Albert Dato Research Group

The Dato Research Group at Harvey Mudd College seeks to develop solutions to energy and environmental challenges through the synthesis and applications of advanced materials.  Students in the group are currently conducting research on (1) strong lightweight nanocomposites that could replace heavier metallic components on vehicles to reduce emissions and fuel consumption, (2) high-performance lubricant additives that reduce friction in engines and protect surfaces from wear, (3) the sustainable large-scale production of graphene using renewable resources, and (4) nanomaterials for the purification of water.

Prof. Dato’s goal is to prepare students for research positions in industry and/or graduate school.  Therefore, students in the group take full ownership of their projects and work independently to achieve their research objectives.  Students learn how to conduct hypothesis-driven scientific research, perform thorough literature reviews, think critically about their work, and identify and solve issues that arise in their experiments.   Prof. Dato also mentors undergraduate researchers in a number of ways, including working closely with the students in the laboratory, holding weekly lab meetings, hosting social activities with the research group, advising students on applying to graduate school and positions in industry, and supporting the dissemination of their research results through scientific publications and presentations at national meetings.  Prof. Dato is committed to involving women and underrepresented minorities in research.

HMC alumni who have been a part of the Dato Research Group have attained positions in industry or have enrolled in graduate school.  Companies that have hired former students of the Dato Research Group include Bolt Threads, Finch Therapeutics, Formlabs, Moog, and Hitachi High-Technologies.  HMC alumni who have been a part of the Dato Research Group are also enrolled in graduate programs at Stanford University, Virginia Tech, the UC San Diego Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Northeastern University, and McGill University.

Albert Dato, PhD, researches the synthesis and applications of nanomaterials. Dato directs the Energy & Nanomaterials Lab, which seeks to develop solutions to energy and environmental challenges through applications of advanced materials.

Dato received a PhD in applied science and technology from the University of California, Berkeley. Founder and CEO of Graphene LLC, Dato has worked as a scientist at Air Liquide Electronics U.S. and as a process development engineer at Novellus Systems Inc.