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For all sorts of questions relevant for PhD's or Postdocs at the Institute of Physics contact the council via our email address

Please note that we are a council formed by PhD's and Postdocs and do not decide on hiring people.

The current council members introduce themselves below.

Council Members

Sergio Barquero Pierantoni:

Attracted by both the city and the cutting-edge research, I started my PhD at the University of Amsterdam (IoP) in 2021. Since then, I have been doing experiments - in Amsterdam and in synchrotrons all over the world - to try to understand quantum materials. I spend most of my free time developing hobbies like analog photography, painting, or road cycling when the weather allows.

In October 2022 I decided to join the IoP PhD-PD council to try to contribute to maintain the collaborative and inclusive environment that I have always experienced at the IoP. Since then, I have had an excellent time organizing various events like the IoP Symposium or career workshops. Please do not hesitate to send me an email or approach me at the coffee corner if you have any questions or if you simply want to have a chat :) 

S. (Sergio) Barquero Pierantoni MSc


Francesca Famà:

I arrived at the IoP on July the 2nd 2019. I'm doing a PhD in experimental physics and in particular try to build with the help of my collegues different kinds of superradiant lasers. 

In my free time I'm playing volleyball, drawing, playing piano, reading and having beautiful trips along the canals of Amsterdam (if the weather allows!). I joined the PhD council to help with the organization of events and try to create a channel to help create connection among people from different reasearch fields.

Please feel free to send me an email or approach me at the coffee corner every time you want, if you are concerned about something, if you have any question, or just for a chat =).

Robert van Leeuwen:

After being part of the University of Amsterdam as a student in different forms, I started a PhD at the IoP in fall 2020. I am working on the history of physics, more precisely the history of string theory. Although definitely one of the nicest, our group is relatively small by IoP standards. Therefore one of my goals as a member of the PhD council is to foster interaction between the different subgroups of IoP. In addition I am very much into science outreach and teaching – feel free to come by or contact me with ideas or concerns at any time!

R.A. (Robert) van Leeuwen MSc


Alexander van Spaendonck:

In the fall of 2020, I started my PhD here at the IoP, working on mathematical techniques in string theory and related subjects. Besides studying physics, I also like to write about physics for the Quantum Universe website, and moreover in my spare time I enjoy playing tennis or the piano. As a member of both the IoP PhD council and the FNWI PhD council, my job is to communicate ideas between the different institutes at our faculty. People from all around our university come up with great initiatives and so I hope we can exchange these ideas among the institutes in order to make life at Science park even more enjoyable and pleasant.

A.B.N. (Alexander) van Spaendonck MSc


Alberto Zorzato:

I have completed my Bachelor's and Master's in Milan and Stockholm, respectively. I have been part of the IoP/QuSoft since November 2022. My PhD project is about the study of integrable models and their potential applications to quantum computing. Physics aside, I enjoy spending my free time outdoors (mountaineering and related activities), music production, and printing techniques such as xylography and linocut. Ever since I arrived here at the IoP, I have perceived a strong sense of community and mutual respect. This motivated me to take up an active role in the PhD/PD council, where we can make our opinions as students matter and we can undertake concrete steps towards making the institute an even better place. Please feel free to get in touch with me (online or in real life) if you have any thoughts or questions that you think would be important, I'm looking forward to meeting you and having a chat!

A. (Alberto) Zorzato


Abhishek Gupta:

I began my PhD journey at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) in the fall of 2022, focusing on using 2D materials to reduce friction between surfaces. In addition to my research, I am an active member of the Diversity Council and Jong UvA at the university.
Outside of my academic pursuits, I enjoy traveling, meeting new people, playing badminton, and playing the guitar. I am also passionate about science outreach and am always eager to learn about other research areas.
One of the best aspects of UvA is its diverse community and strong sense of belonging. Feel free to reach out to me via email or catch up with me at the coffee corner for a pleasant conversation!

A.K. (Abhishek) Gupta MSc


Romane le Dizes:

I joined the University of Amsterdam's Institute of Physics (IoP) as a PhD candidate in October 2020. My research focuses on the consolidation of porous media, which is crucial for preserving cultural heritage, such as preventing the decay of porous artworks, statues, and historical buildings. In my free time, I enjoy windsurfing, taking full advantage of the Netherlands' windy weather.
In 2023, I became a member of the PhD/PD council and took on the responsibility of organizing the IoP Pizza Lunch Seminar. This monthly event features lunchtime lectures with brief talks from institute members about their research, recent findings, or any physics-related topics they wish to share.
If you have any questions or would like to present at a Pizza Lunch, please feel free to contact me

R. (Romane) le Dizes


Former Council Members

  • Rebekka Koch
  • Eleanor Trimby
  • Evita Verheijden
  • Daniel Chernowitz
  • Jaco de Swart
  • Bart van Voorden
  • Thijs de Goede
  • Damian Galante
  • Antonio Capretti
  • Carla Sanna
  • Maureen Dinkgreve
  • Laurens Kabir
  • Niki Klop
  • Julie Desarnaud
  • Nick de Jong
  • Rens Limpens
  • Hamish Silverwood
  • Georgios Skantzaris
  • Rogier Vlijm