Skip to main content
psu nittany lion shrine

Graduate Student Highlight: Daniel Lee

17 August 2021

Each week, the Department of Chemistry highlights a graduate student who is doing interesting and exciting work within the department. In this installment of our highlight series, we are featuring Daniel Lee, who is a second-year student in the Giri lab.

Danny’s research focuses on the synthesis of various polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon and nanographene materials using the Giri lab’s nickel catalyzed alkene dicarbofunctionalization method. These materials have a lot of different use cases ranging from semiconductors and electrodes to pigments and nanofiltration devices. 

This week, we met virtually with Danny  to discuss his life in and outside of the lab! Please enjoy our interview with Danny Lee.

Question: How did you get interested in chemistry/What inspires you as a scientist?

Answer: I became very interested in chemistry after taking quantum mechanics as an undergraduate. This class was transformative for me as I finally felt like I understood all of the basic phenomena happening in the world around me. This revelation also came with a realization of the massive challenges that climate change poses to society. Hoping to help understand and contribute to the catalog of technologies that help fight climate change and preserve the beautiful natural world is what inspires me as a scientist. 

Q: Do you have any hobbies?

A: Most of my favorite hobbies are associated with outdoor activities- I love hiking, camping, skiing, golfing, and landscape photography. But I also really enjoy cooking, baking, yoga, board games, and reading books. 

Q: Do you have any pets?

A: I have a 3 year old pet kitty named Niels (yes, he is named after Niels Bohr).

Q: What’s your dream vacation?

A: Currently my dream vacation would be road tripping the Icefields Parkway starting at Glacier National Park in the US and going up through Banff and Jasper National Parks in Canada.

Thanks to Danny for these interesting and thoughtful answers! We hope you enjoyed this interview. Stay tuned for more graduate student highlights in the weeks to come!