Perseverance Produces Top Dissertation Award For PhD Grad

Sabin Regmi Ph.D. was awarded the 2022-2023 university award for the Outstanding Dissertation in the Engineering, Physical Sciences and Life Sciences category, which recognizes the “quality, content, and exceptional contribution in the field of Physics”.

Regmi felt honored when the email of congratulations on his award-winning dissertation arrived in his inbox.

“It feels great when your work is recognized,” he said.

Regmi came to UCF in the Fall Semester of 2017 to pursue his Ph.D. His research interest led him to Associate Professor Madhab Neupane Ph.D., whose research centers on different aspects of topological quantum materials and was already a well renowned name in the field.

While a part of Neupane’s lab, Regmi conducted research to build his dissertation about using a technique called angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES) to observe the properties of topological quantum materials and their potential applications.

Collecting the data he needed often involved pulling all-nighters.

“We would have to work without sleeping for 24-48 hours. Even then, things do not always go as you planned, and you sometimes get frustrated. But you have to try, try and try,” he said.

Despite the tough hours, Regmi enjoyed conducting his trials. He also loved the part of disseminating the results of his scientific research through presentations in various national and international level conferences.

“Coming from a place where the opportunity for quality research is minimal, the journey of growing as a scientific researcher has been wonderful. I enjoyed going to labs for measurements and going to conferences to present my research so that I can get an idea of what other people in the field are doing and where I stand,” he said.

Regmi was born and raised in a small village in the Syangja district of Nepal.  He developed an affinity for physics when he chose a career in the sciences. He said the vast reach of the field intrigued him .

“I was fascinated by how many phenomena physics can be applied to, how you can apply its concepts to both microscopic things and macroscopic things in the galaxy,” said Regmi.

His goal to pursue a Ph.D. formed as he read research on topological insulators, a unique state of quantum matter.

In 2016 while teaching high school physics in Nepal, Regmi read about the Nobel Prize awarded to physicists whose contribution helped gain a new understanding of topological concepts.

“My interest in this field only grew more and more because of that award,” he said.

This growing passion pushed Regmi to come to the U.S. to obtain his doctorate.

Now, Regmi plans on continuing a career in physics research and recognizes all it took for him to achieve his dream. He will be joining Idaho National Laboratory as a post-doctoral research associate.

 “I am grateful to my advisor for all the support and guidance he provided. I am thankful to the collaborators and lab mates for creating a wonderful research environment and especially to my family for being always there for me no matter what the situation is.”

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