Three new faculty members joining The University of New Mexico’s Center for High Technology Materials are relocating to Albuquerque from across the country, bringing diverse skills and their passion for research and education.

“We are delighted to have three talented, motivated and inspiring faculty members join CHTM with tenured/tenure-track appointments in the Departments of Physics and Astronomy, and Electrical and Computer Engineering," said Sanjay Krishna, director of CHTM. "Every faculty member at CHTM not only engages in state-of-the-art research, but also trains and inspires the next generation of scientists, engineers and thought leaders. I am confident that while Francesca, Arash and Victor will help in taking CHTM and UNM to the next level, they will be a great asset to the local community as well.”

Francesca Cavallo
Francesca Cavallo comes to UNM from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she has been employed as a scientist in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. She received her doctorate in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology from the Technical University of Chemnitz in Chemnitz, Germany, and she has had collaborations with scientists at ENEA in Portici, Italy and the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart, Germany.

In addition to teaching at UNM, Cavallo will conduct research in the area of interface between nanotechnology and biology based on the use of inorganic nanomembranes to achieve a successful integration of biological cells and solid-state devices.

“Indeed, teaching and research are closely linked in any field, but especially in an extremely dynamic one, such as engineering in the era of the nanoscale,” says Cavallo.

Arash Mafi

Arash Malfi
Arash Malfi

Arash Mafi received his Master of Science and doctoral degrees in physics at Ohio State University, Columbus.  He will move to Albuquerque from his current position as an associate professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

His research interests include image transport using transverse Anderson localization, quantum and nonlinear behavior of optical waveguides, and theoretical, computational and experimental Photonics. “I look at teaching as an essential part of a scientific life,” says Mafi.

Victor Acosta

Victor Acosta
Victor Acosta

Victor Acosta comes to CHTM from Google [x], Mountain View, California, where he has been a research engineer. Receiving his Ph.D. in physics from the University of California-Berkeley, he also attended Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

In addition to teaching, Acosta will be conducting research on nano-scale magnetometry and MRI with nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamond, molecular imaging with optically-pumped fluorophores, and unconventional techniques in magnetic resonance. Ascosta said “I am particularly interested in being part of a quantum-photonics initiative with a commitment to research in novel biomedical imaging tools, computational microscopy, and quantum optics/sensing in a multidisciplinary, collaborative environment.”

“On behalf of the search committee, I am very happy to welcome these three outstanding and talented researchers and educators to the CHTM team,” says search-committee chair and associate director of CHTM, Majeed Hayat. “Arash, Francesca and Victor are bringing totally new capabilities and strengths to CHTM and the UNM community; I anticipate them to be catalysts for many new collaborations and interactions across campus.”

CHTM at the University of New Mexico is an interdisciplinary research center driven by faculty and students from the departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Physics and Astronomy, Chemistry, and Chemical and Biomedical Engineering.

CHTM was chartered in 1983 by the State of New Mexico with the mission to (1) foster research and education in the fields of optoelectronics, microelectronics, and nanotechnology; (2) to enhance collaborations between UNM, federal laboratories and industry; and (3) to promote economic development in the State of New Mexico.

Currently occupying a 60K ft2 building in UNM’s research park, CHTM has become an internationally recognized research center of excellence with signature research programs in the areas of photonics, microelectronics, nanotechnology, manufacturing and materials science.

Learn more at  Contact CHTM director Sanjay Krishna at or Jannell Vander Grift at