Our Group

AllDoctoral StudentGraduate StudentsPostdoctoral ResearcherPrincipal InvestigatorResearch ScientistUndergraduate

Dr. Jason D. Azoulay

Principal Investigator, Group Lead

Dr. Jason D. Azoulay received his B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Connecticut in 2004.  After a short time in industry, he joined the research group of Professor Guillermo C. Bazan at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) and completed his Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2010, with an emphasis on the synthesis and application of late metal catalysts for olefin polymerization.  Afterwards, he performed postdoctoral fellowships at the Center for Polymers and Organic Solids at UCSB (2010-2011) then Sandia National Laboratories (2011-2014) in electronic and photonic materials research.  He then joined The University of Southern Mississippi as an Assistant Professor of Polymer Science and Engineering in 2014.

His research group focuses on homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis; (opto)electronic materials; and multidisciplinary investigations that address large scale objectives in materials development.

In 2017, he was awarded second place in the Nokia Bell Labs Prize competition for his work on optoelectronic materials and devices and in 2018 named Nina Bell Suggs Professor.

Dr. Naresh Eedugurala

Polymer Research Scientist

Naresh received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Iowa State University in 2016, under the guidance of Prof. Aaron D. Sadow.  His previous research primarily focused on the development of new homogeneous and heterogeneous catalytic materials for the hydrofunctionalization of olefins and carbonyls.  Naresh joined the Azoulay group in January 2017 and is currently investigating the synthesis and development of multifunctional optoelectronic materials.

Dr. Paramasivam Mahalingam

Postdoctoral Research Assoc. & Center Synthesis Lead

Param received his Ph.D. in Materials Chemistry from the CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology in 2014, under the supervision of Dr. K.  Bhanuprakash and Dr. V. Jayathirtha Rao.  His Ph.D. research focused on the molecular design and synthesis of novel organic materials for solar cell applications.  He is now working on the development of shortwave infrared (SWIR) polymers for organic photodiodes since joining the Azoulay group in July 2019.

Dr. Daniel Adams

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Daniel received his Ph.D. in Engineering and Applied Science – Physics from the University of New Orleans in May 2019, where his research focused on magnetization switching and dynamic properties of magnetically-coupled thin films, under the supervision of Prof. Leonard Spinu.  He joined the Azoulay group in August 2019 and his current work is focused on characterizing the low temperature, high magnetic field properties of organic polymer devices.

Dr. Vikash Kaphle

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Vikash received his Ph.D. in Physics/Applied Physics from Kent State University in 2019, under the guidance of Prof. Björn Lüssem. His research focused on Organic Semiconductor Devices and their applications such as Organic Electrochemical Transistors (OECT), Organic Field Effect Transistors (OFET) and Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLED). Vikash joined the Azoulay group in January 2020 as a postdoctoral research associate and is currently working on Organic Infrared Optoelectronics and sensors.

Lifeng Huang

Ph. D. Candidate

Lifeng graduated from North University of China in 2010 with a B.S. in Polymer Science and Engineering and completed his M.S. in Chemical Science at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in 2011.  His current research focus is on open-shell polymer based intrinsic conductors, their development, processing, and related device engineering for thermoelectric, CNT-based highly conductive composite and photoconductor applications.

Alex London

Ph. D. Candidate

Alex received his B.S. in Chemistry from California Polytechnic State University in 2014.  His interest is in investigations bridging synthetic chemistry and quantum mechanics to address objectives in emergent materials development and his current work includes elucidating structure-function-property relationships in donor-acceptor copolymers, open-shell -conjugated organic semiconductors and their applications in infrared sensing and detection technologies.

Joshua Tropp

Ph. D. Candidate

Josh graduated with a B.A. in Chemistry from Washington & Jefferson College in 2015.  He has worked with infrared absorbing systems, high-spin systems, supramolecular polymers, fluorescent polymers, and his current research is focused on using conjugated polymers for optical and electronic sensing of seawater contaminants.

Abagail Williams

Ph. D. Candidate

Abbie completed her B.S. in Polymer Chemistry at the Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Eric King

Ph. D. Candidate

Eric received his B.A. in Chemistry from the University of Minnesota, Morris in 2016.  He currently works on the development of new methodologies for the synthesis of aromatic polymers comprising novel structures and architectures through the use of homogenous gold catalysis.

Jasmine Lim

Graduate Research Assistant

Jasmine received a B.S. in Chemistry from San Diego State University in 2017 and her current research focus is on device fabrication and the characterization of infrared organic photodetectors.

Kevin Mayer

Graduate Research Assistant

Kevin graduated from Drexel University with a B.S. in Chemistry.  He is currently studying the underlying mechanisms that give rise to open-shell behavior in organic conjugated polymeric systems for the purpose of understanding and promoting the rational design of next-generation conjugated polymers with tailored diradical character.

Michael Steelman

Graduate Research Assistant

Michael graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.S. in Biochemistry in 2017.  His research is currently on tuning the electronic character and structure of conjugated polymers to investigate their open-shell properties through monomer design.

Daniel VandeWalle

Graduate Research Assistant

Dan received his B.S. in Chemistry from St. Norbert College in 2018.  His current research interests include post polymerization modification of commodity polymers and gold-catalyzed hydroarylation systems.

Chandler Bell

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Chandler is a senior Polymer Science and Engineering major from Hattiesburg, MS and joined the Azoulay group in January 2018.  His research is supervised by Joshua Tropp and is on conjugated polymer synthesis for organic sensors.

Rimsha Bhatta

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Rimsha joined the Azoulay group in August 2019 and is a senior majoring in Polymer Science and Engineering. She currently works under the supervision of Joshua Tropp.

Erin Crater

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Erin is a senior majoring in both Polymer Science and Chemistry.  She is from Jonesville, NC and joined the Azoulay group in April 2017.  She currently works with Joshua Tropp and her research is on fluorescent conjugated polymers for the detection of environmental contaminants in seawater.

Lauren Gonce

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Lauren is from Oak Grove, MS and is a senior Polymer Science major.  She joined the Azoulay group in August 2016 and is currently working under the supervision of Eric King.

Ethan Hanna

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Ethan is a freshman Polymer Science and Engineering major from Lumberton, MS.  He joined the Azoulay group in July 2019 and currently works under the supervision of Jasmine Lim on the fabrication and testing of photodiodes.

Basanta Pandey

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Basanta is a senior Polymer Science and Engineering major from Nepal.  He joined the Azoulay group in August 2019 and currently works under the supervision of Lifeng Huang.

Zachary Rogers

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Zac is from Sumrall, MS and is a freshman majoring in Polymer Science.  He joined the Azoulay group in July 2019 and is supervised by Kevin Mayer.

Hamas Tahir

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Hamas is a senior Polymer Science and Engineering and Mathematics double major and joined the Azoulay group in December 2016.  He is currently working with Lifeng Huang.

Justin Williford

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Justin is from Purvis, MS and joined the Azoulay lab in September 2019. He is a freshman Polymer Science and Engineering major and works with Lifeng Huang.