Beth Nowadnick

Assistant Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Beth grew up in Washington state and did her B.S. in physics and mathematics at Stanford University. She continued at Stanford for her Ph.D. in condensed matter physics, where she worked with Prof. Tom Devereaux. After postdoc positions at Columbia and Cornell Universities with Profs. Andrew Millis and Craig Fennie, she started as an assistant professor in physics at New Jersey Institute of Technology in 2017. In 2019, she joined the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at UC Merced as an assistant professor. Outside the lab, Beth enjoys running, hiking, cooking, and spending time with her family.

Contact: enowadnick [AT] ucmerced [DOT] edu


Brad Barker

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Brad grew up in Florida and completed his bachelors in physics and in mathematics from the University of Florida. His dissertation work at the University of California, Berkeley with Prof. Steven G. Louie was on first-principles electronic structure and optical properties of materials calculations based on many-body perturbation theory (GW and GW/BSE). His previous postdoctoral work with Prof. David A. Strubbe at University of California, Merced was on first-principles calculations of electronic structure of open-shell systems, such as quantum defects in solids, via the Spin-Flip Bethe-Salpeter Equation. He now works since 2023 with Prof. Beth Nowadnick and Dr. Sinéad Griffin on theoretical calculations relevant to electronic control of spin states in magnetic dopant defects in ferroelectric oxide crystals. Personal hobbies include building, repairing, modifying, and sometimes even playing musical electronics and instruments.

Contact: bbarker6 [AT] ucmerced [DOT] edu


Kuntal Talit

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Kuntal is from West Bengal, India. He completed his M.Tech in materials engineering and M.Sc in applied physics from Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur. After completing his masters, Kuntal worked as an application developer in Mainframe for 5 years at IBM. He finished his Ph.D.  in physics from University of California, Merced in 2022 where he worked with Prof. David Strubbe. His Ph.D. research investigated the local strain, symmetry, and elastic properties of methylammonium lead iodide (MAPI) hybrid perovskites using density functional theory. His research interests include energy and storage materials, superconducting materials, machine learning, and AI. Outside lab, Kuntal enjoys cooking, swimming, long road trips, and spending time with his kid.

Contact: ktalit [AT] ucmerced [DOT] edu

Nabaraj Pokhrel

Nabaraj Pokhrel

PhD student, Physics

Nabin is from Nepal where he received his bachelor’s and master’s in physics from Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu. In his master’s thesis, he studied metal-ligand charge transfer in transition metal aqua-complexes using density functional theory. He joined the Nowadnick group in 2019. His research interests include employing density functional theory along with group theoretic arguments to understand wide range of phenomena in materials such as ferroelectricity and piezoelectricity in layered perovskite oxides, spin-orbit interactions in strongly correlated systems, and coupling of ferroelectricity and magnetism to manipulate isolated spins in complex oxides.

Contact: npokhrel [AT] ucmerced [DOT] edu


Kishwar-E Hasin

PhD student, Materials and Biomaterials Science and Engineering

Kishwar-E Hasin joined the Nowadnick group in 2020. Her research focus is to use the Density Functional Theory (DFT)-based quantum mechanical simulation techniques and group theoretical analysis to predict  materials properties, in particular  ferroelectric and piezoelectric properties, of complex layered perovskite oxides to improve electronic devices. Kishwar is from Jashore, Bangladesh and received her bachelor’s and M.S. degrees in Physics from Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh.  She loves cooking, gardening, painting, and traveling.

Contact: khasin [AT] ucmerced [DOT] edu

Md Kamal Hossain

PhD student, Physics

Kamal’s research focuses on ferroelectric perovskite oxide materials. He is experienced in using density functional theory (DFT) simulations and symmetry analysis, and is passionate about exploring new and innovative ways to understand and predict the fundamental behavior of materials. Kamal was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He pursued his education in physics, earning both his B.Sc. and M.S. degrees from Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh.

Contact: mhossain5 [AT] ucmerced [DOT] edu


Haseeb Ahmad

1st year rotation student, Physics

Haseeb is interested in applying computational and numerical methods to simulate materials to find their applications in the real world. He is from Pakistan and completed his MS in Physics from Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). He loves hiking, playing cricket and foosball, and science outreach.

Contact: hahmad4 [AT] ucmerced [DOT] edu




Sriram Poyyappakam Ramkumar, Postdoctoral Research Associate (2018-2020). Present position: Senior Engineer, Micron Technology

Zachary Clemens, Undergraduate researcher, UC Merced (2020)

Aneer Lamichhane, PhD student, New Jersey Institute of Technology (2018-19)

Gerassimos Giannoulis, Undergraduate researcher, Ramapo College of New Jersey (2018)