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Faculty Spotlight: Mahmoud Abdel-Hafiez

Mahmoud Abdel-Hafiez, PhD will be joining the Department of Physics this fall as an Associate Professor and the Director of the Louisiana Accelerator Center (LAC) for the Fall 2023 semester. Abdel-Hafiez brings with him a distinguished academic background and a wealth of international experience. He currently serves as an Associate Professor of Physics at Uppsala University in Sweden and holds a Research Associate position at the Department of Physics at Harvard University in the USA. His academic journey has taken him across various countries, including Belgium, China, and Germany, where he held appointments prior to his current affiliations.He completed his doctoral studies at Dresden University of Technology, Germany, and his dedication to advancing scientific knowledge has been recognized with a three-year German Science Foundation Young Investigator Award in 2015. In 2018, he received the Outstanding Young Scientist award from the Overseas Chinese Physicists Association for his contributions during his time at the Center for High Pressure Science and Technology Advanced Research in Shanghai.

Dr. Abdel-Hafiez's research interests lie at the intersection of quantum (magnetic) materials, where he explores fundamental questions related to quantum fluctuations, topology, and disorder. His work has led to the creation of novel states of matter with unique and functional properties. His expertise is underscored by his extensive publication record, with more than 102 papers published in high-impact scientific journals. He has already supervised 11 Masters and four PhD-students. On the academic level, he is deeply interested in developing practical’s, lecture-material, and applying novel pedagogical tools. He has acquired a breadth of experience in teaching (2013- present) as a teaching assistant and lecturer for a range of courses in Physics for graduate and undergraduate students.

As a research group leader at the UL Lafayette, he aims to lead a diverse group answering fundamental and basic questions in condensed matter physics using cutting edge tools available at UL Lafayette. With twelve years' experience of quantum material characterizations, he wants to build up a laboratory focusing on Materials under extreme conditions. Laboratory’s aim is to explore and understand materials physics at extreme conditions of high pressure in GPa range (1 GPa = 10,000 bar) in combination with extreme temperature, field and chemical reactivity. With The aim to discover novel materials which exhibit fascinating physical phenomena. He wants to establish a high pressure laboratory of novel quantum matter including (quasi-two dimensional, topological, kagome crystals, magnetic materials, etc). His group at the Physics Department at the UL Lafayette will contribute to the understanding of various quantum materials by growing and characterizing single crystals of highest quality. The preparation as well as the extreme conditions characterization is equally important for his research group. With a specific interest in studying quantum materials with Raman, x-ray diffraction (XRD), and transport experiments in high pressure and low temperatures. His research goals will undeniably promote and sustain a much-needed synergy between various theoretical and experimental research directions that involve scientists at Physics Department at the UL Lafayette, as well as with national and international collaborators.

In addition to his research work, Dr. Abdel-Hafiez also possesses excellent leadership skills. He served as the German president of the Arab-German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities (AGYA) in 2022, demonstrating his commitment to academic excellence and collaboration. His passion for science communication and public outreach further enriches his academic contributions.