Previous Rotation Students


Term 3

Sergei Abdrakhmanov

[September 2023 - December 2023]

I received my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Novosibirsk State University, Russia. For my master’s thesis, I studied dissipative solitons in a fiber laser system, where I developed a strong interest in nonlinear optics. To pursue this interest, I am joining Femtosecond Spectroscopy Unit as a rotation student. At FSU I will study generation of high-field and broadband THz pulses.

Term 2

Abdulrahman Bakry

[May 2023 - August 2023]

I obtained my M. Sc. degree in applied organic chemistry in February 2021 from the Faculty of Science, Kafrelsheikh University, Egypt. Then, I joined the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) in Japan as a Ph.D. student in September 2022. For my rotation at Femtosecond Spectroscopy Unit, I will focus on using time resolved photoemission electron microscopy (TR-PEEM) to investigate the properties of perovskite thin films.

Term 1

Nanami Tomoda

[January 2023 - April 2023]

I received my undergraduate degree from Tokyo university of science with a B. Eng. in Chemical Engineering. I was an internship student in Qi unit from 2020 to 2021 and studied interface degradation of each perovskite solar cell layer. My first rotation was Quantum Material Science Unit, and my second was Organic and Carbon Nanomaterials Unit. As shown in my previous research, I am interested in material science. In this unit, I am working partly on TMDC heterostructures project to explore non-equilibrium excitonic insulator physics and valleytronics.



Term 3

Jack Featherstone

[September 2022 - December 2022]

I graduated with my Bachelor's in Physics from North Carolina State University in the US in December 2021, and began as a PhD student at OIST in Fall 2022. My background is primarily in experimental granular physics, especially in the context of phase transitions and stochastic processes in disordered materials, with some smaller projects done in spectroscopy and quantum optics. I'll be working in FSU as a part of my first lab rotation, during which I'll work on higher harmonic generation (HHG).

Term 2

Harley Suchiang

[May 2022 - August 2022]

I completed my BS-MS dual degree program at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Kolkata, India. For my master's project, I studied the spin-orbit interaction of light in plasmonic metasurfaces using Muller polarimetry. As a graduate student at OIST, my first lab rotation will be at the Femtosecond Spectroscopy Unit (FSU) where I will be making an XUV beamline for TR-ARPES experiments.

Term 1

Prajakta Kokate

[September 2021 - December 2021]

I graduated from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Kolkata in June 2020 with physics as my major subject. I started my Ph.D. studies at OIST in January 2021 and joined the Femtosecond Spectroscopy Unit for my third-term lab rotation. I have a background in ultrafast spectroscopy (THz-TDS) as part of my Master's thesis. As a rotation student, my work will focus on understanding and doing measurements using photoemission electron microscopy (PEEM).



Term 3

Maria-Carla Lupu

[May 2021 - August 2021]

I received both my bachelor and master degrees at University Politehnica of Bucharest, in Romania. My master program was about engineering and applications of lasers and particle accelerators. For my master thesis I worked on the implementation of an adaptive optics system in a high-power laser facility. I joined FSU as a rotation student, where I will work on high harmonic generation.



Term 3

Xing Zhu

[May 2019 - August 2019]

I received my bachelor from South University of Science and Technology of China. I join the femtosecond spectroscopy unit as research intern for six months. Previously I worked on the magnetic and optical properties of new-rising 2D materials from first-principles calculation. And now my research interests focus on the terahertz and its applications in imaging and spectroscopy. In FSU, I’ll study strong-field/broadband THz generation and THz spectroscopy of magnetic materials.



Term 2

Sofiia (Sonya) Kosar

[January 2018 - April 2018]

I began my PhD studies at OIST in September 2017 after obtaining my master’s degree in solid state physics from the Chernivtsi National University in Ukraine. My thesis was focused on energy materials, in particular, on semiconducting materials for photocatalytic water splitting under solar illumination. I have also spent one year at the University of Groningen in Netherlands studying nanoscience during my masters. I joined FSU as a rotation student in January 2018 after finishing my rotation project on perovskite solar cells. Here I am planning to continue studying energy materials by doing transient absorption spectroscopy experiments on two-dimensional organic heterostructures.

Maki Maeda

[January 2018 - April 2018]

I obtained BSc in chemistry from Australian National University. I investigated electronic structure of metal oxide as a potential thermochemical energy storage material via ab initio method. Currently I am studying black phosphorus using femtosecond lasers in FSU at OIST as a rotation student.

Term 1

Sachie Yukawa

[Sept. 2017 - Dec. 2017]

I received my BS and MS from Keio University in Yokohama, Japan. Currently, I am studying as a rotation student in the Femtosecond Spectroscopy Unit (September – December in 2017). My previous work was surface modification of biodegradable polymers by femtosecond laser irradiation. Now, my interest is to create a new technology in which femtosecond lasers are applied to cell biology in order to enable treatment at precise positions in vivo and in vitro. I am really happy to join this unit.



