Student Profiles

Present and Past

Welcome the Class of 2017!

Christina Daniel

Christina DanielChristina received a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from UCLA. As a sophomore, she assembled subsystems for a fluid dynamics experiment in the Simulated Planetary Interiors Lab. The following summer, she travelled to the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) for a Caltech Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship about monitoring the external environment with sensors. As a junior and a senior in the Mesoscopic Optics and Quantum Electronics Laboratory, she recorded a magnetic field and researched feedback control in the context of laser stabilization. Christina begins doctoral studies in the fall of 2017 at Georgetown University where she looks forward to studying mathematical and experimental aspects of quantum mechanics. In particular, she is interested in entanglement, behaviors of electrons, and uncertainty in measurement.

Cara Frame

Cara FrameCara graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 2007 with a major in physics and a minor in French. After several years working in education and the non-profit sector, she returned to physics and in 2017 received a Master’s degree in Physics and Applied Physics from Virginia Commonwealth University. For her thesis, she used density functional theory to investigate the ability of copper cations to act as potential catalysts for CO oxidation. While at VCU, Cara also worked as a TA for introductory physics lab classes. Her areas of interest are varied, but include condensed matter and nanophysics.

Eleni Hughes

Christina DanielEleni graduated from Boston College in May 2017 with a B.S. in Physics and minors in French and Mathematics. At Boston College, she was involved in a wide range of organizations, including the Symphony Orchestra, the club Ultimate Frisbee team, and BC’s chapter of SPS. Most of her research experience has been in experimental condensed matter. As an undergraduate, she primarily worked in labs at Boston College using SQUID magnetometry and Raman spectroscopy to study material properties. She also spent a summer at Indiana University designing and building laser systems for a two-dimensional ion trap. In her spare time, Eleni enjoys cooking, reading, working out, and challenging friends to squash matches.

Christopher Jensen

Christopher JensenChris graduated from Towson University in December 2016 with a M.S. in Applied Physics. During his graduate coursework, Chris also worked as a TA and a RA. His research investigated thin film layered superconductors, nonlinear optics, metamaterials, and nanomaterial superconductors. This research led to being a coauthor on four publications and allowed him to develop skills using an AFM, thermal deposition techniques, photolithography, transport measurements, and optical measurement techniques. During Spring 2017, Chris also worked as an Adjunct Faculty member in Towson University’s Physics Department. He received his B.S. in Physics from Towson University in 2014, and during his senior year he worked on research in dynamic light scattering techniques. His current interest is in experimental hard condensed matter.

Yijing Liu

Yijing LiuYijing graduated from Nankai University, China with a B.S. in Physics in 2017. During his time at Nankai, he participated in several research projects on rare-earth doped inorganic phosphors, where he gained a lot experience in structural studies based on XRD. Besides, he also spent several months doing research on CVD growth of transition metal dichalcogenides as well as device fabrication based on these materials in Georgetown University supervised by Prof. Paola Barbara. His current interests are in experimental hard condensed matter.

Ryan Nesselrodt

Ryan NesselrodtRyan graduated from Franklin & Marshall College with a BA in Physics and Mathematics. During his time in undergrad he researched in several areas, including building on a plotting program in python useful for cosmologists studying large-scale structure, and production/detection of terahertz radiation in an advanced optics lab. His academic interests are broad; when there was time in his schedule between physics and math he enjoyed courses in American Studies, Religious Studies, and literature. His areas of interest encompass the whole of physics. Outside of the academic realm, Ryan is an avid reader, and enjoys playing the guitar and singing in his free time.

Daniel O'Brien

Daniel O'BrienDan graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in May, 2017 with a B.S. in Physics. During the summer of 2015, he received an REU fellowship to conduct research at Georgetown, where he worked under Professor Paranjape. His research involved designing and spinning fibrous scaffolds for medical applications. Dan hopes to continue medical or biophysics-oriented research as he continues his career in science. Outside of class, Dan enjoys playing and watching basketball, baseball, and soccer, as well as the occasional crossword or tune on the piano.

Brian Rost

Brian RostBrian graduated early from Georgetown University in December 2012 with a BS in Physics earning departmental honors. His thesis focused on the behavior of idealized rigid helices in shear flow, using computational methods combined with theoretical considerations to investigate how both single helices as well as groups of helices behaved when sheared. During his time at Georgetown, Brian also worked in the nano-electronics lab fabricating carbon nanotube arrays. After graduating he moved to Hanoi, Vietnam to work as a high school teacher teaching physics, math and computer science. Brian is most interested in computational physics and simulations.

Shichen Wang

Shichen WangShichen Wang. MS in Physics. Graduated from Case Western Reserve University in 2017 and started the Ph.D. program in Georgetown university. I have a wide range of interest in all the field of Physics, but my primary interests are novel low dimensional materials and bio-materials. In addition, I like visiting new places and meet new people so I am looking forward to participating in multi-institution collaborations.

Kellen White

Daniel O'BrienKellen graduated from American University in 2016 with a BA in Physics. While at American he served as the TA, assistant lab instructor, and lab designer for the Astronomy course. He also had the pleasure of working for the National Air and Space Museum’s education department doing science outreach. For his senior capstone, Kellen participated in computational physics research; using the Monte Carlo Wave Function to simulate spins in a magnetic field. Kellen’s interests lie in computational condensed matter 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."