Maiken H. Mikkelsen

Maiken H. Mikkelsen - 2016-17 SPIE Women in Optics Planner

Nortel Networks Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Assistant Professor of Physics, Duke University, USA

Maiken Mikkelsen

Country of Birth: Denmark
Country of Residence: USA
Educational Background: PhD, Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara; MA, Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara; BS, Physics, University of Copenhagen


I have been fascinated by understanding the natural world for as long as I can remember. Physics was always my favorite subject in school. I was amazed by the beauty and often simple laws governing everything around us, so studying physics in college followed naturally. During my last year in college, I was an exchange student at University of California, Santa Barbara, and did research as part of an independent study class. I loved designing and doing hands-on experiments; I found it to be a very creative process. The experience convinced me that I had to go to graduate school.

I lead a research group exploring the behavior of novel nanoscale structures and materials by studying their interaction with laser light, which may lay the foundation for future quantum- or nano-based technologies. I spend my time managing my group which consists of graduate and undergraduate students, as well as postdoctoral associates, discussing research progress and troubleshooting, thinking about new experiments and writing proposals to fund the research, and then of course I teach physics and engineering classes to undergraduate and graduate students.

Follow your heart and do what you love!

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