Interest:

I like to work on projects which give me the opportunity to learn something new every day. I thrive in teamwork environments.

I am interested in early stage technical projects where I can be part of the design, prototyping and development of a new idea.

Education

2011 - 2015

Doctor of Philosophy in Physics

My research was part of the Daya Bay reactor neutrino experiment, a multinational particle physics project studying neutrinos, the lightest and most abundant known matter particles in the universe.

More info

Despite their mesmerizing amount, neutrino low interaction rates with matter make them hard to detect and study, and the number of unresolved questions involving neutrinos make this field one of the most exciting to work at the moment.

In the Daya Bay experiment I developed my work simulating the detector response to the interaction of an antineutrino with a proton (Inverse Beta Decay), which releases a positron and neutron in a short time window. This pair of particles can be detected by the detectors' photomultiplier tubes after the positrion annihilates with an electron (producing a pair of 5.11 MeV gamma rays) and the neutron is captured on gadolinium or hydrogen nuclei (releasing gamma rays with total energy ~8 MeV or 2.2 MeV respectively). If both signals happen to be inside a specific time window we can determine that an antineutrino has been measured. Nevertheless, there are some background sources that produce similar signals in our experiment. By modeling and measuring their activity we can subtract them from the main antineutrino signal.

The relevance of my work resides on the posibility of finding the neutrino oscillation parameters θ13 and Δmee by designing a shape fit for the mentioned hydrogen signal, providing an independent measurement to the main analysis based on gadollinium capture with a similar amount of events and, thus, this work has the potential of doubling the statistics of our current measurement.

2010 - 2011

Master of Science in Physics

I was selected to participate in a merit-based double degree Master's program with a 50% tuition scholarship at Illinois Institue of Technology.

Physics courses
  • Analytical Dynamics
  • Quantum Theory I & II
  • Statistical Mechanics
  • Electromagnetic Theory
  • Methods of Theoretical Physics I
  • Physics of the Solid State I
  • Introduction to Synchrotron Radiation
  • Particle Physics I & II
  • Computer Vision and Image Processing

2006 - 2011

Telecommunication Engineering
(B.Sc. + M.Sc.)

At Technical University of Madrid I completed an ABET accredited degree in Telecommunication Engineering, a field of study that encompasses:

Electrical Engineering
  • Analog electronics circuits
  • Digital electronic circuits
  • Circuit analysis & design
  • Digital electronic systems
  • Digital electronic systems lab.
  • Electronic circuits laboratory
  • Electrical measurement lab.
  • Design of electronic circuits & systems
  • Communication electronics
  • Electronic communication lab.
  • Technologies of electronics manufacturing
  • Micro-electronics
  • Microwaves
  • Radiation & propagation
  • Optical communications
  • Switching
Computer Science
  • Computer programming
  • Computer programming lab.
  • Computer architecture
  • Computer technology
  • Computer networks
  • Communication networks & services I & II
  • Systems programming lab.
Signal Processing
  • Random signals
  • Linear systems
  • Theory of communication
  • Digital communication
  • Data communication
  • Transmission systems
  • Communication & signals lab.
  • Digital signal processing
  • Digital signal processing lab.

Publications

May 2017

Prospective clinical implementation of a novel MR-tracking device for real- time HDR brachytherapy catheter positioning

de Arcos J et al.,
Int J Radiation Oncol Biol Phys

April 2017

Measurement of electron antineutrino oscillation based on 1230 days of operation of the Daya Bay experiment

The Daya Bay Collaboration, Phys. Rev. D 95, 072006

April 2016

New measurement of θ13 via neutron capture on hydrogen at Daya Bay

The Daya Bay Collaboration, Phys. Rev. D 93, 072011

February 2016

Measurement of the Reactor Antineutrino Flux and Spectrum at Daya Bay

The Daya Bay Collaboration, Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 061801

September 2015

A new measurement of antineutrino oscillation with the full detector configuration at Daya Bay

The Daya Bay Collaboration, Phys. Rev. Lett. 115, 111802

October 2014

Search for a Light Sterile Neutrino at Daya Bay

The Daya Bay Collaboration, Phys. Rev. Lett. 113, 141802

October 2014

Independent Measurement of θ13 via Neutron Capture on Hydrogen at Daya Bay

The Daya Bay Collaboration, Phys. Rev. D 90, 071101

February 2014

Spectral measurement of electron antineutrino oscillation amplitude and frequency at Daya Bay

The Daya Bay Collaboration, Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 061801

Experience

2017 - present

MR Physicist at King's College London and St Thomas' Hospital

At present I am researching new applications of Magnetic Resonance Elastography (MRE) in the School of Biomedical Engineering and Imaging Science at King's College London, inside Professor Ralph Sinkus' research group. MRE is an imaging modality able to measure the propagation of shear waves in the body so that we can probe the stiffness of organic tissue using a non-invasive technique. It's been applied successfully in liver disease characterization, and has great potential to characterize tumours and neuronal activity.

MRI data and elastograms

2015 - 2017

Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital

I worked with Dr. Ehud Schmidt developing prospective motion-correction techniques for intracavity imaging using an array of tracking coils. These techniques are applied in medical interventions such as brachytherapy or cardiac ablation procedures giving doctors real time feedback on catheter positioning and motion corrected MRI images.

AMIGO suite. A state-of-the-art medical and surgical research environment where we developed our tracking project

2011 - 2015

Researcher at the Daya Bay experiment

The collaboration is a multionational effort including research institutions from China, the United States, Taiwan, Russia, and the Czech Republic.

The experimental site is situated near a 17.4 GWth nuclear power plant in the south of China, which produces ~1020 neutrinos per second.

