BARCELONA, SPAIN--Science from the young researcher’s perspective was the focus of the fifth conference of the International OSA Network of Students (IONS) meeting, organized “by PhD students and for PhD students,” which drew together more than 60 optics scientists from all over the world February 19–21, 2009. Discussing cutting-edge science among young researchers was one of the main goals of the meeting, as well as networking and, of course, enjoying Barcelona.
Attendees came from all over Europe, as well as North and South America--and from leading research centers such as CREOL (The College of Optics and Photonics at the University of Central Florida, U.S.), ORC (Optoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Southampton, U.K.), NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology, Bethesda, MD, U.S.), and MPQ (Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics of Garching, Germany). The event took place at ICFO, the Institute of Photonic Sciences (Barcelona, Spain). Keynote speakers included professor Thomas M. Baer, OSA President and CEO of the Stanford Photonics Research Center (SPRC).
“It’s always great to see the IONS spirit in action: the pleasure of building up something, interacting at an international level, discussing ideas, exchanging the latest results and getting to know other young scientists, institutes and even cities on a more personal level,” said Armand Niederberger, who coordinated IONS-5. “IONS also provides organizing student members with a unique opportunity to run an international conference, which is a very valuable experience to their careers in the long run,” added Osamu Takayama, local organizer and president of the ICFO-OSA Student Chapter.
An important moment at the meeting was the conference exhibit room and subsequent gathering with photonic companies. Companies sponsoring the workshop (Innova, Radiantis, Thorlabs, Laser 2000, American Elements, and Optics & Photonics Focus) took the opportunity of this gathering of international PhD students and postdocs in optics and photonics to gain visibility towards scientists from all over the world, and to show their latest product developments.
IONS’s next meeting, IONS-6, will be held at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, July 9–11, 2009. Following that, IONS will hold its first-ever conference in the U.S. The OSA Student Chapter at the University of Maryland is organizing this event scheduled for September 2009.
News & Media Officer, ICFO