduate Student

Lawrence Anderson


Year joined the laboratory : Summer 2016

Major : Material Science & Engineering

Hometown : Naperville, Illinois

Why you joined : After taking a course with Professor Chuang, I realized that he is the type of person that takes an interest in his students and genuinely wants to see them succeed, and I knew that he was somebody that I wanted to learn from. I didn't know much about fuel cells before joining this lab, but I was immediately intrigued by the concept and potential applications of these efficient, zero-emission devices, and I want to have an impact on their development.

Future : Upon finishing my undergraduate degree here at UC Merced, I hope to obtain a masters degree related to nanoscience or energy storage. I hope to make a positive impact on the people and technology with which I work. I want to develop and patent a new super material that makes me enough money to buy a personal space shuttle.

Eliezar Vigdorchik


Year joined the laboratory : 2017, 3rd year (Junior)

Major : Mechanical Engineering

Hometown : Redwood City, CA

Why you joined: I joined TEEL because I enjoy working with mechatronics systems and it afforded me the opportunity of working in a group environment and with support on improving efficient integration of alternate energy systems.

Future : I hope to get more involved with medical devices and medical equipment implementing mechatronics based solutions for medical problems and abnormalities.

Amiel Ray Cristobal


Year joined the laboratory : Summer 2017

Major : Mechanical Engineering

Hometown : Philippines, Bulacan

Why you joined: I joined TEEL because it provides me an opportunity to develop my engineering skills while enjoying my passion of learning about renewable and zero-emission energy. After taking Professor Chuang's Thermodynamics class, I have grown interest in fuel cells. His class also expressed to me how he truly cares about all of his students.

Future : After my undergraduate , I plan to go to graduate school or continue pursuing a career in the energy field to create a positive impact in the world and technology.

Sonia Desaidamle


Year joined the laboratory : Fall 2017 (3rd year)

Major : Mechanical Engineering

Hometown : Rancho Palos Verdes, California

Why you joined: I joined TEEL because I am fascinated by different methods of energy transfer, storage, and improved efficiency. I love that TEEL incorporates my favorite subjects, such as Thermodynamics, Chemistry, Materials Science, and even advanced Mathematics, into creating new technologies that are environmentally friendly and sustainable.

Future : I want to continue to develop clean energy technologies and implement them in the automotive and aerospace fields. I hope to make these technologies competitive enough to render non-renewable energy sources obsolete. I also plan to pursue a master's degree and possibly a Ph.D related to clean energy technologies.




Previous Post-Doctorate

Dr. Rose Mendoza


Year joined the laboratory: 2017, Post-Doctorate

Major: Chemical Engineering

Hometown: Quezon City, Philippines

Why I joined: I feel that TEEL will give me much of the knowledge, learnings and skills I need to be able to contribute to the community and to the society. I do believe that the road to harnessing sustainable energy is not that far and TEEL will help me understand better how it will be achieved. With its state-of-the art Electrochemical Energy Laboratory and facilities, TEEL is absolutely a place where I can understand fully the concept of sustainable and stable fuel technology. 

Future goals: The research area covered by TEEL will help me understand how will I be instrumental in opening new perspectives of harnessing energy in the most sustainable manner and maintain diversity by collaborating researches which will hopefully explore other research possibilities not just in engineering but in all fields of science. Deeply honored by the support of my country on these aspirations, my ultimate goal is to collaborate with other scientist in providing my country sustainable energy and stable fuel technology that it needs to progress and provide energy requirements down to the smallest community.  

Dr. Mendoza's CV 

Previous Visiting Scholar

Desiree Mae Sua-an


Year joined the laboratory: 2017, Master student (from UP Diliman)

Major: Energy Engineering

Hometown: Koronadal City, Philippines

Why I joined: TEEL provides an avenue to learn more about the recent developments and innovation in fuel cell research and in the field of electrochemistry. It also offers a constructive environment to hone my research skills.

