Dr Patricia Alireza, Research Scientist and Lucy Alumna, tells us about her role and experimental research
Patricia is an experimental research scientist at the Cavendish Laboratory where she leads and maintains the High Pressure laboratory in the Quantum Matter group.
“I do experimental work on the effect of pressure on different materials using miniature Diamond Anvil Cells and have developed new devices, as well as new techniques, to measure magnetic and transport properties under very high pressures and low temperatures.”
She teaches these techniques to graduate students that are doing research on high pressure measurements of quantum materials.
“Science is a rewarding career. I would always advise students to follow the path that interests them the most, to study science you need to be curious and motivated, you need to be interested in understanding how things work. If that is what interests them, I highly encourage them to work towards it.”
Patricia and her research group do measurements under extreme conditions of low temperatures, high pressure and high magnetic fields, focusing mainly on magnetic materials that might exhibit superconductivity. They study the effect of pressure on magnetic phase transitions, metal – insulator transitions or pressure induced superconductivity.
Commenting on her new appointment at Lucy, Patricia said:
“I am honoured to have been elected a Fellow of Lucy Cavendish. I always found Lucy a special place with a special mission. I came as a student 21 years ago and I am delighted to now have the opportunity to serve the college as a Fellow and do all I can to contribute to its mission.”
Patricia Alireza was born in Mexico City and moved to California as a young adult. Since then she has lived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Paris, France; Pasadena California; Cambridge and London in the UK. She did her undergraduate degree in Physics in Occidental College, Los Angeles, as a mature student. She then went to UCLA for an MS in Physics before coming to Cambridge, and to Lucy Cavendish College, in 1999 for her PhD in the Physics Department, which she completed in 2003. In 2010, she received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Occidental College. Recipient of the L’Oreal-UNESCO for Women in Science Fellowship 2009-2010. Fellow of Lucy Cavendish College.