Tag: Physics

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Fall 2022 Recipient – Sushree Dash

My love for optics and photonics is deep in my core. I have always been fascinated and motivated by this area of physics. Everything fascinated me, from natural phenomena to optical illusions, from ray optics to wave optics, from ordinary materials to extraordinary materials with optical effects. While my journey in optics and photonics was inevitable, it never lacked an element of surprise. 

I started my PhD here at Michigan Tech in Fall 2018, in the Department of Physics with Dr. Miguel Levy as my advisor. In my research, I focus on investigating the fundamental properties of ultra-thin magneto-optics materials. The surface effects we are investigating will lead to the miniaturization of laser components named optical isolator and, thus, the miniaturization of lasers. We researched the experimental aspects of these properties and the theoretical, i.e., density functional theory aspect of it. This gives a complete picture of our investigation of the non-reciprocity property, i.e., Faraday rotation.  

During my time at Michigan Tech, I made friends and family who helped me grow as a physicist and a better human being. Now that it’s almost time for my journey at Michigan Tech to end soon, I am sure the memories and lessons learned during these five years will always stay with me and guide me in my future endeavors. 

I am indebted to the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory panel for considering and awarding me this fellowship. I am grateful to my advisor; Dr. Levy’s teachings helped me become a better person and student. He always inspired me to contribute to the community while contributing to physics. I am proud and honored to be his student.

International Cloud Appreciation Day

Because the Dean studies clouds, we are celebrating International Cloud Appreciation Day!

“This year, for the first time, the Cloud Appreciation Society is launching Cloud Appreciation Day on Friday, September 16th. This will be an internationally recognized day when people around the world are encouraged to spend a few moments appreciating the beauty of the sky. We are launching our new Memory Cloud Atlas, as a place where anyone on the day can share an image of their sky and write or record some words on how it makes them feel. The Memory Cloud Atlas will serve as a snapshot on a single day of our collective views on the most dynamic, evocative, and accessible part of nature: the sky.”

Check out all the details here: https://cloudappreciationsociety.org/cloud-appreciation-day-2022/

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Summer 2022 Recipient – Sambhawana Sharma

I started my Ph.D. journey in Fall 2017 as a graduate student in the Department of Physics under Dr. Dongyan Zhang and Dr. Yoke Khin Yap. Prior to that, I completed my Master’s degree from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. 

My Ph.D. research focuses on the synthesis and application of Boron Nitride (BN) nanostructures specifically nanotubes (1D) and dots (0D). BN nanostructures have gained much attention due to their unique optoelectronic and biocompatible properties. Controlling the diameter of BN nanotubes using Catalytic Chemical Vapor Deposition (CCVD) is one of the major challenges especially getting a smaller diameter (<20nm). I was able to reduce the diameter of the BN nanotubes to 10-20nm using CCVD in contrast to >20nm from earlier research. These small diameter nanotubes can be used in electronic as well as biomedical applications. Besides nanotubes, I have developed a procedure to synthesize BN dots, zero-dimensional fluorescent materials. I have successfully used these dots for fabricating solar cells, in the future, this can be used in solar panels for clean energy generation. Further, I am currently evaluating the potential of using these self-fluorescing dots as fluorescent tags on RNA inside cells. If successful, this can be used for bio-imaging and as an RNA therapeutic for different kinds of diseases. Initial biocompatibility and cell internalization test performed in Hela cells (cervical cancer cells) are showing promising results.   

I am thankful to my advisors, Dr. Zhang and Dr. Yap, for their constant guidance throughout my Ph.D. journey. I am extremely grateful to the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel for providing this finishing fellowship award at this moment. This fellowship will help me focus more on writing my dissertation and graduate on time

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Summer 2022 Recipient – Tong Gao

I started my Ph.D. program in the Physics Department at Michigan Tech in the fall of 2017 and joined Dr. Nakamura’s group. There I focused on studying lithium dendrite growth in electrolytes using Monte Carlo simulations and deep neural networks in machine learning methods. Motivated by our collaborator’s experiment, I discovered a new mechanism for inhibiting the dendrite growth with large organic salts, such as ionic liquids. Through my research and coursework experiences, I have solidified my confidence in various physics subjects. These include soft-matter physics, solid-state physics, computational physics, physical chemistry, and computer science. As I approach the end of my Ph.D. program, I am currently addressing the challenge of overcoming the vast computational expense of molecular dynamics simulations for salt-free and salt-doped liquids. In order to address this, I am further developing my deep neural network models.

I have enjoyed my Ph.D. life; Houghton has the most beautiful summers I have ever seen. I greatly appreciate the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel and the Dean for granting me the Finishing Fellowship. I would also like to thank my supervisor, Dr. Issei Nakamura, for his enlightening guidance throughout my research, as well as the Physics Department for all their support.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Fall 2021 Recipient – Geeta Sachdeva

When I was in high school, my father once told me that he was very inspired by all the professors in his Lab, where he worked as a lab assistant. He always wished one of his children would study science and become a professor. I first realized that I adored Physics when I scored the highest marks on the Physics exam among all the other students. With the encouragement of my parents and my favorite science teacher, who recognized that I would excel in the challenging environment of like-minded students, I pursued my further studies in Physics. My love for physics has increased exponentially ever since. I used that fire inside me, pushed myself throughout this Ph.D. program, and am now ready to graduate with the finishing fellowship award and a cumulative GPA of 3.9.

