STEM Shoutout: Dr. Ivana Gonzales

Dr. Ivana Gonzales receives a grant from Los Alamos National Laboratory

Dr. Ivana Gonzales, a research associate professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, received two grants worth $160,000 from Los Alamos National Laboratory for her research on fuel cells.

Researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory hope that the fuel cells will provide clean energy without the use of fossil fuels. As a result, these devices would not contribute to the production of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

“These systems are very complex, so you need research groups with different specialties and knowledge to design different aspects of them,” Gonzales said.

Gonzales’s role is computations, where she does theoretical modeling using computer simulations. In this way, she conducts the simulations often under the conditions that cannot be studied by experiments. Gonzales uses this information to predict what materials will be most suitable for certain components of the fuel cell.

The applications of these fuel cells are very diverse, Gonzales said. They can be used for anything from powering cars to space exploration.