Hendrik Casimir Prize 2018 awarded to Marta Pita-Vidal, Damian Bouwmeester, and Stefano Polla


The Casimir Research School would like to end the year with congratulating Marta Pita-Vidal (Delft), Damian Bouwmeester (Delft) and Stefano Polla (Leiden) with winning the Hendrik Casimir Prize 2018!

The students were nominated by a joint Leiden/Delft jury. In their recommendation letters, the students' supervisors praised Marta, Damian, and Stefano for being very intelligent and highly independent young physicists, who are performing extremely well during their MSc studies. In the below, the students briefly introduce themselves.

On Tuesday 8 January 2019, 16:00 hrs in A1.100 of building 58, Delft, dr. Christophe Danelon, Scientific Director of Casimir, will hand over the Hendrik Casimir Prize certificates to Marta, Damian and Stefano. Everyone is welcome to attend the prize ceremony! Please notify Marije Boonstra if you plan to join.


Marta Pita-Vidal
After studying Mathematics an Engineering Physics in Barcelona I moved to Boston to do research at MIT for a year. After that, I came to Delft, where I am following the Applied Physics Master program. Right now I am doing my Master Thesis at Kouwenhoven's lab. Here, I am working on the fabrication and measurement of a Majorana fluxonium. I find this a very exciting project, since it allows me to directly apply the knowledge I gained during the first year of my Master's while I investigate very interesting physical phenomena.

Damian Damian Bouwmeester
I am a Master's student of Applied Physics at TU Delft doing the Casimir pre-Phd track. I entered the MSc program from the Applied physics Bachelor's program(Cum-Laude+Honours). At the moment I am working on my master's thesis project at van der Zant lab. My project, consisting of experimental work and theory, is on electronic transport through Yu-Shiba-Rusinov bound states in electromigrated break junctions. In our junctions these bound states form due to the coupling of a superconductor to a quantum dot, such as a molecule or nanoscale gold grain.

Stefano Polla
I'm currently a Casimir-program MSc student at Leiden University, and I'm working on a thesis about algorithmic state preparation in quantum computers, under the supervision of Thomas O'Brien. I studied my BSc in Milan, and graduated with a thesis in quantum optics and information, result of experimental work I did at INO in Florence (M Bellini) in collaboration with the AQM group in Milan (M Paris). In Leiden, besides taking courses with a mix of theoretical and experimental orientation, I worked on quantum dot single photon sources and cluster state production in the Loeffler group.

About the prize
The Casimir Research School yearly awards the Hendrik Casimir Prize to the best MSc students in (Applied) Physics of Leiden University and Delft University of Technology. The prize consists of a certificate and a sum of €750.- . The prize is based on the revenues from a donation by the late Mrs. Josina Casimir-Jonker, wife of the famous Hendrik Casimir. The students are nominated by a committee formed by Jos Thijssen (director of Master Education Delft), Arno Haket (study advisor Delft), Martin van Exter (Director of Education Leiden), Hara Papathanassiou (study advisor Leiden) and Luca Giomi (coordinator of the Casmir pre-PhD Master program).

Click here to see the list of previous Hendrik Casimir Prize winners.