Dr. Sara Ejtemaee receives Dean's Convocation Medal

June 02, 2016

As one of SFU's most outstanding graduate students from the Faculty of Science, Dr. Sara Ejtemaee is being recognized with the award of the Dean of Graduate Studies Convocation Medal. On behalf of SFU, we congratulate Dr. Ejtemaee on her outstanding achievements. 

Dr. Sara Ejtemaee came to SFU from the University of Tehran, where she graduated amongst the top 5% of her class. She completed both her master's and doctoral degrees at Simon Fraser University.

For her doctoral research in atomic-optical physics, Sara Ejtemaee used trapped atomic ions as a tool to study universal features of phase transitions. Her work points the way to new directions for storing and manipulating quantum information, and she developed techniques that are important advances towards quantum computing.

The external reviewer for her dissertation, Dynamics of Trapped Ions Near the Linear-Zigzag Structural Phase Transition, said that her work is outstanding, novel and important.

Dr. Eldon Emberly, Physics Graduate Program Chair, adds, "Sara has made some truly impressive contributions to a very active and hot area of physics. Indeed, the physics that she uncovered may transcend behaviour from the quantum level all the way to the cosmic scale."

Her supervisor, Dr. Paul Haljan, says, "Sara's extensive theoretical and experimental results will lead to two further first-author publications, the first of which has been submitted to Physical Review Letters, one of the top journals in our field."

During her PhD degree, she presented her work in many local and international conferences and was the recipient of three poster presentation prizes. She also has received a number of awards including the President’s PhD Scholarship and a graduate student research award.

In addition to her research, she worked as the treasurer of the SFU physics graduate caucus for two years, and volunteered for a number of physics workshops for children.  After six months of travelling, she is planning to continue her research path in industry.

She says, "I would like to thank my supervisor Dr. Paul Haljan for his continuous support throughout my graduate studies at SFU."

She adds a few tips for future experimental grad students: "Lab work needs your full attention, because little mistakes can cost lots of time to fix. And don't give up — sometimes the best results are obtained when you are the most disappointed!"

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