Kathy Hoogeboom-Pot took up a new position as a development engineer in lithography for Intel in Portland, Oregon, in August 2015 after earning her PhD in physics at JILA and the University of Colorado in Boulder, CO. For her graduate work she led a research project using tabletop ultrafast coherent x-rays to study how heat flow and acoustic dynamics are altered by nanoscale dimensions.
This included the development of a unique and powerful nanometrology technique for probing the mechanical properties of ultrathin films and nanostructured systems at sub-10nm length scales, as well as the discovery of a new and unexpected regime of nanoscale thermal transport wherein nanoscale heat sources dissipate heat most efficiently when closely-spaced. In addition to receiving several awards for technical presentations, Kathy created a national-award-winning short video about this work with the help of her husband, Justin Pot: enjoy its three minutes – “Nanoscale knowledge: Discovering how small is different.” A list of her publications and other scientific achievements is also available.
At CU from 2009 – 2015, Kathy worked under the supervision of Margaret Murnane and Henry Kapteyn, whose university research group pioneered and commercialized the first fully coherent, ultrafast EUV sources, as well as the first 10 femtosecond ultrafast Ti:Sapphire lasers and the first cryogenically-cooled high average power femtosecond lasers.
Kathy received her B.S. in Physics from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 2008, while conducting research ranging from large-database data-mining to discover new asteroid dynamics, to ultracold atom-trapping experiments with krypton. Throughout her research career Kathy has been fascinated by designing and conducting careful experiments and analysis to reveal new understanding of how systems function and how they can be optimized.
Her desire to explore and discover is not limited to the scientific realm, however. Between receiving her bachelor’s degree and beginning her Ph.D. program, Kathy spent a year along the Gulf Coast of the United States, volunteering in home reconstruction for those areas devastated by hurricanes in Louisiana and Texas. More recently she has coordinated a hosting site in Boulder, CO for volunteers coming to Boulder County for flood recovery work following the major floods of September 2013.
Scientific outreach has also offered many exciting opportunities for the kind of informal teaching that Kathy enjoys. While at Calvin College, she worked in Calvin’s observatory, running several telescopes, leading tours for students and visitors from the general public, and helping astronomy students find some of the most interesting objects in the night sky. She also played an important role with the college newspaper there, starting up and editing a Science & Technology section before serving as Editor-in-Chief for the paper. At CU-Boulder, in addition to mentoring several undergraduate researchers and junior graduate students, she often led lab tours for visitors ranging from elementary-school groups to visiting research experts and contributed writing and editing for a new blog, Science Buffs, featuring graduate research at CU.
Spectacular natural environments call for exploration as well. Kathy has been a sailor since she was about five months old, riding the winds and waves of Lake Michigan. While living in Colorado, she enjoyed hiking, backpacking and snowshoeing in the remote beauty of mountains, as well as traveling across North America and around the world to discover the incredibly broad range of natural wonders that can be found.
She is always seeking out new things to learn, fascinating books to read, hidden treasures to discover, interesting places to travel to experience life through the eyes of different cultures, new useful things to figure out how to make, beautiful music to sing and to play.
See also a list of Kathy’s scientific achievements.