A set of 8 antineutrino detectors has been placed to measure the neutrino spectrum distributed equally among the near and far halls.

By calculating the relative electron antineutrino spectrum rates (far/near) we can determine the oscillation amplitude in the electron anti-neutrino spectrum (θ13) using both gadolinium and hydrogen signals.

Furthermore, with our current understanding of the detector response we can even calculate the oscillation effects using spectral shape information, which makes the experiment sensitive to Δmee.

Additional physics goals have been achieved by excluding the parameter-space for a theoretical sterile neutrino, and providing a new measurement of reactor antineutrino spectrum using Daya Bay data.

Daya Bay experimental site

Daya Bay experimental hall pool

Inside a Daya Bay detector

Code

Code

Projects & Skills

Arduino

Prototype design
As a teacher assistant I designed a section to introduce Arduino systems. I coded several tutorials, from controlling LEDs, to counters, music I/O, thermometers and EMF detectors (antennas).

The synchronization of different events was explored by building a traffic light with BCD counters, LEDs and bell ringing controlled with an Arduino. The student evaluation was very satisfactory.

Instructions for the class

PDF Instructions for the class

C/C++

Siemens IDEA
Pulse sequence
development
An MRI sequence is a series of radio-frequency pulses and magnetic gradients designed to acquire a set of MR images with a contrast dependent on the sequence parameters and the physical properties of the sample.

I have been trained to develop MRI sequences in the Siemens IDEA framework; in particular I have worked on active-tracking and motion correction sequences in VB17, VB19 and VD13 IDEA versions, and functional MRE sequences in VE11A,VE11C and VE11P versions.
Ph.D. Thesis
Part of my dissertation consisted on the development of a C++ toy Monte Carlo simulation to predict the electron antineutrino energy spectrum from gadollinium and hydrogen neutron capture signals.

The simulation was also used to generate systematic, background and statistical covariance matrices that account for the uncertainties in a covariance matrix χ2 fitter, which was designed and tested to measure precisely the third neutrino mixing angle (θ13).

Click here to see a video tutorial on how to run the Monte Carlo software using a custom-made Qt GUI:

Tutorial on how to use the GUI to load, generate and plot antineutrino spectra, covariance matrices and response matrices.

Interactive game
Using the Motorola ColdFire MCF5272 microprocontroller, we developed an interactive application using an interface consisting of an array of LEDs and a keyboard to input data.

The application displayed a sucession of falling notes in the LED array, the goal of the player was to press a set of keys trying to match the notes in a timely fashion, obtaining points according to his performance.

A menu was displayed on an LCD interface allowing to choose between different songs and modes. Each note was played using a buzzer and at the end of the song the score was shown through the LCD screen. The synchronization of different events was the main challenge of the project.

Matlab

MRI Motion
Correction:
Tracking data

Using tracking coils inside an MRI scanner allows us to obtain real time positional information of the sample.

Inputting this data into a SVD based algorithm we can extract translational and rotational motion of a rigid body.

This information can then be used to correct the imaging process for motion distortion in real time with millimeter resolution and response time in the millisecond order.

Computer Vision:
Image processing algorithms

We developed several image processing algorithms used to segment different kind of images.

We analyzed the performance of threshold, K-means clustering, region growing, region splitting/merging and labelling segmentations.

Computer Vision:
Motion estimation

In this project we developed the Block Matching algorithm and studied how its parameters affect the correct estimation of motion.

This algorithm is very useful to compress video information by detecting one of the most common features of videos, the very few differences between consecutive frames. It can also be applied in the analysis of object movements.

Statistical
Mechanics:
Monte Carlo simulation

I developed my first Monte Carlo simulation to study the percolation properties (Neel temperature, average magnetization and energy) from antiferromagnetic materials in a 2D lattice.

Following the simple but powerful Ising model, that resembles a stochastic system of cellular automata where the probability of a spin flip is a function of the number of neighbors in the spin up (or down) direction.

Java

Algorithms &
simulations
I learned Java in my freshman year, where I had to work on a few introductory projects, i.e., developing the Dijkstra algorithm to solve the single-source shortest path problem, and, more interestingly, building a sand-box simulation to analyize the population evolution of two antagonist animals (such as rabbits and foxes) under different environmental conditions.

HTML & JavaScript

Personal website
I learned HTML and JavaScript to be able to build this website from scratch. As an introduction to the language I used Codecademy and I kept learning different tools depending on my needs:

"You learn to code by coding."

My first programming teacher
Il Ciacolon
Restaurant Website
Designed and managed Il Ciacolon restaurant website

Awards

2017/2018

Trainee Educational Stipend Award

Two times awardee of financial support to attend ISMRM Annual Meeting & Exhibition.

2017

Ranking Choiseul 100

Selected as one of the top 100 young Spanish economical leaders of the year.

2016

Poster award

1st prize for poster presentation at the 11th Interventional MRI Symposium.

2013

Pengnian Scholarship Tsinghua University

Granted financial support for one semester researching at Tsinghua University.

2010

Illinois Institute of Technology Scholarship

Selected for a merit-based double degree program between Illinois Institute of Technology and Technical University of Madrid with a 50% tuition scholarship.

Languages

Learning languages is one of my favorite activities, I use online resources such as duolingo to master the basics.

In order of proficiency I can speak:

Spanish
Mother tongue.
English
Full professional proficiency: In 2010 I completed the TOEFL and GRE tests. I have lived in the USA and the UK until 2018, working in an English-speaking environment.
Italian
Conversational: I speak Italian in my family environment.
French
Basic skills: I studied the language for 4 years in high school.
Chinese
Basic skills: Due to my business trips to China, I decided to study the language. I particularly enjoy learning how to write new symbols.