I'm a 6th year PhD candidate in Chemical Engineering at Stanford University. I am also a Schlumberger Faculty for the Future (2018-2021) and DARE Fellow (2020-2022). Advised by Prof. Michael F. Toney and Johanna Nelson Weker at SLAC, my research uses imaging diagnostic tools to understand the failure mechanisms of lithium-ion batteries during extreme fast charging. I hold an M.S. in chemical engineering from Stanford (2017) and a B.E. from the National University of Sciences and Technology, Pakistan (2013). Prior to Stanford, I worked on oil and gas rigs as a drilling engineer in Colombia.

Honors & Awards

  • ECS Battery division's travel award, The Electrochemical Society (2021)
  • DARE fellowship Award, Stanford Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education (2020-2022)
  • AIChE Women in Chemical Engineering (WIC) travel award, American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) (2020)
  • ECS PRiME Battery division's travel award, The Electrochemical Society (2020)
  • Stanford Energy Distinguished Student Lecturer, Precourt Institute of Energy (2020)
  • Accel Innovation Scholar, Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP) (2019-2020)
  • Grand Prize Winner, Micrograph Contest, Electron, Ion, and Photon Beam Technology and Nanofabrication (EIPBN) (2019)
  • Faculty for the Future Fellowship, Schlumberger Foundation (2018-2021)
  • Token of Appreciation for my work as the Lab Safety Coordinator, Stanford School of Engineering (2018)
  • Stanford Graduate Fellowship, Stanford University (2015-2016)
  • Fulbright Scholarship (Awarded), United States Education Foundation Pakistan (USEFP) (2014)
  • Rhodes Scholarship Finalist, Rhodes Trust (Pakistan) (2014)
  • Emerging Leader Award, U.S. Embassy Islamabad (2013)
  • Global Shaper, World Economic Forum (2013)
  • Invited Panelist, United Nations Pakistan (2013)
  • Global Undergraduate Exchange Scholarship, U.S. Department of State (2012)
  • Scholarship for Global Summit on Entrepreneurship and Innovation (GES) in Turkey, U.S. Department of State's GIST Initiative (2011)
  • Dean's Honor List, National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad (2009-2013)
  • First Place in National Chemistry Talent Contest Pakistan, Karachi University (2008)

Professional Affiliations and Activities

  • Advisor, Stanford WEE (Women in Electrical Engineering) (2021 - Present)
  • Co-President, Stanford WEE (Women in Electrical Engineering) (2020 - 2021)
  • Vice-President, Stanford WEE (Women in Electrical Engineering) (2019 - 2020)
  • Industry Liaison Officer, Stanford WEE (Women in Electrical Engineering) (2018 - 2019)
  • Member, Stanford GradSWE (Society of Women Engineers - Graduate Women) (2018 - 2019)
  • Member, Stanford WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) (2018 - 2019)
  • Member, The Optical Society (OSA) (2017 - 2019)
  • Member, Stanford Photonics Research Center (SPRC) (2017 - 2019)
  • Member, Stanford SUNCAT Center for Interface Science and Catalysis (2016 - 2017)
  • Member, American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) (2015 - Present)
  • Member, Pakistani Students at Stanford (PAS) Association (2015 - 2018)
  • Member, Engineers Without Borders (EWB), University of Mississippi (2012 - 2012)

Education & Certifications

  • Master of Science, Stanford University, Chemical Engineering (2017)
  • Bachelor of Engineering, National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan, Chemical Engineering (2013)

Stanford Advisors

Service, Volunteer and Community Work

  • Stanford Visit by NUST Delegation (Facilitator), Stanford University; NUST Islamabad (10/2017)

    • Facilitated the visit of Stanford University by NUST Delegation (Rector, Pro-Rector Academics,
    • General Manager, Manager Alumni).
    • Received the NUST delegation at Stanford President’s office. Gave a tour of School of Engineering Quad
    (SEQ), and key research laboratories (SNSF, SNF). Arranged a meeting with a Stanford Professor for
    potential research collaboration.



