Ioannis Kourakis photo
Ioannis Kourakis


Past Team Members (collaborators, visitors, supervisees)

(In inverse chronological order)

Postdoctoral Research Associates (PDRAs)

Vikrant Saxena pic Dr Vikrant Saxena - Postdoctoral Fellow (Nov 2011 - June 2013). Vikrant completed his PhD from Institute for Plasma Research (IPR), Gandhinagar, India before he joined our group as a postdoctoral fellow, funded by UK EPSRC. His main research interests are: hydrodynamic modeling and simulations of laser plasma interactions, and nonlinear wave dynamics in plasmas, including electromagnetic as well as electrostatic solitary waves. He is currently a Research Fellow at DESY, Hamburg, Germany.
Gianluca Sarri.pic Dr Gianluca Sarri - PDRA, supervised (September 2010 - July 2011); nonlinear structures in plasmas (theory, experiment). Currently: Lecturer, Queen's University, Belfast, UK.
Ashutosh Sharma.pic Dr Ashutosh Sharma - PDRA, supervised (April 2008 - March 2010); beam self-focusing and beam-spot profile dynamics in laser-plasma interactions. Currently: Research Officer at Extreme Light Infrastructure - Attosecond Light Pulse Source (ELI-ALPS), Szeged, Hungary. (Picture from his own FB page.)
Nareshpal Singh Saini.pic Dr Nareshpal Singh Saini - PDRA, supervised (March 2008 - February 2010); theory for electrostatic solitary waves in plasmas. Currently: Professor and Head of the Department of Physics, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, India.

PhD students (supervised or co-supervised in the past)

Michael McKerr pic Michael McKerr carried out his PhD research work at QUB (IK: main supervisor; 2011-2017), partly funded by a DEL/NI (UK) fellowship. Michael studied electrostatic structures ultra-high-density ultra-low-temperature (quantum) plasmas. Michael's activities include (motorcycle) track racing and welding!
Gina Williams pic Gina Williams carried out her PhD research work at QUB, under my supervision (principal supervisor, 2011 - 2014), funded by a DEL/NI (UK) fellowship. Her research focused on the analytical description and the computational simulation of electrostatic solitary wave propagation in nonthermal (non-Maxwellian) plasmas in Space and in the lab. When Gina's not busy carrying out tedious calculations, she plays the harp for the Isle of Man community centre. Dr Williams is now active in RTD in the pharmaceutical sector.
Sharmin  Sultana.pic Sharmin Sultana - PhD student, supervised (September 2008 - July 2012). Dr Sultana is currently an Assistant Professor at: Department of Physics, Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka, Bangladesh, seconded to Ruhr University Bochum as an Alexander Von Humbold Fellow (2017-19).
Hamad Ahmed pic Hamad Ahmed , PhD student (co-supervised; main sup. Marco Borghesi), graduated in 2013: Hamad is working in the area of intense laser plasma interaction (experimental, partly theoretical); particularly with laser accelerated proton beams and their applications to plasma radiography, radio-biology and warm dense matter. He is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Queen's University Belfast.
Ashley Smyth pic Ashley Smyth, PhD student (co-supervised; main supervisor: Marco Borghesi), worked on collisionless shocks in laser-plasma interactions (experimental). In his own words: "DEL funded, Ashley research has been put into the 'laboratory astrophysics' box. Being placed in such a busy group is a bit of a shock but he found it deeply rewarding in terms of experience. When not looking at a computer screen Ashley's looking at a computer screen: an avid fan of online video games."

Long-term research or/and academic visitors

Behery pic Dr Ebraheem Behery holds an academic post at: Department of Physics, Damietta University, Egypt. He visited us for 5 months in 2015. His work in Belfast focused on 3D solitary structures and their stability, in relativistic plasma models.
Ata pic Dr Gaji Mazharul Anowar visited us as a Commonwealth Scholarship Commision (UK) Research Fellow, in 2013 (4 months). Dr Anowar holds a PhD from National University, Gazipur, Bangladesh, and was, during his visit, Associate Professor and Head of Department (Physics) at Begum Rokeya University, Rangpur, Bangladesh. His area of interest is nonlinear wave dynamics (solitary and shock waves) in magnetized and un-magnetized plasma, as well as in complex plasmas. Dr Anowar's most recent research focuses on nonlinear effects of multicomponent plasmas, taking into account kinetic particle-trapping effects.
Ata pic Ata Ur-Rehman: visiting research fellow, June 2013 - November 2013 (final year PhD, from University of Peshawar and National Centre for Physics, Islamabad, Pakistan). Ata's research focuses on: collective interactions & instabilities in quantum plasmas, viz. solitons, shocks, double layers, vortices, etc.; numerical data analysis and simulations. Thesis research Topic: “Investigation of collective modes and instabilities in quantum plasmas”.
Adnan pic Muhammad Adnan: visiting research fellow, July 2013 - November 2013 (final year PhD, from Institute of Physics and Electronics, University of Peshawar, Pakistan). His research focuses on quantum plasmas and, in particular, on anisotropic magnetized plasma configurations.
Mehdi Seyedd Jenab pic Mehdi Seyedd Jenab - 9-month visit (September 2010 - May 2011) (Tehran University, Iran). After his visit, Mehdi received his PhD in 2013, and is now a postdoctoral researcher at Potschefsroom University, South Africa. In his own words: "My main focus is on kinetic simulations for nonlinear wave propagation in dusty plasmas. My model is based on the Vlasov-Poisson set of equations. Besides that I am also interested in Scientometrics and newly in human history (modern age).
Jafar Borhanian pic Jafar Borhanian - 6-month visit (May-October 2008) (Tabriz University, Iran); currently: PhD awarded (2009), Assistant Professor at: Department of Physics, University of Mohaghegh Ardabili, Ardabil, Iran.

