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Joint Appointments

Stony Brook and Brookhaven National Lab have more than 75 joint appointments supporting the strategic missions of both institutions.  Many of these are guest appointments (at BNL) or nonsalaried faculty appointments (at Stony Brook) that enable researchers to develop collaborations, access facilities, mentor students, and in some cases participate in teaching.

Other joint appointments involve formal arrangements, with effort assigned at Stony Brook and Brookhaven and shared salary funding.

Joint appointees strengthen ties between Stony Brook and Brookhaven, facilitate student engagement at Brookhaven, and contribute to shared research goals.


Meet some of our joint appointees below:


Yu-chen Karen Chen-Wiegart

Chen-Wiegart Prof. Chen-Wiegart is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering in Stony Brook University (SBU). She also holds a Joint Appointment with National Synchrotron Light Source – II (NSLS-II) at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), coordinating the effort of multi-modal research approach. She holds a Ph.D. degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Northwestern University. Prof. Chen-Wiegart emphasizes on applying state-of-the-art x-ray imaging and spectroscopic techniques to study novel functional materials. Her current interests include energy storage and conversion, nano-/meso-porous materials, thin film & surface treatment, and cultural heritage.

Before joining Stony Brook University, she served as beamline scientist at the Sub-Micron Resolution X-ray Spectroscopy (SRX) Beamline of NSLS-II. Prior to that she was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Synchrotron Light Source at BNL, where she participated in the commissioning of the new high-resolution x-ray transmission microscope and in establishing the new associated research program. Her PhD research focused on the study of the dealloying and coarsening behaviors of nanoporous metal which has numerous potential applications, co-funded by Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory. While continuing to develop cutting-edge x-ray tools, she is exploring new opportunities in functional materials. She has also been active in out-reach programs at NSLS-II and SBU, organizing events such as “Bring Our Children to Work Day” for the Photon Sciences Division at BNL, volunteering for educational and outreach events, and teaching courses in Women in Science & Engineering program at SBU.

Abhay Deshpande

Abhay DeshpandeProf. Abhay Deshpande works in experimental high energy nuclear physics. His current research focuses on understanding the contributions of quarks, antiquarks and gluons to the proton's spin using the PHENIX detector and high energy polarized proton beams at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC). The property of "spin" has played a crucial role in the development of our understanding of physics in the past 100 years. In fact, arguably, the 20th century could be called the "Century of Spin Surprises"

Eden  Figeroa


Anatoly Frenkel

FrenkelPhysico-chemical properties of nanocatalysts, structure-property function relationships in disordered systems, mechanisms of catalytic reactions, mechanisms of work of electromechanical materials (piezo-, ferro-, pyro-electrics and electrostrictors. Use of synchrotron-based techniques in materials characterization (x-ray absorption (XAFS) and emission (RIXS) spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction). Development of new in situ/operando techniques for studies of functional nanomaterials.

Jiangyong Jia

JiaWe are interested in studying the properties of the dense nuclear matter created in elativistic heavy ion collisions. Under extremely high temperature and density, such matter exist in the form of quasi-free quarks and gluons (Quark-Gluon Plasma or QGP), whose interactions are scribed by the Quantum ChromoDynamics theory (QCD). We seek to recreate and study QGP in the laboratory and to understandits underlying QCD theory. Our research is carried out at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at BNL and at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Our group is involved with the PHENIX and ATLAS experiments respectively, at each of these accelerator facilities

Peter Khalifah

KhalifahMaterials Chemistry, Solid State Chemistry: Periodic solids provide the backbone of the high-tech industry due to their amplification of the interactions between individual atomic and molecular building blocks assembled within their crystalline lattices. This group focuses on designing functionality into crystalline solids using elemental substitution and structural control to fine-tune the energy levels of bulk materials. Our expertise in materials synthesis, structural characterization, and physical properties measurements allows us to tackle all aspects of this “internal design” process.

Dmitri Kharzeev

KharzeevDmitri Kharzeev is interested in all aspects of the modern theory of strong interactions - Quantum Chromo-Dynamics (QCD), and its applications to the description of experimentally accessible phenomena. He is closely involved in theoretical research related to the programs at Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at BNL and Large Hadron Collider at CERN. In particular, he studies the ways in which the underlying quark-gluon structure of hadrons and nuclei determines the dynamics of their interactions and the salient features of the visible Universe. Many of these features stem from topology of non-Abelian gauge theories that form the current Standard Model of the physical world. Dmitri also believes that all sub-fields of physics are deeply connected, and cross-disciplinary interactions are necessary for the advancement of science. For example, he argues that topology holds the key to understanding many universal dynamical properties of systems at vastly different scales, from femto-meter (quarks and gluons of QCD), to nano-meter (e.g. topological insulators and graphene), to parsec (e.g. magnetic helicity and polarization of cosmic microwave background).

