I'm a PhD candidate in Chemical Engineering at Stanford university, conducting research in an Electrical Engineering/Applied physics research group. Given my background and interest in interdisciplinary work, my research brings together disciplines spanning chemical engineering, applied physics, and electrical engineering. I believe in the power of technology to solve real-world problems, and that's what I deeply care about.

Prior to graduate school, I interned in various process engineering units, and have quite a diverse background. After obtaining a Bachelor's of Engineering from National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) Pakistan in 2013, I worked for a year in oil and gas industry. During this period, I worked as a field engineer performing measurements and logging while drilling in oil rigs in amazon rainforests in Latin America (Colombia and Peru Geomarket).

At Stanford, I obtained a master’s degree in science with a focus on Chemical Engineering in 2017. During Masters, I gained expertise in materials characterization, electrochemistry and worked on renewable energy technologies such as fuel cells and batteries. Currently, I'm pursuing my doctoral thesis research under Prof. Lambertus Hesselink’s supervision in Ginzton Lab on 'High-Resolution Differential Phase-Contrast X-ray imaging and its applications'.

Honors & Awards

  • 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 of Hesselink Group,, Stanford School of Engineering (2018)
  • Stanford Graduate Fellowship, Stanford University (2015-2016)
  • Scholarship for Startup Entrepreneurship Program, Draper University (2015)
  • Fulbright Scholarship (Awarded), United States Education Foundation Pakistan (USEFP) (2014)
  • Invited Speaker at SWE Annual Conference, Society of Women Engineers (SWE) (2014)
  • Emerging Leader Award, U.S. Embassy Islamabad (2013)
  • Global Shaper, World Economic Forum (2013)
  • Invited Panelist, United Nations Pakistan (2013)
  • Invited Panelist with Secretary Kerry and Ambassador Olson on ‘Women Empowerment', U.S. Embassy Islamabad (2013)
  • Scholarship for Global Startup Youth and 4th Global Summit on Entrepreneurship and Innovation (GES), Ministry of Finance, Malaysia (2013)
  • Finalist (Europe, Middle East, Asia Region) of Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC), U.C. Berkeley (2012)
  • 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)
  • Scholarship for Advanced levels, Beaconhouse School, Pakistan (2007-2009)
  • Best Science Project Award at International Geofest Lucknow, City Montessori School, India (2007)

Professional Affiliations and Activities

  • Vice-President, Stanford WEE (Women in Electrical Engineering) (2019 - Present)
  • Member, Stanford GradSWE (Society of Women Engineers - Graduate Women) (2018 - Present)
  • Industry Liaison Officer, Stanford WEE (Women in Electrical Engineering) (2018 - 2019)
  • Member, Stanford WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) (2018 - 2019)
  • Member, Stanford Photonics Research Center (SPRC) (2017 - Present)
  • Member, The Optical Society (OSA) (2017 - Present)
  • 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 - Present)
  • 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

Image contrast is often a limitation in traditional X-ray imaging. My research brings together optics, X-ray physics, microfluidics, chemistry and computer science to develop a high-resolution, fast detection X-ray imaging microscopy system that will lead to advances in both the medical diagnostics, and energy sector.

An important application of this research is early-stage breast cancer diagnosis. Constituting one of every 4 cancers, breast cancer causes substantial cancer mortalities amongst women globally. Targeted towards early breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, the system will provide enhanced soft-tissue contrast for improved diagnostic accuracy at reduced radiation doses than currently needed by traditional X-ray imaging. Another application is in geophysics. Aimed at a better understanding of fundamental mechanisms in multiphase flow, the system will contribute to processes of global environmental significance such as carbon capture and CO2 storage.

All Publications

  • 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
  • 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