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Current Team Members


Dr. Pei Sun, Research Assistant Professor

Dr. Pei Sun’s current research interests focus on titanium metallurgy, powder metallurgy, and additive manufacturing. He has particularly strong expertise on powder metallurgy and physical metallurgy of titanium. During his graduate studies, his doctoral dissertation research focused on understanding the fundaments (i.e., phase transformation and microstructural evolution) of a novel powder metallurgy process-hydrogen sintering and phase transformation (HSPT) for producing high-performance and low-cost titanium.  He experimentally investigated and determined the pseudo binary phase diagram of (Ti-6Al-4V)-H, based on which he elucidated in detail the phase transformations during the HSPT process using in-situ synchrotron X-ray. After graduation, he co-invented a low-cost method called Granulation-Sintering-Deoxygenation (GSD) for producing spherical Ti powder for additive manufacturing. He is currently focused on scaling up the GSD technology to commercialization. Additionally, he is working on developing a new powder-based additive manufacturing technology.  Dr. Pei Sun is also a co-inventor of the processes for deoxygenation of Ti powder and the process for making Ti metal powder from titanium dioxide, i.e. the hydrogen assisted magnesiothermic reduction of Ti (HAMR) process. 

 Dr. Pei Sun received his Ph.D degree from the University of Utah in 2015, and his bachelor’s degree from Central South University (China) in 2008. He came to the University of Utah and joined Prof. Fang’s research group in 2009 after a brief graduate study at Institute of Metal Research Chinese Academy of Sciences (IMR CAS) for one year. He has authored or co-authored more than 20 peer-reviewed journal publications and a book chapter. He is one of the named inventors of three US patents.

 While Dr. Pei Sun spend most of his time on research, he also enjoys a variety of hobbies such as hiking, skiing, camping and traveling with his family.

Dr. Chengshang Zhou

Dr. Chengshang Zhou

Chengshang (Shawn) Zhou is from Changsha, China. He received his B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Wuhan University of Technology, and M. E. in Materials Science from Central South University in China. He spent five years researching in microwave sintering/heating technique and powder metallurgy. Then he joined Prof. Fang’s group in 2011 and received his Ph.D in 2015. His research project was advanced magnesium based hydrides and development of metal hydride thermal battery system.

Munro Alley

Munro Alley

Munro began working in the Powder Metallurgy Research Lab in May 2018. He completed his undergraduate studies in metallurgy in 2022, and is currently working on a Ph.D. under Professor Fang (he's never getting out of here). He subsists off cheap frozen burritos and consumes around 900 mg of caffeine/day.

He enjoys skiing running climbing biking camping hiking and in the outdoors.

Zehua LinZehua Lin (Lam)

Lam finished his master's degree in solid polymer electrolytes for lithium-ion batteries in 2020 and started his Ph.D. research on the synthesis and modification of silicon anode in Prof. Fang's group in 2022.  His ISFJ personality makes him a good listener and observer, but he dreads public speech. 
He finds interest in badminton, snowboarding, and street photography. 

Emran HossainMD Emran Hossain

Emran is a Bangladeshi native born and raised in Dhaka. He holds a B.S. in Material Science and Metallurgical Engineering from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, which he completed in 2018. After graduation, he worked for two and a half years as a quality control engineer in two steel industries. Since the Fall of 2021, he has been pursuing his Ph.D. as a member of the Powder Metallurgy research group at the University of Utah. His current research focuses on the powder metallurgy of titanium and titanium alloys. Emran's interests extend beyond his academic pursuits; he also enjoys hiking, fishing, and camping in his free time.

Tristain HeadshotTristan Armstrong

Tristan has lived in Utah his whole life and was originally from Helper. He began work in the Powder Metallurgy Research Lab as an undergraduate in the fall of 2022 and graduated with a B.S in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Utah the following spring. Tristan’s research largely focuses on additive manufacturing for titanium alloys, specifically laser powder bed fusion (LPBF). He is currently pursuing his M.S. in Metallurgical Engineering, continuing the work he started as an undergraduate.

