IONS-5 draws PhD students for optics and photonics discussion "from the young researcher's perspective"

March 5, 2009--The fifth conference of the International OSA Network of Students (IONS), organized "by PhD students and for PhD students," drew together more than 60 optics researchers from all over the world to ICFO, the Institute of Photonic Sciences (Barcelona, Spain), February 19-21. Attendees hailed from all over Europe and North and South America--and from leading research centers such as CREOL, ORC, NIST, and MPQ.

Mar 5th, 2009

March 5, 2009--The fifth conference of the International OSA Network of Students (IONS),organized "by PhD students and for PhD students," drew together more than 60 optics scientists from all over the world to Barcelona, Spain, February 19-21, 2009. Attendees hailed from Germany, France, Spain, Russia, and Italy, 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, USA), ORC (Optoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Southampton, UK), NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology, Bethesda, MD, USA), and MPQ (Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics of Garching, Germany). The event took place at ICFO, the Institute of Photonic Sciences.

"It's always great to see the IONS spirit in action: this pleasure to build something up, to interact at an international level, to discuss ideas, to exchange latest results and to get to know other young scientists, institutes and even cities at a more personal level," declared Armand Niederberger who coordinated IONS-5. "IONS also provides organizing students members with a unique opportunity to organize an international conference, which is very valuable experience to their career in the long run", added Osamu Takayama, local organizer and president of the ICFO-OSA Student Chapter.

Keynote speakers included Prof. Thomas M. Baer, president of the Optical Society (OSA) and CEO of the Stanford Photonics Research Center (SPRC, Stanford, CA, USA); Prof. Lukas Novotny, Head of the Nano-Optics Group at Rochester University (Rochester, NY, USA) and Co-Chair of Frontiers in Optics 2008/Laser Science XXIV; and Prof. Lluis Torner, ICFO Director. Besides IONS, ICFO and the Optical Society (OSA) lent support to the meeting.

In addition to scientific talks by participating scientists and ICFO group leaders, the event consisted of informal talks on scientific outreach, a poster session on research and outreach activities, an exhibit room for photonics companies (and subsequent gathering with these companies), and social, cultural and networking activities at ICFO and in Barcelona. Companies supporting the event were Innova, Radiantis, Thorlabs, Laser 2000, American Elements, and Optics & Photonics Focus.

IONS's next meeting, IONS-6, will be held at the University of Strathclyde, in Glasgow, Scotland, July 9-11. Following that, IONS will hold its first-ever conference in North America: The OSA Student Chapter at the University of Maryland is organizing the event to take place in September 2009.

--by Michele Catanzaro, ICFO, michele.catanzaro@icfo.es

For more information please see the IONS website as well as the International OSA Network of Students' site.

Posted by Barbara G. Goode, barbarag@pennwell.com, for Laser Focus World.

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