MSUToday
Published: Dec. 10, 2019

College of Natural Science professor receives prestigious award

Contact(s): Val Osowski College of Natural Science office: (517) 432-4561 osowskiv@msu.edu, Layne Cameron Media Communications office: (517) 353-8819 cell: (765) 748-4827 camer102@msu.edu

Mohammad Maghrebi, assistant professor in the Michigan State University Department of Physics and Astronomy in the College of Natural Science, was among only 40 researchers at 30 institutions nationally — and the only faculty member at MSU — to receive a prestigious 2019 Air Force Office of Scientific Research, or AFOSR, Young Investigator Research Program award. 

The highly competitive AFOSR award is intended to foster creative research in science and engineering, enhance early career development of outstanding young researchers and increase opportunities for young researchers to recognize the science and engineering challenges related to the U.S. Air Force mission. 

It provides up to $150,000 a year for three years in project support.

Maghrebi will use the funding for his project, Driven-dissipative Architectures: New Routes to Quantum Phases and Technologies. The goal of the work is to determine phases and phase transitions that are unique to these nonequilibrium platforms and to identify the challenges and opportunities of these systems in applications to quantum information science and technologies.

“It’s an honor to receive the AFOSR Young Investigator award and, in a meaningful way, the affirmation of the scientific community,” Maghrebi said. “More broadly, this award points to the exciting opportunities that are afforded by the recent advances in engineering synthetic quantum materials in the lab.” 

Maghrebi’s research is focused on condensed matter physics and atomic, molecular and optical physics, specifically in the context of driven-dissipative platforms. His interests also include entanglement in quantum many-body systems, long-range interacting systems and topological phases among others.

“We are really fortunate to have Dr. Maghrebi in our department,” said Carlo Piermarocchi, physics and astronomy professor and Maghrebi’s mentor. “Mohammad is an expert on the theory of quantum systems that dissipate energy and are driven by external perturbations, such as lasers.”

The Air Force Office of Scientific Research is the basic research component of the Air Force Research Laboratory. This year, the program awarded approximately $17.8 million in grants to research institutions and businesses who submitted winning research proposals through the Air Force’s Young Investigator Research Program. 

For a complete list of 2019 AFOSR award recipients, visit www.wpafb.af.mil.

Mohammad Maghrebi, assistant professor in the Michigan State University department of physics and astronomy in the College of Natural Science, was among only 40 researchers to receive a prestigious 2019 Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Research Program award.