Mark Siemens

Dr. Mark Siemens is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Denver. He has been at DU since 2010, and is interested in exploring the careful manipulation of light and its use to measure and control the flow of energy in solid state materials.

We are always excited to hear from folks who have questions about our research or are interested in collaborating!

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Zhe Kan

Dr. Zhe Kan is a postdoctoral researcher in Siemens Lab at University of Denver. He joined our team to study quantum optics and optical vortices. He is also interested in exploring the implementation of optical vortices in quantum information. He earned his PhD in physics and served as a postdoc and lab manager in Femtosecond Laser Group at UMass Lowell, where nonlinear optics and laser induced nanotechnology were studied. In addition to physics, he has worked on renewable energy and would love to see a greener life in the future.

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Patrick Ford

Patrick Ford received a B.S in Physics and Applied Mathematics at Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2019. As an undergraduate, Patrick built numerical models for SQUID research and was involved in production for the SuperCDMS dark matter detector project in the CU Denver Superconducting Electronics laboratory studying under Professor Martin Huber. As a graduate student, Patrick hopes to discover new insights into the nature of and manipulation of light with orbital angular momentum in the non-linear regime. Recent work includes building a pulsed laser pump-probe detector to sense a novel oscillator signal in thin-film spintronic materials. Other than physics, Patrick's life is consumed by music and a desire to be outside.

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Patrick Fowler

Patrick Fowler graduated from the University of West Florida in 2017 receiving a B.S in physics, a minor in Mathematics, and a M.S in physics from the University of New Hampshire in 2021. While in undergrad, Patrick built a Brewster Angle Microscope to characterize thin films, studied Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy, and fabricating nanostructures using Glancing Angle Deposition. While at the University of New Hampshire, Patrick’s main research focus was with the Earth's Thermosphere, building an orbital velocity molecular beam apparatus to simulate the Thermosphere’s environment and help calibrate instruments for future space missions. At the University of Denver, Patrick is currently working with a super resolution optical microscopy technique known as MINFLUX to resolve samples that are smaller than the diffraction limit. Outside of school, he enjoys cooking, golfing, and playing ping pong.

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Somayeh Ghazanfarpour

Somayeh Ghazanfarpour is a graduate student at DU from Iran. In 2015, she obtained her B.S. in Atomic and Molecular physic at Vali-e-Asr University of Rafsanjan where she did research in Inverted Polymeric Solar cells in Laboratory of Solar Cells, Thin Films and Nanostructures. In 2017, Somayeh also received her M.SC in Atomic and Molecular Physics at Arak University where she researched on physical and optical properties of modified electrodialysis membranes by nanoparticles. In her research, she hopes to get new insight to thin-film semiconductors with 2D spectroscopy in future years. In her free time, Somayeh spends her time by cooking, reading historical books and biographies, watching movies, and swimming.

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Adam Halaoui

Adam Halaoui graduated from the University of Toledo in 2019 and has undergraduate degrees in physics, math and high school education. While an undergraduate student Adam worked under Professor Randy Ellingson building and writing software for measurement systems and characterizing photovoltaic materials using transient absorption and other spectroscopic methods. Adam is a student at The University of Denver working under Professor Mark Siemens using multidimensional coherent spectroscopy to study thin-film semi-conductors. In his vast spare time, Adam likes music, reading books, climbing and cooking.

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Drew Voitiv

Andrew (Drew) Voitiv came from Springfield, Missouri, to the University of Denver where he earned a BSc in Physics in 2019. Since his time as an undergraduate, Drew has researched in the Siemens Lab working on experiments generating, controlling, and measuring optical vortices. Drew has a passion for STEM outreach and is an active member of the Society of Physics Students at DU. Outside of physics, Drew sings in the DU Men’s Choir and dances swing and tango on campus and in the greater Denver-Boulder community.

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Dawson Hewatt

Research: ultrafast optics and spectrosocpy of perovskite photovoltaic devices

Leah Huzjak

Research: Experimental measurements of vortex nucleation

Rylie Mundell

Research: Optical vortex interference

Kate Pletcher

Research: Generation and control of optical vortices

Lillian Sartor

Research: Generation and control of optical vortices

Madi Sousa

Research: Photoluminescence measurements of perovskite solar cells

Miguel Turcios Flores

Research: Photocurrent testing measurements

Jon Weber

Research: Vector vortex beams

Mark Lusk, Colorado School of Mines

Optical vortex motion

Juliet Gopinath, University of Colorado Boulder

Generation, measurements, and applications of light’s orbital angular momentum

Sean Shaheen, University of Colorado Boulder

Spectroscopic measurement of carrier transport in poervskite photovoltaics

Guillermo F. Quinteiro, CONICET and Univ. Nacional del Nordeste, Argentina

Theory of light-matter interactions with orbital angular momentum

Gina Eldridge

2012 BS in Physics and Mathematics. In her senior thesis, Gina studied four wave mixing in polymer materials for solar conversion applications.

