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Former JQI researcher wins Chilean L'Oréal-UNESCO Award For Women in Science

Carla Hermann Avigliano receives L'Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science in Chile. (Credit: Wave producciones)

Carla Hermann Avigliano, a former postdoc with JQI Fellow Paul Lett, is one of two women scientists to receive the Chilean L'Oréal-UNESCO Award For Women in Science. She was selected for the prize out of 77 applications and cited for her research achievements during her early career. The award is part of a larger program that aims to internationally recognize women researchers in science and operates throughout the world. In Chile, 21 women from various areas of science such as physics, chemistry, biology, nursing, geology, forestry, biotechnology and ecology, among others, have received the prize since 2007.

“Getting this award is an honor for me. And this wouldn’t have been possible without the constant support of teachers throughout my career,” says Hermann Avigliano. “I wouldn’t be what I am today without the guidance of these incredible people.” Hermann Avigliano currently works as a postdoctoral researcher in the Optics Group of Rodrigo Vicencio at the University of Chile, where she explores light propagation in photonic lattices. She plans to use some of the award’s funds to coordinate visits to her collaborations and to support student internships.

Throughout her career, Hermann Avigliano has been conducting research around the world. After studying physics at the University of Concepción in Chile, she moved to Paris where she completed her Ph.D. in the Cavity Quantum Electrodynamics group of Nobel Laureate Serge Haroche. While working towards her Ph.D., Hermann Avigliano, together with other researchers, showed for the first time that atom chips are useable for studying the behavior of highly excited atoms known as Rydberg atoms. She also participated in other work probing the strong interactions between such Rydberg atoms. Parallel to her experimental work, Hermann Avigliano did theoretical work on the generation of Schrödinger cat states under the co-supervision of Jean-Michel Raimond and Carlos Saavedra.

After her PhD, Hermann Avigliano worked at the JQI as a postdoctoral researcher with JQI Fellow Paul Lett, where her research focused on non-linear optics. During her time at the JQI, she was involved in the construction of a precise phase measuring device which uses non-linear processes instead of passive elements. Such devices are useful tools for precision metrology. In addition to this, she worked towards the direct observation of quantum effects that could reduce optical noise and lead to more precise measurements with CCD detectors.