Previous Rotation Students


Term 3

Dong Cao

dong.cao ('at'

[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

mohamed.atwa ('at'

[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

aliyamari.adefuin ('at'

[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

joel.perezurquizo ('at'

[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

sebastien.lapointe ('at'

[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

vivek.pareek ('at'

[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

jason.ball ('at'

[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 August 25, 2017 (CP).