Young Professionals 2018: The Next Generation in Cryogenics Part 2

Young Professionals introduces outstanding young professionals (under 40 years of age) who are doing interesting things in cryogenics and superconductivity and who show promise of making a difference in their fields. Debuted in the Summer 2006 issue, the feature has presented many young persons whom we are proud to see have indeed lived up to that promise. Click here for Part 1 of the sixth installment of this series.

Isabel-Gomez_webIsabel Guillamón Gómez, 36
My educational and professional background:
I earned my Bachelor in Physics at the Universidad de Murcia, Spain, in 2004, and a PhD in Condensed Matter Physics at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in 2009.

How I got into cryogenics: My exposure to cryogenics came during my PhD studies. I worked first with a helium-4 cryostat for a few months and then learned how to use a helium-3 / helium-4 dilution refrigerator.

My mentor and my experience with him/her: One of my PhD advisors, Dr. Hermann Suderow from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, positively influenced the way I faced scientific problems at different stages of my research career. He first showed me background concepts on low temperature physics and taught me about dilution refrigerators, including a combination with scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). Later, after my postdoctoral studies, he provided strong support to help me establish myself as an independent researcher. I also highly value my experience with Sebastián Vieira, who convinced me to come to Madrid to pursue my PhD.

My present company/position: I am the Ramon y Cajal Fellow at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, a tenure track position.

—European Nicholas Kurti Science prize, 2015
—ERC Starting Grant, 2015.

My contributions to the cryogenic field: My research addresses major challenges in superconductivity. I use advanced experimental tools—such as STM or quantum oscillations (QO)—that require very low temperatures and very high magnetic fields. Both STM and QO provide beautiful pictures, with STM creating images of the real space and QO of the reciprocal space. Using these images, we can explain complicated concepts of solid-state physics, such as the wavelike properties of electrons and their scattering by the periodic lattice potential.

I have developed several experiments, such as dilution refrigeration scanning tunneling microscopes at very high magnetic fields, where we aim now to go up to 22 T using a superconducting magnet. I have obtained results of relevance for fundamentals of superconductivity, current carrying phenomena, 2D systems and electron correlations.

I have made several breakthroughs in vortex physics, including the long sought, and first, direct visualization of the vortex liquid, and studied the microscopic mechanism behind the order-disorder transition in the vortex lattice at high magnetic fields. These problems are relevant to understanding how dissipation enters into a superconductor and how the superconductor loses the property of having zero resistance. I also devised new methods to improve current carrying capability in nanostructured superconductors. In the high Tc superconductors, I showed the influence of electronic correlations on the critical temperature.

I also work with charge density waves, a subject very dear to me. Amazingly, electrons like to form standing waves that extend coherently over the whole crystal, a property shown in a few nearly two-dimensional materials, such as the dichalcogenide NbSe2. Vortex cores show amazing shapes in these materials, producing beautiful images with lots of physics inside!

What are the most important developments in cryogenics? In my view one of the most important developments has been the design and production of new superconducting wires capable of carrying higher current densities under much stronger magnetic fields. These have allowed for the construction of both hybrid magnets and all-superconducting magnets, including a 32T all-superconducting magnet completed at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in 2017, the world’s most powerful superconducting magnet. Such advances will make it possible to use high magnetic fields for new research fields, including STM and nuclear or electron magnetic resonance that requires low noise environments that are less difficult to obtain using resistive magnets.

One of my research aims is developing an STM technique at the highest possible magnetic fields. Microscopes under very high magnetic fields will allow the direct visualization of electronic correlations and provide conclusive answers to key questions in condensed matter physics. High field microscopes can be used in graphene, nanotechnology, superconductivity or magnetism. I am currently using these microscopes to investigate the origin of high temperature superconductivity in the new iron-based superconductors.

What advances do you hope to see in the future? I believe that in the near future we will be able to make high field research at cryogenic temperatures accessible to many more scientists. This requires the development of better performing superconducting wires to produce higher and higher magnetic fields in both resistive and superconducting magnets and to make experiments less sensitive to noisy environments.

