Dr. Sarah Burke is an Associate Professor in the departments of Physics & Astronomy, and Chemistry, and a Principal Investigator in the Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute at the University of British Columbia. Her research uses scanning probe microscopy techniques to investigate materials from the atomic scale up. Burke received her Bachelor’s Degree from Dalhousie University in 2002 (Honours in Physics) and her Master’s and Doctoral Degrees in Physics from McGill University in 2004 and 2009 respectively, where she focused on studying the growth and epitaxy of organic molecules on insulating surfaces using non-contact atomic force microscopy. She then held an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship at UC Berkeley with Michael Crommie where she investigated graphene nano-structures using low temperature scanning tunnelling microscopy and spectroscopy.
Since arriving at the University of British Columbia in 2010 she has built an interdisciplinary research group approaching materials questions from the atomic scale, applying these techniques to a wide range of materials from superconductors to molecular materials for future devices and controlling surface reactivity. She held the Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Nanoscience 2010-2020, received a Peter Wall Early Career Scholar Award for Interdisciplinary study 2011-2012, and the Killam Award for Excellence in Mentoring in 2022.