Omar A. Ashour

Omar A. Ashour

Graduate Student Researcher

UC Berkeley

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab


I am a fourth-year condensed matter theory PhD student at UC Berkeley, working with Sinéad Griffin at LBL. I am primarily interested in harnessing the interplay between topology and phonons in quantum materials for quantum sensing. I am generally method-agnostic, but I often use ab initio approaches such as density functional theory and GW calculations to study a variety of topological systems and their electronic and phononic properties. Recently, I have been studying higher-order topological insulators, and strain- and phonon-driven topological phase transitions, for applications in dark matter detection.

Prior to joining the physics PhD program, I spent 2 years as a Berkeley Graduate Fellow and earned my MS in applied physics from the AS&T program in 2019. I earned my BS from Texas A&M University in 2017, where I worked on classical integrable systems, particularly nonlinear Schödinger equations.

I am the developer of a Julia package for sovling nonlinear Schrödinger equations, known as NonlinearSchrodinger.jl.

On a personal level, my hobbies include building mechanical keyboards, reading, and computer RPGs. I live with my wife, two cats and dog in the SF Bay Area.

I keep a website for my notes, academic and otherwise, which can be accessed here.


  • Phonons in topological systems
  • Direct dark matter detection
  • Classical integrability


  • PhD, Physics, 2025

    UC Berkeley

  • MA, Physics, 2020

    UC Berkeley

  • MS, AS&T (Applied Physics), 2019

    UC Berkeley

  • BS, Electrical Engineering (Optics), 2017

    Texas A&M University