Where can readers find out more about your projects? Readers can follow me on Twitter @Isabel.guillamon and on several websites, including,, and

Ram-Dhuley_webRam Dhuley, 30
My educational and professional background: I completed my BS-MS in Mechanical Engineering in 2010 at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering in 2016 at Florida State University. Cryogenics was the focus during my entire education and I am presently a staff engineer at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

How did you get into cryogenics? Do you or did you have a mentor? Prof. Milind Atrey, my undergraduate advisor, introduced me to cryogenics while I was preparing for an undergraduate seminar. Following the seminar, I spent a semester helping his PhD student in developing and experimenting with pulse tube refrigerators. Building and experimenting with intricate setups felt exciting and it was during this time I developed interest in cryogenics. Later on, I was very fortunate to conduct my PhD research under the guidance of Prof. Steven Van Sciver, playing with helium cryogenics. Both professors have been extremely helpful mentors, academically as well as professionally.

What is your present company/position? I am a staff engineer in the Sub-Kelvin cryogenics group at Fermilab. I am also part of the Illinois Accelerator Research Center within the lab, working on projects aimed at transferring the technology invented in-house from its current research setting into the industrial arena.

—Best paper award (with Prof. Milind Atrey), 23rd National Symposium on Cryogenics, India, 2011
—Student Meritorious Paper Award (with Prof. Steven Van Sciver), 2015 Cryogenic Engineering Conference, US
—John Bardeen Fellowship, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, 2016, US

My contributions to the cryogenic field: Part of my doctoral research looked into the scenario of accidental loss of vacuum in cryogenic systems containing liquid helium. My contribution was primarily the development of experimental techniques and instrumentation for investigating some of the heat and mass transfer processes that occur during an accidental vacuum loss scenario. I hope that these will help in the safety aspects of real world large-scale cryogenic systems, such as particle accelerators and superconducting magnet systems.

Thermal contact resistance often presents itself as a bottleneck in the thermal design of low temperature cryogenic systems. Over the last two years, I have designed and performed experiments to understand low temperature heat transfer across metal-metal joints as well as metal-superconductor joints. My team has contributed a couple of articles to the Cryogenics journal that describe our findings and present data that could help the cryogenics community in its research.

What are the most important developments in cryogenics? Development of commercial technology for helium liquefaction (Collins cycle) and discovery of materials with low temperature magnetic phase transitions (that go inside commercial 4 K cryocoolers), I believe, are two of the many impactful developments in the field of cryogenics. The Collins cycle made possible in-house liquefaction of helium while the 4 K cryocoolers enabled attaining 4 K without requiring liquid helium. Both these technologies opened doors for university and small-scale research centers to conduct research economically below 4 K.

What advances do you hope to see in the future? Advances include superconducting computing, which would enable compact large-scale computers; efficient hydrogen liquefiers, which may help foster hydrogen economy; and large-scale cryogenic capture of carbon dioxide for greenhouse remediation. It is difficult to say when we will realize these technologies, but hopefully in a decade or so.

Where can readers find out more about your projects? My projects/contributions are accessible on Research Gate. This is a very good platform for connecting with people and for staying up to date with their latest findings. I am also active on LinkedIn.

Hong-Hu_webHong Hu, 30
My educational and professional background: My research in cryogenics began in 2007. I received a BS from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 2010 and an MS and PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Florida in 2013 and 2015 respectively. After my PhD, I accepted my current engineering position at Philips Medical System.

How I got into cryogenics: When I was a kid, rockets, satellites and space exploration always fascinated me. In 2007, I had the opportunity to study thermal management for a satellite using cryogenic fluids. My first project was a visualization study of the cryogenic fluid flow pattern development inside tubes and minitubes during heating. From there, my work in cryogenics has never stopped.
My mentor and my experience with him/her: My mentor was Dr. Jacob N. Chung, my PhD supervisor at the University of Florida. Dr. Chung is a very kind professor with abundant knowledge of cryogenics, heat transfer, thermodynamics, bubble dynamics and aerospace engineering.

My present company/position: I am a cryogenic design engineer and lead mechanical engineer in Philips Medical System’s MR division, in charge of superconducting magnet design. Most of my work is on general superconductor magnet and cryogenic vessel design, multilayer insulation and cryogenic fluid management. NASA has awarded my lab multiple microgravity flight experiment opportunities to conduct microgravity cryogenic tests.

