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Luke H

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at University of California San Diego (UCSD)


Circuit board designs, optics, applied physics, quantum optics, electrical engineering


Hey everyone! I'm Luke Herman and I have a Bachelor's in Electrical Engineering from UBC in Canada, and I'm currently a third year Ph.D student in Electrical Engineering at UC San Diego, with a focus in photonics. My main research is in the field of nonlinear optics and integrated optics, where we build nanoscale devices that interact with light in counterintuitive ways! I've also had industry experience in hardware engineering where I spent a year designing and developing high-speed circuit boards that are used in data centers. When I'm not doing school/research, I'm usually either surfing at the beach, climbing outdoors, or playing music with my friends! I also tend to do a lot of hiking and backpacking on the weekends!

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

How does a laser work?

Have you ever stood in line at a grocery store and tried to figure out how the red light in the scanner worked? With this open-ended project, you can either pursue numerical simulations to showcase how lasers work, you can write a review paper discussing the future applications of laser technology, or you can even design your own laser (at least theoretically on paper)! Prerequisites: Coding doesn't need to be a required skill but a background in physics is essential!

All-optical computing

Computers currently have billions of devices all jam packed into a small chip that allow them to store, process, and send information. In the past couple of decades, the increase in computation speeds has followed this exponential increase (Moore's Law). However, these devices are getting so small that they're reaching a theoretical limit! In this project, you will research ways to utilize photons instead of electrons to pursue these computations. You will understand how devices can be made that control light, as well as the current drawbacks light has versus conventional electronics.

Coding skills

MATLAB, Python, C++, Assembly

Languages I know


Teaching experience

At my undergraduate institution, I was a supplemental learning (SL) leader for a first year physics course, where I planned and taught SL seminars using interactive methods (reverse classroom design) in which I had to tailor my approach specifically to the students who attended. Additionally, I was a mentor to two high school students during my time as an undergraduate researcher where I taught them how to perform experiments and collect data in an ethical and meaningful fashion.


Work experience

University of British Columbia (2017 - 2020)
Undergraduate Research Assistant
University of British Columbia (2020 - 2020)
Supplementary Learning Leader
Arista Networks (2018 - 2018)
Hardware Engineering Intern
Rice University (2017 - 2017)
Undergraduate Research Intern


University of British Columbia
BS Bachelor of Science
Electrical Engineering
University of California San Diego (UCSD)
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate

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