Postdoctoral Research Assistant

Ao Wang

Dr. Ao Wang is a postdoctoral researcher in the group of Prof. Samuel Poncé.

Ao Wang received his bachelor's degree in Aircraft Engineering from Harbin Institute of Technology. He further obtained the master's degree in Harbin Institute of Technology supervised by Prof. Linhua Liu, with a focus on the near field radiative heat transfer. Later on, he joined the group of Prof. Hua Bao in Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and received the Ph.D degree in Power Engineering and Engineering Thermophysics in 2024. During his Ph.D career, he explored the heat carrier (electron and phonon) transport mechanisms in metals, including pristine and defective metallic compounds with complex unit cells. The method is mainly based on the combination of ab initio calculation and some analytical models. 

As a postdoctoral researcher, Ao Wang focuses on the impact of defects on the electrical and thermal transport properties of perovskites.

Jae-Mo Lihm

Dr. Jae-Mo Lihm is a postdoctoral researcher in the group of Prof. Samuel Poncé.

Jae-Mo received his bachelor's degree in physics from Seoul National University in 2018. He then joined the group of Prof. Cheol-Hwan Park at Seoul National University and received his Ph.D. degree in 2024. His research focuses on developing new concepts, methods, and software for studying real materials as well as interacting many-body systems. During his Ph.D. studies, he used first-principles density functional theory and Wannier function methods to study how phonons affect electrons and vice versa. He has also used Green's function methods to study strong electronic correlation in the real-frequency Keldysh formalism. 

Jae-Mo is interested in developing open-source software for electronic structure calculations. He contributes to several open source projects, including Quantum ESPRESSO, Wannier90, and EPW.

As a postdoctoral researcher, Jae-Mo will focus on the study of polaronic mass enhancement.

Álvaro Adrián Carrasco Álvarez

Dr. Álvaro Adrián Carrasco Álvarez is a postdoctoral researcher in the group of Prof. Samuel Poncé.

In 2019, Álvaro Adrián obtained his bachelor’s degree in physics with a major in fundamental physics from the Faculty of Science at the Universidad de Cantabria. Later on, he obtained a master's degree in Theoretical Physics in 2020 from the Faculty of Physical Sciences at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. After that, he joined the Laboratoire de Cristallographie et Sciences des Matériaux (CRISMAT) for his Ph.D. in the group of Dr. Wilfrid Prellier under the supervision of Dr. Julien Varignon in a joint collaboration with Dr. Manuel Bibes from Laboratoire Albert Fert, previously known as Unité Mixte de physique CNRS/Thales. During his Ph.D. he studied the physics of the recently discovered superconducting nickel oxides collaborating with experimental teams from CRISMAT and Laboratoire Albert Fert. In 2023 he obtained his Ph.D. from the Université de Caen Normandie. As a postdoctoral researcher, Álvaro Adrián will focus on studying electron-phonon interactions in magnetic materials.

Junwen Yin

Dr. Junwen Yin is a postdoctoral researcher in the group of Prof. Samuel Poncé.

In 2016, Junwen obtained his bachelor’s degree in chemistry at the College of Chemistry and Molecular Science, Wuhan University. After that, he joined the group of Prof. Limin Liu at Beijing Computational Science Research Center and was awarded a Ph.D degree in Condensed Physics in 2022. During his PhD study, he visited Prof. Keith Mckenna’s group at the University of York for a year.  During Junwen’s PhD study, he focused on the investigation of polaron behaviors in transition metal compounds and the phase transition mechanism of organometal perovskites. After graduation, Junwen Yin joined Intel for a year as a 3D NAND technology development engineer and was in charge of quality insurance of related semiconductor products.

Junwen Yin has a cross-disciplinary knowledge background due to his mixed academic training and industrial experience. His enthusiasm lies in the theoretical investigations of sustainable energy materials and AI-assisted material informatics technologies. As a postdoctoral researcher, Junwen will focus on the transport properties of lead-free perovskites using state-of-the art theoretical methods.

PhD students

Tom van Waas

Tom van Waas is an ASP-FNRS PhD student in the group of Prof. Samuel Poncé.


In 2019, Tom obtained a joint bachelor's degree in Molecular Science & Technology at Leiden University and Delft University of Technology (DUT) in the Netherlands and an Applied Physics bachelor's degree at DUT. In 2021, Tom completed the Applied Physics master's programme, also at DUT.


During their Casimir pre-PhD master's programme, Tom performed their main pre-PhD master’s project on first-principles simulations of halide double perovskites involving Prof. Ferdinand Grozema from DUT. Tom completed two shorter pre-PhD master’s projects at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI): one project on metal-organic frameworks in the van Bokhoven group and a project on angle-resolved spectroscopy of quantum materials under the supervision of Prof. J. Hugo Dil.


The PhD project of Tom is based on the latter pre-PhD project, where the aim is to study fully spin- and momentum-resolved electron-phonon interaction from first-principles simulations as well as from angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy at the PSI Laboratory for Advanced Spectroscopy and X-ray Sources and other beamlines.


When Tom is not found at their computer trying to solve a computational physics problem, they can be found on an outdoor running session or listening to some of their favourite jazz.

Yiming Zhang

Yiming Zhang is currently a PhD candidate in the group of Prof.Samuel Poncé.

Yiming was conferred Bachelor’s degree in Opto-Electronics Information Science and Engineering at Fudan University in the Optics department. After that, he was recommended to the graduate school and completed his master’s program in Optical Engineering in 2023.

From 2019 to 2023, Yiming was devoted to the research work on first-principle calculation on functional materials under the supervision of Prof. Hao Zhang. He investigated novel exciton condensate phenomena and exciton dynamics in semiconductor materials as well as the opto-electronic properties of a wide range of materials including TMD, double inorganic-organic perovskites.

In his PhD project, he aims at finding and characterizing novel superconducting materials using high-throughput computation and newly developed theoretical methods.

Mohammad Bakhsh

Mohammad Bakhsh is a Ph.D. candidate under Profs. Samuel Poncé and Gian-Marco Rignanese and holds a Chemical Engineering Bachelor's degree from Mehran UET Jamshoro, Pakistan. He was awarded a scholarship from Pakistan's Higher Education Commission (HEC) for his master's and Ph.D. studies in Belgium.

During the 1st semester of his master's program in Chemical and Materials Engineering at VUB and ULB, he discovered his inclination toward materials science over process technology. This realization prompted him to choose materials science as his area of specialization. His enthusiasm is fuelled by his keen interest in working on solar cell materials, considering the substantial impact of solar cell technology on the lives of individuals in underdeveloped and developing nations, and its position as a leading renewable energy technology.

He aims to employ machine learning and first-principle calculations in his Ph.D. to address solar cell technology challenges.

Principal Investigator

Samuel Poncé

Samuel Poncé is an F.R.S.-FNRS Research Associate and Professor at the Université catholique de Louvain in Belgium.

He completed his PhD in Solid State Physics at the Université catholique de Louvain in 2015 under the supervision of Prof. Gonze. He earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s  degrees in Civil Engineering at the Université catholique de Louvain in 2008 and 2010, respectively. 

Samuel was a Postdoctoral Research Assistant in the group of Prof. Giustino in the Department of Materials at the University of Oxford and a Junior Research Fellow of the Wolfson College from 2015 to 2019. 

From 2019 to 2021, he was a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow in the Institute of Materials from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in the group of Prof. Marzari.

CV available here.