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SPIE Professional April 2010

SPIE Photonics Europe

The 12-16 April symposium is at the center of European innovation.

By Beth Kelley

SPIE Photonics EuropeFor the first time in its 60-year history, the European Commission has identified photonics as one of the key enabling technologies needed to modernize European industry and secure its capacity for innovation.

Photonics innovators who are taking up the challenge of creating new photonics technologies for the future will play a prominent role at SPIE Photonics Europe this year. The symposium will be held 12-16 April 2010, in Brussels, Belgium, one of the core locations in Europe for photonics innovation.

European Parliament in Brussels
European Parliament in Brussels.

Giorgio Anania, chairman of Cube Optics and vice president of Photonics21, a 1400-member organization promoting transnational cooperation between the photonics industry and academia in Europe, will present a plenary talk at this year's event. Titled "Illuminating the Path to Growth: The European Research Strategy in Photonics," Anania will discuss the second Photonics21 strategic research agenda, which aims to further develop Europe's scientific, technological and economic leadership in photonics.

Other keynote speakers are Stefan Hell of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry (Germany), discussing "Nanoscopy with Focused Light," and SPIE Fellow Kishan Dholakia of University of St Andrews (UK), with his talk "The Light Touch: Advanced Micromanipulation and Photoporation."

Hot Topic sessions at SPIE Photonics Europe this year provide overviews of the most recent developments in optics and photonics. Topics include photonics computing (SPIE Fellow Mario Paniccia of Intel); InP photonic integration (Radhakrishnan Nagarajan of Infinera); plastic photonics (SPIE Fellow Bernard Kippelen, Georgia Institute of Technology); nanophotonics (L. Kobus Kuipers, University of Amsterdam); and ultrafast nonlinear optics (Benjamin Eggleton, University of Sydney).

Nineteen conferences will cover everything from micro-optics to quantum optics to solar energy to metamaterials.

SPIE Photonics Europe will also showcase European innovators and photonics ambassadors throughout the week, including Francis Berghmans, professor of applied physics and photonics at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium, who will receive his SPIE Fellow plaque at the conference for his work in optical fiber sensors. Read more about the new SPIE Fellows from Europe.

Student Innovation

Photonics Europe is a great venue for students and young entrepreneurs. The Research, Education and Training Work Group of the Photonics21 technology platform and SPIE are sponsoring a prize for students in the field of photonics in order to promote research in photonics, especially related to R&D with industrial impact. It will be presented at SPIE Photonics Europe on Monday, 12 April.

The award consists of a certificate and a cash prize of €5,000 for an optics and photonics researcher under the age of 35.

SPIE Student Services is planning professional development workshops, networking events, a job fair, awards, and social activities in collaboration with the SPIE Student chapter at VUB, under the direction of SPIE Fellow and SPIE Board member Hugo Thienpont.

"They are moving their career fair to the exhibition hall and getting speakers together, so their involvement is really strong," says Dirk Fabian of SPIE Student Services.

SPIE Europe Manager Karin Burger is excited to have the SPIE Student Chapter in Brussels so heavily involved in organizing student events, saying "this demonstrates as a member, you can get things moving in SPIE."

Photonics Innovation Village

Also organized with VUB is the fourth edition of the Photonics Innovation Village competition. The Innovation Village will showcase projects from optics and photonics research groups at universities, research centers, and startup companies across Europe, and it encourages technology transfer into new products. This year's 21 selected participants are:

  • VUB—ISIS3D: Image Steering Integrated Screen for 3D viewing
  • VUB—New software for the characterisation of historical glass
  • VUB—Transverse Laser Mode Switching Devices and Subsystems for Q-switching lasers with enhanced figures-of-merit
  • Optrima—3D camera
  • KIT—Tunable visible lasers for spectroscopy
  • Multitel—Optical instrument for interrogating high-sensitivity and multiparametric photonic biochips for future point-of-care diagnostic
  • SMARTHIES—Test station for MEMS based on exchangeable micro-optical probing wafers
  • OSIRIS—3D Rear Projector without glasses + LCOS Laser Front Projector
  • P4L—Electro-photonic biochip
  • Photonics Technology Laboratory Thailand—Data-Non-Intrusive Photonics-based Credit Card Verifier
  • Galway University—Low Cost kHz Wavefront Sensor Prototype
  • Tampere University—Yellow-orange high brightness semiconductor disk laser (VECSEL)
  • HEOS Photonics—SpectroRef: Spectrometer that measures refractive index of fluids
  • Trinity College—OSNR Monitoring using Two Fiber Interferometers
  • Belarusian State University—Compact, mobile fiber optical and thermal sensor for non-invasive measurement of blood biochemistry
  • Photonics Research Center—A High Speed Passive Wavelength Measurement System
  • KIT—MicroMops The Active Modular Micro-Optical System
  • CMST University of Gent—Photonics in Motion: stretchable optical waveguide
  • Nanyang University—Compact Digital Holography (CDH) System
  • 3D Metrics—"3D metric" software tool: image analysis to measure on-screen
  • IESL/FORTH—Photosensitive materials for two-photon polymerization

The Innovation Village selection committee will grant awards for the best technological innovation in the categories "Best Innovation by an Individual Researcher" and "Best Innovation by a Multilateral Project, Organisation or Company." Category winners will receive an award of €1500. The first and second runner-up will each win €500.

Innovation in Industry

The Photonics Innovation Village is just part of the Photonics21 Industry Day, which features business and industry leaders discussing opportunities and forecasts for European and world-wide industry trends.

innovation village winners 2008
Best Overall Product award at SPIE Photonics Europe Innovation Village 2008: Christoff Pruss and project lead René Reichle, ITO, Universität Stuttgart, Germany, and Christopher Gessenhardt, Universität Duisberg-Essen. The project was diffractive/refractive endoscopic UV-imaging system.

The Photonics Career Event "Stop waffling and kick-start your career!" will take place Tuesday, 13 April. This workshop will discuss how to transition to a career outside of academia.

A Student Lunch with the Experts is scheduled for Monday, 12 April. Enjoy a casual meal with SPIE leadership and Photonics Europe conference chairs, networking and discussing photonics research with veterans of the field.

The Women in Optics lunch will be on Wednesday, 14 April, with guest speaker Eleni Alexandratou, National Technical University of Athens, Greece, discussing challenges and opportunities facing women in academic and business sectors.

Businesses from Germany, France, the UK, and elsewhere in Europe will be part of a 150-company exhibition from 13-15 April, showcasing their newest equipment. Exhibiting companies include Hamamatsu Photonics, Ocean Optics, Physik Instrumente, Spectra-Physics, and Thorlabs.  

Photonics21 Research Agenda

Innovations in solid-state lighting, photovoltaic solar panels, and other "green" technologies represent the future direction of photonics in Europe, according to the new strategic research agenda prepared by Photonics21.

The new research agenda, "Lighting the Way Ahead," was presented to the European Commission at the Photonics21 annual meeting held in Brussels, Belgium, in January.

Key recommendations included closer cooperation with the rest of the world to develop green photonics and an increase in photonics R&D investment to 10% of annual turnover.

Recognized as a key enabling technology in Europe, photonics is regarded as one of the principal drivers for growth and a means for raising the quality of life of European citizens.

SPIE Fellows Hugo Thienpont, Malgorzata Kujawinska, and María Yzuel; SPIE Executive Director Eugene Arthurs; SPIE Senior Director for Global Business Development Andrew Brown; and SPIE Europe manager Karin Burger are active participants in Photonics21 activities.

More information.

Advancing the Laser
Laser Celebration

SPIE is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the laser on Wednesday, 14 April at SPIE Photonics Europe, as part of a year-long celebration of the invention of the laser.

Among the speakers taking part in a series of lectures and discussions about the past, present, and future of the laser are:

  • Wolfgang Sandner, Max Born Institute Berlin (Germany)
  • Ursula Keller, ETH Zurich (Switzerland)
  • Mike Dunne, Science & Technology Facilities Council (UK)

-Beth Kelley is an SPIE editor.

Write to us at spieprofessional@spie.org.  

DOI: 10.1117/2.4201004.13

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