Yontan Hovav was born in Israel and moved to Canada in 2019. He did his undergraduate studies in biotech engineering at Ben-Gurion University. He then did his M.Sc at the Weizmann institute of science, where he became fascinated with quantum mechanics and magnetic resonance. He did his M.Sc in the lab of the late prof. Shimon Vega, in the department of physical chemistry, working on pulse sequence design in MAS solid-state NMR, and on parahydrogen induced polarization.
He then continued in the same lab for his Ph.D., working on NMR signal enhancements via dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP), involving static NMR and ESR at low temperatures. His Ph.D. involved theory and simulations, as well as experiments, aimed at a better understanding of the physical processes taking part during the DNP process. He won the dean's prize for his Ph.D. thesis. He then did a postdoctoral fellowship at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, helping to establish new lab-focused NV centers in diamonds. During this period, he designed and constructed optical systems, wrote instrument control APIs and sequence control software, ran magnetic resonance experiments on single atomic defects, and designed pulse sequences.
After moving to Canada, he did a postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute for Quantum computing, Waterloo, ON, where he investigated the optically induced hyperpolarization mechanism in Si-P samples. He also created control software and helped in the design and construction of optical setups for NV centers in diamonds. Yonatan took part in the publications of more than 20 peer-reviewed papers. Outside of the Academy, Yonatan worked as a scientific advisor in the ministry of environmental protection, and as a data consultant. He joined Synex Medical as an NMR Scientist in 2022.
Yonatan lives with his spouse, three daughters, a dog, and a rabbit. He enjoys hiking, running, cooking, baking, and reading.