Pavlos Kollias

KolliasThe clouds and radars research group focuses on the physical understanding of the atmospheric component of the hydrological cycle and the improved representation of cloud and precipitation processes in global, regional and cloud scale numerical models. Our group is also interest in the use of radars in weather and climate research, from severe weather nowcasting to cloud-scale processes.

Synergetic remote sensing observations from both space-based and ground-based sensors and their clever use through the development of new inversion algorithms and adaptive sampling strategies constitute our approach for probing clouds and precipitation in their natural environment. As part of our research we use a wide variety of observational platforms, however, millimeter wavelength radars are our primary observing tool for diagnosing the structure, kinematics and microphysics of clouds and precipitation. For more information visit the Clouds and Radars Research Group web site.

Qiang Li

Qiang Li joins the Department of PhysicsQuing Li and Astronomy as a SUNY Empire Innovation Professor, and continues to hold a joint scientist
appointment at BNL to lead the Advanced Energy Materials Group. He graduated from University of Science and Technology of China (Hefei)
with a bachelor’s degree in science in 1986 and came to the US on the CUSPEA (China-U.S. Physics Examination and Application) program under
direction of Prof. T.D. Lee, a Nobel laureate. Afterfive years atIowa State University, where he received his PhD in physics in 1991, Li joined the
Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Science Department at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL).
At BNL, he is a physicist with tenure, and has been a lead principal investigator ofthe DOE Office of Science’s superconducting materials
program for over a decade and a half. In 2009, Li became the newly created Advanced Energy Materials Group Leader. He has led BNL’s effortin
a number of DOE projects from high temperature superconductors for grid scale energy storage, wind power generation, and next generation
electrical machine,to vehicle waste heatrecovery by thermoelectrics. Li’s research interests range from basic physics and material sciences of
superconductors,thermoelectrics, and topological quantum materials to their applications in energy and quantum information technology. He
is a Fellow of American Physical Society, and a recipient of R&D 100 award.

Vladimir N. Litvinenko

LitvinenkoLitvinenko joined Brookhaven as a senior physicist in 2003, and he is currently head of the Accelerator Physics Group for Brookhaven's newest facility for nuclear physics research, the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. After joining BNL in 2003, Litvinenko made critical contributions to R&lD on the high-energy electron cooling of RHIC and to discoveries in designing high-brightness electron beam injection to an energy recovery linac machine. He also played a key role in the National Synchrotron Light Source II team developing the design philosophy for this unique light source. With colleagues, he also established the Center for Accelerator Science & Education at Stony Brook University and BNL, where he is a co-director and teaches students. In 2004, the International Free Electron Laser (FEL) community awarded him the FEL Prize for his outstanding contributions for FEL science and technology.

Mengkun Liu

Mengkun Liu is an associate professor at the PhysicsMengkun Liu Department of Stony Brook University.  His research interests include physices oc correlated electron systems, two-dimensional materials, infrared nano-optics and ultrafast time domain THz specrroscopy.  Prizes include NFS Career Award (2021) and Seaborg Institute Research Fellowships at Los Alamos National Lab (2009).

Amy Marschilok


Esther Takeuchi

TakeuchiThe advancement of battery systems with high energy and power densities remains a lynch pin for new generations of energy storage. The full utilization of renewable energy sources such as wind, photovoltaic, hydroelectric, and geothermal power depends on the ability to store energy as in many cases the renewable energy is generated on an intermittent basis. Additionally, portable electronics, hybrid vehicles, electric vehicles, biomedical devices, and aerospace applications demand advanced batteries that can perform safely over many years. Finally, the way in which communities handle power demands through power grids may be affected significantly by new developments in energy storage. Specific areas of research. For next generation primary and secondary battery applications demanding long life, high energy density and high power, new strategies are needed for the rational design of electroactive materials and the concomitant engineering associated with battery design. Professor Takeuchi’s research efforts are collaborative in nature, involving scientists with a variety of research expertise. For example, we have an on-going research interest in the structure / function relationships among electroactive materials and redox properties as related to electrochemical energy storage. We also are actively involved in the synthesis of new electroactive materials and the subsequent analysis involving a variety of chemical and physical properties of materials. Further, we conduct fundamental mechanistic studies involving the complex interplay among redox processes, ion transport, and electrode precipitation / dissolution that are critical to the electrochemistry associated with battery science.

