Overview

I am currently a postdoctoral research scholar in robotics and radiation oncology physics at the University of Pennsylvania, where I am developing robotic image guided positioning systems for use in stereotactic brain radiosurgery and FLASH related projects, and working on AI-driven solutions for optimizing radiotherapy treatment planning routines.

My background is in experimental atomic & molecular physics. My initial research began at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF); it involved low energy electron scattering from molecules, and the unfolding and analysis of such spectra. This prepared me for my PhD research at the University of Manchester (UK), where I carried out electron impact ionization studies via (e,2e) coincidence techniques to test quantum mechanics’ models, and developed computer controlled systems and software for electron spectrometers. This was followed by my first postdoctoral research work at CSUF, which focused on additional and important experimental low energy collision physics experiments that resulted in studies such as benchmark angle-differential cross-section ratio measurements on noble gases.

Robotics and Radiation Oncology Physics (2021-Present)

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Robotic system prototype (left) and John Morgan Building, Penn Medicine, University of Pennsylvania (right). Original Photographs.

Robotic system prototype (left) and John Morgan Building, Penn Medicine, University of Pennsylvania (right). Original Photographs.

I am currently working as a postdoctoral research scholar in robotics at the University of Pennsylvania, where I am developing a robotic system for use in stereotactic head and neck radiosurgery and other radiation treatment modalities. The work involves the design of high-speed electronics, low level hardware programming, integration of image guided systems such as Vision RT and Polaris, gel dosimetry, and treatment planning. In addition, I am exploring solutions using artificial intelligence for improving treatment planning, quality assurance and imaging routines carried out in radiation therapy. My work also includes didactic training and supplemental coursework in medical physics, as well coordinating research projects for Masters students.

Low Energy Electron Scattering (2019-2021)

California State University, Fullerton.

Dan Black Hall research laboratories at California State University, Fullerton. Original Photograph.

Dan Black Hall research laboratories at California State University, Fullerton. Original Photograph.

During my postdoctoral research work at CSUF I carried out low energy electron collision experiments using the energy loss system; composed of a moveable gas aperture source, and an electron gun/monochromator and electron detector, both of which are equipped with hemispherical energy selectors. The experiments included the measurements of benchmark angle-differential cross-section ratios for the electron-impact excitation of both xenon and krypton. The work also included the maintenance and repair of the experimental apparatus and hardware, the development of a data analysis software for unfolding spectra, and assisting graduate and undergraduate students.

Electron Impact Ionization Studies (2015-2019)

University of Manchester, Photon Science Institute, England.

The Manchester (e,2e) coincidence experiment. Original Photograph.

The Manchester (e,2e) coincidence experiment. Original Photograph.

It was at the University of Manchester where I did my PhD. I learned (e,2e) coincidence techniques and performed experimental (e,2e) studies on both nitrogen $(N_2)$ and methane $(CH_4)$ molecules. The data from the experiments were compared to theoretical calculations using various models and approximation methods; the molecular three-body distorted wave (M3DW) approximation, the distorted wave Born approximation (DWBA), the Ward–Macek (WM) approximation, the orientation-averaged molecular orbital (OAMO) approximation, the proper averaging (PA) approach, and the generalized Sturmian functions (GSF) approach. The work also involved the design of electronic circuits, building of computer-controlled power supplies and data acquisition modules, development of experimental control software and programming of micro-controllers (for control and communication between an experiment and its computer systems), and the development and use of scripting languages and libraries to analyze months of data generated by electron collision experiments.

Low Energy Electron Scattering (2013-2015)

California State University, Fullerton.

Taken during the maintenance of an electron spectrometer. Original Photograph.

Taken during the maintenance of an electron spectrometer. Original Photograph.

It was here where I carried out my first ever low energy electron scattering experiments. My work involved the operation and maintenance of the energy loss system, the development of scripts for data extraction and analysis, and electron scattering experiments from molecules such as chloromethane $(CH_3Cl)$, chloroethane $(C_2H_5Cl)$, ethylene $(C_2H_4)$, toluene $(C_6H_5CH_3)$, ortho-, meta-, and paraxylenes, $C_8H_{10}$, and other species.


Acknowledgements

In no particular order, Professor Murtadha Khakoo (former PI) for giving me my first opportunity as a graduate researcher and later as a postdoctoral fellow at CSU Fullerton; Professor Andrew James Murray (former PhD supervisor) for showing me what it means to be an experimental physicist, for challenging me and guiding me during my PhD at the University of Manchester; Dr. Matthew Harvey for being the best colleague one could ever have; Dr. Rodney Wiersma (current PI) at the University of Pennsylvania, for giving me the opportunity to work on cutting edge problems in medical physics; Dr. Xinmin Liu for sharing his experience and knowledge and for being a great colleague. I would also like to acknowledge everyone I’ve worked, collaborated, and interacted with in academic settings; the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) for funding my postdoctoral research work; my parents Abdulghani and Fairouz for their selfless efforts, sacrifices, and guidance.