My contributions to the cryogenic field: I have published 11 journal and conference papers. My PhD studies investigated heat transfer and flow characteristics during cryogenic fluid transportation and thermal enhancement technology.

I designed an accurate and large terrestrial pipe quenching apparatus and database to support the NASA Space Launch System. I was also the first researcher to bring a nanoporous surface into the cryogenic fluid area to improve the cryogenic quench and heat transfer efficiency, an advancement for which I received my first patent.

At Philips, I am in charge of the mechanical design and thermal control for superconducting magnets. My work has reduced the cost of the MRI system by using advanced thermal control techniques. I have also submitted three patent applications on a 4 K cryocooler and thermal control.

What are the most important developments in cryogenics? I believe the most important developments in cryogenics are superconductors and related techniques. Superconductor techniques have a profound impact on a great amount of science and technology development, including nuclear fusion, rocket propulsion, MRI, atom accelerator, superconductor batteries, etc.

I think the improved performance of high temperature superconductors and cryocooler development can greatly improve the performance and reduce the cost of MRI systems. I am currently working on the mechanical and thermal design of a cryogenic vessel for MRI that will directly contribute to healthcare. I am very proud of my job.

What advances do you hope to see in the future? The development of 4 K cryocoolers keeps moving forward, and I believe in the next 15 years we may be able to see 2W 4 K cryocoolers in commercial production. There are also breakthrough findings on high temperature superconductors every year. However, due to the high cost, low mechanical performance and fatigue, the most current MRI systems and other superconductor applications are still using Niobium-titanium (NbTi), which requires liquid helium to maintain the temperature and 4K cryocooler system. In the next 20 years, we may be able to see BSCCO and YBCO in production units.

Where can readers find out more about your projects? Although I am not a frequent social media user, I still share all my research projects on Research Gate, Google Scholar and LinkedIn:, and

Jianye-Chen_webJianye Chen, 29
My educational and professional background: I have a PhD in Refrigeration and Cryogenic Engineering from Zhejiang University and a BS in Power and Engineering from Huazhong University of Science and Technology, both in China.

How I got into cryogenics: My first introduction to cryogenics was during my undergraduate study at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, where I learned about cryogenics in space. Then, after I started my graduate career in the Cryoboat group led by Prof. Limin Qiu at Zhejiang University, I was exposed to the whole cryogenic world.

My mentor and my experience with him/her: My mentor, and also my PhD dissertation supervisor, is Prof. Xiaobin Zhang from the Cryoboat group at Zhejiang University. I have been fortunate to carry out research under his guidance. Prof. Zhang was very influential in introducing me to both the cryogenic world and rigorous academia. He helped me build a cryogenic two-phase knowledge system, offered me opportunities in cryogenic projects and encouraged my participation in the Cryogenic Engineering Conference. Most importantly—and what I really appreciate—is that Prof. Zhang taught me how to be a good teacher and supervisor by his own example.
My present company/position: I am a lecturer in Huazhong University of Science and Technology in central China.

— China Air Separation Scholarship, Outstanding Graduate Student of Zhejiang University.

My contributions to the cryogenic field: Most of my work has focused on cryogenic two-phase flow. With the background of rectifying columns in the air separation industry, I joined a research development program in China, clarified the flow behaviors for flooding phenomenon and proposed a modified flooding velocity correlation. Related achievements have been published in many journals and books, including Cryogenics, Chemical Engineering Science and the “Handbook of Multiphase Flow Science and Technology.” I have also done some experimental and numerical work on cryogenic boiling, including discovering the distinction of morphology and heat flux between cryogenic fluids and common fluids.

What are the most important developments in cryogenics? It is difficult to narrow down the important developments in cryogenics to only one, but from my point of view, the large-scale liquefaction of gases is the most important development in cryogenics since pure gases have broad applications in industries and our lives. My investigation of the cryogenic flooding phenomenon is a contribution to clarifying the limit state in the rectifying column of an air separation unit.

