VAB Profile: Ben Hammel


Ben Hammel (VIPER' 21)


Degrees and Majors at Penn?

  • BA in Chemistry and BSE in Materials Science and Engineering

Current Job?

  • PhD Candidate in Materials Science at University of Colorado Boulder

Awards and Achievements

  • Materials Science & Engineering Program Graduate Fellowship from CU Boulder
  • Roy and Diana Vagelos Science Challenge Award
  • American Institute of Chemists Award 
  • Joullié Scholar

Why did you join VAB?

  • I joined VAB to contribute to the VIPER community, further my network, and develop professionally in the field of energy research. I enjoy working with current VIPER students the most, and hope that they can learn from me and I can learn from them.

What part of the energy industry are you most excited about?

  • I hope my research will play an important role in our society's transition to renewable energies. By designing new nanomaterials with the ability to more efficiently convert solar power and electricity into fuels, I believe that we will be able to transition to a more sustainable energy system and avoid the worst consequences of climate change.

What is something that you're interested in?

  • I like making things with laser cutters and 3D printers to build tools that make my everyday life easier or make props that help explain my research.

How many pairs of shoes do you own?

  • I honestly don't know but pretty much every single day since I moved to Colorado, I have worn a pair of Oboz hiking shoes. The bottoms are almost completely worn smooth which makes hiking at little treacherous in icy conditions. I will probably buy a new pair soon.