Texas Tech University

Research Associates/Fellows

Christopher Cowden


Adjunct Scientist

There is nothing more exciting and intellectually rewarding than building a device to learn and discover the world around us. I am interested in the thermodynamic development of destructive particle measurements -- the physics of HEP calorimetry. Currently, I am actively developing pattern recognition and machine learning techniques for application in particle detectors at collider-based experiments. I received my BS in engineering-physics from Texas Tech University, my PhD in physics from the University of Cambridge, and I was subsequently employed as a research associate at Texas Tech University. I contributed to both the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN. I now work as a data scientist in industry but I continue to study detector physics and to develop practical applications for future collider experiments.



Jordan V. Damgov


Postdoctoral Research Fellow

I am an experimental particle physicist, with main interests in search for new physics in multi-boson final states and new tests of the Standard Model with this signature.  Vital part of this work is development of innovative reconstruction and analysis techniques and improving the instrumentation for the future experiments. I have been working on multiple calorimetry projects, including detector R&D, prototyping, commissioning and operation. Majority of these projects are related to the current and future calorimeter systems of the CMS detector at CERN, and several are more generic – exploring new materials and designs for hybrid calorimeter systems. In my spare time I enjoy being outdoors.


Vinay Hegde


Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Hi, I was born in India and finished my school education from Karnataka state. Then I earned my bachelor's and master's degrees from Sir Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning with a physics major, after which I chose to go on for a PhD at IISER Pune, India. Apart from research, I was very much interested in trekking to many places around Pune, especially during rainy seasons. I work for the CMS experiment at the CERN LHC and focus mainly on searching for new particles as I take part in particle detector R&D.



 Vladimir Kuryatkov


Senior Research Associate

Since 1979 I have been working on the technology of p- n junction and radiation detectors, the silicon hybrid photo diodes, the silicon crystals for channeling experiments on the extraction of a low intensity beam from the beam halo of the Tevatron, using bent crystals. From 2000: Design and fabrication of high temperature and high frequency electronic devices, MOCVD and PA MBE growth of GaN, AlN and InGaN thin films and MQW structures. Semiconductor device processing and characterization (SEM, CL, Hall, noise, IV/CV) Design and technology of semiconductor-based light-emitting diodes, photodetectors and Photoconductive Semiconductor Switches (PCSSs). Silicon Sensors and Modules High Granularity Calorimeter CMS.


Kamal Lamichhane


Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Hello and Namaste! I am originally from Nepal, a country of Himalayas, and after attending high school in Kathmandu, I came to the US for my undergraduate studies. After getting my undergraduate degree in physics and a math degree from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, I came to TTU for graduate school in physics. As a student of experimental particle physics, I have been gaining experience in hardware—the building, assembly, and operation of detectors—and physics analysis. Outside of research, I enjoy playing soccer and volleyball, exploring new areas of Texas, and watching the English premier league and UEFA champions league games.



Timo Peltola

Dr. Timo

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Since 2010, I have worked within the framework of Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) at CERN. First, with the CMS Tracker in my native country of Finland, and then with the HGCAL here in Texas. My main contribution is in the experimental characterization and simulation of semiconductor radiation detectors, especially silicon (Si) that is widely used for particle detection in High-Energy Physics experiments like the CMS. To study the radiation hardness of the Si detectors we have constructed at the APD-lab setups for capacitance-voltage (CV)/current-voltage (IV) and infrared laser-Transient Current Technique (IR-TCT) for the measurements of heavily irradiated samples cooled down to -30 °C (-22 °F). Construction of a third setup for the measurements of multi-channel sensors is underway. Particle physics is actually my second career, after being a member of the Finnish National team of judo for 16 years and representing Finland in the Athens Olympics in 2004. Nowadays, on my spare time I tend my wide collection of injuries and amass hiking experiences in National Parks like Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon and Devil´s Tower.


Sonaina Undleeb


Research Associate

I joined CMS in 2012 and graduated with my Ph.D. from Texas Tech University. My dissertation was based on search for dark matter, using events with imbalance in transverse momentum and one or two energetic jets. The data for this research was collected in 2016 with CMS detector in p-p collision at the LHC at a center of mass energy = 13 TeV. I have also been involved in detector upgrade studies during and after my graduation, including characteristics studies of the new photodetector and digitizer on CMS HF phase-1 upgrade. Working as Research Associate at TTU, I am involved in several projects at APD Lab. Apart from loving physics, I enjoy running, kickboxing and reading Urdu literature.