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Third Max Planck Centre in North America inaugurated at University of Ottawa

University's photonics excellence attracts German research institution to Ottawa

26 May 2015

Max Planck-University of Ottawa Centre for Extreme and Quantum Photonics: Ferdi Schüth, Allan Rock, Mona Nemer
From left, signing the agreement for the new Max Planck institute at the University of Ottawa are Max Planck's Ferdi Schüth and Ottawa's Allan Rock and Mona Nemer.

OTTAWA, Canada, and BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA -- The University of Ottawa has signed a formal partnership with the Max Planck Society establishing the Max Planck-University of Ottawa Centre for Extreme and Quantum Photonics. The center will link two of the world's foremost research teams in the field of photonics, and will be only the third Max Planck Centre in North America. Eugene Arthurs, CEO of SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, was among university and Max Planck participants present for the signing today in Ottawa.

Allan Rock, University Ottawa president, was joined by Mona Nemer, vice-president, research, and Ferdi Schüth, vice-president of the Max Planck Society, in the recently inaugurated Advanced Research Complex for the signing of a memorandum of understanding on 26 May that will put in motion an ambitious research program.

"The University of Ottawa research community is honored to be part of this historic partnership. The university and the Max Planck Society are both internationally renowned for research excellence in photonics. Deepening our ties means we will foster greater scientific exchange, produce highly qualified people and develop solutions to real-world problems," said Ottawa's Nemer.

"SPIE welcomes this important partnership, and congratulates the university and the Max Planck Society for their influence on photonics research across Canada and all of North America," Arthurs said. "The new center will generate many downstream benefits, beginning with a higher awareness among decision makers of the key role of photonics in our daily lives."

Gerd Leuchs, Director, Optics and Information, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light
Gerd Leuchs, Director, Optics
and Information, Max Planck
Institute for the Science of Light,
will be a principal researcher
at the new center in Ottawa.

The new center will be at the forefront of research in photonics and optics, in activities such as the development of very high intensity laser sources, a quintessential technology for future advanced manufacturing processes, optical methods for quantum information science for use in secure data transmission over optical fiber systems and the fabrication of devices for use in classical and quantum photonics.

However, the cornerstone of this partnership will be to provide young researchers with international exchanges between Canada and Germany, giving them the opportunity to explore different scientific cultures early on in their professional development.

The principal investigators from the University of Ottawa in the new Max Planck-University of Ottawa center will be Paul Corkum, National Research Council-Canada Research Chair in attosecond photonics; SPIE Fellow Robert Boyd, Canada Excellence Research Chair in quantum nonlinear optics; and Pierre Berini, University Research Chair in surface plasmon photonics.

The principal researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light include Gerd Leuchs, Director, Optics and Information; Philip Russell, Director, Photonic Crystal Fibres; and Vahid Sandoghdar, Director, Nano-optics.

"We at the University of Ottawa are extremely honored to have been designated as a Max Planck Centre," Boyd said, adding that it strengthens existing ties between UO and the Max Planck Institutes in Erlangen (Science of Light) and in Garching (Quantum Optics). The new center will "create a platform within the framework of the joint photonics research programs of the participating institutions by combining their complementary methods and knowledge."

At the signing for the Max Planck-University of Ottawa Centre for Extreme and Quantum Photonics
Present at the signing of an agreement establishing the Max Planck-University of Ottawa Centre for Extreme and Quantum Photonics were, from left, Jörn Rosenberg of the German Embassy, Gerg Leuchs, Mona Nemer, Robert Boyd, Ruby Heap, Ferdi Schüth, Paul Corkum, Sylvain Charbonneau, Pierre Berini, and Allan Rock.

About SPIE

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