Kenneth Takeuchi

Distinguished Teaching Professor KennethK Takeuchi J. Takeuchi is conducting research relevant to
electrochemical energy storage. He is active in the development of synthetic strategies yielding control and variation of both crystallite size on the nanometer scale and non-stoichiometric
chemical composition of inorganic materials, and the subsequent utility of these inorganic materials towards energy storage. Specific inorganic materials of interest include: iron-containing spinels and inverse spinels, bimetallic layered or channeled materials where both
metals are redox active, and inorganic materials containing alkali and alkaline earth metals. Paradigms critical to the fundamental understanding of battery function emerging from the above studies are the structure / function relationships among crystallite size, particle size, and
the electrochemistry of inorganic materials. He is active in the conceptual design and execution of in-situ and operando investigations involving a variety of techniques. Professor Takeuchi is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the American Chemical Society. He is the New York State regional recipient, U.S.
Professor of the Year Award from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). He was also recognized by
the Inspire Integrity Award as the National runner-up from the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. His long-standing commitment to advancing diversity was recognized by the Stanley C. Israel Regional Award for Advancing Diversity in the Chemical Sciences from the American
Chemical Society. He is also a recipient of the Responsible Care National Catalyst Award, for excellence in teaching and mentoring from the Chemical Manufacturers Association and the
SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Dongyan Tan

TanDongyan’s research focuses on understanding the structure-function relationship of macromolecules that are involved in gene regulation. She is particularly interested in a DNA-protein complex called chromatin, and in how its structure-dynamics is regulated during normal development of multi-cellular organisms. She uses the state-of-the-art cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and image analysis to obtain atomic-level structural information of the protein complex in various functional states in vivo and in vitro. These studies will provide valuable insights into our understanding of the complex and dynamic process of gene regulation. She also holds a Joint Appointment with the National Synchrotron Light Source-II (NSLS-II) at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). She is working with the scientists from NSLS-II to bring the cryo-EM technology to BNL by establishing the first cryo-EM center there.
Besides running her research program, Dongyan has also been actively participating in different educational and outreach activities at SBU and BNL.

Navid Vafaei-Najafabadi

Navid Vafaei-Najafabadi

Navid Vafaei-Najafabadi is an associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. His research interests lie at the intersection of accelerator physics, laser physics, and plasma physics. Plasma, often referred to as the fourth state of matter, consists of ionized atoms or molecules, where electrons and ions are not bound to each other and can freely move. The interaction of tera-watt-class lasers with plasma generates forces that are thousands of times stronger than those that can be sustained by ordinary, neutral matter. His research objective is to harness the enormous forces generated in laser-plasma interactions to develop compact sources of high energy particles (primarily electrons) and x-ray radiation. These novel sources have the potential to revolutionize various fields of science and technology, from medical imaging and cancer treatment to advanced materials research and high-energy physics experiments. This research is ideally served by the unique laser and particle beam sources at the Accelerator Test Facility (ATF) of the Brookhaven National laboratory. In addition to advancing the goals of his research, which is in part funded by his NSF CAREER Award, he is the Facility Scientist at ATF. As the Facility Scientist, he assists the ATF Director with assessing priority research directions and upgrade paths for the ATF facilities through periodic science planning workshops and engaging with the user and broader scientific community.

Michael G. White

WhiteDYNAMICS AT SURFACES: Our research is aimed at providing a molecular level understanding of the energetics, dynamics and morphology-dependence of elementary surface reactions that play key roles in energy-related catalysis. Specifically, we are interested in systems involving simple feedstock chemicals (e.g., H2, CO, CO2, O2, CH4), the selective oxidation of C1 and C2 molecules (e.g., CH3OH, C2H4) and reaction systems that have environmental impact (e.g., De-NOx, De-SOx). We approach these problems from a chemical physics perspective in which experiments are designed to probe the adsorbate-metal potential surface and the dynamical paths that lead to reaction. Our experimental program makes extensive use of lasers for both state-selective detection of desorbed products and the photo-initiation of surface processes such as desorption, diffusion, dissociation and reaction. Current studies are focused on understanding the photoinduced reactions on semi-conducting surfaces such as titania (TiO2); whose photoactivity is widely used for removing organic pollutants from air and water, for anti-fogging and self-cleaning surfaces and as a potential photocatayst for solar water splitting.