Blusson QMI Investigator Dr. Alannah Hallas has been awarded the Early Career Scientist Prize in the field of Magnetism by the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP).

An Assistant Professor in UBC’s Department of Physics & Astronomy, Hallas has received the award for outstanding contributions to the discovery of magnetic quantum materials through advanced synthesis methods.

Blusson QMI Scientific Director Professor Andrea Damascelli congratulated Hallas, noting that the discovery of new magnetic materials plays a critical role in driving the field forward.

“Alannah is unique in her generation of young scientists in her ability to perform at such a high calibre in both her scholarly and pedagogical pursuits,” said Damascelli.

Hallas, who joined UBC in 2019 to establish a research group and Blusson QMI’s Quantum Materials Design Lab, said she’s thrilled to receive the award.

Image: Dr. Alannah Hallas, Blusson QMI Investigator.

“I’ve done a lot of different types of research throughout my career, but magnetism has really been the common thread since the beginning. Almost every material that I’ve put my hands on has been magnetic,” said Hallas.

Most recently Hallas has initiated a substantial research effort in the magnetism of high entropy oxides (HEOs) as part of Blusson QMI Grand Challenge: atomistic approach to emergent properties of disordered materials. HEOs flip traditional materials science paradigms on their head by seeking to understand what properties arise in the presence of profound configurational disorder.

Her team has conducted one of the first comprehensive investigations of the magnetic characteristics of high entropy oxides.

Published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, the study shows that the magnetic state in spinel HEO has extreme tunability close to room temperature, making the system a strong candidate for technological applications.

In addition to her outstanding scholarship in the discovery of new quantum magnets, Hallas has made important contributions to the training of the next generation of scientists in the field of magnetism.

This is best highlighted by her recent work on the interpretation of magnetic susceptibility measurements, one of the most important and ubiquitous tools in the characterization of magnetic materials.

Through the training of students, Hallas observed that while collecting this data is rather straightforward, the analysis often proves to be a stumbling block. Her work bridges the gap from the fundamental aspects of magnetism, often covered in textbooks, to the application of this knowledge to real experimental data.

The IUPAP Early Career Scientist Prize in the field of Magnetism is awarded every year to an early career scientist for theoretical or experimental work in fields of fundamental or applied magnetism. This award was initially established in 2006 to separately recognize theoretical/computational work and experimental work in magnetism, and awarded every three years at the International Conference on Magnetism (ICM).

The award will be presented to Dr. Hallas at the 2024 International Conference on Magnetism (ICM2024), to be held in Bologna, Italy, during June 30-July 5, 2024.


Learn more about Alannah Hallas here.

Image (left to right): Mario Gonzalez-Rivas, Dr. Alannah Hallas, Janna Machts, Samikshya Sahu, and Joern Bannies. Credit: Paul Joseph.