Linda Hoeglund

Linda Hoeglund - 2015 SPIE Women in Optics Planner

Lead in optical characterization of infrared detector material, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, USA
Country of Birth: Sweden

Educational Background: MSc Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering, Linkoping University Sweden; PhD Material Science, Linkoping University, Sweden

Linda Hoeglund

After high school I studied science for a year and one of the teachers made me see the world in a totally different way through his explanations of the physical principles of everything in our surrounding. I never really cared for physics before that, but after taking his classes I totally fell in love with physics. Because of him, I decided to study Applied Physics in college, where I had so many great physics teachers that all inspired me to continue in this field. One of them, who later became my advisor during my Ph. D. studies, opened my eyes to quantum physics and the amazing world of nanotechnology. Ever since, I have been working on development of infrared detector materials based on quantum structures, which is a fascinating field of work that involves a lot of physics.

My group at Jet Propulsion Laboratory develops infrared detectors/heat sensors. These detectors can be used to provide temperature images of our surrounding which for example enables night vision while driving, can help the police find missing persons in the wild and enables fire-fighters to see and rescue people in a smoke filled house. The development includes everything from theoretical modeling and growth of the infrared sensitive material to fabrication and testing of heat sensing cameras based on this material. My role is to judge if the material that we develop will make a good detector material by measuring the optical properties of the material right after growth of the material. I then provide feedback to the growers and the theoretician so that we improve the detector material as much as possible before we fabricate devices out of it.

Get experienced in your field and share your knowledge and results at conferences and networking events. By getting to know people in your field, you will open up doors to collaboration with others. It also gives you career opportunities since people will recognize what you are doing and they will think of you when an opening comes up. Don't hesitate to take on new tasks that are new and challenging. You learn so much from every challenge and will always find ways to solve problems that occur.