Meet the Team

Principle Investigator

Dr. Jerry LaRue

Dr. LaRue [2891943]B.A. in Chemistry at Willamette University
Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry at the University of California at Santa Barbara
Postdoctoral Studies at Stanford University / SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory


Current Members

Darren Contreras

darrenMajor: Chemistry & Spanish
Darren is a senior chemistry and Spanish double major at Chapman University. He is currently working with the Cat Lab in researching a process to create identical ruthenium coated gold catalysts through electrochemistry. These catalysts will be used in a Fischer-Tropsch process. When Darren is not scienceing, he enjoys dancing as a member of the on campus hip-hop group Floor13 and spending time in the great outdoors. Other fun facts about Darren are that he is a black belt in taekwondo, is an amateur nature photographer and can somewhat play 5 instruments (piano, drums, guitar, cello and digeridoo)

Thang Nguyen

Major: Chemistry
Favorites: Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood, craftings…
Interesting nickname: An energetic Chemist
Summary of the project: Raman Spectroscopy relies on the interaction between an inelastically scattered laser photons with the molecular vibration, on the surface of an metal catalyst. The quality of the metal surface plays an important role in generating good Raman spectroscopy results. My project focuses on the preparation of well defined gold surface, using the techniques of electrochemistry.

Amy Lam

Major: Physics

Will Parker

Major: Physics

 Aaron Grisez

Major: Physics
Aaron is currently studying Percussion Performance and Physics and Computational Science at Chapman. His creative and research interests include quantum information theory, signal processing and wavelet analysis, Chladni figures, graph theory, computational and data sciences, multimedia production, electroacoustics, and marimba performance.

Joeli Reim

Major: Biochemistry
Minor: Nutrition
Prospective Physician Assistant in pediatrics
Outside of school/ interests: Play water polo/swim, sing, gym
Fun facts: adopted from China, had Polio, member of Tri Beta (Biology Honor Society), WIST: Women in Science and Technology, and AMSA (American Medical Student Association)

Jason Groegler

Major: Biochemistry

Max Strul

Alyssa Hardy

Major: Chemistry

Riley Kendall

Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Minor: Computational Sciences
Pre-med student interested in the field of neurology. Member of the Cat Lab and volunteer elementary school tutor at The Friendly Center. Outside of academics, involved in Younglife and Intervarsity at Chapman University. Loves camping, classical music, Harry Potter, surfactants, jeeps and Jon Bellion. Excited to work with LASERS!

Honorary Members

Dr. Justin Dressel

Professor of Physics, Chapman University

Dr. Zeynep Ataman
Kess Marks

Ph.D. Student at Stockholm University

Former Members

Aaron Goodman

Major: Chemistry & Physics
Minor: Political Science


Taylor Krause

0346520-1Major: Chemistry
Minor: Environmental Science