Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Margaret Murnane in lab.

Margaret Murnane | 303-492-7839 | Website | Murnane CV

Dr. Margaret Murnane is a Fellow at JILA and a member of the Department of Physics and Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Colorado. She received her B.S and M.S. degrees from University College Cork, Ireland, and her Ph.D. degree in physics from the University of California…

Henry Kapteyn photo.

Henry Kapteyn | 303-492-8198 | Website

Dr. Henry C. Kapteyn has been a Professor at the Department of Physics and a Fellow of JILA, at the University of Colorado since 1999. Previously, he was an Associate Professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) Department at the University of Michigan, and an Assistant…

Senior Scientist

Michaël Hemmer photo.

Michaël Hemmer


Michaël graduated with a Masters degree in engineering from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Physique de Marseille (France). He graduated with a PhD in Optics in 2011 from the University of Central Florida working on the development of ultrafast nonlinear amplifiers for high field physics…

Chen-Ting Liao

Chen-Ting Liao

Ting is originally from Taiwan, where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Space Science and Master of Science degree in physics. After working in the semiconductor and x-ray industries for two years, he came to the US to study optics. Ting received his PhD…

Research Associate

Headshot of Alberto Beardo.

Albert Beardo | 303-492-7846

Albert comes from Barcelona, Spain, and received his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in 2021. During his doctoral training, he worked on combining formal nonequilibrium thermodynamics and kinetic theory to develop nanoscale…

Headshot of Shunye Gao

Shunye Gao

Tika Kafle photo.

Tika Kafle | 785-979-4066

I grew up in Jhapa, Nepal. After doing my BS and MS in physics from Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, in 2012, I enjoyed teaching undergraduate physics course until I moved to University of Kansas to pursue my PhD in August 2014. During my PhD, I worked with Prof. Wai-Lun Chan focusing my work on…

Joshua Knobloch photo.

Joshua Knobloch | 303-492-7764

Joshua spent his childhood living and working on a family farm in rural Illinois. In the fall of 2010, he enrolled at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana; in addition to classes, he worked as an undergraduate teaching assistant for the beginning physics courses, and he designed and…

Headshot of Na Li

Na Li

Michael Tanksalvala photo.

Michael Tanksalvala | 303-735-1594

Honors & Awards

  • NRC Postdoctoral Fellowship (2022)

  • R&D100 Award (2019)

Graduate Student

Iona Binnie photo.

Iona Binnie

Iona grew up in Princeton, New Jersey. She attended Williams College, where she worked under professor Catherine Kealhofer to construct an ultrafast electron diffraction system for the study of dynamic processes in materials. She graduated magna cum laude in 2019 with a bachelor's degree in…

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Theodore Culman

Eric Fang

Eric Fang

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Grzegorz Golba

Anna (Anya) Grafov photo.

Anna (Anya) Grafov

Anya grew up in Maryland, and graduated from the University of Maryland with High Honors in Physics in 2020. As an undergraduate, she conducted research on the optical properties of noble-metal nanostructures, and also contributed to projects in plasma physics. Anya began her PhD studies in…

Will Hettel

Will Hettel | 303-735-7962

Will grew up in Half Moon Bay, California. While pursuing a B.S. in Physics at UC Santa Barbara, he began his optics career as an intern at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. There he studied high-temperature superconductors with optical pump-probe, synchrotron, and…

Nicholas Jenkins photo.

Nicholas Jenkins | 303-492-5903

Headshot of Clay Klein.

Clay Klein

Clay grew up in southwest Pennsylvania and received a B.S. in Physics with a minor in Mathematics from Clarion University of Pennsylvania in 2022. As an undergraduate, he worked on a variety of research projects including developing aerogels for thermal insulation on high speed…

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Rachel Larsen

Headshot of Yunhao Li.

Yunhao Li

Headshot of Jiayi Liu

Jiayi Liu

Brendan McBennett photo.

Brendan McBennett | 303-492-7141

Brendan grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina and studied mathematics and German as an undergraduate at UNC Chapel Hill. After spending a year as an exchange student at the University of Ulm in southern Germany, he became interested in renewable energy integration into electric power systems. He…

Drew Morrill photo.

Drew Morrill | 303-492-6668

Drew grew up in the Pacific Northwestern corner of Washington State. He graduated from Brown University in 2013 with a degree in chemical physics, and joined the CU Boulder physics Ph.D. program in the summer of 2016. In the interim three years, he worked as a research assistant at the Max-Born-…

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Emma Nelson | 303-492-6663

Sinéad Ryan photo.

Sinéad Ryan | 303-492-6668

Sinéad grew up in Aberdeen, Scotland.  She graduated from the University of St. Andrews with a first class honours MPhys in experimental physics in 2018.  As an undergraduate, she worked on projects in the fields of synthetic optics, cold atoms and Kerr lens modelocked laser design.  In 2017,…

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Richa Sapkota

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Oliver Shao | 303-492-6663

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Benjamin Shearer

Jeremy Thurston photo.

Jeremy Thurston | 303-492-5903

Honors & Awards

  • NSF Graduate Fellowship