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Michelle Halsted

Cross-Cutting Energy Sciences


In fall 2015, Michelle began work for the Biological and Nanoscale Systems, Biosciences Division at Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) as an Energy Science and Engineering Fellow. In the cleanroom at ORNL’s Center for Nanophase Materials (CNMS), she uses nanofabrication techniques to develop microwell array devices. These devices enable the study of microbial communities within microscopic volumes. The next stage of this project will be to incorporate electrodes to evaluate microbial interactions with an electrical signal.

Prior to graduate school, she worked for The Boeing Company from 2013- 2015 with Fluids and Lubrication Technology. Michelle's statement of work centered on failure analysis, but also included product development, and the design of specification tests. To expand her education and pursue interests in bioenergy and chemical engineering, she took online graduate courses. These courses included a two course certificate ‘Foundations in Chemical Engineering’ from Michigan State, and two courses as part of a Bioenergy Certificate from Penn State. Prior to graduation, Michelle's work experience includes two summer internships at Carderock Naval Research Base, and undergraduate research within the Biological Systems Engineering Department at Virginia Tech. Two notable projects from this period are the development of a mixed culture microbial fuel cell with raw sewage, and the generation of a genomic library for clostridium.

Research Interests: bioenergy, biomaterials, nanofabrication, microfluidics, electrochemistry, biochemistry, organic chemistry, bioelectrochemical systems (BES), bioelectric devices, biosensors, metabolic pathways, redox active particles, extracellular electron transfer, electrigens, microbial nanowires


Developing microwell devices for the study of microbial communities on the micron scale.


Graduate Certificate ‘Foundations in Chemical Engineering’, Michigan State, 2014

Bachelor of Science Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech, 2013


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