Nicole Michenfelder-Schauser

Hertz Fellow: Nicole Michenfelder-Schauser

University of California, Santa Barbara

Area of Study

Materials Science

Fellowship Years

2016 - present

Nicole Michenfelder-Schauser gained an appreciation for nature and the environment from a young age. Combining her love for the environment with her passion in electrochemistry and materials science, Nicole has made it her life’s mission to make an impact in the renewable energy transformation that our society needs to mitigate climate change. Specifically, she is interested in the development of affordable, safe and reliable energy storage solutions. Her motivation to pursue energy storage came after traveling to Australia for the World Solar Challenge, a 1,900-mile solar car endurance race through the Australian outback. After witnessing another university team’s lithium ion battery pack catch fire, she realized that current energy storage is not good enough.

During her undergraduate career at UC Berkeley, Nicole became heavily involved in research on rechargeable solid state lithium metal anode batteries and, with the support of a UC Regents’ and Chancellor’s Fellowship and Goldwater Fellowship, published a first-author paper detailing the link between dendrite growth in liquid and solid polymer electrolyte systems. Nicole hopes to continue studying rechargeable energy storage materials, with a focus on both fundamental electrochemical as well as practical device-scale aspects of next generation battery materials. Specifically, she hopes to concentrate on the utilization of abundant and inherently safer energy storage materials with only minimal compromises in performance in an effort to enable the renewable energy transformation. With her Hertz Foundation Fellowship, Nicole will pursue her PhD at UC Santa Barbara in materials science.

When not working in the lab, Nicole spends her time outdoors hiking, biking, backpacking, surfing and traveling to explore the natural wonders our world has to offer and immerse herself in cultures from around the world. Nicole is from Santa Barbara, California.