Term 3

Dong Cao

[May - August 2017]

I received my master degree in chemical biology from Nankai University. My master thesis was focused on the properties of siRNAs. Then I worked in the R&D department in Evonik for more than 1 year. Now I’m a 1st year PhD student in OIST. For the rotation in Femtosecond Spectroscopy Unit, I’d like to learn some new techniques and broaden my knowledge in physics.

Mohamed Atwa

[May- August 2017]

Hi! My name is Mohamed Atwa, a rotation student in the Femtosecond Spectroscopy Unit here at OIST. My primary research focus thus far has been the thermodynamics of 2D materials like Graphene and MoS2 and their heterostructures. I did my Master’s thesis at KTH and University of Tokyo; at KTH, I used computational physics to study the energy of formation of ABA, ABC, and intermediary stacked layers of graphene. At UTokyo, I synthesized graphene trilayers using alcohol-precursor CVD. When I’m not at the lab, I’m hiking, running, or enjoying the fantastic food here in Okinawa.

Term 2

Aliya Mari Adefuin

[January- May 2017]

I moved to Japan three years ago from the Philippines to pursue a Masters degree in Medical Sciences from Kyushu University. I worked on direct reprogramming of microglia into neurons for CNS injuries and diseases. Now, I am a first year PhD student in OIST doing a rotation in the Femtosecond Spectroscopy Unit exploring the application of optics in neuroscience.

Term 1

Joel Pérez Urquizo

[September - December 2016]

I got both my bachelor and master degree at “Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)”. I majored in Telecommunications Engineering where I worked at the microwave regime designing and fabricating planar resonant devices for near field microwave microscopy. For my masters I scaled up in frequencies and worked in the THz regime designing and fabricating photoconductive probes for THz near field imaging. Today I’m a PhD student of the 2016 class at OIST and I’m joining the Femtosecond Spectroscopy Unit as my first rotation lab where I will go on hot topics in THz generation research.



Term 3

Sébastien Lapointe

[May - August 2016]

I (Born in Montréal, Québec, Canada in 1989) received my master degree in Chemistry from Université de Montréal (Montréal, Canada) in 2015 with Pr. Davit Zargarian. My research focused on studying the electronic properties, reactivities and catalytic activities of a family of cationic POCOP pincer complexes of nickel. While in Pr. Zargarian’s lab, I was able to obtain hands-on training on small molecules X-ray diffraction, as well as gaining many different skills related to organometallic chemistry. During my master studies, I attended different international and Canadian conferences, such as ISHC 2014 (International symposium on homogeneous catalysis, Ottawa, 2014), CSC 2013 (Canadian society of chemistry, Québec city, 2013), SACIQ and IDW. In May 2016, I joined Pr. Keshav Dani in FSU as a rotation student, and plans to collaborate in the future. When I'm not working hard in the lab, I enjoy computer and console gaming, as well as exploring the great diversity of food, views and environment of the paradisiac island of Okinawa.

Term 2

Vivek Pareek

[January - April 2016]

I received my dual BS-MS degree from IISER-Kolkata, India. During my master's thesis, I studied the high pressure dependence of multiferroics using Raman spectroscopy. My research interest lies broadly in the field of condensed matter physics. During my rotation in the Femtosecond Spectroscopy unit, I would try to learn more about non-linear optics and how ultrafast physics helps us achieve non-linear processes in various materials.

Term 1

Jason Robert Ball

[September - December 2015]

I am a first-year graduate student at OIST and I am joining the Femtosecond Spectroscopy Unit for my first term rotation. I am from Michigan (US) originally and graduated with a BSc. and Honors in Physics from the University of Michigan. Later I graduated from Rice University in Houston, TX with an MSc. in Physics, before taking two years off to teach high school Physics. At Rice I worked on several projects involving measurements of cyclotron and plasmon resonance in 2-dimensional electron and hole gases, fabrication and testing of single-wall carbon nanotube devices, and observation of Raman scattering in nanotube solutions. I am hoping to learn a lot about terahertz spectroscopy from this Unit.



Term 1

Collin Stecker

I am a 1st year PhD student at OIST and am excited to be joining the Ultrafast Spectroscopy Unit as a rotating student. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Bsc in Chemistry and Japanese language. My undergraduate research dealt with investigating the behavior of organic surfactant molecules on sulfuric acid aerosols through surface tension measurements. My work with the UFS unit will involve examining photocatalytic activity of N-doped TiO2 samples including femtosecond study. I also hope to utilize my chemistry background to work on refining the method used to synthesize the N-doped TiO2 samples and improve the ability to control the amount of N the samples are doped with.

