People

Professor

Associate Professor, Kimani C. Toussaint, Jr.

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Biography

Kimani C. Toussaint, Jr. earned his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1996, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Boston University in 1999 and 2004, respectively. His dissertation work focused on using polarization-entangled photons to probe the optical properties of materials. Prior to starting at Illinois, Toussaint was an NSF Minority Postdoctoral Fellow in Biology at the University of Chicago, where he worked on interference microscopy, exotic polarization states, and optical trapping. In 2006, he was one of 100 top American scientists in the United States (under 45) to be selected for the National Academy of Science’s 18th Annual Kavli Frontiers of Science Symposium.

Dr. Toussaint joined the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in August 2007, and became an affiliate in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and an affiliate in the Bioengineering Department, in October 2007, and March 2008, respectively. His group pursues interdisciplinary research in optical physics and engineering that has applications in many disciplines, including biology and chemistry. Currently, he is developing an advanced optical microscopy platform for characterizing and manipulating both nano- and biological systems.

Postdoctoral Researchers

Hao Chen

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Biography

Hao received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Department of Physics from Nanjing University, China in 2009 and 2012, respectively. He joined the PROBE Lab in Spring 2013 as a postdoc. His research interest mainly focus on the application of unconventional polarization, optical manipulation, microscopy, optical angular momentum and sigular optics.

Gopala Krishna Inavalli

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Biography

Gopala is a Post doctorial research associate who joined the PROBE lab in spring 2013, his research interests mainly focus on Bio imaging using tightly focused vector beams, polarization second harmonic generation and linear susceptibility. Also, he is interested in dynamical behavior of isolated polarization singularities and angular momentum.

V.V.G. Krishna Inavalli received his M.Sc degree in physics from Andhra University 2006 and PhD degree in Singular Optics from Hyderabad Central University in 2012. His PhD work carried in the Beam Optics and Applications Group on the generation and characterization of Optical vector, vortex and isolated polarization singularities using a two mode step-index fiber and their applications. Generated beams are characterized using different techniques such as analyzer rotation, polarization interferometric method, complex Stokes parameter method and the state of polarization (SOP) map at each point in the output beam cross section.

Graduate Students

Abdul Monnaf Bhuiya

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Biography

Abdul is a Master’s student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. He received his B.Sc. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in December 2012 with concentration on nano fabrication techniques and opto electronics. His Current project is on developing fabrication technique for 3D Bowtized Nano Antennas and also fabricating other nano structures for optical light trapping.

Mahfuz Kabir

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Biography

Mahfuz is a Masters Student in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering at the U of I. He received his Bachelors in ME from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Bangladesh in 2012. His current project involves the development of various bio imaging methodologies. He finds his interests in sports and literature.

Woonwon Lee

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Biography

Woowon is a Ph.D student in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received his MS also at U of I in August 2013 with the concentration of analyzing trabecular bone properties and joined the PROBE lab in summer 2013. He is interested in scanning bio samples using optical imaging techniques.  He likes traveling and listening to music.

Emeka Okoro

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Biography

Emeka is a Masters Student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineeinrg at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  He received his Bachelors in EE from University of Lagos, Nigeria in 2010 and joined the PROBE lab in the Fall of 2013.  He enjoys soccer and PC gaming.

Brian Roxworthy

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Biography

Brian is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the U of I.  He received his MS from MechSE in Spring 2011 and switched to ECE to pursue research in developing an advanced, multipurpose particle manipulation platform based on plasmonic nanoantennas.  He is interested in incorporating these “plasmonic nanotweezers” into lab-on-chip environments, thereby creating a self-contained particle manipulation tool that is viable for trapping and tweezing biological species.

Undergraduate Students

Qing Ding

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Biography

Qing Ding (Sunny) is a Visiting Research Assistant in the PROBE lab at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  He received his Bachelors degree in physics from Illinois Wesleyan University in December 2012 and joined PROBE in May 2013.  He currently works on optical trapping using an incoherent light source with assistance of plasmonic nanoantennas.  Besides research, he is a hardcore soccer fan.

Alumni

Jie Yee Chan

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Biography

Currently, she is an MS student at Carnegie Mellon University.

Degree BS ECE
Graduation Date Spring 2012

Naja Edwards

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Biography

Naja is a fourth-year undergraduate student in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Naja serves as the current Vice-President of the National Society of Black Engineers at the UIUC campus and works closely with the Boys and Girls club and Edison Middle School. Naja is also very involved with the Women in Engineering program and other minority student organizations around campus. Naja works with the Optics Educational Outreach program run by the PROBE lab, which aims to promote interest in optics among middle school and high school students.

Yang Hu

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Graduation Date Summer Intern 2011

Kaspar Ko

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Biography

Currently, he is a Development Engineering at Seagate Technology.

Degree MS ME
Graduation Date Spring 2011

Ryan Kovarik

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Biography

Currently, he is an MS student in the MechSE department.

Tony Tung Yuen Lau

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Biography

Currently, he is working for FoxConn.

Degree MS ME
Graduation Date Spring 2013

Scott Leithem

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Degree MS ME
Graduation Date Spring 2009

David Luedtke

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Degree BS ME
Graduation Date Spring 2010

Donald Magnani

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Biography

During Summer 2012, Donald worked on building and calibrating an optical tweezers setup suitable for working with bowtie nanoantenna arrays.  After graduation, he plans to work in manufacturing

David McDonald

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Biography

David is a fifth-year undergraduate in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  During his undergraduate studies, David has been involved with the Cooperative Employment program at Ethicon Endo-Surgery in Cincinnati, OH.  David is currently working with the Optics Educational Outreach program run by the PROBE lab, which aims to promote interest in optics among middle school and high school students.

Monal Mehta

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Biography

Curently, he is an Engineer at Dell Services Engineering Solutions.

Degree MS ME
Graduation Date Fall 2010

Erik Misawa

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Biography

Currently, he is an Associate Development Engineer at FoxxCon Technology Group.

Degree MS ME
Graduation Date Spring 2011

Rafael Ramirez

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Degree BS ME
Graduation Date Summer 2008

Raghu Ambekar Ramachandra Rao

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Biography

Currently, he is a Sr. Optical Engineer at Seagate Technology

Degree PHD ECE
Graduation Date Spring 2012

Sara Rios

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Biography

Sara Rios is a fourth-year undergraduate student in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. She plans on obtaining her Master’s Degree in the engineering field after she graduates in May 2010.  She previously interned with Hewlett-Packard in San Diego, CA where she worked in the R&D department as a Mechanical Engineer Intern. Currently, she is part of the 2009 Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program at the Center for Nanoscale Chemical-Electrical-Mechanical Manufacturing Systems (Nano-CEMMS). Her research main focus is to characterize the polarizability of nanoparticles by using an interferometer.

Nalwanda Shamutete

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Biography

Currently, he is a Facilities Mechanical Engineering at Intel.

Degree MS ME
Graduation Date Spring 2009

Santosh Tripathi

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Biography

Current, he is working for Intel.

Degree PHD ECE
Graduation Date Spring 2013

Mehdi Zaman

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Biography

Currently, he is working for Thorlabs.

Degree MS ME
Graduation Date Spring 2012