  • Research Collaboration (Initiator), University of Mississippi (11/2012 - 6/2013)

    • Initiated collaboration between the School of Engineering, University of Mississippi, and the National
    University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan during Global Undergraduate exchange
    program at Ole Miss.
    • Facilitated the research collaboration and worked on a joint research project under Prof. Wei-Yin Chen,
    Prof. Mohammad Mujahid and Prof. Habib Nasir as my Bachelor’s thesis.


    Oxford, Mississippi

  • Founder/Teacher, Little Wings Tutoring Center (6/2010 - August 2011)

    • Founded ‘Little Wings Tutoring Centre’ and worked as a teacher.
    • Taught English, Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics and Biology to students of Ordinary levels, Advanced
    levels, and Pakistan high school.
    • Offered tuition waiver to students from neighboring underprivileged communities.


    Jhang, Pakistan


  • Friedrich B. Prinz, Shicheng Xu, Yongmin Kim, Thomas Jaramillo, Drew C. Higgins, Maha Yusuf, Zhaoxuan Wang, Kate Lee, Marat Orazov, Daniel Lee, Tanja Graf, Thomas Schladt, Gerold Huebner, Hanna-Lena Wittern, Jonathan Edward Mueller. "United States Patent 62/519,056 Electrochemical Catalysts with Enhanced Catalytic Activity", The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University, Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, Jun 13, 2018
  • Friedrich B. Prinz, Thomas Francisco Jaramillo, Tanja Graf Thomas Schladt, Gerold Huebner, Shicheng Xu, Yongmin Kim, Maha Yusuf, Drew Christopher Higgins. "United States Patent 62/385,135 Atomic Layer Deposition of Electrochemical Catalysts", The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University, Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, Sep 7, 2017

Personal Interests


Current Research and Scholarly Interests

Long charging times of lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) is a major bottleneck in the widespread deployment of electric vehicles (EVs). There is a global push to enable extreme fast charging (XFC) of EV batteries to reduce their charging times to 10-15 minutes. But existing LIBs cannot achieve this goal without significantly reducing battery performance. This is mainly attributed to a phenomenon, known as “Li plating,” as the battery is charged fast. In this thesis, I use neutron and X-ray-based imaging to visualize the battery electrode to investigate Li plating at elevated charging rates.

All Publications

  • Optimized Deep Reactive-Ion Etching of Nanostructured Black Silicon for High-Contrast Optical Alignment Marks ACS APPLIED NANO MATERIALS Yusuf, M., Herring, G. K., Neustock, L., Zaman, M., Raghuram, U., Narasimhan, V. K., Chia, C., Howe, R. T. 2021; 4 (7): 7047-7061
  • A Review of Existing and Emerging Methods for Lithium Detection and Characterization in Li-Ion and Li-Metal Batteries ADVANCED ENERGY MATERIALS Paul, P. P., McShane, E. J., Colclasure, A. M., Balsara, N., Brown, D. E., Cao, C., Chen, B., Chinnam, P. R., Cui, Y., Dufek, E. J., Finegan, D. P., Gillard, S., Huang, W., Konz, Z. M., Kostecki, R., Liu, F., Lubner, S., Prasher, R., Preefer, M. B., Qian, J., Rodrigues, M., Schnabel, M., Son, S., Srinivasan, V., Steinruck, H., Tanim, T. R., Toney, M. F., Tong, W., Usseglio-Viretta, F., Wan, J., Yusuf, M., McCloskey, B. D., Nelson Weker, J. 2021
  • Ex-situ Li plating detection on graphite anodes in extremely fast-charged lithium-ion batteries using simultaneous neutron and X-ray tomography Microscopy and Microanalysis Yusuf, M., LaManna, J., Paul, P., Agyeman-Budu, D., Toney, M., Weker, J. N. 2021; 27
  • Holographic fiducial marks: A system for precise alignment of x-ray optics Applied Physics Letters Herring, G. K., Yusuf, M., Thorben, L. T., Hesselink , L. 2020; 116 (3)

    View details for DOI 10.1063/1.5125597

  • Building upon the Koutecky-Levich Equation for Evaluation of Next-Generation Oxygen Reduction Reaction Catalysts ELECTROCHIMICA ACTA Xu, S., Kim, Y., Higgins, D., Yusuf, M., Jaramillo, T., Prinz, F. B. 2017; 255: 99–108