TQM develops new techniques that get to the heart of quantum materials. Our team is made up of creative, dynamic individuals from all over the world. While we routinely have students and interns temporarily join our research efforts, our group already has four permanent members. Get to know them below!
Kim received a PhD in physics from the University of Texas at Austin. Her PhD research was carried out at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico USA. In March 2016, she took a postdoc position at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids in Dresden, Germany. In January 2020, she started the Thermodynamics of Quantum Materials laboratory at ISTA.
Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Aga comes from Poland, where after finishing studies in Business Management and Marketing, she gained experience in office organization and management, as well as Human Resources management. She decided to put her skills to use in science after moving to Austria. ISTA is a wonderful place where science is flourishing in an international, open minded and cooperative atmosphere.
After passing A-levels at a prestigious grammar school, Darina spent a few years in London (UK) working and studying for C1 level of English. Afterwards she got her Master’s degree in foreign languages and Teacher Training in the Czech Republic. Her career went this path and she was happy teaching for more than ten years. Darina’s career shifted into project management of EU projects at Masaryk University; organizing international conferences and lectures (at Masaryk University and remotely in Canada and other EU countries) caught her interest. She’s a dedicated jogger, has fallen for Bikram yoga and her passion for hiking and traveling is immense.
Zoltán graduated from the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest as a physics and technology teacher. He spent some time in education, but after a few years realised that the school would be much more pleasurable without kids, so he applied to a fusion trainee programme. He worked in the Nuclear Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (ATOMKI), studying washout of tritium by precipitation and measuring tritium in environmental samples. It was a lot of fun. Then he worked in Karlsruhe in the tritium laboratory of KIT, developing calibration and measurement methods for tritium. The last five years Zoltán has spent at the UK Atomic Energy Authority, where he worked on various tritium science projects, and was the project leader of a tritium retention experiment.
FWF ESPRIT Fellow
Muhammad Nauman, hailing from Pakistan, did his undergraduate (BS) and graduate (MS) degrees from Pakistan. He completed his doctorate (PhD) from Kyungpook National University South Korea in February 2020 and continued working as a Postdoctoral Researcher until January 2021. He joined TQM/The Modic Group at ISTA as a Postdoc in February 2021. His research interest belongs to magnetic materials where he studies the exotic properties of quantum materials in extreme conditions such as low temperatures, high magnetic field, high pressure, and strain.
Alex was born and raised in the United States, and received a B.Sc in physics from the University of Pittsburgh in 2017. He then went on to the University of Minnesota for his physics Ph.D., which he received in July 2023.
His initial Ph.D. research involved magnetotransport studies of the 2D superconductor NbSe2, for which he observed evidence of the s-wave pairing channel mixing with either the p- or d-wave pairing channel. The remainder of his Ph.D. research involved microwave-frequency, time-domain measurements of three-magnon scattering in Y3Fe5O12 (YIG). He observed a secondary nonlinear regime exhibiting transient oscillations, as well as significant phase shifts corresponding to reversals in the three-magnon scattering direction.
Joining TQM in July 2023, he is now working to incorporate pulse-echo ultrasound in order to broaden the lab’s capabilities in investigating quantum phase transitions.
Hamza Nasir was born and raised in Pakistan and has a Bachelor’s degree in physics from AWKUM Pakistan, where he studied the structural and optical properties of nanomaterials. Following that, he obtained a Master’s degree from Kyungpook National University in the Republic of Korea. He worked on developing the hybrid type of photodetector that will be used for neutrino detection at the Korean Neutrino Observatory. His most significant contribution is that he developed the experimental setup and fabricated bi-alkali photocathodes for such detectors.
He joined ISTA’s graduate school in 2022 and is passionate about understanding the exotic properties of quantum materials. Hamza joined TQM in the spring of 2023, and his main project will be to explore candidate Kitaev materials (e.g., RuCl₃), particularly the associated QSL state for magnetic fields applied out of plane.
Amit was born in Vienna, Austria and is currently in his third year at the University of Bath in the UK, studying for a degree in Mathematics and Physics. In September 2021 he joined TQM at the Microscale and has since been working on setting up the pulse-echo ultrasound technique in the lab, with the goal of better understanding the superconducting order parameter in Sr2RuO4.
Shiva’s background is in electrical engineering. She received a Master’s degree in mechatronic engineering from K.N. Thoosi University of Technology. She comes from Iran and has been living in Austria since 2018. Shiva joined TQM as an intern and quickly took over design of the laboratory. A couple months later, she joined the PhD program at ISTA and will affiliate with the TQM group in July 2021. Shiva’s main project will be extending the pulsed echo ultrasound technique to smaller samples and higher frequencies in order to study correlated metals and quantum magnets.
OeAW DOC Fellow
Valeska Zambra has a Bachelor’s in physics from the University of Chile. She did her Master’s in physics at the same university and her Master’s Thesis was on topological transitions in liquid crystals. Valeska joined the TQM group in May 2021 and is interested in understanding exotic states of matter, specifically, magnetic monopoles quantum spin ice. From the age of 13 she began to carry out scientific research, participating for the rest of her high school life in national and international youth school scientific conferences obtaining different awards and recognitions. In 2019 Valeska received the Young Chilean of the Year award and in 2020 she was recognized as one of the 100 young leaders of the year.
In order to eradicate the gender gap, since 2013 she has been doing scientific outreach seeking to empower more girls with science. She belongs to Tremendas foundation, a foundation that seeks to motivate, empower and make visible to women in different areas, and she is also the director of the corporation Más ciencia más sueños that has the objective of bringing science closer to children and young people.
Sahas was born in India, where he pursued the rest of his education until he showed up at IST Austria. He is currently in the fourth year of his Bachelors degree, which he plans to receive in summer 2022 from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. He has been working off and on with Kim Modic since the summer of 2020 on the search for spin liquid behavior in RuCl₃. In May 2021, he joined the Modic group as an intern and has been working on setting up the first RuCl₃ measurement at TQM. Most of Kamat’s undergrad was spent working on theoretical problems, where his broad research interests included topological condensed matter systems and non linear dynamics, apart from some dabbling in the philosophy of quantum measurement.
Sajal Naduvile Thadathil
Sajal was born in India. She received her Bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Calicut and her master’s degree in physics from Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT), India. After her Master’s, she started working at the Magnetics Laboratory, CUSAT, on magnetorheological elastomers. She joined TQM as a rotation student and is affiliated as a PhD student. Her main work will be in developing probes for high field measurements and extending FIB lithography for pulsed echo ultrasound techniques to understand heavy fermion systems.
Archie is from the UK, and joined TQM as an intern after completing the second year of his physics degree at the University of Bath. Starting in November 2022, his work has revolved around UTe2, an unconventional superconductor and strong candidate for multicomponent topological superconductivity. With many properties of this crystal still debated, research has been an interesting challenge, but the opportunity to work on such a new area and collaborate with those at the forefront of the field has been an incredible experience.
Do you think you would be a good fit for TQM? Visit our Open Positions page for more information.