ESP Biography



ALBERT LIU, MIT graduate student in Chemical Engineering




Major: Chemical Enginneering

College/Employer: MIT

Year of Graduation: G

Picture of Albert Liu

Brief Biographical Sketch:

Albert Tianxiang Liu obtained his BS (2014) in Chemical Engineering from California Institute of Technology and is currently working on his PhD with Prof. Michael S. Strano at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to joining MIT as a graduate fellow, Albert had studied physical organic chemistry and organometallic chemistry under the tutelage of Prof. John D. Roberts and Prof. Gregory C. Fu, and had spent a summer at Chevron Co. learning zeolite synthesis from Dr. Stacey I. Zones. His research interests include the analysis and control of molecular conformation and engineering of low dimensional materials with applications in chemical transformation and energy generation.



Past Classes

  (Look at the class archive for more.)


How do you generate electricity from water? in HSSP Spring 2018 (Feb. 24, 2018)
Direct induction of electricity through interactions of nano-structured materials with a mobile fluid phase is a fascinating subject with a rich history. In this class we will approach this game-changing technology from a fundamental scientific perspective, exploring aspects of potential mechanisms that drive the movement of the electric carriers inside the nano-structures. Together we will learn how to better use our knowledge in physics and chemistry to help power our planet towards a cleaner future!


How do you generate electricity from water? in Spark 2018 (Mar. 17 - 18, 2018)
Direct induction of electricity through interactions of nano-structured materials with a mobile fluid phase is a fascinating subject with a rich history. In this class we will approach this game-changing technology from a fundamental scientific perspective, exploring aspects of potential mechanisms that drive the movement of the electric carriers inside the nano-structures. Together we will learn how to better use our knowledge in physics and chemistry to help power our planet towards a cleaner future!


From Molecular Conformation to Nanotechnology, Energy, and Medicine in Splash 2017 (Nov. 18 - 19, 2017)
This course surveys a broad range of disciplines (protein folding, nanotechnology, energy, and bio-medicine) that have been tremendously enhanced through accurate control of molecular conformation. We will touch upon specific examples on how a single tweak of something as small as a molecule could result in substantial changes in material function and chemical reactivity, which can lead to fundamentally novel platform technologies for energy generation and medicine.


Nanotechnology Enabled Artificial Cells in Spark 2017 (Mar. 11 - 12, 2017)
The smallest unit of life -- cell, consisting of cytoplasm enclosed within a thin plasma membrane, can perform various functions like transport of molecules, chemical reactions (i.e. metabolism), locomotion, and reproduction. Recent advances in nanotechnology enable us to create interesting materials that have exotic properties that may achieve similar functions at extremely small length scales. For example, we can make membranes that mechanically strong and flexible that are just one atom thin; we have also discovered materials that have inherent “memories” that allows transfer of digital information. Can we assemble these elements together, just like those organelles in a biological cell, and by taking advantage of their functional properties, to generate prototype artificial “synthetic cells” using non-biological materials? This class will take you through key endeavors scientists have made in the past and some cutting-edge technologies that we are investigating for our future.