Three Spanish MIT physics postdocs receive Botton Foundation fellowships


Three Spanish MIT postdocs, Luis Antonio Benítez, Carolina Cuesta-Lazaro, and Fernando Romero López, were chosen by the Department of Physics as the primary cohort of Mauricio and Carlota Botton Foundation Fellows.

This yr’s recipients are supplied with a one-year stipend and a research fund to pursue their research interests; they may visit the Botton Foundation in Madrid this summer.

L. Antonio Benítez

A dual citizen of Spain and Colombia, L. Antonio Benítez is an MIT postdoc whose research focuses on the investigation of the electronic properties of novel quantum materials, with a specific emphasis on two-dimensional materials like graphene and transition metal dichalcogenides. His work goals to push the boundaries of our knowledge of those materials and unlock their full potential for future technologies. Benítez received his PhD in physics from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, where he specialized within the spin and electronic properties of those materials, developing a deep understanding of their unique characteristics and behavior.  

Carolina Cuesta-Lazaro

Carolina Cuestra-Lazaro’s fundamental research interests lie on the intersection of cosmology and artificial intelligence. She is excited by developing robust and interpretable machine-learning models for advancement in physics, especially for developing techniques for cosmological inference to grasp the accelerated expansion of the universe. She received her PhD in astronomy and astrophysics on the Institute for Computational Cosmology, and now holds a shared position between MIT’s Institute for Artificial Intelligence and Fundamental Interactions and Harvard University’s Institute for Theory and Computation on the Center for Astrophysics. Cuestra-Lazaro hails from Cuenca, where she says “Yow will discover a few of the very best Manchego cheese.”

Fernando Romero López 

Romero-López accomplished his PhD in 2021 on the University of Valencia. As a postdoc, his research focuses on understanding the strong interactions amongst quarks and gluons, described by quantum chromodynamics (QCD). By combining effective field theories with numerical simulations of quantum field theories (lattice QCD) and machine-learning tools, he’s looking for a greater understanding of the mechanisms of confinement, how protons, neutrons, and other hadrons are formed, the properties of atomic nuclei, and the character of exotic hadrons which were detected on the Large Hadron Collider.

The muse also recently funded scholarships for 2 PhD physics students at MIT: Oriol Rubies Bigorda, who’s researching the physics of interacting quantum particles and their applications in future quantum technologies, and Miguel Calvo Carrera, who’s excited by the applying of physics to develop renewable energy sources.

Established in 2017, the Mauricio and Carlota Botton Foundation supports scientific research, including the training of young physicists in probably the most prestigious universities on this planet, and to offer support for conferences that bring world experts within the frontier fields of physics to Spain.


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