Pampa Devi

Pampa joined us as a graduate student intern in the fall of 2012, and she helped build our multidimensional spectroscopy setup.

Nurin Ludin

2014 BS in Physics. In her time in our lab, Nurin investigated thermal bystander effects in cells.

Garrett Williams

2014 BS in Physics and Mathematics. In Garrett’s senior thesis, he demonstrated the generation laser beams with orbital angular momentum (OAM) using parts from a projector - an important first step in our experiments with light’s OAM.

Samantha Molnar

2015 BS in Physics. Sam set up the magneto-optic Kerr effect experiment in our lab. She is currently a Computer Science graduate student at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Rebecca Conrad

2015 BS in Mathematics. In our lab Rebecca calculated analytical lineshapes for multidimensional spectroscopy, and her research was published in Optics Letters. She is currently an engineer at Lockheed Martin.

Joshua Bell

2015 MS in Physics. Aside from keeping our lasers happy, Josh also set up our 2D coherent spectroscopy experiment. His research was published in Optics Letters. He is currently an applications engineer with Nikon.

Cameron (Cam) Hickert

2016 BS in Physics. Cam optimized the magneto-optic Kerr effect experimental apparatus and the effect of multilayering on the magnetization of metalic film films.

Chris Racz

2016 BS in Physics. Chris built a heat pipe oven for atomic vapor spectroscopy and measured propagation effects of focused laser beams. He is currently working for Putnam Investments as an Investment Associate.

Jack Maurer

2016 BS in Physics and Chemistry. Jack built a transient absorption experiment with a pulsed laser to measureexciton dynamics in colloidal PbS quantum dots. He is currently a PhD student at the Unviersity of Oregon.

Melia Morris

2016 high school graduate, and undergraduate researcher in summer 2016 and 2017. Melia designed a system to use a diffraction grating to measure light’s orbital angular momentum.

Maren Blair

2017 BS in Physics. Maren designed and built our first experiments studying heat transport in tissue for cancer treatment. She is currently a physics teacher.

Brad Becker

2017 BS in Physics. Brad worked on our magneto-optics experiment.

Sam Alperin

2017 BS in Physics. Sam built a novel quantitative OAM measurement setup, explored the angular momentum properties of fractional OAM beams, and discovered that light behaves as a quantum fluid. His work was published in Optics Letters and Physical Review Letters (twice!). He is currently a PhD student in Applied Math at Cambridge.

Julia Farrell

2018 BS in Computer Science. Julia built our first setup to measure the temperature dependence of orbital angular momentum of light generated in an optical fiber.

Mark Phelps

2018 BS in Physics. Mark calculated electron-phonon coupling in quantum dots and built an experimental setup to couple light’s orbital angular momentum to electrons.

Daniel Hammerland

2018 MS in Physics. Dan built our first Raman spectroscopy setup, learned to do TMD exfoliation, and designed and built and ultrafast Raman system as well. He is currently a PhD student at ETH Zurich.

Andrew Johnson

2018 MA in Physics. Andrew built experiments to look for copuling between light’s orbital angular momentum and electrons in quantum rings and dots.

Alaa Bahamran

2019 PhD in Physics. Alaa studied light-matter interactions with orbital angular momentum in quantum dots. She is now an assistant professor at King Abdulaziz University in Audi Arabia.

Brian Green

2019 PhD in Physics. Brian used transient thermoreflectance to measure thermal transport dynamics in nanostructures. He is now a postdoctoral researcher at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado.

Abi Grotelueschen

2019 BS in Physics. Abi built an experiment for phase-resolved imaging of propagating laser speckle, and her work was published in Physical Review Letters. She is currently a Physicist at Peraton.

Geoffrey Diederich

2019 PhD in Physics. Geoff built and comissioned our original 2D spectroscopy experiment, and did our first measurements on perovskite films. He is currently a postdoc at the University of Washington.

Maria Rios-Gomez

2020 BA in Biological Sciences and French. Maria built microscopes for studying few-layer materials, including our Raman setup.

