Sam Edwards thesis prize for Clara Wanjura

Prestigious award for best PhD thesis in theoretical condensed matter physics goes to researcher from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light (MPL).

Clara Wanjura, a postdoctoral fellow in the Division of MPL director Florian Marquardt, has just won the Institute of Physics (IoP) prize for the best PhD thesis (Sam Edwards Thesis Prize). This is an annual prize selecting the best PhD thesis in the field of Theory of Condensed Matter in the UK. The IoP committee recognized the MPL researcher for her doctoral work, which has contributed most strongly to the advancement of theoretical condensed matter physics. Wanjura won the award for her PhD thesis “Non-Hermitian Topology and Directional Amplification in Driven-Dissipative Cavity Arrays”, which she wrote at the University of Cambridge in 2022 under the supervision of Andreas Nunnenkamp.

This is the second prize she has won within a year, as in 2022, she also won a Student Award of the Cambridge Society for the Application of Research (CSAR) and recently gave a prize talk about her PhD research in Cambridge. The CSAR PhD Student Awards are intended to recognize outstanding research of PhD students within the University of Cambridge with real world application and to assist students to pursue their research or careers. She explained: ‘I am honoured to receive these awards and see them as recognition of my work. At the same time, I was able to meet and connect with many international scientists during the award ceremonies and at the prize talks taking away exciting new impulses for my research.’

In her current research the scientist is now working with Florian Marquardt at MPL on neuromorphic computing while continuing to investigate phenomena associated with non-Hermitian topology.

You can find out more about her work and that of the Marquardt Division on their website.

Image 1 (Clara Wanjura): Sam Edwards Thesis prize ceremony. Left: Dr Ryan Barnett, right: Dr Clara Wanjura.

Image 2 (Clara Wanjura): CSAR prize ceremony. Professor Andy Neely OBE (Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge), right: Dr Clara Wanjura.



Edda Fischer

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