St Anne’s Research Fellow in Materials, Dr Natalia Ares, wins prestigious ERC award for research project

We’re proud to share the news that our Research Fellow in Materials, Dr Natalia Ares, has been awarded a prestigious ERC Starting Grant.  These highly-coveted awards, funded through the European Union, are each worth more than 1 million euros and allow researchers to build their own teams, carry out pioneering research, and expand learning into exciting new areas.  

Natalia’s project is called “Quantum Thermodynamics in the Solid-state”. Natalia aims to link motion with heat and work in the nanoscale. Although classical thermodynamics has been established since the 19th century, quantum thermodynamics is still in its infancy experimentally, due to the lack of control over thermodynamic processes in this regime. Harnessing electromechanical circuits in the solid-state, Natalia will build a platform to study the efficiency and power of quantum engines. This platform could inform the study of biomotors and the design of efficient on-chip nanomachines . It will pave the way for experimental tests to concepts such as work in the quantum regime, quantum fluctuations and autonomous machines. The research will have applications in both classical and quantum computing.

For more information, read Natalia’s blog post: Nanoscale engines far colder than even deepest outer space.

You can find out more about ERC grants awarded to Oxford researchers this year here.