Postgraduate (MSc, MSci) projects & dissertations (supervised)

Zoe Geddis pic Zoe Geddis, MSci Mathematics student at Queen's University Belfast worked through her final (4th) year MSci in Applied Mathematics on our project on rogue waves as crossing states in the ocean (dissertation: Freak (Rogue) Waves - Mathematical modelling of a new paradigm across disciplines).
Guy Hetherington pic Guy Hetherington, MSci student (Physics, 4th-year in 2015/16), carryied out his final (4th) year dissertation/project on plasma simulations (dissertation: Optimising Computer Simulations of the Nonlinear Schrödinger Equation : Applications, Modelling and Insight).
Rahul Patel pic Rahul Patel, MSci student (Physics, 4th-year in 2015/16), carried out his final (4th) year dissertation/project on plasma expansion (dissertation: Modelling Plasma Expansion in Space and in the Laboratory : The Role of Energetic Particles).
Ryan Wilson pic Ryan Wilson- MSci (Physics with Astrophysics); 4th year project supervised (2014 -2015). Ryan's work focused on beam-plasma interactions (dissertation: Modelling of Solitary Waves in Plasmas -- Application in negative-ion beam - plasma interactions). Ryan Wilson was awarded the John Geddes Physics Prize for his final-year project! This prize is awarded each year to the student scoring the highest mark for the Level 4 (MSci) Physics Project.
Chris Nimmon pic Chris Nimmon- MSci (Applied Mathematics); 4th year project supervised (2014 -2015). Chris's project focused on: Freak Waves and Envelope Solitons: Mathematical Modelling and Application in SQUID Metamaterials.
Brian McKee pic Brian McKee - MSci (Physics with Astrophysics); 4th year project supervised (September-December 2012). Brian's work with us focused on Electrostatic Solitary Waves (ESWs) in the near-Earth Space environment.
Niall Tyndall pic Niall Tyndall - MSci (Applied Maths); 4th year project supervision (September 2012 - May 2013). Niall's work focused on nonlinear Schrodinger equation solitons (envelope modes, breather, rogue waves), as derived from nonlinear Klein-Gordon models.
Stephen Cousens pic Stephen Cousens- MSc in Plasma Physics; final project supervised (summer 2011): "Dust-acoustic solitary waves and shocks in strongly-coupled dusty plasmas". Stephen went on to a PhD in Plasma Physics, and the continued as a postgraduate researcher at QUB (Belfast, UK). (Picture from his own QUB PURE page.)
David Taylor pic David Taylor- MSc in Plasma Physics; final research project supervised (summer 2011): "Magnetic field geometry effects in the strike point region in the MAST-Upgrade tokamak design". Currently, Dave works at JET (Joint European Torus), Oxford (UK).
Olufemi Adeyemi pic Olufemi (Femi) Adeyemi - MSc in Plasma Physics; final project supervised (summer 2010): "Drifting dust effects on ion-acoustic solitary waves"; currently at Universität Hamburg (Germany). Currently (2013): PhD student, at DESY (Hamburg, Germany), on Linear and Non Linear Waves Produced in Positron Source Target material impinged by High Intense Beams for International Linear Collider.
Divya Sharma pic Divya Sharma- MSc in Plasma Physics; final project supervised (summer 2010): "Two fluid model for electrostatic solitary waves in presence of an ion beam. Beam versus excess superthermality effect"; currently (2013) PhD student at Edinburgh University (Scotland, UK).
Ashkbiz Danekhar pic Ashkbiz Danekhar - MSc in Plasma Physics; final project supervised (summer 2009): "Propagation of electron-acoustic waves in a plasma with hot suprathermal electrons". Ashkbiz proceeded to a PhD (awarded in 2014, Macquarie University, Sydney Australia) and is now a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (USA). His research focuses kinematics and ionization structures of planetary nebulae, namely plasma diagnostics and study chemical compositions of ionized gaseous nebulae, and tracking the evolutionary stages of their central stars, using integral field unit (IFU) spectrograph at ANU 2.3-m Telescope.
Gareth Hefferon pic Gareth Hefferon - MSc in Plasma Physics; final project supervised (summer 2009): "Relativistic Self Compression and Selffocusing of a laser beam in plasma: Classical vs Quantum effects"; Gareth moved on to work as a C# Developer for Allstate NI, USA. (Picture from his own FB page.)

Internships (undergraduate)

Conor Whelan pic Conor Whelan - internship, June 2013 (final year BSc studies, National University of Galway). Own introduction: "I am a physics and applied physics student in NUIG and I have a special interest in plasma physics. I have been given a great opportunity to gain some experience in this field and I am looking forward to the challenge."
Sebastien Guisset pic Sebastien Guisset - internship (June-September 2012) (Bordeaux University, France); Engineer in Mathematical and Mechanical Modelling. Specialized in Fluid Mechanical and Energy numerical simulations. Sebastien moved on to CELIA (Bordeaux, France), where he worked on kinetic simulations, in the framework of his PhD studies (U. Bordeaux, France). After his PhD, he took up a postdoctoral researcher position at the Laboratoire de Mathématiques de Versailles (LMV), at Université Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines.