Academic Credentials
  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 2016
  • B.S., Chemistry, North Carolina State University, 2010
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, North Carolina State University, 2010

Trained as a chemical engineer, Dr. Thelen assesses the characterization and performance of soft matter systems, such as bulk polymers, polymer membranes, organic thin films, and nanoparticle solutions. He routinely employs his expertise in X-ray, neutron, and light scattering/reflectivity methods to determine the structure-property-processing relationships for these systems in applications including batteries, 3D printing, gas separations, organic electronics, and mRNA vaccine delivery.

Dr. Thelen is also well-versed in microscopy (optical, SEM); thermal analysis (DSC, TGA); spectroscopic methods (FTIR, UV-Vis, VASE, NEXAFS, EDS); and electrochemical characterization (PEIS, CV, Battery Cycling).

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Thelen worked at GSK where he studied the nanostructure of lipid nanoparticle (LNP) mRNA delivery vehicles in order to guide formulation development of mRNA vaccines. He was also an NRC Postdoctoral Fellow at NIST where he developed a novel characterization method — polarized Resonant Soft X-ray Reflectivity (p-RSoXR) — which allowed for depth-profiling of molecular orientation in organic thin films with nanometer-level depth resolution.