Student Profiles

Present and Past

Welcome the Class of 2018!

Willie Beeson

Willie BeesonWillie was born in San Diego, California in 1996 and moved to Morgantown, West Virginia shortly after. There Willie graduated high school and began studying physics at West Virginia University in 2014. As an undergraduate, Willie began research working in gravitational wave astronomy, and later began research in condensed matter, including integrated circuits and crystallography. Willie was also a member of an interdisciplinary research group studying statistical analysis in neuroscience, and worked as a teaching assistant in introductory physics courses for 2 years.

DaVonne Henry

DaVonne HenryDaVonne graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and an additional major in Physics. He completed an REU in the summer of 2016 at the University of Pennsylvania where he explored the applicability of hyperspectral techniques on precision agriculture. At CMU, he was an active member of A Cappella and served as a Residential Assistant and Community Advisor. Currently, his interests include 2D materials and Physics education

Lougen (Logan) Xu

Logan XuLogan graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire in December 2017 with a B.Sc. in Physics and a minor in mathematics. During his time at UW Eau Claire, he designed and assembled an apparatus to facilitate measurements that are more accurate. His final capstone project focused on the development of codes for comparing the bipolaron model and the electron-hole pair model in explaining the magnetoresistance of organic semiconductors. He served as TA and RA for two and half years in his undergraduate institute and taught high school students AP Physics and Calculus back in China after graduation. He is a fan of American football and real football (soccer). In his spare time, he loves cooking, reading detective stories, and petting his cat. His current interest is theoretical and computational physics.

Students at various stages of the program

Kara Googins, Class of 2015

Kara GooginsThe Graduate Program at Georgetown was the right fit for me because it is was a small, collaborative and welcoming community that provided each student with the resources they need to be successful. I really appreciated that each graduate student is treated as an important and contributing member to the department. The Department has found the right mix of students that combines intellectual achievement, unique personalities and diverse interests outside of physics.

Abhay Goyal, Class of 2014

Abhay GoyalThe Georgetown physics program turned out to be everything I hoped for in grad school. The small but tight-knit community is both welcoming and encouraging, and the research they do is really interesting! Best of all, the friendly atmosphere and the lab rotations give you the opportunity to explore a variety of research topics.

Matt Sartucci, Class of 2013

Matt SartucciThe community here at Georgetown is very close-knit and personable. It emphasizes collaborations and support from faculty and experienced research staff. The result is that graduate students are valued and encouraged to take advantage of the many available opportunities, both for research and career development.

Past Students


“I am interested in biological networks. The systems I study most frequently are silk gels; we can create extremely strong solid like networks out of silk proteins via multiple methods. Our first paper, Rheology of Reconstituted Silk Fibroin Protein Gels: The Epitome of Extreme Mechanics, looked into the mechanical properties of silk gels made with an electric field. However, we can more controllably form networks with either the addition of acid or enzymatic cross-linking.”

You can view Pasha's blog here.




“I was drawn to Georgetown's doctoral program for it's Industrial Leadership in Physics program, which gives its students an opportunity to participate in an internship, take classes at Georgetown's McDonough School of Business, and network and form close relationships with a board of mentors who all hold interesting jobs in science industry. The smaller size of Georgetown's program has allowed me to get to know the professors on a more personal level and become close with the other graduate students. The professors and students are all inclusive and supportive, and have made graduate school fascinating and fun!”

Rich Arevalo, Academic Advisor at Empire Edge

“I am investigating how stress propagates through a branched biopolymer network,” Rich says. “Our research group uses novel dynamics imaging technology to directly visualize the microscopic behavior of soft materials under precisely controlled shear. Consequently, we gain the insight necessary to explain the interesting macroscopic mechanical behavior of our soft materials on a more fundamental and unique level.”

Natalia Borjemscaia, Engineer at IBM

Tony Boyd, Research Fellow at the NavAL Research Laboratory

Tony was drawn to Georgetown by the ILP program’s business focus. He knew that he did not want to work in academia, yet he was still interested in pursuing a graduate degree in physics. Georgetown proved to be the ideal fit, “It’s one of the few business-related programs out there.”

