Cristina Benea-Chelmus

Dr Cristina Benea-Chelmus

Research Associate
Tenure Track Assistant Professor, EPFL, Switzerland

Ileana-Cristina Benea-Chelmus is an Assistant Professor of Microengineering at the Institute of Electro and Microengineering at EPFL since January 2022. She is also a Research Associate affiliated with the group of Prof. Federico Capasso at Harvard University. She leads efforts on tunable metasurfaces enabled by nonlinear optics, supported through a personal grant from the Hans-Eggenberger Foundation. Apart from science, she is actively shaping and driving advocacy work within the postdoctoral association at Harvard. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology (2010) and a Master Degree with distinction in Optics and Photonics (2013) – both from KIT, Germany. During her master, she spent one year at EPFL (2011) as an ERASMUS Exchange student in Physics, where she acquired in-depth knowledge of solid-state physics, quantum mechanics and biotechnology. During her Bachelor, she received a stipend from the Anna-Ruths Foundation. In the summer of 2009, she was awarded a research stipend from DAAD “Rise in North America” to perform a summer internship at Vanderbilt University, TN, and became a scholar of SyBBURE. For her Master studies, Ileana-Cristina was awarded an excellence stipend from the Karlsruhe School of Optics and Photonics which she absolved with merits. She was selected to participate in extended carrier building programs such as "Female talents at IBM and KIT" as well as "Femtec". She did a summer internship at IMEC in Belgium and IBM Research in Zurich under the supervision of Dr. Armin Knoll. For her Master thesis she decided to join the group of Prof. Jérôme Faist and work on terahertz quantum cascade lasers and their applications in spectroscopy. She continued with her Ph.D. thesis in the same lab on quantum science. She started very early to drive a substantial proportion of the research work done in the framework of an ERC Advanced grant. She developed, as the first one in this field, the research branch of time-domain quantum optics at terahertz frequencies. She developed ultrasensitive time-domain detectors in collaboration with the group of Prof. Juerg Leuthold and Prof. Larry Dalton. She contributed with >9 papers, >15 contributed and 9 invited talks at national and international conferences. She received several recognitions for her PhD work, including the PhD thesis prize of the European Physical Society (EPS) in the Quantum Electronics and Optics division (2019), the PhD thesis prize from the Swiss Physical Society (SPS) in the area of Metrology (2019), the Hans-Eggenberger thesis prize for her PhD thesis in the area of Electronics, the 1st rank best student presentation award at IRMMW (2017), the best student paper award at SPIE Photonics West 2017 and the best student paper award at SPIE Photonics West (2016). She engaged in several outreach activities in OSA and Scientifica, supervised the thesis work of 4 students, and engaged as a vice President (2016) and Public Relations (2015) responsible at AMP, the academic staff organization in the physics department at ETHZ. She is currently collaborating with Prof. R. Huber (Univ. of Regensburg), Prof. L. Dalton (Univ. of Washington), Prof. S. Deliberato (Univ. Southhampton), Dr. S. Buhmann (FRIAS), Prof. J. Leuthold (ETHZ) and , Prof. J. Faist (ETHZ).

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