People

Group Leader

Prof. Mehul Malik

Professor of Physics
ERC Grantee and EPSRC Fellow
Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences (IPaQS), Heriot-Watt University

Email: m.malik(at)hw.ac.uk
Phone: +44 (0) 7864 283247
Office: David Brewster building, Room 2.08

Bio:

Mehul was born in New Delhi, India. After completing his PhD in Optics at the University of Rochester, NY in the group of Robert W Boyd, he spent five fruitful years in Vienna as a Marie Curie fellow in the group of Anton Zeilinger and a senior postdoctoral fellow in the group of Marcus Huber at IQOQI Vienna. Outside of physics, Mehul is passionate about science communication and issues of gender diversity and researcher mobility in academia. He is an avid cook and enjoys exploring BBQ cuisines from around the world at the annual BBQLab BBQ. He is a keen backcountry skier, loves art+film+music, and is not shy on the dance floor. In his spare time, he can be found exploring the many beautiful hills around Edinburgh and spending time with his wife and two amazing kids!

Research Associates

Dr. Will McCutcheon

Research Associate
Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences (IPaQS), Heriot-Watt University

Email: w.mccutcheon(at)hw.ac.uk
Office: David Brewster building, Room G.03/G.35

Bio:

Will joined our emerging team in 2019 following his PhD (2017) and several years post-doc in University of Bristol, Quantum Engineering Technology Labs with Prof John Rarity FRS and the quantum information group. There he developed his background in nonlinear quantum photonics in fibers and integrated optics as well as quantum information theory, and since has been applying these methods to high-dimensional systems, their characterisation and applications in quantum communication/networking settings. As an on-going programme committee member for the conference ‘Q-turn: Changing paradigms in quantum information science’, UCU member, and past role of EDI session chair at Bristol Quantum Information Technologies conference he champions academic cultural principles around workers’ rights and inclusion. Out of the office, Will can be found (and heard) in front of pianos and drumkits at open jams, and seen rolling, jumping and flipping around parks on his skateboard.

Dr. Saroch Leedumrongwatthanakun

Research Associate
Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences (IPaQS), Heriot-Watt University

Email: s.leedumrongwatthanakun(at)hw.ac.uk
Office: David Brewster building, Room G.06B/G.35

Bio:

Saroch is from Thailand. He joined our team in 2020 after completing his PhD in the group of Prof Sylvain Gigan at Kastler-Brossel Laboratory, Sorbonne University, France. Before that, he graduated with his BSc in Physics from Prince of Songkla University and obtained his MSc with the Molecular Nano- and Biophotonics (MONABIPHOT) Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s program. His general interest is in the compelling nature of light and its characteristics. His current research focuses on understanding and controlling nonclassical light in realistic complex environments and developing new experimental techniques and optical devices for potential quantum technologies by harnessing features of complex scattering media. He loves photography, films, food and deep and friendly conversations on various topics. Often during his reading time, he uses his spare time between his thought to contemplate a better way to explain sciences to general audiences and students. He really loves to impress them with the beauty of nature and useful applications.

Dr. Sabine Wollmann

Marie SkłodowskaCurie Postdoctoral Fellow
Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences (IPaQS), Heriot-Watt University

Email: s.wollmann(at)hw.ac.uk
Office: David Brewster building, Room 1.56D/G.37

Bio:

Sabine got her PhD in sunny Brisbane, Australia, in 2017 and later joined the QET Labs in Bristol for her Postdoc. There she extended her expertise in quantum optics and information science. She developed novel integrated photonic sources and protocols for quantum sensing. She is passionate about playing with lasers and exploring entanglement in the lab. Sabine has joined BBQLab on a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship in October 2021 to continue her endeavours into the quantum realm. Sabine is an award-winning science communicator and has been one of Q-Turn’s main organisers. She advocates for underrepresented groups as a UN Women UK delegate. In her spare time, she enjoys brewing her own beer, camping, hiking, and playing the clarinet.

Dr. Fiona Fleming

JPL Visiting Postdoctoral Scholar
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

Email: f.fleming(at)hw.ac.uk
Office: David Brewster building, Room 2.07

Bio:

Fiona was born in Melrose in the Scottish Borders in 1991. She grew up in Berwickshire on the South-east coast of Scotland and completed her undergraduate degree at Heriot-Watt University, graduating in 2015 with an MPhys (Hons). In October 2015 she began her PhD in the Nonlinear Optics Group at Heriot-Watt University working on the development of compact high repetition rate mid-IR solid-state lasers. On completion of her PhD in October 2019, Fiona joined the Single-Photon Group at Heriot-Watt as a Postdoctoral Researcher where she is now studying infrared single-photon counting using integrated Ge-on-Si SPADs (single-photon avalanche detectors). In her spare time Fiona enjoys hiking, watching football and tennis, reading and baking. She is currently representing the Single-Photon Group and BBQLab as a visiting postdoc working on superconducting detector arrays at JPL and Caltech in Los Angeles, CA.

