About Ryan

My biography is probably best summarized as "multidisciplinary". As a child, I had my sights set on becoming an artist. Many artists possess an unquenchable curiosity and engagement with their surrounding world, which ironically drove me deep into the natural sciences. Learning about the role of physics and materials in music and art ceramics first introduced me to geology and materials science. As I learned more about minerals and crystalline atomic structure, I also found connections between musical sound waves and the sound processing of crystallography, atomic structure, and electromagnetic waves used in spectroscopy. At Stanford University, an interest in surface reactions and spectroscopy lead me to add an M.S. in chemical engineering while studying technological and geological materials during my Ph.D. Stanford is not afraid of "multidisciplinary", and during my research I learned how to leverage the competitive advantage of disciplinary diversity in research.

Sometimes, I have felt as if I were an artist who accidentally walked into the wrong lecture hall. However, in many of these same circumstances, I've found that thinking about the same problem in a different way has allowed my own research to spring forward. I have also been blessed with fantastic colleagues, collaborators and mentors who have simplified and enabled my transitions back and forth between Geology, Chemical Engineering, Materials Science, Computer Science, Chemistry and Physics.

Outside of my research, I enjoy playing music, cooking foods from around the world, tending to my bonsai garden, drinking tea and Armenian/Greek/Turkish coffee, and diversifying science. Creating a scientific and teaching workforce that represents the demographics of the people who learn from us and use our technology has been a major personal goal.

Ryan at Tazawako, on a lake shore covered with extremal pure natural quartz crystals

Academic positions

University of California President's Postdoctoral Scholar, University of California Irvine, Department of Chemistry, 2018-2020

Associate Faculty, Saddleback College, Department of Physical Sciences, 2017-2018

K. P. Giapis Laboratory Research Engineer, California Institute of Technology, Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, 2017-2018


Ph.D. Geological and Environmental Sciences, Stanford University - 2017

M.S. Chemical Engineering, Stanford University - 2015

B.S. Geology, California Lutheran University - 2011

B.A. Music, California Lutheran University - 2011

Academic Community Involvement

Chair, Sub-committee on Diversity and Inclusion, American Ceramics Society, 2020-2021

Co-Organizer, Publishing and Digital Scholarship Workshop for Science in Action Graduate Students, UC Irvine, CA, 2019

Member, Sub-committee on Diversity and Inclusion, American Ceramics Society, 2018-present

Community Safety and Diversity Working Group, university faculty/staff housing, 2017-present

Stanford Representative, Graduate Student and Postdoc Advisory Board, California Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate, 2014-2016

Head Graduate Housing Community Associate, Graduate Life Office, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 2014-2016

Representative, Graduate Housing Advisory Committee, Stanford Residential and Dining Enterprise, Stanford University, 2014-2016

Graduate Housing Community Associate, Graduate Life Office, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 2013-2014

President, Stanford Ceramic Club, 2012-2016

Representative, Graduate Student Advisory Committee, School of Earth Sciences, Stanford University, 2012-2013

Department Student Seminar Coordinator, Department of Geological Sciences, Stanford University, 2012-2013

Employment outside the ivory tower

Graphic Design Consultant, 2010-present

Geoscience Intern, US Dept. of the Interior Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Camarillo, CA, 2010-2011


American English (native)

American Sign Language (conversational)

Spanish (basic)