Paola Cappellaro

Esther and Harold Edgerton Associate Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Nuclear Science and Engineering Department
Research Laboratory of Electronics
Room 26-303
77 Massachusetts AvenueEmail:
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307Tel: 617-253-8137

Short Bio

Paola Cappellaro is the Esther and Harold Edgerton Associate Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a member of the Research Lab for Electronics, where she leads the Quantum Engineering Group. She received her Ph.D in 2006 from MIT and she then joined Harvard University as a postdoctoral associate in the Institute for Theoretical Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics (ITAMP), before going back to MIT as a faculty in 2009.
Prof. Cappellaro is an expert in NMR, ESR, coherent control and quantum information science. She is a specialist in spin-based quantum information processing and precision measurements in the solid state. With collaborators, she developed the concept and first demonstrations of NV-diamond magnetometers. Cappellaro's major contributions have been in developing control techniques for nuclear and electronic spin qubits, including NV-diamond, inspired by NMR techniques and quantum information ideas. The goal is the realization of practical quantum nano-devices, such as sensors and simulators, more powerful than their classical counterparts, as well as the acquisition of a deeper knowledge of quantum systems and their environment. Her work has been recently recognized by the Young Investigator Award from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and a Merkator Fellowship.


  • ITAMP, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
  • - Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA (2006)
  • - Ph.D. in Nuclear Science and Engineering.
    - Advisor: Prof. David Cory. Dissertation title: Quantum Information Processing in Multi-Spin Systems (abstract)
  • Ecole Centrale Paris, Paris, France (2001)
  • - Joint MS in Applied Physics with Politecnico di Milano (TIME double degree program).
  • Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy (2000)
  • - Laurea (BS/MS) in Nuclear Engineering, Summa cum Laude.
    - MS Thesis on "Neutron spectra analysis for the validation of the dosimetric calibration in CERN facilities".


    Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
    - Instructor for "22.11 Applied Nuclear Physics" (2015)
    - Instructor for "22.02 Introduction to Applied Nuclear Physics" (2010-Current)
    - Instructor for "22.101 Applied Nuclear Physics" (2013)
    - Instructor for "22.51 Interaction of Radiation with Matter" (2009-Current)
    - Instructor for "22.920 A Hands-On Introduction to Nuclear Magnetic Resonance" (2005)
    - Teaching Assistant for "22.312 Engineering of Nuclear Reactors" (Prof. M. S. Kazimi, Fall 2001)
    Award as Outstanding TA in the Nuclear Engineering Department.


    - Merkator Fellowship (2014)
    - Edgerton Professorship (2013)
    - AFOSR Young Investigator Award (2012)
    - PAI Outstanding Teacher and Mentor (2010)
    - Graduate Teaching Award, MIT School of Engineering (2005)
    - Manson Benedict Fellowship (2004)
    - Alpha Nu Sigma (honorary branch of the American Nuclear Society).
    - Fondazione Famiglia Legnanese Fellowship (1998)