Jacob Ngaha

A recipient of the University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship, Jacob is studying signal processing in a quantum optics setting as his thesis topic.

Key facts

Programme: Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (current), Master of Science in Physics, Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Physics, Bachelor of Science in Physics and Mathematics
Subject: Physics
Iwi: Waikato-Tainui and Ngati Maniapoto

“After finishing my honours degree and gaining experience in research, I decided to test the waters by doing a Master of Science to see if I could actually go through with a three-year PhD.

“I ended up loving the idea of studying something that no one has really looked at before – and all at my own pace. The amount of support I had from my supervisor and the department during my MSc made me realise that this was something I enjoy and should pursue further.

“I have lived my whole life in Auckland so proximity was the main reason I chose the University of Auckland at first. As I stayed past the BSc, however, I realised that the department and staff in Physics are quite renowned and, especially in the field I’m in, there is some really strong research being produced.

At the postgraduate level I have really felt like a part of the department. People who were once your lecturers become your colleagues and it is a welcoming environment to work in.


Jacob Ngaha

“I’m in the field of theoretical quantum optics – more specifically cavity quantum electrodynamics. I study the interactions between light and matter using quantum mechanical principles.

For my thesis topic, I’m currently studying signal processing in a quantum optics setting. Essentially I’m developing a computational model that will allow us and others to better filter frequency signals in quantum optics simulations. Experimentally this can be done quite easily but we would like a theoretical tool that can, in principle, do even better.

“I received the University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship which has helped immensely by allowing me to not worry about needing to work outside of university so that I can focus more on my studies/research. I would like to stay in the academic field and do research at different universities overseas.