Jesus Cruz-Rojas, Engineer at Netscout

Isha Dube,  Engineer at Intel Corporation

Isha chose an internship at Procter & Gamble, in Cincinnati. She worked in the Micro Fluidics group studying about detergents and how well they dissolved in water. Most of her work was focused on studying the phase transitions taking place during the dissolution process of surfactants, which are the raw materials for making soaps. “I will definitely cherish the experience of working in an industrial research environment,” Isha says. “Industrial research is very eye-opening.”

Yizhi Ge, Manager at Lockheed Martin

Simon Hale, Engineer at IBM

Michael Helle, Researcher at Naval Research Laboratory

Kai He, Scientist at NOAA

The ILP program was an important factor in influencing Kai’s decision to attend Georgetown, “it was creative that at that moment there was a program that tried to relate more to industry rather than just academia,” Kai says. “It’s the nature of the practical and industry-oriented program that appealed to me."

Pramukta Kumar, Founder/CTO of

Yian Liu, Engineer at Globalfoundries

After several years of clean room experience at Georgetown University, including silicon- and polymer-based processing and equipment trouble-shooting, Yian became a “super-user” of the facility. He now has a patent to his name issued on November 25, 2014:

A process for forming a carbon nanotube field effect transistor (CNTFET) device includes site-specific nanoparticle deposition on a CNTFET that has one or more carbon nanotubes, a source electrode, a drain electrode, and a sacrificial electrode on a substrate with an interposed dielectric layer. The process includes control of PMMA removal and electrodeposition in order to select nanoparticle size and deposition location down to singular nanoparticle deposition. The CNTFET device resulting in ultra-sensitivity for various bio-sensing applications, including detection of glucose at hypoglycemic levels. -- Biosensor and System and Process for Forming, United States 8,895,340

Armstrong Mbi, Professor at the American University

After completing his MS at Mississippi State University, Armstrong was attracted to the Industrial Leadership in Physics track at Georgetown due to its emphasis on preparing students to work in industry. “Through the ILP program, I’ve been able to do course work and projects in finance, economics, marketing, as well as in intellectual property law.”

Russel Ross, Lead Technologist at Booz-Allen Hamilton

Julie Schoening, Analyst at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission

Julie finished her Ph.D. in statistical physics from Georgetown University, with an empirical market microstructure dissertation, jointly directed by Dr. Frank Hatheway and Dr. James Angel. This dissertation research uses tick-by-tick equity market data to study instances in which quotation price clearly deviates from the fundamental value of the security.

Wen Shen, Financial Engineer at Fannie Mae

Misha SmirnovPost-Doctoral Fellow AT THE Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience

Baoming TangData Scientist at Exabeam

Baoming gained much from the ILP graduate program at Georgetown University's Department of Physics. The courses were deep and compelling and the professors were affable and approachable.

Becky Van Pelt, Scientist at Areté Industries

Yanfei Yang, Research Associate at NIST

Yanfei's dissertation research involved fabricating carbon nanotube field effect transistors and measuring their electrical properties as a function of temperature and field-induced doping. She found that a single nanotube in contact with normal metal electrodes may become superconducting below about 30K. Reflecting on her graduate experience, she says, “I am very grateful for the years learning and working in Professor Barbara's research group.”

Joseph York, Manager at AIP

"I returned from my apprenticeship at Optimetrix in 2008. Now, I am researching the use of magnetic nanoparticles as contract agents in magnetic resonance imaging and as thermal seeds for cancer treatment when present in large external magnetic fields. Magnetic dipole moments located in an external field undergo relaxation processes to align themselves with the field. Particle shape, size, concentration and composition affect particle realization and testing their abilities to enhance contrast in MRI and their heating efficiencies to act as thermal seeds for local hyperthermia treatment of cancer."