Rim Cherif

Rim Cherif - 2018 SPIE Women in Optics Planner

Associate Professor in Telecommunications
University of Carthage, Tunisia

Rim Cherif

Country of Birth: Tunisia
Country of Residence: Tunisia
Educational Background: MSc in Telecommunications, PhD in Information and Communication Technology


My professor of optical communications during my fifth year of engineering in telecommunications at the National Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology inspired me to get into the field of optics. Now I am an associate professor, and my responsibilities are divided into two major activities: teaching and research. I teach optics and photonics courses to undergraduate and graduate students. My research area includes optical characterization of photonic crystal fibers and photonic nanowires, supercontinuum generation, ultra-fast and nonlinear optics, optical sensors for all-optical new generation networks.

As a PhD student, I established the SPIE and OSA student chapters in 2009 to attract more students to the field. It is the first and only student chapter in Tunisia and was the second in Africa. Today, I am acting as a chapter advisor. We organize activities in secondary schools and universities to increase the number of students in science in general and in optics specifically. I also organize conferences and workshops in optics, photonics as well as programs for women in science. For these efforts in outreach as well as my research, I was awarded the ICO/ICTP Gallieno Denardo Award in 2015.

My first challenge was choosing telecommunication engineering, which was a new and man dominated field; there were only 15 female students and over 80 male students in the program. Now, the biggest challenge I face is the balance between family life and work. As a perfectionist, I work hard and do my best to achieve my professional goals. Being a hard worker and mother of a baby is my challenge in the next few years.

Life is based on series of challenges, if you like what you are doing believe in your capabilities so that you can surpass yourself. Enjoy your work and do your best. Nothing is impossible. If you want to, you can!

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