Future goals: My goals are to give back to my country through the knowledge and skills that I gained during my stay in UC Merced, and to pursue my master’s degree and eventually a doctorate.

Reynaldo Geronia II


Year joined the laboratory: 2017, Master student (from UP Diliman)

Major: Energy Engineering

Hometown: Bataan, Philippines

Why I joined: Being a computational researcher, my experience with wet lab work is limited. I believe that by joining TEEL I will further my hands-on skills in fuel cell research, thus enabling me to become a more well-rounded researcher in electrochemical systems.

Future goals: I enjoy learning new things and sharing them with others. Hopefully, I get to use my skills to give back to my home country after I leave TEEL. Pursuing a PhD is not that far, too.

JM Mora


Year joined the laboratory: January 2017, Ph.D. Student (from UP Diliman)

Major: Energy Engineering

Hometown: Bulacan, Philippines

Why I joined: TEEL offers a great opportunity to expand my research experience as well as improve my professional conduct. With access to TEEL's research facilities and related equipment with guidance from professor Chuang and help from my lab mates, I am able to realize the vast potential of fuel cell research areas. The work that they do is important and equally exciting. It is a privilege to be part of this group.

Future goals: My goal is to make a contribution towards building an energy-secured future for my country. I am hoping that my research on fuel cell technology will play a part on advancing the energy storage systems and other related clean energy technologies.

Yanan Chen


Years active in the laboratory : 2015-2016, Ph.D. Student (visited from WHUT)

Major : Materials Science and Engineering

Hometown : Jingzhou, China

Why I joined : One of the major reasons that I chose my major as MSE is because I think material is the key point to design the device that we want. TEEL group is really a team full of wisdom and vitality. I believe that joining TEEL will make me grow a lot.

Future Goals : My goals are to get a doctorate degree and build low cost and commercial PEM stacks.

Maricor Divinagracia


Year joined the laboratory: 2017, Ph.D. Student (visited from UP Diliman)

Major: Energy Engineering

Hometown: Quezon City, Philippines

Why I joined: I am a part of the PCARI Green Power Project on PEMFCs, which is a collaboration between UP and UC. Since our laboratory is still in its inception stage, it would be helpful for me to be trained in an established one, complete with facilities and experienced teammates. TEEL will help me grow into a well-rounded researcher.

Future goals: My goals include writing a dissertation that will be valuable in the advancement of fuel cell research and finishing my doctorate degree.

Graduate Student

Shuo Huang


Year active in the laboratory : 2016, Ph.D. Student

Major : Mechanical Engineering

Hometown : Xinjiang, China

Why I joined : 1) I want to do the best research in the energy field. 2) The bright future of fuel cells and many opportunities and challenges in this area attract me. 3) Professor Chuang is a very diligent and determined scholar whom I admire very much.

Future Goals : To obtain the PhD degree. To become an excellent woman engineer.

Yogesh Bhusal


Year joined the laboratory : 2016 Fall, 1st year Ph.D. student

Major : Mechanical Engineering

Hometown : Butwal, Nepal

Why I joined : I wanted to focus my graduate studies in learning as well as doing researches in renewable/clean energy systems design and energy management. The research activities in the TEEL lab squarely matched my interests. Moreover, the research in fuel cell technology, hydrogen fuel, and the challenges associated with hydrogen economy are very interesting to work upon and I would like to be the part of this game changer technology which, if successful, would bring revolution in the energy market; From running the industries and vehicles, to power for the buildings.

Future Goals : I come from a country being ravaged by the energy crisis. Introducing and implementing the renewable and clean energy technologies like fuel cell and solar energy is the need of the hour for my country. My goal here is to learn, research, and find out the economically most-viable and technically-feasible energy alternatives. I intend to be an expert in renewable energy system design, energy modeling, and implement those ideas in my home country after I graduate and go back.