Austen Applebee

2020 BS in Physics. Austen experimentally studied optical vortex propagation in optical fiber.

Ryan Davis

2020 BS in Physics. Ryan built an experimental setup to simultaneously measure photoluniscence and photocurrent from a sola cell.

Will Holtzmann

2020 BS in Physics. Will measured vortex splitting and formation in laser beams. He is currently a physics graduate student at the Univerity of Washington.

Rebecca McCubbin

2020 BS in Physics. Becca built an experimental setup to simultaneously measure photoluniscence and photocurrent from a sola cell. Becca is currently a graduate student in electrical engineering at DU.

Emilee Wurtz

2020 BS in Physics. Emilee worked on generating and measuring optical orbital angular momentum.

Charles Payne

2020 MA in Physics. Charles studied optical vortex formation and propagation. He is currently a staff scientist at Los Alamos National Lab.

Jasmine Andersen

2021 PhD in Physics, based on her work on optical hydrodynamics of vortices.

2021

Kate Pletcher and Kylie Mundell were awarded research grants from DU’s Undergraduate Research Center

Jasmine Andersen was awarded a Graduate Studies for Dissertation Fellowship award from DU’s office of graduate studies

Mark received the “Excellence in Teaching"

2020

Lily Sartor and Dawson Hewatt were awarded research grants from DU’s Undergraduate Research Center

Mark Siemens was promoted to full professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Denver..

Geoff Diederich was awarded a Graduate Studies for Dissertation Fellowship award from DU’s office of graduate studies

Drew Voitiv received DU’s Crimson & Gold award, DU’s highest honor, given for exemplary academic performance, leadership, community service, campus involvement, character, and pride in the University 

2019

Austen Applebee, Martin Luepker, Leah Huzjak, Kate Pletcher, and Becca McCubbin were awarded research grants from DU’s Undergraduate Research Center

Jasmine Andersen was selected to present her research at a keynote talk at the DU Research Day, the only one from DU’s college of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. Jasmine was also elected President of the Colorado/Wyoming section of the American Association of Physics Teachers.

Geoff Diederich was awarded a Graduate Studies for Dissertation Fellowship award from DU’s office of graduate studies

Drew Voitiv received DU’s Crimson & Gold award, DU’s highest honor, one of only five graduating seniors recognized  for exemplary academic performance, leadership, community service, campus involvement, character, and pride in the University 

Mark was a finalist for the SPS National Outstanding Chapter Advisor award.

Mark received the “Excellence in Research” award from DU’s college of Natural Sciences and Mathematics..

2018

Diego Daza-Diaz, Emilee Wurtz, Mackenzie Looney, and Abi Grotelueschen were awarded research grants from DU’s Undergraduate Research Center

Will Holtzmann and Abi Grotelueschen were awarded research abroad EuroScholars

2017

Drew Voitiv, Will Holtzmann, and Alex Werner received research grants from DU’s Undergraduate Research Center

Jasmine Knudsen and Dan Hammerland were awarded DU’s “Doctoral Fellowship for Inclusive Engagement” 

Mark has been elected chair of the “Ultrafast Optical Phenomena” technical group of the Optical Society of America

2016

Sam Alperin, Mark Phelps, Drew Voitiv, and Julia Farrell received research grants from DU’s Undergraduate Research Center

Mark received a 2016 Fulbright Fellowship to support a research visit to Argentina

Mark was awarded a Franklin Research Grant from the American Philosophical Society

Mark received an NSF CAREER award

2015

Brad Becker, Jack Maurer, Maren Blair, Julia Farrell, and Akele Knecht received research grants from DU’s Undergraduate Research Center

DU’s Society of Physics Students (Mark is the faculty advisor) won the Blake Lilly Award for exceptional engagement in public science outreach

Mark was recognized as “Outstanding Junior Faculty” from DU’s Division of Natural Sciences & Mathematics

2014

Connor Thiret, Samantha Molnar, Sam Alperin, and Chris Racz received research grants from DU’s Undergraduate Research Center

Mark received the “Outstanding Faculty Service” award from DU’s Division of Natural Sciences & Mathematics

2013

Rebecca Conrad, Garrett Williams, Jake Gold, Chris Racz, and Samanntha Rehman received research grants from DU’s Undergraduate Research Center

2012

Garrett Williams and Jake Gold received research grants from DU’s Undergraduate Research Center

Mark received a “Doctoral New Investigator” award from the American Chemical Society, Petroleum Research Fund

2011

Gina Eldridge received a research grant from DU’s Undergraduate Research Center

2010

Gina Eldridge received a research grant from DU’s Undergraduate Research Center

Recent group photos