profileAlbert Liu received his Bachelor’s degree in both Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, and is currently working on his PhD with Prof. Michael Strano at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to joining MIT as a presidential fellow, Albert had worked with the late Prof. John Roberts on developing novel NMR spectroscopic techniques to probe functional group interactions within small organic molecules. He then spent two years in Prof. Gregory Fu’s laboratory learning reaction methodology development, where he developed a new method for the catalytic asymmetric synthesis of alkylboronate esters. Upon graduating from Caltech, Albert spent a summer at Chevron Energy Technology Company working with Dr. Stacy Zones on heterogeneous zeolite catalysis. During his stay at Chevron, Albert invented an industrial applicable approach for the synthesis of the zeolite catalyst SSZ-52 used for nitrous oxide decomposition applications at scale. Since Albert joined MIT, he has expanded his research portfolio into the realm of low-dimensional materials. Working with Prof. Michael Strano, he has made a series of discoveries including a new class of energy harvesting process using single-walled carbon nanotubes called “Asymmetric Chemical Doping”, for which he has been recognized by a 2016 AIChE Graduate Student Award in Carbon Nanomaterials and a 2017 Graduate Student Award from the Materials Science Society. More recently, Albert has pioneered a nano-fabrication method to assemble 2D material encapsulated colloidal particles as autonomous electronic devices, known as “Synthetic Cells”. His current interest involves harnessing small molecule – low-dimensional material interactions for exploring emergent behaviors in active matter. Learn More

(ATL’s Curriculum Vitae)

ALMA MATER                                

Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Advisor: Michael S. Strano
B.S. with honor, Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology (Advisors: Gregory C. Fu, John H. Seinfeld, and John D. Roberts)     
B.A. with honor, Chemistry, Grinnell College, Valedictorian              


2017-18       Lecturer, SPARK, SPLASH, HSSP, MIT Educational Studies Program (teaching profile)     Cambridge, MA
2016-18       Project Consultant, Chemical Engineering Projects Lab, MIT     Cambridge, MA
2014               Facilities Engineering Intern, Chevron Energy Technology Company, Chevron U.S.A. Inc.     Richmond, CA
2010-16       Teaching Assistant
                            (2016)    Analysis of Transport Phenomena (William M. Deen, Martin Z. Bazant, MIT)
                            (2014)    Chemical Reaction Engineering (Frances H. Arnold, Caltech)
                            (2014)    Separation Processes (John H. Seinfeld, Caltech)
                            (2012)    Organic Chemistry I & II (Stephen R. Sieck, T. Andrew Mobley, Grinnell)
                            (2011)    Classical Mechanics (Sujeev Wickramasekara, Grinnell)
                            (2010)    Organic Chemistry Laboratory (James G. Lindberg, Grinnell)


  • (2017)    MRS Graduate Student Award (Silver), Materials Research Society
  • (2017)    Electronic & Photonic Materials Graduate Student Award finalist, American Institute of Chemical Engineering
  • (2017)    Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award, MIT
  • (2017)    Goodwin Teaching Medal, finalist (nominated by Dept. of Chemical Engineering), MIT
  • (2016)    Carbon Nanomaterials Graduate Student Award (1st place), American Institute of Chemical Engineering
  • (2014)    Presidential Graduate Fellow, MIT
  • (2014)    Gordon Wu Fellow (declined), Princeton University
  • (2014)    Merck Index Award, Caltech, sponsored by Merck & Co., Inc.
  • (2014)    Tau Beta Pi Fellow, California Beta Chapter
  • (2013)    Jack E. Froehlich Memorial Award, Caltech
  • (2016)    David S. Koons Research Fellow, Caltech
  • (2013)    Don Shepard Award, Caltech
  • (2013)    Andrew W. Archibald Prize for Highest Scholarship (Valedictorian), Grinnell
  • (2013)    Chemistry Alumni Award, Department of Chemistry, Grinnell
  • (2013)    Phi Beta Kappa Scholar, Iowa Beta Chapter
  • (2011)    ACS Polymer Chemistry Award, Polymer Education Committee, American Chemical Society
  • (2011)    Snyder Scholar (declined), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • (2010)    Mentored Advanced Project Fellow, Grinnell
  • (2010)    Silver Medal, Grinnell College Team, Iowa Collegiate Mathematics Competition, University of Iowa
  • (2009)    Neil Klausner Award, Grinnell
  • (2009)    Dean’s Lists (all semesters), Grinnell
  • (2003)    Silver Medal, National Mathematical Olympiad, Chinese Mathematical Society