2015 FIP Fitzpatrick Scholar, Chambers Scholars and Chambers Fellows

2015 FIP Awardees

Left to right: Jiani Huang (Chambers Scholar), Zachary Steelman (Chambers Fellow), Yangbo “Abel” Xie (Fitzpatrick Scholar), Jon William Stewart (Chambers Fellow), David Cunefare (Chambers Scholar), Xin Zhang (Chambers Fellow), Kevin Zhou (Chambers Fellow).  

David CunefareDavid Cunefare (Chambers Scholar) is a third year PhD student in the department of Biomedical Engineering. He graduated from Duke University in 2012 with a BS in Biomedical Engineering. David currently works under the guidance of Dr. Farsiu in the Vision and Image Processing laboratory. His research focuses on automated image analysis and enhancement for ophthalmic imaging modalities including optical coherence tomography and adaptive-optics scanning laser ophthalmoscopes. David’s current recent work is in the development of novel fully automated algorithms for detecting and segmenting photoreceptors in adaptive optics images of the human retina. These algorithms could provide quantitative data to aid in the diagnosis, prognosis, and course of treatment for a multitude of retinal and neurodegenerative diseases.

Jiani HuangJiani Huang (Chambers Scholar) is a fourth-year Physics Ph.D. student working in the group of Prof. Maiken Mikkelsen. She received her B.S. degree in Physics from the Southeast University in China in 2012. In her research, Jiani is utilizing ultrafast optical techniques to understand and control light-matter interactions at the nanoscale and in quantum-confined systems, leading the way to exploit quantum effects in future devices. In particular, her research is focused on monolayer transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) which is a new class of two-dimensional materials that can be exfoliated in a similar manner to graphene. However, these materials possess direct bandgaps in the visible wavelength range making them ideal candidates for future optoelectronic and nanophotonic applications. Previous polarization-resolved photoluminescence experiments show that the spin-state in TMDCs can be inferred from the polarization of the emitted light; however, such measurement can only provide information about the spin-state at the time of recombination and much less is known about the spin lifetime and coherence time. In this regard, Jiani’s research effort includes a more versatile measurement of the spin-state using pump-probe time-resolved magneto-optical Kerr rotation spectroscopy, which enables the spin-state to be measured at any time given by the pump-probe delay and is not limited to the time of recombination. Using the spin initialization and readout techniques Jiani has established, she is currently working on probing the spin and valley Hall effect in monolayer TMDCs. Additionally, she is also involved in the nanofabrication and characterization of metallic film coupled plasmonic nanopatch antennas. Jiani’s previous awards include the President’s Scholarship award at Southeast University (2009), the Excellent Undergraduate Student Award at Southeast University (2010) and the GPNANO Fellowship at Duke University (2014).

Zach SteelmanZachary Steelman (Chambers Fellow) is a first year PhD student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Duke under the mentorship of Dr. Adam Wax. He graduated summa cum laude from Texas A&M University in 2015 with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and a minor in Mathematics with Honors. As an undergraduate, Zach worked with Dr. Vladislav Yakovlev at Texas A&M to develop advanced techniques in Brillouin spectroscopy, specifically through the investigation of Brillouin scattering as a diagnostic tool, and the creation and characterization of a dual Raman-Brillouin microscope. As a two-year Repperger Scholar, Zach has also worked with the Air Force Research Laboratories (AFRL) to elucidate the fundamental biological pathways underpinning nanosecond pulsed electric field (nsPEF) exposure in mammalian cells. At Duke, Zach’s primary project is the development of multi-point angle-resolved low-coherence interferometry (a/LCI) for early cancer detection. In addition to the Chambers Fellowship, Zach is the recipient of the James B. Duke Fellowship, as well as the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

Jon StewartJon Stewart (Chambers Fellow) is a first year Ph.D. student under the mentorship of Professor Maiken Mikkelsen in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Jon graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a dual degree in Electrical Engineering and Engineering Physics and a minor in Leadership. As an undergraduate student, Jon performed research in the areas of computational imaging and laser physics for four years. In particular, under the guidance of Professor Rafael Piestun, his research was focused on creating new techniques for 3D super-resolution imaging of fluorescent particles using point spread function engineering. He also conducted research on holographic LADAR technologies during several internships at the Advanced Technology Center at Lockheed Martin’s Space Systems Company. Jon’s current research in the Mikkelsen Lab is focused on nanophotonics, plasmonics, and light-matter interactions. Specifically, his research is aimed at creating dynamically tunable plasmonic nanostructures and exploring potential applications of a novel plasmonic nanopatch antenna architecture.

Yangbo "Abel" XieYangbo "Abel" Xie (Fitzpatrick Scholar) is a PhD candidate working under Prof. Steven A. Cummer in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Abel graduated from Sun Yat-sen University (Guangzhou, China) in 2011 with B.S. in Optical Information Science and Technology. Abel is interested in a wide range of engineered materials or metamaterials, including both electromagnetic and acoustic types, and their applications in wave manipulation and sensing. As an undergraduate, his research was on transformation optics and electromagnetic metamaterials. He has completed a project designing an optical invisibility cloak with silver nanowires. At Duke, his work focuses more on the acoustic domain. He has designed a library of acoustic metamaterials, termed labyrinthine unit cells, to modulate acoustic waves within subwavelength scales. He has also demonstrated several planar acoustic lenses based on this library of labyrinthine unit cells. The beam-steering acoustic metasurface that he designed is one of the first experimental demonstrations that apply the generalized Snell's law in acoustics. He has also designed a single-sensor acoustic compressive sensing system that can segregate overlapping sound from multiple sources. His current interests are metamaterial-based acoustic hologram, transistor-based RF metamaterials and ultrasound imaging.

Xin ZhangXin Zhang (Chambers Fellow) is a first year PhD student in the department of Physics. He received his B. Sc. in Physics from Shandong University (China) in 2015. He spent his junior year at Duke University as a visiting student. His undergraduate research focused on waveguide Quantum Electrodynamics (waveguide QED) under the supervision of Prof. Harold U. Baranger. Waveguide QED studies a system where one or more qubits interact with propagating photons in a one-dimensional waveguide. He used input-output theory from quantum optics field to study photon-photon interactions in this waveguide system. He is currently a member of Prof. Baranger’s group.

Kevin ZhouKevin Zhou (Chambers fellow) is a beginning his PhD in the department of biomedical engineering under the joint advisorship of Profs. Joseph Izatt and Warren Warren. He graduated summa cum laude from Yale University with a BS in biomedical engineering, where for his thesis he developed image analysis techniques for micron-scale velocimetry in optical coherence tomography (OCT) under the advisorship of Prof. Michael Choma (a former student of Prof. Izatt). Prior to this work, he engaged in research with Prof. Michael Levene developing optical clearing techniques for 3D histopathology using multiphoton microscopy. Outside of optics, he has also done research in computational linguistics with Prof. Claire Bowern, which has unexpectedly both provided and received inspiration from his optical image analysis research with Prof. Choma. At Duke, he will investigate ways of integrating the nonlinear optical imaging and pulse shaping techniques from Prof. Warren's lab and OCT from Prof. Izatt's lab in order to generate new contrast mechanisms for a broad range of medical diagnostic applications. In addition to his interest in optics, he is also interested in statistical and machine learning techniques, and hopes to be able to apply them to study the images generated by his optics research. Kevin is a recipient of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and the James B. Duke fellowship.