230503_Frank Guerts_Gustavo-03528
Frank Geurts is a Professor of Physics & Astronomy at Rice University in Houston, Texas. He joined Rice in 2008 and leads the Experimental Relativistic Heavy Group. Frank received his Ph.D. at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, and since then has worked at Philips Research Laboratories ("Nat.Lab") in the Netherlands, Rice University in Houston, and at CERN (Geneva, Switzerland). While at Philips Research, he worked in the Digital Design group he has been involved in various heavy-ion experiments, ranging from the fixed-target CERN-SPS WA93 and WA98 experiments, to the STAR experiment at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven National Lab and the CMS experiment at CERN's Large Hadron Collider. He has been convener of the Light Flavor Spectra Physics Working group, Physics Analysis Coordinator, and deputy spokesperson. He was recently elected as co-spokesperson of the STAR Collaboration. In addition, Frank is involved in CMS collaboration Endcap Muon and MTD/ETL detectors. He was PID-detector co-convener of EIC's ATHENA and is the Institutional Board member of the ePIC collaboration at BNL.

Geary Eppley is a senior research scientist and joined the Rice group after he received his PhD in 1995 for which he was awarded the H.A. Wilson award for outstanding Ph.D. thesis. Geary has been involved in the D0 experiment as well as the SDC Collaboration. Geary has been a physics working group convener of STAR's Spin physics working group for the first 6 years, including Spin/High-pT convener for 1 year. He has built the physics case for the EMC and wrote the spin physics section of the EMC proposal. He led the spin group through the first several years of commissioning polarized RHIC and the publication of the first STAR spin paper. Concurrently, he began MRPC-based TOF research in 2000 leading to the TOF upgrade project and implemented the electronics for the MRPC-based muon detector upgrade. In addition to being the contractor project manager of the Large-area TOF construction project, Geary has also been one of the STAR Advisory Board members of the initial board for two years. Geary coordinates the efforts of the CBM/STAR Endcap TOF project and is a long-time member of the STAR Trigger Board.

Tonko Ljubicic is senior research scientist who joined the Rice group in 2024. He received his PhD in 1994 from the University of Zagreb, followed by a Postdoctoral Fellow position at CERN/Rudjer Boskovic Institute (Zagreb). He joined Brookhaven National Lab in 1996 as a Physicist working on the data acquisition systems for the STAR experiment and more recently on the DAQ for EIC's Athena/ePIC detectors.

Research Scientists / Postdoctoral Fellows:

  • Zaochen Ye is a research fellow and has joined the Rice group as a postdoc in 2019. He received his PhD in 2018 from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Zaochen is the TOF software coordinator for the STAR collaboration and serves as co-convener of the Light-Flavor Spectra & UPC physics working group.

Graduate Students:

  • Chenliang Jin (USTC)
  • Daniel Torres Valladares (Monterrey/UT Austin)


High School Students:

  • Amol Patil (Cinco Ranch High School, Katy TX - 2016-2017)
  • Mohammed Shobaki (J. Frank Dobie High School, Pasadena TX - 2015-2016)

Undergraduate Students (incl. Summer Students):

  • Ignacio Quiroz Vargas (Fall 2023 VIP program)
  • Atsuko Price (Fall 2023 VIP program)
  • Noah Oh (Fall 2023 VIP program)
  • Parker Willis (Spring 2023 VIP program)
  • Jaanita Mehrani (2022 - senior thesis; 2019 - 2021 Vertically Integrated Project on Muon Detection)
  • Anamitra Paul (2019)
  • Nicholas Coupey (2019)
  • Bob Bao (2019 - 2020 VIP program)
  • Artun Bayer (2019 VIP program)
  • Seokin Yeh - (undergraduate research work + senior thesis -2017-2019)
  • Robert Hendricks (Summer 2018)
  • Shryans Goyal (Summer 2018)
  • Maryam Sheikh (undergraduate research work, Fall 2017)
  • Fernando Alvarez - summer student (2013)
  • Michael DeMarco - undergraduate research work (2010-2012)
  • Hector Perez - senior thesis (2010/2011)
  • Scott Kravitz - sophomore essay project (2008/2009), summer student (2009)
  • Leland Richardson - summer student (2009)

Visiting Students:

  • Yurina Nakazato (Univ. of Tokyo, 2019)
  • Jan Vanek (CTU Prague, Czech Republic, 2017)
  • Florian Seck (TU Darmstadt, Germany, 2016)

Graduate Students:

  • Yiding Han - PhD 2024, postdoc Baylor College of Medicine
  • Malena Fassnacht - MS 2023
  • Daniel Brandenburg - PhD 2018, faculty OSU
  • Joey Butterworth - PhD 2018, continued as a developer for General Dynamics Information Technology
  • Nick Luttrell - MS 2017, continued as security analyst at Flat Earth Network
  • Kefeng Xin - PhD in 2015 and currently works at Uber Headquarters
  • Daniel McDonald - PhD 2013 (supervisor Bill Llope), continued as a postdoc at UH, and since 2015 works for Capital One

Postdoctoral Fellows:

  • Isaac Upsal (2021 - 2023), continued at USTC as a postdoc
  • David Tlusty (2015 - 2018), joined Creighton Univ. as a postdoc
  • Jing Liu (2004 - 2010), joined DeepFlex as a senior analysis engineer

Senior Research Fellows:

  • Bill Llope - joined Rice in 1995 as faculty fellow, and 2014 joined the faculty at Wayne State University
  • Pablo Yepes - joined Rice in 1995 as faculty fellow and currently is involved in the field of medical physics, specifically proton therapy in collaboration with MD Anderson