Trivia: Sumo wrestling fan


Term 2

Jui-Yin Lin

Before my enrolling in OIST in 2013, I have withdrawn from a PhD program in early 2012. This is a kind of a reset of my research “career”, if I persisted in scientific pursuit. I did some research in the field of laser and slightly dabbled in HHG (High-order Harmonic Generation) in National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan. As a rotation student in femtosecond spectroscopy unit, I will take the advantage of my previous experience and work on building a high-photon-energy light source within 3 months. It is interesting, although it is a challenge to me.

Simon (Peter) Mekhail

I graduated with honours from the University of Auckland in New Zealand at the end of 2012. My major was biomedical engineering which involves mostly computational models of human body systems and design of diagnostic tools. I had some experience with femtosecond lasers and their use in neuron imaging, stimulating and cutting neurons. I was excited to hear that the femtosecond unit is working on a project in collaboration with a neuroscience team setting up an in vivo system for stimulating specific neurons in mice brains. By the end of my 3 month rotation in the unit I hope to have setup a system by which I can deliver femtosecond pulsed light to the brain through a fiber.

Term 1

Leonidas Georgiou

Before coming to OIST I studied Neuroscience at the University of Glasgow completing part of my degree at the University of Toronto. At OIST I got the opportunity to follow a multidisciplinary education plan. I joined the Femtosecond Spectroscopy Unit for my first rotation. I will learn how to use ultrafast lasers in order to investigate the dynamics of novel materials such as graphene nanostructures or 2D materials. Hopefully this experience will give me insight into how physicists do research and the ability to communicate with laser physicists.



Term 3

E Laine Wong

I graduated from National University of Singapore (NUS) with a B. Eng. in Computer Engineering. After graduation, I have worked in the Center for Optoelectronics in NUS on waveguides design, fabrication and characterisation. For my PhD lab rotations, I have been working on polarising optical microscope in Quantum Wave Microscopy Unit in Term 1 and gene construct for cAMP Epac sensor  in Developmental Signalling Unit in Term 2. In Term 3, I will be working on the photocatalysis project in Femtosecond Spectroscopy Unit as well as on the collaborative project on the polarising optical microscope.

Elaine Wong

Rico Pohle

I studied physics in Dresden, Germany and graduated in September 2012 specialized in solid states physics. I worked for my diploma theses on a low-temperature Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM) and studied physical properties of Unconventional Superconductors. Pretty promptly after handing in my thesis I went to Okinawa and started to work for my first Lab Rotation in the Theory of Quantum Matter Unit at OIST with simulations of 2 dimensional Checkerboard Ising Spin Lattices. Finally after my lab rotation out of my field in the Ecology and Evolution Unit I started in May 2013 to work in the Femtosecond Unit. Here the focus of my work is the main understanding of the Low Energy Electron Microscope (LEEM) and possible research of magnetic Nanoparticles and/ or 2 dimensional Materials.

Next to the work I do my best to organize the Martial Arts Club here at OIST and try to involve as much Japanese and Worldwide Martial Arts and Sports like Karate, Kobujutsu, Kenjutsu, Kickboxing, ... as I can. My interest in body movement (in Martial Arts as well as in dancing – i.e. Salsa) is daily increasing and probably starts to conflict with the fact of sitting the most time of the day in front of the computer ;-)

Rico Pohle

Kalale Chola

Prior to joining the OIST PhD program in 2012, I studied at Kyoto University where I graduated with a BEng in electrical engineering. Although my study in the Kyoto University graduate school was rather short-lived, I developed great interest in the science of metamaterials.
The interdisciplinary nature of OIST has allowed me to do research rotations in Neuroscience in Sugiyama unit and energy materials in Qi unit. While here in Dani unit my work is on the generation of broadband THZ pulses. The main focus is theory and simulations, the results of which would be useful in the characterization of THz emitters being fabricated by other students in Dani unit.
Due to my low blood pressure, I avoid doing physical sports. In my spare time I enjoy watching sports and & play chess. I am a huge soccer fan and I do take the risk of playing once in a while.

Term 1

Mark Daly

I received my undergraduate degree from University College of Cork. My previous experience is in the area of laser cooling of rubidium and investigation of fundamental properties using tapered optical nanofibres which I studied at the Tyndall National Institute in Ireland. I started a research rotation with the Femtosecond Spectroscopy Unit in Term1 2012, where I am working on nonlinear generation of UV pulses and their application to Photoemission Electron Microscopy.


Zafer Hawash

I am a PhD student at OIST, originally from West Bank- Palestine. I have a B.Sc. in physics with a minor in electronics. I am currently rotating in the Femtosecond Spectroscopy Unit during Term 1. I will be studying newly developed hybrid 2-D structures of hexagonal-boron nitride and graphene using Ultrafast Spectroscopy techniques like: THz- TDS (Tera Hertz- Time Domain Spectroscopy) and 2-color Pump Probe Spectroscopy.

Page last updated on 2023-09-13 (CL)