Luat T. Vuong 

Luat received her Ph.D. in Applied Physics at Cornell, studying optical vortex collapse and filamentation dynamics in Alexander Gaeta's Quantum and Nonlinear Photonics Group and supported with the AT&T Labs Fellowship. With a Fulbright in 2007, she joined the Delft University of Technology Optics Group in the Netherlands, where she studied the near-field scattering in plasmonic structures, then segued into research on nanostructured organic photovoltaics at ICFO- The Institute of Photonic Sciences in Spain with a European Commission MC-IIF Postdoctoral Fellowship. Before coming to UCR, she was a tenured physics professor in NYC.  She is a recipient of the 2012 NSF Career Award,  a 2016 J-FRASE, Sloan-funded Award, and the 2019 DARPA Young Faculty Award. 
Professor Vuong's appointment is in Mechanical Engineering (ME). She is cooperating faculty in Materials Science and Engineering (MSE), Electrical Engineering (EE), and Physics.


Gaurav Ahuja

Gaurav Ahuja is a PhD student in MSE. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Manipal Institute of Technology in India. His research is focused on light-nanoparticle interactions and light-induced dynamics of nanoparticles. He is also interested in energy harvesting, the process by which energy is derived from external sources, captured, and stored for small, wireless autonomous devices. In his free time, he enjoys not only cooking but eating well, although he is somewhat of a Ketchup addict and enjoys his food in a pond of sauces. 




James Leung

James is a Master's student in ME who graduated from UCR in 2016 and returned for more in 2019. In his free time, he enjoys hanging out with friends and/or playing sports and video games. He prefers team sports such as football and basketball because he likes working together with people.



Dhamar Morales

Dhamar Morales takes a keen interest in topics related to renewable energy. She also completed her Honors capstone project around the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy and its social and health impacts on students. As a UCR ME student, Dhamar participated in the MSRIP with the Vuong lab. Dhamar spends her personal free time with family.



Baurzhan Muminov

Baurzhan Muminov spent half of his life in Tashkent, Uzbekistan where he was actually recruited for the Uzbekistan junior football team. He spent the next half of his life in Astana, Kazakhstan, where he received his undergraduate degree in Engineering Physics and Applied Math at the Eurasian National University. He completed his Master's in Optical Engineering at Tomsk Polytechnic University in Tomsk, Russia. He is in the PhD program in ME at UCR. Besides football, Baurzhan has former pre-professional training as a "guard against bears". In his free time, he enjoys swimming and working with PC hardware.


Reid Watanabe

Reid Watanabe is in the Master's program in ME at UCR after completing his undergrad degree with Honors. Reid has worked at CE-CERT on a vehicle-to-grid (V2G)  research project for the past 2 years in addition to participating in the Vuong group more recently. He appreciates the joys of television in his rare free time with his dog (awake or asleep) and practices kendo as a hobby. 


Xiaojing Weng

Xiaojing is a PhD student in EE.

Formerly in the lab...

Segolene Combettes

Paul Lou



Daniel Martinez

Daniel Martinez joined us as a senior in MSE. He's interested in biomaterials, more specifically drug delivery, as well as state-of-the-art microscopy and imaging. Outside of class, Daniel is a part of the Legacy Roundtable program for the Council of African American Parents (CAAP) and tutors young scholars in Math every weekend. He spends any free time playing sports with his friends.


David Nelson



Binyamin "Shaya" Nirenberg

Shaya Nirenberg lived in many countries as a child and didn't learn to write English until highschool. He started his own company at the age of 20, printing artwork and repairing lasers, among many other things.  Shaya drove across the country from NYC with his dog and visited us for a month at UCR before getting hired as an Automation Engineer, where he helps to minimize total boredom in the world.  



Kyle Rowland

Kyle Rowland joined the Vuong group as a senior in MSE. His unofficial focus was Biomaterials and Polymers. Kyle wants to advance orthopedic prosthetics and to integrate cutting-edge medical technology to improve people's lives. He believes that Occam's razor should be applied to the arts and humanities, too.  


Navindra Singh