What advances do you hope to see in the future? I hope that more advanced cryogenic products could offer alternatives for various industries, so that cryogenics could have more widespread use and display new vigor. The time it takes to achieve such advances depends on the efforts all the generations in cryogenics are making.

Where can readers find out more about your projects? I usually post my research findings on Research Gate at

Charlie-Sanabria_webCharlie Sanabria, 29
My educational and professional background: I earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering.

How I got into cryogenics: My research during both my undergraduate and graduate years involved superconductors and therefore a general knowledge of cryogenics.

My mentor and my experience with him/her: I had many mentors and I consider mentors in general to be a crucial part of anybody’s development both in professional careers and in life. My mentors guided and encouraged me constantly, while at the same time allowing me to explore my capabilities and research style.

My present company/position: Postdoc at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

—Victor Keilin Memorial Prize (Materials) Best Paper for “Development of Superconducting Materials for Large Scale Applications.” Award presented at the Applied Superconductivity Conference in Denver, September 4-9, 2016.
—Best Student Paper Materials 1st Place. Award presented at the Applied Superconductivity Conference in Denver, CO, September 4-9, 2016.
—2016 Academic Leadership Award at Florida State University.
—Best Student Paper, Large Scale, 2nd Place award presented at the Applied Superconductivity Conference in Charlotte, NC, August 10‑15, 2014.
—Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Council on Superconductivity (CSC) Graduate Study Fellowship in Applied Superconductivity award presented at the 23rd Magnet Technology Conference at Westin Copley Place in Boston, July 14‑19, 2013.

My contributions to the cryogenic field: My work has so far mainly concerned performance improvement of superconductors via heat treatment modifications.

What are the most important developments in cryogenics? To me, as a space enthusiast, cryogenic systems for space exploration are at the top of my list. Unfortunately I have not had the opportunity to link my research to space exploration.

What advances do you hope to see in the future? If we are to send humans to Mars, we need magnetic fields to protect the astronauts from solar radiation during the six-month trip to the red planet. I would like to see massive superconducting magnets surrounding the spacecraft like a protective web. I imagine the cryogenic system to be just as complex as the magnet itself. Unfortunately very little research has been done in this area despite being a crucial part of the mission to Mars.

Where can readers find out more about your projects? I consider myself a knowledge junkie. I am constantly reading books on various subjects, and I do try to reach out through social media to share my findings. Although this has very little to do with my scientific research, the website describes my mission in life and I use it as a reminder to stay focused on the things that matter the most to me. It includes links to other social handles.

Shiran-Bao_webShiran Bao, 28
My educational and professional background: I earned my BE in energy and environment systems engineering in 2012 and my PhD in refrigeration and cryogenic engineering in 2017, both from Zhejiang University.

How did you get into cryogenics? I was introduced to the concept of cryogenics from a temperature scale illustration in a thermodynamics textbook. The lower part of the scale—containing liquid nitrogen, liquid helium, the lowest temperature achieved near absolute zero, etc.—was an alien world to me, filled with a sense of mystery that made it so interesting. These concepts became clear during my undergraduate study with guidance from professors at the Institute of Refrigeration and Cryogenics and upon PhD program enrollment I chose cryogenics as my major without hesitation and had the privilege to join the Cryoboat group.

My experience with my mentor: My mentor, Prof. Limin Qiu, is the group leader of Cryoboat. The first time I met Prof. Qiu was in an undergraduate course, where he often repeated the phrase “I have a very interesting thing to share with you all.” At the time, I never thought I would become part of his cryogenics group.

I soon got involved in a new topic for the group, using a magnetic field to enhance the air separation process. It developed from a brainstorming session between Prof. Qiu and a graduate student Zhao Wu during a train trip, when they discussed how to obtain pure oxygen without gravity, for example in space. I didn’t have much confidence when I first got involved, but Prof. Qiu’s enthusiasm for cryogenics and spirit of optimism always inspired me to investigate literature, to apply for funds and patents, to establish experiment systems and publish papers.

What is your present company/position? I’m now a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee FL.

—CEC Student Meritorious paper award at the 2017 Cryogenic Engineering Conference
—First prize, at both the 3rd and 4th National University Students Social Practice and Science Contest on Energy Saving and Emission Reduction.

