Team

Principal Investigator

Asst. Prof. Dr. Scott Waitukaitis

E-mail: 
scott.waitukaitis@ist.ac.at
Phone: +43 2243 9000 2148

Scott Waitukaitis was born in Phoenix, Arizona. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in physics (honors) from the University of Arizona. He then earned his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Chicago, where he was a Robert Millikan Fellow and the inaugural recipient of the Bruce Winstein Prize for Instrumentation. He did his postdoctoral work at Leiden University and AMOLF in the Netherlands, where he was the winner of a prestigious Veni grant from the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research. In 2019 he became Assistant Professor at the IST Austria, where he runs the Soft and Complex Materials Lab.

Postdocs

Dr. Galien Grosjean

Office: I21.O3.220
E-mail: 
galienmariep.grosjean@ist.ac.at
Phone: +43 (0)2243 9000-2167

Galien Grosjean was born in Seraing (Belgium) in 1992. He obtained his master’s degree in physics from the University of Liège (summa cum laude) in 2014. He then obtained a FRIA grant from the FNRS to pursue a PhD under the supervision of Prof. Nicolas Vandewalle, which he completed with honors in 2018. His worked consisted in the experimental study of self-assembled magnetic microswimmers. He then worked as a teaching assistant at the University of Liège, before joining the Waitukaitis group in october 2019 as a postdoc. His research focuses on tribocharging, using tools such as acoustic levitation and high-speed imaging to investigate the transfer of electric charge between insulators. 

Dr. Cécile Clavaud

Office: I21.O3.220
E-mail: cecile.clavaud@ist.ac.at
Phone: +43 (0)2243 9000-2167

Cécile Clavaud was born and raised in the south of France, with a short excursion in Montréal (Canada). She obtained a master’s degree in engineering from the École des Mines of Saint-Étienne in 2012, passed the Agrégation in physics in 2014, and obtained a master’s degree in physics in 2015 from the ÉNS Lyon. She then went back to the south and obtained her PhD (and a PhD award) working on shear-thickening suspensions under the supervision of Bloen Metzger and Yoël Forterre, at IUSTI (Marseille). She did a first postdoc at ESPCI Paris, working on ultra thin supported liquid films with Laurence Talini and Christian Frétigny, before joining the Waitukaitis group in December 2020 as a postdoc. She now focuses on active matter physics, and is building an experimental setup to study the behaviour of Quincke rollers.

Dr. Isaac Lenton

Office: I21.O3.222
E-mail: isaac.lenton@ist.ac.at

Isaac Lenton was born in Queensland, Australia.  He obtained his Bachelors and completed his Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Queensland.  His interests include optics and optical micro-manipulation.  Outside of work he can often be found in the climbing gym or on the side of a cliff.  In 2021 he joined the Waitukaitis group to build an optical trapping experiment to explore charging of microscopic particles in air.

Ph.D.Students

Juan Carlos Sobarzo Ponce

Office: I21.O3.220
E-mail: 
juancarlos.sobarzoponce@ist.ac.at
Phone: +43 (0)2243 9000-2167

Juan Carlos Sobarzo was born in Temuco, Chile. He obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degree in physics (both with honors) from the University of Chile. His thesis consisted of studying hyperuniform states in a vibrated granular system. He worked in parallel as a lecturer and teaching assistant in the University of O’Higgins in Rancagua, Chile. As of 2019, he joined IST Austria as a PhD student to follow his dream of becoming a researcher.

Vicente Luis Diaz Melian

Office: I21.O3.220
E-mail: vicenteluis.diazmelian@ist.ac.at

Phone: +43 (0)2243 9000-2167

Vicente Luis Diaz Melian was born in Havana, Cuba. He obtained your Bachelor’s Degree in physics (summa cum laude) from Havana University, Cuba.  The topic of his thesis degree was the study of the penetration dynamic of an intruder into the granular matters. From 2018, He worked as an assistant teacher at Havana University, Cuba. In 2020, He joined IST Austria as a Ph.D. student to continue his development as research.

Scientific Interns

Felix Pertl

Office: I21.O3.222
E-mail: felix.pertl@ist.ac.at

Felix Pertl was born in Klagenfurt, Austria. He moved 2015 to Graz, where he obtained 2019 his bachelor’s degree in Physics from the Technical University of Graz. Right after, he started with his master’s in Technical Physics focusing on surface science, semiconductor devices and laboratory technique. His thesis consisted of investigating defects and particles on bare silicon wafers in cooperation with Lam Research. In April 2021 he joined the Waitukaitis group to determine the amount and spatial distribution of charge on surfaces after contact electrification with KPFM. Outside the lab Felix enjoys a challenging tennis match or freeriding in deep powder.

Cecelia Mweka

Office: I21.O3.220
E-mail: cecelia.mweka@ist.ac.at

Cecelia Mweka was born in Western Kenya and obtained her Bachelors in Physics with an emphasis on Chemistry/ Material Science from Colorado College. She has an interest in Sustainable Materials, and has had some experience with materials characterization and catalytic surface science. She came to IST to explore more Physics centered research and will be working on ellipsometry and tribocharging.

Anna Drummond Young

Office: I21.O3.202
E-mail: adrummon@ist.ac.at

Anna Drummond Young was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. She is currently studying for an M.Sci. in Physics at the University of Cambridge. In July 2021 she joined the Waitukaitis group and is working on a project exploring suspension rheology.

Sima Yildiz Dogan

Office: I21.O3.220
E-mail: sima.dogan@ist.ac.at

Sima Yildiz Dogan was born in Istanbul, Turkey. They obtained their bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering along with a minor in Mechanical Engineering from Bogazici University in 2021. Their undergraduate research and bachelor’s thesis was focused on computational multiphase microfluidics. In Waitukaitis group, they are working on tribocharging and will be joining IST Austria as a PhD student in September 2021.

Previous members

NameYearPosition in the group
Sebastian Wald2019Rotation Student
Barbara Roos2019Rotation Student
Manas Bhargava2020Rotation Student
Sadashige Ishida2020Rotation Student
Benedikt Weihs2020Scientific Intern
Markus Felber2020Scientific Intern
Sajal Naduvile Thadathil2021Rotation Student
Veronika Szentirmai2021Rotation Student
Vicente Luis Diaz Melian2021Rotation Student
Shoaib Kamil2021Rotation Student
Sergi Sanchez Ribot2021Rotation Student