Interested in joining the Hallas Lab? Please read the Contact page for more details.
Alannah Hallas - Principal Investigator
Alannah is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of British Columbia. She heads the Quantum Materials Design Lab, which is part of the Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute. Before starting her faculty position at UBC in 2019, she completed her PhD in Physics at McMaster University in 2017 and worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Rice University. Alannah’s research centers on the design and discovery of new magnetic quantum materials, whose quantum properties she studies using x-rays, neutrons, and muons. Having worked in both physics and chemistry departments, she is passionate about taking an interdisciplinary approach to the study of quantum materials. Alannah is a CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar and a Sloan Research Fellow. When she's not growing crystals or at the beam line, Alannah loves cooking (and eating!), playing bridge, and learning to sail in the waters around beautiful British Columbia.
Contact: email@example.com - 604-822-9646
Samikshya Sahu - PhD Student
Samikshya joined the Hallas group as a graduate student in January 2020. Previously she received her BS-MS Dual degree in Physics as a DST-INSPIRE fellow from IISER, Bhopal, India. Her interests include working on designing and characterization of exotic phases of matter like frustrated magnetic systems. Besides physics and crystal growth, she enjoys sketching, playing tennis, occasional cooking, reading novels (mostly fictional), and traveling.
Megan Rutherford - PhD Student
Prior to joining the Hallas group in September of 2022, Megan completed her B.Sc. at The University of Winnipeg and her M.Sc. at McMaster University. Her thesis topic was the investigation of frustrated magnetism in mixed B-site pyrochlores. Her current research interests lay in the synthesis and crystal growth of novel quantum materials. In addition to research, Megan enjoys swimming and reading epic fantasy novels.
Mario Ulises González Rivas - PhD Student
Mario joined the Hallas group in 2021 as a PhD student under a QUEST Scholarship from SBQMI. He received his B. Eng. in Nanotechnology from ITESO, and a MSc. in Materials Science from Universidad de Guadalajara, both in Mexico. For his Master’s, he worked in the relationship between the electronic and crystal structures of a rare-earth iron garnet from an experimental and computational point of view. Mario is interested in how controlled amounts of disorder in a crystal structure can lead to unexpected behavior, and enjoys crystal growth. When outside the lab, Mario enjoys playing basketball, photography, and training his dog.
Christine Trinh - Co-op Student
Christine is an undergraduate student studying Chemistry. She joined the Hallas group for an 8-month co-op term in summer 2023. By working with high entropy oxides on a co-op project, she hopes to learn more about how chemistry and physics come together in quantum materials. In her spare time, she enjoys painting, attending costume parties, and spending time outdoors.
Morgan Brand - Co-op Student
Morgan is a third year undergraduate physics student, joining the Hallas group for an eight month co-op term in 2023. He is working on the high throughput solid state synthesis for machine learning applications project, which involves synthesizing and surveying many different compositions of high entropy oxides. Outside of physics, Morgan enjoys reading fantasy novels and playing video games.
Valentina Mazzotti - Honours Thesis Student
Valentina Mazzotti joined the Hallas Group in the summer of 2023 as a Quantum Pathways student and is currently pursuing a combined undergraduate degree in physics and computer science at UBC. Over the summer, Valentina’s work will involve using an experimental and computational approach, specifically utilizing Density Functional Theory (DFT) combined with Monte Carlo simulations, to characterize deviations from perfect disorder and uncover new functional properties in high-entropy oxides. Her interest in quantum materials goes hand in hand with a passion for sustainability, leading her to envision a future focused on the development and application of quantum materials and technologies to tackle climate science challenges. Besides physics, Valentina is passionate about anything outdoors, especially running, hiking and skiing. She is also a big music fan and enjoys playing the piano.
Maxim Levi - Undergrad Researcher
Maxim joined the Hallas group in summer 2023 for work on layering antimonides. The process of flux growth, characterization, and research has been very fun for Maxim. He is going to his third year of B.Sc. of Chemistry, and really enjoys the breadth of the field from functional materials, perfumes, rocks, to medicines and more. Outside of work and school, Maxim enjoys biking and running, reading fiction and comics, and video and card games.
Gurleen received an NSERC USRA to work in the Hallas group during the summer of 2021 where she studied the battery material LiNiO2. She is now in the Advanced Materials Innovative Recycling Masters Programme.
Sam worked in the Hallas group from 2020 - 2021, as a co-op and thesis student. He wrote a tutorial article on the analysis of magnetic susceptibility. Sam is now a PhD student at UC Santa Barbara.
Jocelyn worked in the Hallas group during summer 2022 as a Quantum Pathways student. She performed the first floating zone growth of entropy stabilized oxides.
Dalmau was a joint postdoc in the Hallas and Aronson groups from 2019 to 2022 where he studied itinerant and frustrated magnets. He wrote a review article on non-oxide pyrochlores. Dalmau is now a postdoc at ETH Zurich.
Isaac did his Honour's thesis with the Hallas group from 2022 - 2023. He studied the complex ordering of solid solutions and is now an MSc student at the University of Toronto.
Dhruv completed his MSc in the Hallas group in 2023. He used muons to study the the itinerant magnet ZrZn2s. He is now a PhD student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne.