Undergraduates awarded summer research fellowships

Posted in News Story

Georgetown physics undergraduates have been awarded summer fellowships and internships to engage in research on campus, across the country, and around the world. 

Max Waxman (C’ 18) has been awarded the 2017 Hichwa Family Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship. This fellowship was established through the generous support of Dr. Bryant P. (C’68) and Ms. Diane V. Hichwa.  Max plans to continue his research on active materials with Prof. David Egolf. Made of objects that can move under their own power as well as react to external forces, active matter often displays interesting collective behavior, such as the flocking of birds.  Max is using nonlinear dynamical analysis to study the liquid to glass transition in a simple model of active matter, and he is interested in understanding whether such techniques can be useful for predicting future dynamical behavior in these systems. 

Isabel Binamira (C’ 18) will be working with Prof. Paola Barbara to investigate possible routes to Bose-Einstein condensation of excitons in heterostructures made from two-dimensional materials. Spatial separation of electrons and holes in different layers of two-dimensional materials offers the possibility of long-lived bound electron-hole pairs that could form a condensate when cooled. Isabel’s summer research is supported by the Physics Department Undergraduate Research Fund, maintained by generous gifts from alumni, parents, friends, and other members of our community.

Ayan Mandal (C’ 18) has been named a Raines Fellow. The Raines Fellowship recognizes outstanding Georgetown undergraduates and supports them in conducting independent summer research.  Ayan, who is a double major in Neurobiology and Biological Physics, plans to work in Prof. Rhonda Dzakpasu’s lab, where he will study the dynamic firing patterns of neural networks, comparing the activity generated by hippocampal networks formed from mice cells with a gene variant that is disproportionately present in people with Alzheimer’s disease to the activity of cells with a neutral form of the gene. 

Roman Kosarzycki (C’ 19) has received a summer research fellowship from the Georgetown Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (GUROP). Roman plans to continue his work in the Van Keuren lab, where he has been designing, building, and testing a spray drying apparatus for collecting nanoparticles out of solution.  

Thomas Kiely (C’ 18) will be participating in the Georgetown REU, supported by the National Science Foundation Division of Physics. He will work with Prof. Freericks on the relation between the XY model and the transverse-field Ising model in the large-field limit. Also spending the summer at Georgetown, Jack Wathieu (C’ 20) will be working on a project supported by the Georgetown Environmental Initiative Impact Program. He will be helping assemble a testing station for measuring photovoltaic efficiency and characterizing the optoelectronic properties of devices fabricated from a number of novel nanomaterials developed in the departments of physics and chemistry.

Two Georgetown students, Nicholas Chapman (C’ 17) and Caitlin Beattie (C’ 18), have been selected to participate in George Mason University’s IRES at CERN program, sponsored by the National Science Foundation. The students will conduct research in particle physics at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva, Switzerland.

Students have accepted positions at other REU programs as well.  For example, Ben Stein-Lubrano (C’ 19) will conduct research at the Center for Photonic and Multiscale Nanomaterials at the University of Michigan, using simulations to study defects in advanced metallic alloys. Patrick Soltis (C’18) is headed to the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, where he will investigate multifunctional soft materials.