Brenda Zhao 
Graduate Student

Brenda Zhao is from Palo Alto, California and received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. There she studied under Dr. Chris Ellison, exploring various polymer processing techniques such as freeze-casting and electrospinning. During her undergraduate career, she also completed an internship where she optimized hollow fiber membrane performance for biogas separation. In the Smith group, Brenda’s research involves leveraging configurational free volume for selective membrane-based separations. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, painting, and playing badminton. If she has access to an open studio, she also enjoys wheel-throwing ceramics.