Doctoral Students

Natalia Herrera

SUPA PhD Student, Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences (IPaQS), Heriot-Watt University

Email: nah2(at)hw.ac.uk
Office: David Brewster building, Room G.03/G.35

Bio:

Natalia has been a PhD student at BBQ Lab since 2019. She is from Bogotá, Colombia. She obtained her B.Sc in Physics from the National University of Colombia, and gained her M.Sc in Photonics with the Europhotonics Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s program. Her research interests include finding novel ways to generate, characterise, and manipulate complex quantum states of light. Natalia feels passionate about the importance of diversity and equality in science. She is one of the founders of Red de Fisicas Unal, a network that seeks to connect, support and promote Colombian women in Physics. She is also involved in similar projects here in the UK that seek to tackle the challenges that underrepresented groups face when working in STEM. When she’s not doing science, Natalia loves knitting, doing yoga, binge-watching TV shows and films, listening to inspiring podcasts, and going to charity shops.

Vatshal Srivastav

PhD Student, Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences (IPaQS), Heriot-Watt University

Email: vs54(at)hw.ac.uk
Office: David Brewster building, Room G.03/G.37

Bio:

Vatshal has made it to his third year in PhD at our BBQ Lab. He comes from Prayagraj, a city of multiple histories in India. He survived his B.S. and M.S. in Physics from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. His interest in issues of access and privilege in education rivals his passion for physics. He volunteers with SwaTaleem, a non-profit initiative that offers high-quality education to underrepresented women. His diary is full of paintings of Edinburgh, interspersed with chess-notation and grandma recipes. You can quiz him on quantum steering, high-dimensional entanglement, and spatial correlations.

Suraj Goel

PhD Student, Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences (IPaQS), Heriot-Watt University

Email: gs74(at)hw.ac.uk
Office: David Brewster building, Room G.06B/G.35

Bio:

Primarily from New Delhi, Suraj has stayed in and experienced almost all corners of India. He comes from the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi where he completed his B.Tech in Engineering Physics. He loves to do cool experiments with photons. Although he comes up with a new hobby every few months, outside the lab you can find him making circuits that automate different parts of his home, or doing some shiny night sky photography at the moment. One can also find him fantasizing about some amazing eastern philosophies on life and reality!

Sophie-Elisabeth Lerchbaumer

PhD Student, Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences (IPaQS), Heriot-Watt University

Email: sl2065(at)hw.ac.uk
Office: David Brewster building, Room 1.56D/G.35

Bio:

Originally from Austria, Sophie joined the BBQLab as a PhD student at the end of 2021. Before that, she finished her BSc and MSc in physics at the University of Vienna. Her interests are focused on quantum optics, as she has enjoyed working with optical setups since her undergrad. Aside from that, she likes to do sports and loves to listen to and make music on her own. That’s why her colleagues are not surprised anymore, when they find her singing and humming in the lab while working.

Sophie Engineer

PhD Student, Bristol Quantum Engineering Centre for Doctoral Training and IPAQS, Heriot-Watt University

Email: se2008(at)hw.ac.uk
Office: David Brewster building, Room 1.56D/G.37

Bio:

Sophie joined the BBQLab after her first year in the Quantum Engineering CDT at the University of Bristol. Before that, she completed a masters degree in mathematics at the same university. She is interested in quantum thermodynamics, understanding the quantum-to-classical transition and applications of this in complex media. Although Bristol has a firm place in her heart, she is excited to move to Edinburgh and experience the city’s gothic architecture and explore the surrounding Pentlands. Besides physics, she enjoys upcycling and creating her own clothes as well as other crafts, cycling and yoga.

Undergraduate Students

Gaia Sottimano

IPAQS Summer Scholarship Student, 2022
Heriot-Watt University

Email: gs86(at)hw.ac.uk

Dylan Danese

Undergraduate Project Student, 2021/22
Heriot-Watt University

Email: dd52(at)hw.ac.uk

Visitors

Dr. Hugo Defienne

Lecturer and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow
University of Glasgow

Email: hugo.defienne(at)glasgow.ac.uk

Florian Brandt

Visiting Scholar, Summer 2018
Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI), Vienna

Email: florian.brandt(at)oeaw.ac.at

Alumni

Louis Ferreira

Undergraduate Project Student, 2021/22
Heriot-Watt University

Email: lf49(at)hw.ac.uk

Euan Mackay

Undergraduate Project Student, 2020/21
IPAQS Summer Scholarship Student, 2020
Heriot-Watt University

Email: em102(at)hw.ac.uk

Pippa Holroyd

Athena SWAN Summer Scholarship Student, 2020
Heriot-Watt University

Email: pg30(at)hw.ac.uk

Clara Flegel

IPAQS Summer Scholarship Student, 2019
Heriot-Watt University

Email: crf3(at)hw.ac.uk

Sean Condy

Undergraduate Project Student, 2018/19
Heriot-Watt University

Email: sc55(at)hw.ac.uk