Growing up in an underprivileged community, I never imagined that I would go to the United States of America, especially at Michigan Technological University for my Doctorate study. Coming from such a community had not only offered financial and academic challenges but had also helped me realize the true value and potential of a college education. I have a long-held fascination with the inner workings of the universe, which I feel are best learned from the study of physics. My primary area of interest is Quantum Mechanics. Although I understand enough of it mathematically, there is always more and more to learn. Normally, when things are separated in space, we view them as independent entities. However according to Quantum Mechanics, in certain circumstances, things that are separate in space can be viewed as a single entity. One particle can cause a change in another even though they have no direct relationship. This phenomenon seemed very fascinating to me and I decided to pursue my research in this field.

My experience of pursuing a Ph.D. at Michigan Technological University has been incredible. On my first day at Tech, I knew I had a long way to go, but I am very fortunate that I had a mentor like Dr. Ravindra Pandey, who was always patient. He guided me to conduct professional and analytical research and taught me several aspects of life by setting up great examples by his deeds. I have worked with Dr. Pandey on multiple projects where I could investigate how constituents of one material can affect the properties of another material and how combining them will result in an extended material with enhanced properties and applications. I have been working on a project in collaboration with the NASA team on various polymer molecule interactions with graphene and BN monolayers, and have investigated the structure-property relationship among such complex systems.

I have been in Houghton for four years now and it has been a life-changing experience; summers were always the most beautiful and winters had shown their extreme. I got several opportunities to participate in events and organizations at MTU and have always tried my best to help others. I am thankful to MTU for allowing me this chance to pursue a Ph.D. in my area of interest. I am grateful to the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel and the Graduate School for awarding me the Finishing Fellowship during the final period of completing and defending my dissertation. Lastly, I am thankful to my Professor, my committee members, and my friends who have supported me in this wonderful journey.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Fall 2021 Recipient – Andrew Puyleart

August of 2016, I started my journey toward an Applied Physics Ph.D. at Michigan Tech. I recently left an engineering job and was excited to start working on cosmic ray physics with Dr. Brian Fick. Since then Brian and I have completed several projects together over the course of 5 years.

We started with a service project for the Pierre Auger Observatory. The Pierre Auger Observatory has fluorescence telescopes that only operate on clear-moonless nights. Clouds in our atmosphere disrupt photons from entering the telescope eyes of this instrument. Together we used a modern satellite, GOES-16, to accurately tell if a cloud was present in 2×2 km square pixels that cover the entire array.

Our work now has turned to searching for anomalous air showers that are generated when a cosmic ray interacts with atmospheric matter. These showers typically all look relatively the same; however, when they exhibit exotic behaviors they may hold clues to new particle physics. We are developing methods using the Pierre Auger Observatory to classify which showers are anomalous.

Thanks to the Michigan Tech Finishing Fellowship I will be able to focus on wrapping up this last project. I have coding work, and optimization to finish, as well as finally getting it all written down on paper. With the extra time, the Finishing Fellowship will give me to focus I might be able to avoid another winter here in the Upper Peninsula! Thanks, MTU!

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Summer 2021 Recipient – Sandip Aryal

I joined Michigan Tech in Fall 2018 as a graduate student in the Department of Physics and began working with Dr. Ranjit Pati. Before coming here, I completed a Master’s from the University of Utah and a postgraduate diploma in condensed matter and statistical physics from International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP).

At MTU, my research focuses on the prediction of new materials with novel properties using density functional theory (DFT) and spin transport in these materials using DFT and non-equilibrium Green’s function method for possible applications in spintronic devices. In these three years, I have completed a couple of research projects under the supervision of my advisor in which we tailored the properties of pristine semiconducting Ge-Si core-shell nanowire via doping of transition metals to predict a new class of materials. We then theoretically showed that the newly tailored materials act as an excellent spin filter (Mn-doped devices) or a switch (Cr-doped devices) with a high ON-OFF current ratio. Our results have laid the foundations for experiments and are expected to generate experimental interest in the near future due to compatibility with the current Si-based technology for potential applications in low dimensional spintronics.

I am extremely grateful to the graduate school (MTU) for supporting me through the doctoral finishing fellowship during the summer semester. I believe that this fellowship will allow me to concentrate completely on writing my dissertation and graduate sooner.

Dean’s Award for Outstanding Scholarship – Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 Recipients

Congratulations to the following students on receiving the Outstanding Scholarship Award!

