Alumni

June 24, 2020 at 10:25 am

Notable Ph.D. Alumnus Reflects on His OHIO Experience

Andreas Weichselbaum in Clippinger Laboratories

By Kate Nichols
NQPI Editorial Intern
Nanoscale and Quantum Phenomena Institute 2020 Spring Newsletter

Theoretical physicist and Ohio University alumnus Andreas Weichselbaum (Ph.D. 2004) returned to OHIO to deliver an  NQPI colloquium on numerical techniques based on tensor network states.

During his visit, the College of Arts & Sciences presented Weichselbaum with the 2019 Notable Alumni Award, which honors alumni for broad career accomplishments, commitment to community service, and valuable contributions to OHIO and the College of Arts & Sciences.

His career has had a remarkable trajectory. Upon graduation, Weichselbaum accepted a postdoc position at the Ludwig-Maximilians Universität in Munich, in Germany. In 2008 he joined the University of California at Irvine as a visiting researcher before heading back to Munich for a “venia docendi,” a teaching and research position. He worked as an independent researcher since 2011 and was awarded a Heisenberg Fellowship in 2015 funded by DFG, the German Science Rresearch foundation. In 2018, Weichselbaum joined the Condensed Matter Physics & Materials Science Department of Brookhaven National Laboratory as a staff scientist.

His work includes studies on condensed matter theory and and the development of large-scale computational techniques to perform research on systems with strong correlations. Notably, his current research on material science could become a foundation for quantum computing.

In 2018, Weichselbaum joined the Condensed Matter Physics & Materials Science Department of Brookhaven National Laboratory as a staff scientist.

His OHIO Experience

When he arrived at OHIO as a student in 1999, Weichselbaum’s transition to the U.S. graduate system was like “a jump into cold water.” During that first year on campus, he found himself drawn to theoretical physics and began working with physicist Dr. Sergio Ulloa. Soon after, he came to appreciate the sense of independence fostered in Ulloa’s group. Ulloa became a role model, particularly with respect to his communication skills in sharing his research with others.

As a graduate student, he realized there were many things to figure out, but together with the other graduate students in the physics program, he quickly adjusted to life in the United States.

“It was a good experience that we had to figure out things together. There was a very good crowd, and I still have a great respect for many of the grad students then.” He added, “I very much like Athens, for the environment because I really consider people being polite and nicer, including grad students. In terms of [my time here] it was five years that I very much enjoyed.”

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