Dr. Vicky (Trigg) Doan-Nguyen joined the Department of Materials Science and Engineering in 2017 as an assistant professor specializing in energy storage and conversion.

She develops in-situ and in-operando capabilities to study the dynamics of energy storage materials in the transmission electron microscope. 


  • B.S. Chemistry, Women's and Gender Studies, Yale University
  • M.S. Materials Science and Engineering, University of Pennsylvania
  • Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering, University of Pennsylvania
  • She is a member of the American Chemical Society, the American Physical Society, the Materials Research Society, the American Crystallographic Association, and the Electrochemical Society

STEM Activist

photo of Professor Vicky Doan-Nguyen Ohio State STEM Materials Science and Engineering
Prof. Doan-Nguyen helps a Girl Scout build a battery-operated model car.

Dr. Doan-Nguyen has initiated several outreach programs dedicated to STEM education in the Columbus youth community. 

After arriving at Ohio State, Doan-Nguyen began looking for community groups with limited resources to partner with and test informal educational modules. She contacted the Girls Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland. Organizers were excited about the partnership idea, and the first Scoping Out Solar Energy day was held in March 2018, with an encore in April 2019.

SPARK (Science Partnership and Resources for Kids) program was initiated by Doan-Nguyen in 2018. SPARK is an Ohio State-Gladden House partnership.

The program consists of a series of interactive, inquiry-based 60-minute activities for fifth grade students to explore renewable energy (energy storage, conversion, harvesting) and integrate social and emotional learning with Ohio State student mentors studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The mentorship and materials science activities aim to highlight engagement, partnership with community members, establish trust, and collaboration.

Vicky Doan-Nguyen provided an excellent service in science to our middle and high school youth. Each month the number of youth staying for science grew. They wanted to try more and learn whatever Vicky and her students brought.

- Gladden House Education Coordinator Roger Wycoff


story about Doan-Nguyen's non-traditional journey to becoming a materials scientist and her dedication to inspiring an interest in science and technology was published by the College of Engineering in May 2019.



photo of Professor Vicky Doan-Nguyen Ohio State STEM Materials Science and Engineering

Global solutions for electrical energy storage and energy conversion issues rely on nanomaterials designed to be durable electrodes and catalysts.

- Vicky Doan-Nguyen

Issues of electrode stability, chemical reversibility, and catalyst positioning remain a challenge. Design solutions stem from studying dynamic surface and interfacial chemistry and structure in these materials using in-situ local structural probes.

My group’s research combines smart design, synthesis, novel local structure probes, and functional testing of nanostructured materials to understand how structural changes at the atomic scale propagate to functional performance.

Functional properties of these materials are often not well understood from a structural perspective. Harnessing a suite of emerging structural characterization techniques allow Doan-Nguyen and her group to visualize and track previously inaccessible dynamics that govern surface-mediated reduction-oxidation chemistry in both electrochemical energy storage and heterogeneous catalysis.

Combining advanced techniques such as element–specific in-situ electron microscopy, synchrotron-based X-ray scattering and X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAFS), and solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (ssNMR) will enable us to design next generation materials for electrochemical energy storage and heterogeneous catalysis.

In-situ electron microscopy allows us have greater insight into the structural evolution of interfaces in batteries. This is particularly useful for designing next generation all-solid cells, which will result in safer batteries.

Much of Doan-Nguyen’s research takes place at the Center for Electron Microsopy and Analysis (CEMAS)


Honors, Awards, Appointments