My contributions to the cryogenic field: My research work has focused on cryogenic air separation, flow visualization and heat transfer enhancement.

Industrial gases are the “blood” of modern industry, where air separation serves as the main producer of oxygen, nitrogen and argon. Cryogenic air separation units make up a large part of the investment and operation fees in petrochemical and steel industries, so it’s of great significance to study the enhancement and energy conservation of cryogenic distillation.

During my PhD work, the Cryoboat team proposed a method of cryogenic distillation for air separation that was coupled with a non-uniform magnetic field and designed to increase separation efficiency by comprehensively utilizing the boiling point differences and the magnetism differences between oxygen and nitrogen.

We conducted numerical and experimental studies on this method with aspects of fluid flow, heat transfer and mass transfer. The free surface flow and convective heat transfer process of liquid oxygen in a rectangular channel under alternating magnetic field were studied numerically based on multi-physical models. The results showed that the flow control and heat transfer enhancement of oxygen-enriched fluid driven by magnetic fields had the advantage of high efficiency and low resistance.

A laser interferometric method was additionally used to investigate the influence of a non-uniform magnetic field and high gradient magnetic medium on the heat and mass transfer between liquid oxygen and liquid nitrogen. The research revealed a possible direction for the further development of high efficiency and compact cryogenic distillation apparatus. The team has published results in eight journal and conference papers, and three relevant patents were issued in China.

What are the most important developments in cryogenics? I think most of the important developments in recent decades are related to the widespread use of low temperature superconducting magnets. The extensive requirements for cryogenic systems in NMR spectrometers, fusion reactors and particle accelerators and more have greatly promoted the development of relevant cryogenic techniques, such as high power cryocooler and superfluid helium cooling.

Moreover, the expansion of superconducting technology to traditional industrial applications will also bring more opportunities to cryogenic technology in the near future. Magnetic enhanced air separation could also become a potential approach within these industrial applications.

I’ve recently started to work in the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory under the guidance of Prof. Wei Guo. My research will focus on the flow visualization in superfluid helium using He2* molecular tracers. The study of superfluid flow will also benefit the design of helium-based cooling systems for superconducting magnets.

What advances do you hope to see in the future? I expect cryogenic technology to play an important role in future significant scientific discoveries, such as controlled thermonuclear fusion, gravitational wave detection, and quantum computing. I believe all these fields will enter a fast-development stage in future decades.

Where can readers find out more about your projects? The research progress of relevant projects can be found at: (Institute of Refrigeration and Cryogenics, Zhejiang University); (Guo Cryogenics Lab, Florida State University); My ResearchGate page:

Swamini-Chopra_webSwamini Chopra, 26
My educational and professional background: I earned a diploma in mechanical engineering from India’s Government Polytechnic Aurangabad in 2010; my bachelor’s degree BE in mechanical engineering at Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University in 2013; and my post-graduation MTech in Manufacturing Engineering at Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Technological University in 2015.

How I got into cryogenics: I was introduced to cryogenics by professor Nitin Khandagale while searching for a seminar topic in my final year diploma. He gave me a number of research papers and articles on the cryogenic treatment of steels that aroused the curiosity of my then 19-year-old brain, and since then I have kept myself updated on the cryogenic treatment of materials.

My mentor and my experience with him/her: While doing the literature survey for my MTech project, I came across the research papers of Dr. N.B. Dhokey, who agreed to help me with the cryogenic treatment of CBN inserts and the microscopic studies of the same. I was also introduced to Dr. C.L. Gogte, a colleague of Dr. Dhokey, whose words provoked me into thinking about tool materials from the inside out and not only about the aftermath of cryogenic treatment. I was glad to complete my project under the guidance of these two researchers who encouraged my development and curiosity.

When I was planning for my PhD, I reached out to Dr. D.R. Peshwe. His team already worked in the field of cryogenic treatment of steels, cast iron, polymers, blends and composites; and with me as a fresh candidate, we plunged into the area of polymer nanocomposites.

