Carnegie Mellon University

2021-2022 Steinbrenner Fellows


Alexander Polzin

Presidential Fellow

Alexander Polzin is a PhD candidate in the School of Design's Transition Design program, advised by Peter Scupelli and Jonathan Chapman. His research examines human-forest interactions at a time when forests are increasingly digitized. By contextualizing and testing the design and use of sensors, interfaces and algorithms within the broader socioeconomic systems within which they function, his work seeks to conceptualize how tensions between distinct, at times conflicting, frames (e.g., seeing the forest as building material, as carbon, as habitat) might be bridged through ecological and generative design. His research currently focuses on the timber supply chain within the Great Lakes region and strives to identify ways of supporting futures that are environmentally sustainable, plural and mycorrhizal.



Maryam Hakimzadeh

Dunlap Fellow

Maryam Hakimzadeh is a PhD student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE). She is advised by David Rounce and Kaushik Dayal. She received her bachelor's degree in civil engineering and master's degree in environmental engineering from the Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran. Her work looks at the challenges and opportunities that global climate change and warming oceans present in terms of undersea energy exploration, newly available shipping routes, climate modeling, and sustainability of built infrastructure in the Arctic region.

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Chunzhi Wu

Chunzhi Wu is a PhD student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at CMU, advised by Gerald Wang. His research focuses on using a variety of computational tools—including Molecular Dynamics simulation, density functional theory and graph algorithms—to study the transport properties of polymer materials. His research aims to design better sustainable polymer materials, which can help solve the environmental issues around the world.

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Jenna DeVivo

Jenna DeVivo is a PhD candidate in the Department of Chemistry. In 2018, she graduated with a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh. Currently, she is advised by Neil Donahue and is a member of CMU's Center for Atmospheric Particulate Studies. Her research focuses on measuring atmospheric radicals through radical conversion chemistry and direct detection of peroxy radicals (RO₂) using time-of-flight mass spectrometry. The fate of RO₂ radicals plays an important yet uncertain role in Earth's climate and biosphere-atmosphere feedbacks. Many of the lightweight volatile organic compounds we emit will oxidize and fragment producing CO₂—a process crucial to driving our carbon cycle. A small portion of RO₂ reactions produce more complex, highly oxygenated compounds that make up a large portion of organic aerosol in our atmosphere. DeVivo's current project perturbs RO₂ radicals on a sub-second timescale to characterize the kinetics and mechanisms of unique RO₂ branching chemistry. She investigates different VOC oxidation systems using chamber experiments at CMU and the CLOUD collaboration at CERN.