Undergraduate Student

Nihal Shah


Year joined the laboratory : 2016, 3rd year

Major : Mechanical Engineering

Hometown : Dublin, CA

Why you joined : I joined TEEL because I am interested in renewable energy and energy storage, as well as to learn about current research and how labs work in general. In addition, I was excited to have the opportunity to apply some of the theory that I've learned in my coursework.

Future : I plan to either get a job after I graduate or to get a master's degree. I'm currently leaning towards the latter though I'm not sure.

Jeffrey Ali


Year joined the laboratory : 2016, 3rd year (Junior)

Major : Mechanical Engineering

Hometown : Vallejo, CA

Why you joined: I Joined TEEL after taking thermodynamics with Professor Chuang. I enjoyed the concepts discussed during the course, especially dealing with energy, and wanted to learn more about the field.

Future : After graduation I would like to work in the energy industry on renewable forms of energy.

Zachary Zisser


Year joined the laboratory : 2016, 4th year (Senior)

Major : Mechanical Engineering

Hometown : San Diego, CA

Future : My goals in life are to strive to learn as much as I can, so that I may help the world develop and grow.

Ashley Johnson


Years active in the laboratory : 2015-2016, 4th year (Senior)

Major : Materials Science and Engineering

Hometown : Born in Chicago, IL; raised in San Francisco, CA

Why I joined : I joined the TEEL lab because I saw an opportunity to learn, to experience the work done in a lab first hand, and to create something the world needs.

Future Goals : To explore the different branches of engineering in order to find my true passion. I hope to improve technology in a way that will benefit everyone someday.

Karen Turcios


Years active in the laboratory: 2015-2016, 4th year (Senior)

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Hometown: Born in Guatemala; raised in Northridge, CA

Why I joined: I decided to join the TEEL lab team primarily to enlarge my knowledge and skills set by getting hands on experience inside the lab. I saw it as a great opportunity to challenge myself to learn something outside of the school curriculum, and wanted to broaden the opportunities that may become available to me in the near future.

Future Goals: After graduation I hope to go into industry in a field I truly enjoy working in, and then later obtain my Masters.

Derek Brigham


Year joined the laboratory : 2015, 5th year (Senior)

Major : Mechanical Engineering

Hometown : Ventura, CA

Why I joined : One of the major reasons that I changed majors from CSE to ME is because of the hands-on work. When I was little, I spent a lot of time around men in my family who worked with cars and carpentry and other similar things. Although I was too young to help back then, now I see TEEL as an opportunity to do some of my own hands-on work.

Future Goals : My goals are to get my undergraduate degree and then pursue a master's/PhD.

Marek Abarca


Year joined the laboratory : 2015, 4th year (Senior)

Major : Mechanical Engineering

Why you joined : I joined because I wanted to be part of something innovative and develop and contribute my skills.

Future : I plan on graduating with my degree in mechanical engineering and either getting a job/internship at Tesla Motors or continue my education for my Masters.

Jacob Clark


Year joined the laboratory : 2015, 3rd year (Junior)

Major : Mechanical Engineering

Hometown : Sacramento, CA

Why I joined : I joined TEEL lab because I was fascinated with the thermodynamics course material and with energy storage and production. I hope that in the process of working in this lab, I will further improve my understanding of hydrogen fuel cells and be able to apply these skills in the future.

Future Goals : I wish to work in the automotive industry. Automotive subjects have been a lifetime fascination for me.

Hai Yanfeng


Year joined the laboratory : 2016, 2nd year (Sophomore)

Major : Mechanical Engineering

Hometown : Zhengzhou, China

Why you joined: My interest in research related to clean energy, renewable energy, and energy storage made me join TEEL. Joining the lab has offered me real life applications from the courses I have taken. Along with that, I believe this lab is preparing me for graduate school.

Future : After I finished my undergraduate program at UC Merced, I am planning to apply for graduate programs and keep doing researches on renewable energy.