My studies also involved Dr. Kavita Pande, who had studied the cryogenic treatment of polymers and its blends and composites under the supervision of Dr. Peshwe. I was reluctant to work with polymers, but she encouraged me to take up the challenge and explore the possibility of cryogenic treatment of polymer/CNT nanocomposites, and since then she has always been there for me whenever I needed to discuss the topic or to propose some crazy idea.

My present company/position: I am a Research Scholar in the Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering at Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology, Nagpur, M.S., India.

Awards/honors: I was awarded the Shri Baburao Bapuraoji Jadhav Gold Medal in 2013, and also four honorary prizes during my graduation that year: the Shri Balkrishna Limaye Prize for the highest marks in BE Mechanical; and the Shri Jivanrai Bodhankar Memorial Prize, the Smt. Ambabai Deshpande Prize and the Late Smt. Fulanbai Motilal Darak Rahurikar Prize, all for first in order of merit in BE Mechanical.

My contributions to the cryogenic field: I have published “Cryogenic Treatment of Cubic Boron nitride (CBN) Cutting Inserts,” a book that provides insight about the improvement in CBN structure after cryogenic treatment and how the reduction of surface asperities on a cutting tool is related to the reduction of surface roughness of a workpiece. The book shows that optimizing the parameters of cryogenic treatment improves the tool life of CBN cutting inserts.

My paper, “Effect of Cryo-Aging at Liquid Nitrogen Temperature and Subsequent Thermal-Annealing on the Interface of Talc Filled Polypropylene with Different Particle Size,” published in Transactions of the Indian Institute of Metals, focuses on the effect of cryogenic treatment on the tensile strength and wear performance of Talc/PP composites. In addition, I explored the effect of Talc particle size on the mechanical properties of cryo-treated PP composites. The performance of composites is later correlated with the adhesion chemistry of filler-matrix boundary.

Presently, I am working with two polymers for my PhD: Polyamide (PA) and Polybutylene Terephthalate (PBT). These two polymers are extensively used in automobiles—for machine elements such as gear, bearing, crank, bumper, locks, wipers, etc.—where good abrasion resistance is required. Based on this work, I am writing a chapter for “Polymer Nanocomposites for Advanced Engineering and Military Applications” focusing on the effect of cryogenically treating Polymer/MWCNT nanocomposite and further optimization of treatment parameters based on structural development, mechanical properties and failure analysis.

What are the most important developments in cryogenics? Cryogenics research can be applied to numerous applications, from the post-processing treatment of materials, to powering engines with liquid cryogens, to the preservation of tissues, cells and transplanted organs. None of this would have been achievable without the development of precise control devices and the progression of advanced characterization tools. For example, if it were not for the development of RTDs (real time digital simulators) and vacuum valves, the cryogenic treatment of metals and other materials would be very simple and rudimentary. Previously, the trend was to directly dip steel in liquid nitrogen, hold it there for a couple of hours and then allow it to return to room temperature. The thermal shock sustained by the steel often caused it to fail, though materials that passed this torture performed exceptionally.

Such processes were replaced with various pressure and temperature control devices and the computerization of the cryogenic treatment process. Studies of various materials have also established that cryogenic treatment is a material specific process where, in order to gain maximum advantage from the cryotreated material, it is essential to optimize the treatment parameters such as temperature and time.

With the CBN cutting insert steadily gaining popularity in the field of machining difficult-to-cut materials, its cryogenic treatment seemed an efficient route to improve tool life. Keeping this in mind, my MTech project was designed to optimize the cryotreatment parameters for CBN cutting inserts. On the same track, Dr. Peshwe’s team at V.N.I.T. Nagpur has been working on the cryogenic treatment of polymers, blends and composites, a rarely explored area in the development of materials. With two patents in the area of cryogenic treatment of polymer composites, our work is now extended to polymer nano-composites and process optimization.

What advances do you hope to see in the future? There are numerous articles, journals, books, patents, etc. that cement the fact that cryogenically treating a material helps to improve its properties. But the proof of actual performance will only be when these materials are put to definite use. It is well known that material replacement is a tough task and persuading industry to switch to new material is even tougher. Still, one can always hope to see these changes soon, both for the betterment of society and consequently for the research community.

Where can readers find out more about your projects? I am available at and also active at ■