Group Members

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:  -  604-822-9646  

Mohamed Oudah - Research Associate

Mohamed is a research associate for the Disorder as a Design Principle Grand Challenge. Mohamed received the MEXT scholarship to pursue his PhD at Kyoto University working in the group of Yoshi Maeno. During his PhD, he discovered superconductivity in the hole-doped Antiperovskite Oxide Sr3-xSnO and studied the negative ionic state of Sn in this unusual oxide. Mohamed joined SBQMI in 2018 as a postdoc, primarily working with Doug Bonn, and he spent a part of his postdoc at Max Planck Institute in Stuttgart working with the groups of Hide Takagi and Bernhard Keimer. In the early part of his postdoc, he focused on high-pressure synthesis of new topological phases and silver containing compounds. Then his focus shifted towards identifying new topological materials related to the square-net family of compounds. As a research associate, he is working on synthesis of high entropy phases and measuring their properties. Besides research, Mohamed enjoys badminton, swimming, and eating chocolate.

Dongjoon Song - Research Associate

Dongjoon joined SBQMI in 2022 as a research associate for growing crystals of quantum materials by state-of-the-art floating zone technique. He received his PhD in physics at Yonsei university, via photoemission spectroscopy experiments on high-transition-temperature superconductors. During his postdoctoral period as a JSPS fellow at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Japan, he carried out in-depth material growth to tailor-make the functionality of novel superconductors. Also, joining an innovative project, he explored new mixed-anion materials by using high-pressure synthesis technique. Then, he moved to Institute for Basic Science in South Korea and led a superconductivity team of center for correlated electron system. Dongjoon has marked milestones in research on cuprates, Fe-based superconductors and 4d transition-metal oxides. He also discovered Copper-Oxy-Telluride family that can be a potential platform of high-thermoelectric materials. Outside of the laboratory, he spends his time with drawing, running, traveling, and having coffee (a.k.a beer) with people.

Solveig Stubmo Aamlid - Postdoc

Solveig is an SBQMI postdoctoral fellow for the Disorder as a Design Principle Grand Challenge. Solveig received her PhD in materials science at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, working on ferroelectric materials under the guidance of professor Tor Grande.  During her PhD work, she spent four months with professor Ulrich Aschauer at the University of Bern to learn more about density functional theory calculations. Solveig is interested in how disorder influences the functional properties of a material, and in the combination of computational and experimental work to study the crystal structure and thermodynamics of new phases. In her free time, she likes to be outdoors for hiking, running, or skiing, but she can also be found in the bouldering gym on a rainy day.

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.

Group Alumni

Graham Johnstone
Graham was the first graduate student to join in the Hallas group. He completed his MSc on high entropy oxides from 2019 - 2021 and is now a PhD student at the University of Toronto.

Gurleen Sandhu
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 Mugiraneza
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 Baker
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 Reig-i-Plessis
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 Hoffman
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 Kush
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.