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. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering and the Department of Bioengineering, and an Affiliate Faculty in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Dr. Toussaint directs the laboratory for Photonics Research of Bio/nano Environments (PROBE Lab) at UIUC, an interdisciplinary research group which focuses on developing advanced optical techniques for both quantitatively imaging collagen-based biological structures, and investigating the optical properties of plasmonic nanostructures for light-driven control of matter. He is a recipient of a 2010 NSF CAREER Award, the 2014-2015 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Visiting Associate Professor at MIT, the 2015 UIUC Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research, the 2017 UIUC Everitt Award for Teaching Excellence, a Fellow of the OSA, and holds Senior Member positions in the IEEE, and SPIE. In addition, Dr. Toussaint is the PI and director of the recently awarded NSF nanomanufacturing node (the first award of its kind in the U.S.).

Graduate Students

Qing Ding

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Qing Ding (Sunny) is a 4th-year ECE PhD candidate in the PROBE lab at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received his Bachelor’s degree in physics from Illinois Wesleyan University and officially joined the PROBE lab in 2014. He currently works on developing planar focusing collectors for concentrated solar power applications, in addition to other researches that involve plasmonics and nanophotonics such as bowtie nanoantennas and optical trapping. In his spare time, he is an ordinary person who likes what almost every other boy likes, such as sports, video games, movies and music. Recently, he is trying something new in his life, for example, playing a new music instrument, learning a new language, and planning on visiting somewhere in the world he has never been to.

Mohammad Mahfuz Kabir

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Mohammad Mahfuzul Kabir is a Doctoral candidate at the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). He has a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from UIUC and a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), in Dhaka, Bangladesh. His current research focus is on developing quantitative nonlinear harmonic imaging techniques for potential applications in characterizing biological tissues.

Woonwon Lee

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Woowon is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He joined the PROBE lab in summer 2013 after receiving his MS also at U of I. He is interested in nonlinear imaging techniques on biological samples and extracting quantitative parameters that can relate to the mechanical properties of the sample. He likes traveling and playing tennis.

Chukwuemeka Okoro

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Emeka is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineeinrg at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He joined PROBE Lab in the Fall of 2013. His research projects include quantitative polarization-based nonlinear imaging, principles of light coherence and optical trapping. He enjoys watching soccer and PC gaming.

Undergraduate Students

Aakash Choubal

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Aakash Choubal is an undergraduate student in the department of Mechanical Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is also pursuing a minor in electrical engineering with a focus on power systems and signal processing. His current research primarily focuses on the development of metasurface designs that may be used for concentrated solar power as an alternative to traditional parabolic mirrors.

Hemangg Singh Rajput

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Hemangg Singh Rajput is a fourth-year undergraduate student in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. He joined the PROBE lab in the summer of 2017. He enjoys reading and listening to music.

Alumni

Abdul Monnaf Bhuiya

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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.

Jie Yee Chan

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

Degree BS ECE
Graduation Date Spring 2012

Hao Chen

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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.

Naja Edwards

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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

Gopala Krishna Inavalli

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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.

Kaspar Ko

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Currently, he is a Development Engineering at Seagate Technology.

Degree MS ME
Graduation Date Spring 2011

Ryan Kovarik

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

Tony Tung Yuen Lau

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

Degree MS ME
Graduation Date Fall 2010

Erik Misawa

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

Degree PHD ECE
Graduation Date Spring 2012

Sara Rios

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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.

Brian Roxworthy

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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.

Nalwanda Shamutete

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Currently, he is a Facilities Mechanical Engineering at Intel.

Degree MS ME
Graduation Date Spring 2009

Santosh Tripathi

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Currently, he is working for Intel.

Degree PHD ECE
Graduation Date Spring 2013

Mehdi Zaman

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Currently, he is working for Thorlabs.

Degree MS ME
Graduation Date Spring 2012