Casimir PhD positions of 2015 awarded to Marios Kounalakis, Guoji Zheng, Joeri de Bruijckere, and Michiel Bakker


The Casimir PhD positions of 2015 have been awarded to Marios Kounalakis, Guoji Zheng, Joeri de Bruijckere, and Michiel Bakker. This fall, these four alumni of the Casimir Pre-PhD track successfully defended their research proposals. The jury was impressed by the quality of their work and their ability to counter the jury's critique during the interview.

Here, we briefly introduce them to you:


Before moving to Leiden University to start in the Casimir Pre-PhD track, Marios Kounalakis (Heraklion, Greece, 1990) performed his BSc studies in Athens and obtained an MSc degree in Particle Physics from Paris Diderot University. In the group of Leo DiCarlo at Delft University of Technology, Marios will start his project 'Quantum Simulation of Gauge Theories in Circuit QED' a project of highly interdisciplinary nature, as it brings together quantum engineering with applied and fundamental physics.


Guoji Zheng (Ruian, China, 1992) obtained his BSc degree at Delft University of Technology, before starting the Casimir Pre-PhD track at that university. Under the supervision of Lieven Vandersypen, Guoji will work on his project entitled: 'A spin qubit network coupled via a microwave resonator.'


Joeri de Bruijckere (Oostburg, the Netherlands, 1992) switched from mechanical engineering, in which he received his BSc degree, to physics. Apart from studying at Delft University of Technology, Joeri performed his rotations at the universities of Geneva and San Sebastián. In the coming four years, under supervision of Herre van der Zant, Joeri will develop superconducting single-molecule transistors, by means of which he will study single-electron and many-body phenomena in a yet unexplored transport regime, thereby exploiting the unique features of chemically tailored molecules.


During his MSc studies, Michiel Bakker (Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1989) did internships in Delft, at the Forschungszentrum Jülich, Aachen, Germany, and at the Experimental Quantum Computing group at IBM Research, New York, USA. With the groups of Ronald Hanson and Tim Taminiau, Michiel will start his PhD project entitled 'A single-spin quantum sensor for magnetic phenomena in solid-state systems.' He is excited that he can combine an engineering challenge with studying fundamental physics in his project.

About the Casimir PhD positions
The Casimir PhD positions are funded through the NWO-Gravitation program ‘NanoFront.’ Casimir PhD positions are awarded to outstanding students of the Casimir Pre-PhD track. Between 2011 and 2015, the following seven alumni of the track received a Casimir PhD position: Tim Baart, Julia Cramer, Chris Smiet, Jelmer Wagenaar, Misha Klein, Tom van der Reep, and Henk Snijders. The Casimir Pre-PhD track focuses on preparing MSc. students for a PhD position, either at Leiden, Delft or elsewhere.

Read more about the Casimir Pre-PhD track here.