Will Thrift


Ph.D., Materials Science and Engineering, UC Irvine, 2019 expected

MS, Materials Science and Engineering, UC Irvine, 2016

BS, NanoEngineering, UC San Diego, 2014


Sensors, colloid engineering, raman spectroscopy


Will Thrift is a graduate student researcher working with Dr. Regina Ragan. After enduring years of childhood strep throat infections, Will develops sensor systems for detecting bacterial infections. Will is most notable for inventing the 2PAC ー 2-Dimensional Physically Activated Chemistry ー nanomanufacturing method. More recently, Will pioneered the quantification of molecular concentration from single-molecule sensing events by using artificial intelligence. His research advances have led to sensors that can detect bacteria before the patient can.

Why is science communication important to you?

Science communication is fun. Unlike science experimentation, you get to control the whole process! You don’t need to mention the hundreds of hours sitting in a dark room. You don’t have to mention any failed experiments. You just get to pick the most interesting bits of science and tell everyone about it! I love talking about the fun stuff with friends and, as a millenial, the next logical step is to broadcast that to every single person on the planet via the internet.

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