Hand holding a vial in a lab

Meet our new COS faculty: Hannah Sayre

This Fall, Hannah Sayre will be joining the chemistry and chemical biology department at the College of Science as an associate professor with a secondary appointment in the chemical engineering department at the College of Engineering. She recently completed her post-doc work at Princeton University, and her plans at Northeastern include starting her interdisciplinary lab designing new photocatalysts.

Why did you choose to apply to work at Northeastern?

There’s so much opportunity for collaboration here! I was impressed by the number of researchers who wanted to engage in a discussion to find common ground and opportunities to work with one another.

What areas of research are you focused on or have focused on in the past?

I’m focused on designing new photocatalysts – molecules that absorb energy from light to initiate a reaction and using time-resolved spectroscopy to understand how light-activated reactions work.

What are you currently working on?

We are synthesizing photocatalysts with enhanced light absorption. These photocatalysts will be used to drive high-energy chemical reactions.

Are you actively part of any labs or have plans to join/start a lab at Northeastern?

Yes! I am starting a lab with the Chemistry and Chemical Biology department and the Chemical Engineering department. 

What excites you the most about continuing your career at Northeastern?

I’m really excited to do photocatalysis research because of the applications for solar energy. I can’t wait to work with excellent students who want to solve the critical challenges of our time.

What do you hope to get out of your time as a Northeastern College of Science faculty member?

I’m looking forward to doing research with students and seeing them thrive as scientists.

What courses are offering this semester, and which are you most excited to teach?

I’m teaching General Chemistry for Engineers this semester. I’m hoping to teach a class on photochemistry too.

What is a fun fact our community should know about you?

This has become so commonplace since the pandemic, but I enjoy baking bread. Whole wheat, challah, pumpernickel, yes, please!

Is there anything you’d like to touch on that we didn’t ask?

I grew up in the Midwest, where there are no trains. So I think commuting by train every day is really cool!


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