Brandon Chalifoux, Assistant Professor

I started at the University of Arizona in August 2020. Prior to joining the College of Optical Sciences, I completed my Ph.D. and Postdoctoral training at MIT in the Space Nanotechnology Laboratory. I completed a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Rice Unviersity. Aside from research and teaching, I enjoy rock climbing, mountain biking, and trying to avoid the cholla during both.

Graduate students

Kevin Laverty, PhD student (Optical Sciences)

I began my PhD at the College of Optical Sciences in 2020.

Brody McElwain, PhD student (Optical Sciences)

I graduated from Penn State with a B.S. and M.S. in Engineering Science and Mechanics in 2022. I started my PhD in Optical Sciences at UofA in 2022. My research involves using USP and Bessel beam optics to fabricate spacers used to align x-ray mirrors. In my spare time I enjoy climbing, live music, and going to the movies.

Caroline Humphreys, MS student (Optical Sciences)

I graduated with a B.S. in Optical Sciences and Engineering in 2023. I started my M.S. degree in Fall 2022 in Optical Sciences through the Accelerated Master’s program. I am working on exploring the relationship between the polarization angle with respect to the writing direction in ultrafast laser stress figuring. Outside of research, I enjoy reading, hiking, and trying new Tucson restaurants.

Josh Richards, MS student (Mechanical Engineering)

I graduated from U of A with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 2022 and am currently a Mechanical Engineering M.S. student. My research is focused on laser stress figuring and opto-mechanical support for the group. In my free time I enjoy camping, rock climbing, cycling, board games, and movies. 

Undergraduate students

Carolyn Hokin (Optical Engineering)

Yongxin “Kongo” Lai (Optical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering)

Tyler Wilson (Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering)

Research staff

Ian Arnold, Research Engineer

I have been a Research Engineer at the University of Arizona since 2018. Prior to that I completed a M.S degree in Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona working with ultrafast attosecond spectroscopy. I also received a M.S. and B.S. degrees in physics from the University of Nevada, Reno where I built atmospheric instrumentation. I am a very hands-on person who enjoys building things.

Nathan Martinez, Administrative Associate


Hayden Wisniewski, PhD Optical Sciences 2023

Dissertation: Surface Metrology Methods for X-ray Telescope Mirrors, Freeforms, and Heliostats

Alex St. Peter, M.S. Optical Sciences 2023

Thesis: Estimation of ultrafast laser-induced stress in fused silica from evaluation of stress birefringence

Alyssa Baller, M.S. Optical Sciences 2022

Report: Systematic evaluation of the OSIRIS-REx PolyCam