His interests include skiing, hiking, fishing, boxing, and riding his motorcycle.

Nathan Profile PictureNathan Jump

Nathan Jump is a current PhD Candidate at the University of Utah with a B.S. in Material Science and Engineering from the University of California, Irvine where he graduated with honors. His current research is focused on the production of 3D printed titanium and titanium alloys on the Binder Jet Printer (BJP) system. In his professional career, Nathan has served in the United States Marine Corps and worked at the Aerospace Corporation within their Propulsion Sciences Department, where he focused on the catalytic decomposition of natural gas fuels within the regenerative cooling lines of rocket engines.


 Barnali SutradharBarnali Sutradhar

Barnali got her B.S. degree in Materials and Metallurgical Engineering from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology in 2017. She got her M.S. degree in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of California, Riverside in 2022. She started her PhD at the University of Utah in the Fall of 2022. She has been working as a member of the Powder Metallurgy research group at the University of Utah since Fall 2023. Her current research focuses on the binder jet printing of Titanium alloys. She enjoys hiking, dancing, bowling, badminton, and drinking cappuccino.

 Runlin Pu

Runlin Pu

Runlin Pu is a PhD student in Prof. Fang's research group, focusing on Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) of titanium alloys and titanium hydride powder metallurgy. He graduated with a B.E. from Chengdu University of Technology in 2023. Outside the lab, Runlin enjoys hiking and cycling. He also has a passion for exploring different kinds of food.

Samantha SorensonSamantha Sorensen

Samantha, originally from Boise, Idaho, earned her B.S. in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Chemistry from the University of Utah in 2023. In May 2024, she began working in the Powder Metallurgy Research Lab, focusing on the deoxygenation of titanium. She will begin her Ph.D. under Professor Fang fall 2024.

In her free time, she enjoys hiking, skiing, all racket sports, sweet treats, and traveling.

Cole WalkerCole Walker

Cole began working in the Powder Metallurgy Research Lab in September 2021. He is doing an undergraduate degree in Material Science and Engineering. He is specialized in Binder Jet Printing and artificial intelligence. He has many academic passions and doesn't know what he is going to do next.

Outside the lab he likes video games, off-roading, anime, hiking, computer hardware, kayaking, and spending time with family.

Noah Garcia PhotoNoah Garcia

Noah Garcia is originally from Wichita, Kansas; though, he enjoys the mountains in Utah. He is currently a Sophomore set to receive a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 2026 from the University of Utah. He assists in Ti6A4V additive manufacturing research, operations, and design under Dr. Fang, Dr. Chengshang Zhou, and Dr. Pei Sun. Ad Astrum per Aspera.

Nick PictureNick Engstrom

Nick Engstrom is a Utah native who loves to hike and backpack. He is currently focusing on the production of titanium and titanium alloy powders from ore with an emphasis on minimizing cost and energy use. Additionally, he has experience working with additive manufacturing for both SLM and BJP. He is currently a super senior entering his fifth year in the metallurgy department working towards a bachelors in physical metallurgy. He has previous research experience investigating liquid flow dynamics in shale nanopores.

He thoroughly enjoys Hiking, biking, biking, backpacking, and loafing

Jonathan OrtizJonathan Moriel Ortiz

Jonathan Moriel Ortiz was born and raised in Utah and is currently doing an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Archaeology with the hopes of being either Indiana Jones or Tony Stark. And while he doesn't know what he is doing he is very excited to be part of an incredible research project. Outside the lab his interests are to travel, archery, video games, basketball, and working on his 1967 Pontiac Tempest. 

Alex HyattAlex Hyatt

Alex is a native Utahn working towards a bachelors in Materials Science and Engineering. In addition, he is completing a Chinese minor. After several years in retail operations, he joined the Powder Metallurgy Research Group in summer 2024 to work on the team's titanium and steel projects.
He enjoys reading (Chinese novels and manga), cooking (delicious things), gaming (badly), as well as spending time in the outdoors.
Last Updated: 6/12/24