Ashwin J. Shahani

Principal investigator

Ashwin joined the University of Michigan as Assistant Professor in September 2016.  He earned his B.S. from Cornell University and his Ph.D. from Northwestern University, both degrees in the field of Materials Science and Engineering.  It is at Northwestern, under the direction of Prof. Peter Voorhees, that Ashwin developed his passion for solidification science.  Now as an independent researcher at UM, he hopes to tackle some of the unsolved problems concerning the growth of multicomponent alloys.  Recently, Ashwin has won Young Investigator Awards from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (2017) and the Army Research Office (2018). Outside of work, Ashwin enjoys traveling, baking, and playing tennis.  Interested in learning more?  Ashwin can be reached at shahani [at] umich [dot] edu

Nancy Senabulya

Postdoctoral researcher

Nancy joined Prof. Shahani's group as a postdoctoral research fellow in June 2017.  Prior to this appointment, Nancy earned her B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Makerere University and an M.S.E and PhD in Applied Physics from the University of Michigan (advisor: Prof. Roy Clarke). She is currently investigating the growth dynamics of icosahedral quasicrystals in real time, using synchrotron-based X-ray tomography. This work is motivated by the need to understand the fundamental and complex phenomena responsible for the nucleation of forbidden crystals from a liquid phase.  Besides her love for science, Nancy is a devout Michigan football fan; she enjoys watching professional sports, traveling and spending time with her husband and two children.  Reach Nancy at nsenab [at] umich [dot] edu

Saman Moniri

Doctoral student

Saman is a graduate student in the department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan since fall 2014.  He obtained his M.S. degree in his second year at UM, and his B.S. degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2014, both degrees in Chemical Engineering.  While at UIUC, he performed research in the lab of Prof. Paul Kenis.  Currently, he is advised by Prof. Shahani on a project concerning the solidification of multicomponent and multiphase eutectics with diverse morphologies (e.g., spirals).  Aside from academics, Saman enjoys reading and keeping up with politics.  Reach Saman at moniri [at] umich [dot] edu

Insung Han

Doctoral student

Insung joined Prof. Shahani's group as a Ph.D. student in winter 2017.  Prior to this appointment, Insung earned his B.S. degree from Sungkyunkwan University and M.S. degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  He is interested in observing the growth mechanisms of "forbidden crystals" via in situ X-ray tomography and diffraction-based techniques.  He also believes that these fascinating techniques will contribute to understanding the growth mechanisms of various other crystal structures.  Besides his research, Insung enjoys playing baseball and has a great interest in environmental issues.  Reach Insung at insungh [at] umich [dot] edu


Isaac Loo

Masters student

Issac joined the Shahani group in summer 2018.  He earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan and is now pursuing his M.S.E in Industrial & Operations Engineering. Under Prof. Shahani, he is currently researching in the topic of abnormal grain growth in four dimensions. He is interested in both reliability and quality engineering and, subsequently, the state-of-the-art materials characterization techniques that aid in reliability and quality tests – specifically in situ X-ray tomography and diffraction-based techniques heavily used in the Shahani group. In his free time, he enjoys playing and hosting Dungeons & Dragons, learning about new technology, and picking up random hobbies.  Reach Issac at issaloo [at] umich [dot] edu

Ron Keinan

Undergraduate student

Ron is a fourth-year undergraduate student in the department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan.  He joined the Shahani group in Winter 2017.  Currently, he is working under the guidance of Prof. Shahani in performing multimodal, experimental studies related to the characterization of grain boundaries and inclusions in polycrystalline Si.  He will continue this line of research in the summer of 2017 through the Summer Undergraduate Research in Engineering (SURE) program.  His professional interests are in the field of lightweight alloy development.  His hobbies include reading, watching Netflix, playing Magic: the Gathering, and spending time with friends.   Reach Ron at rkeinan [at] umich [dot] edu


  • Mushfequr Rahman (masters, 2016-2017)
  • Che Chan (undergraduate, 2017)

Open positions

The group is looking for hardworking and motivated individuals at the graduate and post-doctoral level.  Students of MSE or a related field (e.g., ChemE, MechE, Appl. Phys.) are invited to apply.  Currently, there are open projects for multiple students in the areas of eutectic transformations and abnormal grain growth. 

Apply for a research position  →

 The group enjoying a night out.  Pictured (left-to-right): Ashwin, Matt, Saman, Nancy, Isaac, Ron, Insung, and Aniket.  Taken winter 2018.

The group enjoying a night out.  Pictured (left-to-right): Ashwin, Matt, Saman, Nancy, Isaac, Ron, Insung, and Aniket.  Taken winter 2018.