Three Spanish postdocs at MIT have been selected as the first cohort of Mauricio and Carlota Botton Foundation Fellows. The chosen postdocs include L. Antonio Benítez, Carolina Cuesta-Lazaro, and Fernando Romero López and they were chosen by the Department of Physics. The fellows will receive a one-year stipend and a research fund to pursue their research interests. They will also have the opportunity to visit the Botton Foundation in Madrid this summer.
L. Antonio Benítez, a dual citizen of Spain and Colombia, is an MIT postdoc whose research focuses on investigating the electronic properties of novel quantum materials, particularly two-dimensional materials like graphene and transition metal dichalcogenides. His goal is to expand our understanding of these materials and unleash their potential for future technologies. Benítez obtained his PhD in physics from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, specializing in the spin and electronic properties of these materials.
Carolina Cuesta-Lazaro’s research interests lie at the intersection of cosmology and artificial intelligence. She aims to develop robust and interpretable machine-learning models to advance physics, with a focus on cosmological inference to better comprehend the accelerated expansion of the universe. Cuesta-Lazaro received her PhD in astronomy and astrophysics from the Institute for Computational Cosmology and currently holds a shared position between MIT’s Institute for Artificial Intelligence and Fundamental Interactions and Harvard University’s Institute for Theory and Computation at the Center for Astrophysics.
Fernando Romero López completed his PhD in 2021 at the University of Valencia. As a postdoc, he is researching the strong interactions among quarks and gluons, which are described by quantum chromodynamics (QCD). Combining effective field theories with numerical simulations of quantum field theories and machine-learning tools, he aims to enhance our understanding of confinement mechanisms, the formation of particles like protons and neutrons, the properties of atomic nuclei, and the nature of exotic hadrons detected at the Large Hadron Collider.
In addition to the fellows, the Mauricio and Carlota Botton Foundation has also funded scholarships for two PhD physics students at MIT, Oriol Rubies Bigorda and Miguel Calvo Carrera. Bigorda is researching the physics of interacting quantum particles and their potential applications in future quantum technologies, while Carrera is interested in applying physics principles to develop renewable energy sources.
Established in 2017, the Mauricio and Carlota Botton Foundation aims to support scientific research and train young physicists at prestigious universities worldwide. The foundation also provides support for conferences that bring world experts in frontier fields of physics to Spain.