Evie Harel

Evie Harel

Grad student in the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

Hometown: New Providence, NJ

Date of this Interview: January 19, 2023

What do you research?

I do research into interstellar medium chemistry! Also called the ISM for short, this term is used to describe the vast set of molecular clouds located between star systems. A surprisingly large amount of chemistry occurs in these areas, and many molecules are produced that you might not expect to find. My project involves the organic molecule urea, and I am using computational calculations, telescope measurements, and laboratory simulations to determine the reactions through which it formed on icy dust grains in the ISM.

Why does space inspire you?

Space exploration is relatively new, so there's a lot that we as scientists don't know about. As a result, everywhere you look in the space sciences, there is new and exciting research that innovates on our knowledge of the universe, and I'm glad to be a part of it.

If you could instantly travel to any point in the universe, where would you choose to go?

Saturn, so I could see the hexagonal cloud formation at its north pole.

Where can you be found when you’re not conducting research?

I love spending time playing board games with friends, and I love to cook and bake foods and desserts for myself at home. On weekends, I try to go out hiking when the weather is nice, nearby areas like the San Gabriel mountains are beautiful on a good day, and a lot of the coastlines nearby are especially nice.

What book do you wish you could read for the first time again?

This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone.

Evie Harel in front of a computer modeling molecules.

Evie Harel sits in front of a computer modeling molecular interactions.