Dr. Alannah Hallas, Principal Investigator at UBC’s Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute (Blusson QMI) and Assistant Professor at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, has been named a 2023 Sloan Research Fellow.
Blusson QMI Scientific Director Professor Andrea Damascelli congratulated Hallas, noting that the fellowship recognizes her groundbreaking contributions to the discovery of new quantum materials through high-pressure synthesis.
“Dr. Hallas is a visionary leader and an exceptional interdisciplinary scholar with expertise in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. Her research program and achievements are world-class, and she is on a global leadership trajectory in quantum materials,” said Prof. Damascelli.
Hallas, who joined UBC in 2019 to establish the Hallas Research Group and Blusson QMI’s Quantum Materials Design Lab, said it’s an honor to be selected as a 2023 Sloan Fellow.
“One of the amazing aspects of this award is that it comes with generous funding that can be used for any research purpose. I’m aiming to use the funds to hire new graduate students to work on new projects and expand our reach to collaborate with other labs and facilities from across Canada and beyond,” said Dr. Hallas.
A Sloan Research Fellowship is one of the most prestigious awards available to young researchers providing winners with a two-year, US$75,000 fellowship to advance their research. Among the past Fellows are renowned physicists such as Richard Feynman and Donna Strickland.
As the head of the Quantum Material Design Lab, which is still in the development stage, Hallas has crafted an ambitious plan to develop high-pressure synthesis capabilities, including a high-pressure image furnace apparatus that will be the first of its kind in Canada.
“We’re working towards having a very unique set of synthesis capabilities, which will allow us to explore quantum materials under extremely high pressures to discover materials that can’t be accessed in any other way, and those materials we hope will have very fascinating quantum properties,” Dr. Hallas said.
Hallas has been recognized with numerous major international awards, including: Vanier Graduate Scholarship (2014); Smalley-Curl Postdoctoral Fellowship in Quantum Materials (2017); Neutron Scattering Society of America Prize (2018), and the prestigious Bryan R. Coles Early Career Prize awarded at this year Strongly Correlated Electron System’s Conference (2022). In 2020, she was named CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar in Quantum Materials, a competitive international program recognizing tomorrow’s outstanding research leaders.
As a 2023 Sloan Fellow, Hallas joins former Sloan fellows from Blusson QMI, including:
- Andrew Potter, 2021
- Joshua Folk, 2010
- Robert Raussendorf, 2009
- Andrea Damascelli, 2007
- Mona Berciu, 2006
- Marcel Franz, 2002
- Douglas Bonn, 1996
- Ian Affleck, 1983
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation President Adam F. Falk said Sloan Research Fellows are shining examples of innovative and impactful research.
“We are thrilled to support their groundbreaking work, and we look forward to following their continued success,” said Falk.
Learn more about Dr. Hallas’ research here.
Nominations for the 2024 Sloan Research Fellowships will open on Saturday, July 15, 2023. Please see here for more information.