Principal Investigator

Emily C Davidson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

S.B. Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2010

Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, UC Berkeley, 2016
Advisor: Prof. Rachel Segalman

Postdoctoral Research Fellow Harvard University, 2017-2020
Advisor: Prof. Jennifer Lewis

Email | CV

Emily Davidson joined Princeton University as an Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering in January 2021. She carried out her graduate research at UC Berkeley (Ph.D. 2016) and UC Santa Barbara with Professor Rachel Segalman, where she synthesized and studied (1) conjugated block copolymers to probe the interplay between crystallization and self-assembly and (2) sequence-defined block copolymers to gain insights into the role of secondary chain shape in block copolymer self-assembly. In 2017, Emily joined Professor Jennifer Lewis's group at Harvard University as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, where her research focused on the development and 3D assembly of liquid crystal elastomers with light-activated dynamic bonds. Emily received her bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2010. From 2010-2012, Emily taught high school chemistry and physics through the Teach for America program. Emily has received a number of awards and honors including the Scientista 'Young Professional' Award (2019), a DOE Early Career award (2022), and the Princeton School of Engineering Alfred Rheinstein Faculty Award (2023).

By joining Princeton, Emily returned to her home state of New Jersey (she grew up in Bridgewater, NJ and attended Bridgewater-Raritan High School!). In her free time, Emily enjoys being active (hiking, bicycling, and running), photography, taking care of her impressive collection of houseplants, and spending time with her husband, two children, and their 86 lb Bernese Mountain Dog 'Peaches'.

Postdoctoral Researchers

Shawn Maguire, Ph.D.

Shawn is a postdoctoral researcher co-advised by Professor Rodney D. Priestley in the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department. He received his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania in 2021 and his B.E. in Chemical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology in 2016. His past research has focused on investigating fundamental polymer physics concepts that govern polymer nanocomposite phase behavior to build functional soft matter materials with precise structure-property relationships. His current research at Princeton is focused on the investigation of de-polymerizable polymeric systems through a combined polymer physics and interfacial phenomena approach.

When not in a scientific setting, Shawn enjoys being outdoors (snowboarding, hiking, camping), trying to develop and cook new recipes with his fiancée for their joint cookbook, or spending time with his family.

Clement Chan, Ph.D.

Clement joined the Davidson lab as a postdoctoral researcher in 2022. He received his PhD in Chemistry at the University of Cambridge under the supervision of Silvia Vignolini in 2022 after receiving a MSci in Natural Sciences in 2017. His previous research focused on the liquid crystalline properties of cellulosic polymers and their photonic properties. In the Davidson lab, he is currently studying the synthesis and self-assembly of liquid crystalline elastomers and block copolymers, and their applications in 3D printing.

In his spare time, Clement likes to cook and trying out a variety of sports. He particularly enjoys playing badminton and any water-based activites.

Hee Jae Choi, Ph.D.

Hee Jae Choi joined Davidson Lab as a postdoctoral researcher in December 2023. He received his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering at the KAIST in 2022 under the supervision of Prof. Sang Ouk Kim. Prior to his doctoral studies, he received his M.S. at POSTECH in 2018, supervised by Prof. Taihyun Chang, following the completion of his B.E. in Polymer Science at Jeonbuk National University in 2016. His previous research has primarily focused on block copolymer self-assembly, its versatile applications, and polymer liquid chromatography. Currently at Princeton, his research focuses on the synthesis of hydrogel-cement composites and block copolymer 3D printing.

In his free time, Hee Jae enjoys working out, listening to music, and watching movies.

Graduate Students

Alice Fergerson

Alice is a fourth year PhD student in Chemical and Biological Engineering, working towards a joint degree in Materials Science. Alice grew up in the Bay Area and received a BS in Chemical Engineering from UC Davis. Her undergraduate research in the Moule Group focused on solution processing semiconducting polymers for organic electronics. She is excited to work on designing and 3D printing anisotropic polymeric materials here at Princeton.

In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, spending time outdoors, doing crafts, and cooking. She can often be found reading and enjoying a coffee at local cafes, knitting, or attending concerts.

Kirstin Bode

Kirstin is a third-year graduate student who joined the Davidson lab in 2022. Born and raised in Ohio, they received their B.S. in Chemistry and B.A. in Philosophy from Kent State University in 2021. During their undergraduate career, they worked in the laboratory of Dr. Jeffrey Mighion developing a novel class of Ir(III) catalysts for C–H oxidation of unfunctionalized alkanes. In the Davidson lab, Kirstin studies the depolymerization of surface-active block copolymers.

In their free time, Kirstin enjoys kayaking on Lake Carnegie, taking care of their many houseplants, and trying out new recipes. They also love social dancing, especially East Coast swing, Lindy, and salsa.

Jiaen Wu

Jiaen is a second-year Ph.D. student in Chemical and Biological Engineering. She received her B.S. in Chemistry and M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Shenzhen University. Her previous research focused on investigating the drug release mechanisms of the drug delivery system and also the regulation of fibrous membrane matrix rigidity guides the treatment of breast cancer. She is excited to work on a study on the dielectric performance of polymer nanocomposite heterostructures for high-energy storage capacitors in Professor Davidson's lab at Princeton.

In her spare time, she enjoys photosynthesis and soaking in the sunlight and the beauty that nature offers. She likes listening to music, doing yoga, playing badminton, tennis, table tennis, rock climbing and exploring new sports like skiing.

Emily Ostermann

Emily is a second-year PhD student in Chemical and Biological Engineering. She received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from NC State University. Her undergraduate research with Dr. Qingshan Wei's research group focused on polymer microneedle patches for rapid DNA extraction for plant disease diagnostics. She is excited to study network heterogeneities and molecular design in liquid crystal elastomer elastocalorics in the Davidson lab.

In her free time, Emily enjoys reading and writing fiction, hiking and taking long walks, cross-stitching, and creating digital art.

David (Taeyeun) Yang

David (Korean name Taeyeun) is a first year PhD student in Chemical and Biological Engineering. He was born in Seoul, South Korea and received his B.S. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. At Illinois, David was part of Professor Damien Guironnet's research group developing methods of precisely controlling polymer molecular weight distribution through microfluidic flow chemistry. In the Davidson Lab, he will conduct research on determining the effects of small molecule additives on liquid crystal elastomer physical properties and on exploring the implementation of dynamic bond exchange within the elastomer networks.

Outside of lab, David enjoys discovering neat chord progressions on the piano, playing basketball, and watching obscure movies.

Sahana Sundar

Sahana is a first-year Ph.D. student in Chemical and Biological Engineering co-advised by Professor Rodney Priestley. She received her B.S.E. in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied polymer nanocomposites and soft materials for energy applications in Professor Russell Composto's lab. At Princeton, Sahana studies sustainable and chemically recyclable polymers.

Outside of lab, Sahana enjoys drawing, birdwatching, and doing various crafts.

Jacob Votava

Jacob is a first year PhD student at Princeton co-advised between the Davidson and Webb groups. He received his bachelor’s degrees in chemical engineering and chemistry from the University of Minnesota. His undergraduate work focused on the synthesis of non-isocyanate polyurethanes in Minnesota, as well as understanding the fundamental material properties of sustainable liquid desiccants at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado.  

In his free time Jacob enjoys reading, drinking coffee, snowboarding, and hanging out with cats. He is available to pet-sit in the Princeton area at no cost.

Visiting Students

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Research Assistants

Graduate Alumni