As part of a series of events at Aston University to mark the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies, Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies (AIPT) hosted the Aston Year of Light workshop on the 6th and 7th of October 2015.
The workshop was organized by PhD students of the AIPT, led by Mr. Srikanth Sugavanam, and ably supported by in-house staff members Ms. Alisa Nemova and Ms. Tania Kilina. The aim of the conference was to bring together young scientists and researchers from diverse fields of optics and photonics, paving the way for collaborative thought leading to the conceptualization of novel applications. Research leaders in photonics from the UK spoke on subjects ranging from fluorescence lifetime imaging (Prof. Paul French, Imperial College) and building large quantum states out of light (Prof. Ian Walmsley, Oxford University), to photonic integration (Prof. Richard Penty, Cambridge University) and interferometric systems for metrological applications (Andy Lowe, Hexagon Metrology). The students and researchers present also had the opportunity to hear from internationally renowned speakers on long-wavelength semiconductor laser development (Prof. Manijeh Razeghi, Northwestern University), 3D nano-engineering and laser printing (Prof. Boris Chickkov, University of Hannover), topological photonics (Prof. Alexander Szameit, Friedrich Schiller University) and recent advances in optical metamaterials (Prof. Yuri Kivshar, Australian National University).
To encourage discussions between established researchers and students a poster/mixer session took place at the end of the first day, helped along by an excellent buffet dinner. Prizes for the best posters were awarded to Mr. Nikita Tarasov (AIPT, Aston University), Mr. Marco Lamperti (University of Insubria), and Mr. Guoqing Wang (University of Kent). The workshop closed with an inspiring talk from Prof. Sir David Payne of Southampton University entitled “Lighting up the world” which reviewed the great success of optical fibres in the fields of telecommunications, sensing, biophotonics, and high-power laser-enabled manufacturing, while also exploring future scientific possibilities and engineering applications, and in the process emphasising how buoyant and relevant these topics remain today.
[Image Credit: Wladek Forysiak]