Ruby Lai, PhD

2013 Hertz Fellow
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Ruby Lai is the Founder of Foss Toilets.

She is a scientist with broad intellectual interest, but with a persistent focus on impact through science and technology. She was previously a research scientist at Columbia University and visiting scientist at Stanford University, working to engineer biological systems for novel on-site sanitation systems for the Reinvented Toilet Challenge.

During her PhD, she developed a process for fabrication of complex devices on free-standing ultrathin silicon; she established a mechanistic model for metal-assisted chemical etching; and she helped invent a novel nanophotonic surface for transparent metal contacts for silicon solar cells. Her previous forays into research have also included ultracold atom physics and carbon nanotube quantum devices.

As a graduate student, she founded the Stanford University Graduate Students of Applied Physics and Physics. Through this organization, she helped physics graduate students find their communities and develop their career plans. She is also an advocate for graduate student mental health, a Stanford Centennial Teaching Award winner, and Student Program Director for the Physics Summer Undergraduate Research Program.

Hertz Foundation Role

Fellowships and Programs Council

Graduate Studies

Stanford University
Ultrathin Silicon and Metal-assisted Chemical Etching for Photovoltaic and Electronic Devices

Undergraduate Studies

Harvard University

Related News

Nov 21, 2023
Hertz Fellows Ruby Lai and Brandon DeKosky, co-chairs of the Community Committee on the Fellowship and Programs Council, are looking to enhance engagement around the country, across all career stages and ages.

How Ruby is Making an Impact

Reinventing the Toilet Arrow Right