Amit Acharya – Physics
Gabriel Edzordzi Agbozo – Humanities
Oluwatomisin Shalom Akinbo – College of Business
Jessica Alger – Civil and Environmental Engineering
Alejandra Itzel Almanza Perales – Materials Science and Engineering
Emily Anible – Mathematical Sciences
Austin Arenz – College of Business
Tanner Barnes – College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science
Beth Bartel – Geology and Mining Eng Sciences
Allison Berryman – College of Business
Prateek Sameer Bhalla – Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
Chaitanya Ganesh Bhat – Civil and Environmental Engineering
Parth Parimalbhai Bhatt – College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science
Troy Bouman – Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
Jessica Bruning – Kinesiology Integrated Physiology
Sam Celani – Electrical and Computer Engineering
FNU Chandan Kumar – Geology and Mining Engineering Sciences
Marina Choy – Humanities
Michael Conard – Computer Science
Anthony Custard – College of Business
William Dion – Biological Sciences
Akshay Shankarrao Dongre – Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
Jon Furlich – Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
Dylan Gaines – Computer Science
Anindya Ghoshroy – Electrical and Computer Engineering
Qing Guo – Physics
David Hallberg – Electrical and Computer Engineering
John Harron – Civil and Environmental Engineering
Brittany Hubbard – Civil and Environmental Engineering
Saeed Jafari Kang – Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
Dongzhao Jin – Civil and Environmental Engineering
Shreya Joshi – Physics
Siva Krishna Kakula – Computer Science
Ranit Karmakar – Electrical and Computer Engineering
Joshua Kemppainen – Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
Pegah Kord Forooshani – Biomedical Engineering
Arianna Laiho – Kinesiology Integrated Physiology
Weibing Li – Mathematical Sciences
Yanfang Liu – Mathematical Sciences
Evan Lucas – Electrical and Computer Engineering
Ali Moazzam – Electrical and Computer Engineering
Andrea Myers – College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science
Samerender Nagam Hanumantharao – Biomedical Engineering
Veena Sathish Namboodri – Humanities
Nicholas Newberry – Chemistry
Yugandhara Yuvraj Patil – Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
Jessica Pitts – Kinesiology Integrated Physiology
Veronica Porter – College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science
Ashfiqur Rahman – Electrical and Computer Engineering
Nelmary Rodríguez-Sepúlveda – Geology and Mining Eng Sciences
Kaitlyn Roose – Cognitive and Learning Sciences
Cristhian Paul Salas Pazmiño – Geology and Mining Engineering Sciences
Mujeeb Olushola Shittu – Biological Sciences
Cameron Shock – Physics
Prasad Pramod Soman – Materials Science and Engineering
Steven Stelly – Kinesiology Integrated Physiology
Kevin Sunderland – Biomedical Engineering
Arman Tatar – Civil and Environmental Engineering
Subin Thomas – Physics
Ariana Tyo – Biomedical Engineering
Matthew Vander Molen – College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science
Isaac Wedig – Kinesiology Integrated Physiology
Zhuo Xu – Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
Ruiting Zhan – Chemical Engineering
Jiongxun Zhang – Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
Zhihao Zhao – Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
Xiaodong Zhou – Civil and Environmental Engineering

KCP Future Faculty Fellow – Jeffrey Kabel

As an undergraduate, I joined a nanomaterials research group through mere happenstance and found myself engrossed by it. Ultimately, it was that experience that led me to pursue my Ph.D. I joined Michigan Tech’s Physics Department in the Fall of 2018 and began working alongside Yoke Khin Yap shortly after. My research is focused on the synthesis and applications of nanomaterials — mainly molybdenum disulfide quantum dots. These quantum dots have incredibly useful properties; as such they’ve seen successful applications in electrocatalysis, solar energy, energy storage, advanced electronics, chemical sensing, bioimaging, drug delivery, and photothermal cancer treatment.

I am honored to be a recipient of the King-Chávez-Parks Future Faculty Fellowship. Upon the completion of my Ph.D., I will be seeking instruction positions at post-secondary institutions.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Fall 2020 Recipient – Qing Guo

I have joined Prof. Pandey’s research group at Michigan Technological University since Fall 2015 to pursue my Ph.D. degree in Physics.

My Ph.D. research is focused on an investigation of the novel properties of materials using first-principles density functional theory (DFT) method and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. It can be divided into two parts. In my first project, I have systematically studied the electronic properties of vertically stacked heterostructures composed by graphene and SnO. In this study, we found a finite bandgap is opened for graphene and the outmost SnO monolayers could protect the bandgap from high external electric field (up to ≈ 0.3×10^9 V/m). This result could provide clues for the practical application of graphene in nano-level electronic devices design. The second project is related to the Li-S battery system which has been considered as a promising energy storage system due to its high theoretical energy density and relatively low cost in terms of main reactants (e.g. sulfur). My research is related to the characterization of Li polysulfides solid phases to predict their mechanical stability and electronic nature (i.e. metal vs semiconductor) which will help understand the reaction path and advance the design of a functionalized cathode in the Li-S battery system for energy applications. This project is still ongoing, and I would like to thank the Graduate School for financing my last stage of research.