Johan Christensen

Acoustic and Mechanical Metamaterials

Dr. Johan Christensen is a Senior Researcher and Head of the Acoustic and Mechanical Metamaterials research group at IMDEA Materials Institute. His research focus is in wave physics and the theoretical description and numerical modelling of acoustic and mechanical metamaterials and topological insulators.

Dr. Christensen obtained a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Mechatronics from the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) before completing his PhD at the Autonomous University of Madrid. Before joining IMDEA Materials, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and as an Assistant Research Professor at the Technical University of Copenhagen.

In both roles his work was focused predominantly in the field of acoustic metamaterials. From 2017 to 2022, he worked as an ERC Starting Grant research fellow at Madrid’s Carlos III University, during which time he was the lead author on non-Hermitian topological whispering gallery published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature.

In total, Dr. Christensen has authored or co-authored more than 90 papers in peer-reviewed international journals such as: 1 Nature, 2 Nature Reviews Materials, 1 Nature Nanotechnology, 2 Nature Physics, 5 Advanced Materials, 1 Advanced Functional Materials, 11 Physical Reviews Letters, and 3 Nature Communications, garnering more than 7000 citations.

He is a key player internationally in acoustic and mechanical metamaterials and has been on technical and advisory boards of numerous international organizations and conferences. He has also obtained several awards and grants such as a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Doctoral fellowship, two Carlsberg fellowships, the Young Elite researcher prize from the Danish Research Council, a Ramon y Cajal fellowship from the Spanish government, a Starting Grant from the European Research Council and the Phononic Young Investigator Award from the International Phononic Society.

He was recently included in Stanford University’s ranking of the world’s top 2% of scientists worldwide. Also, he has given 10 keynote and plenary lectures at international conferences. A primary focus of his research at IMDEA Materials will be in using the topology of the underlying lattice structure of metamaterials to determine dynamic wave and static responses.

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Publications at IMDEA Materials

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Dr. Christensen and his research team at IMDEA Materials Institute have a keen interest in physical acoustics, elasticity and vibrating engineered fluids and/or solids. Through mathematical modelling and numerical computation, they explore novel acoustic and mechanical phenomena in structures on the nano-to-centi scale. Studying the interaction in terms of acousto-electricity, acousto-elastodynamics, etc. also falls within the group’s line of research. Acoustic and mechanical analogies of topological quantum phases of matter also belong to their activities.

2003 - B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering, University of Southern Denmark

2005 – M.Sc. in Mechatronics, University of Southern Denmark

2010 – Ph.D. in Condensed matter physics, Autonomous University of Madrid

2010-2012 – Postdoctoral Researcher, Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

2013-2016 – Assistant Research Professor, Technical University of Denmark

2017-2022 – Research Fellow, Carlos III University of Madrid

2022-ongoing – Senior Researcher, IMDEA Materials Institute

2006 – Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Doctoral fellowship, MSCA

2010, 2012 – Carlsberg fellowship, Carlsberg Foundation

2013 – Young Elite Researcher Prize, Danish Research Council

2016 – Ramon y Cajal fellowship, Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation

2016 – ERC Starting Grant, European Research Council

2017 - Premio de Excelencia, Modalidad Joven Investigador de UC3M

2019 - Phononics Young Investigator Award from the International Phononics Society

  • Member of the Scientific Advisory Board for Phononics, International Conference in Phononic crystals, Metamaterials and Optomechanics, 2011-2019
  • Member of the Technical Program Committee for META, International Conference on Metamaterials, Photonic Crystals and Plasmonic, 2013-2022
  • Member of the Technical Program Committee at the International topical meeting by Metamorphose, Metamaterials in New York, US, 2021.

Key publications

  1. Nature 597, 655 (2021)
  2. Nature Reviews Materials 1, 16001 (2016).
  3. Nature Reviews Materials 2, 17066 (2017).
  4. Advanced Materials 30, 1803229 (2018).
  5. Advanced Materials 31, 1904682 (2019).
  6. Advanced Materials 31, 1904386 (2019).
  7. Advanced Materials 34, 2201575 (2022).
  8. Advanced Materials 34, 2202026 (2022).
  9. Nature Physics 3, 851 (2007).
  10. Nature Physics 7, 52 (2011).
  11. Nature Communications 7, 13536 (2016).
  12. Nature Communications 12, 3670 (2021).
  13. Nature Communications 13, 5096 (2022).