Photon-triplet researcher wins Quantel-OSA Bright Ideas Competition

June 22, 2017
Quantel and the OSA Foundation announced the winner of the inaugural Bright Ideas Competition.

High-power solid-state laser manufacturer Quantel Laser (Les Ulis, France) and the OSA Foundation (Washington, DC) announced Harald Schwefel of the University of Otago (Dunedin, New Zealand) among four finalists as the winner of the inaugural Bright Ideas Competition. As the winner, Schwefel received a $30,000 grant toward the laser proposed in his application as well as a suitable Gentec EO energy meter to ensure accuracy in measurement and logging of his results.

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In his winning presentation, Schwefel proposed the use of Quantel's high-power, single-frequency Eylsa fiber laser to generate photon triplets for quantum optics and secure communications.

The Bright Ideas Competition, sponsored by Quantel, provided students, scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs with an opportunity to win up to $30,000 in Quantel laser equipment for the most innovative, original and feasible use of a Quantel laser. Entries were received from 23 different countries in a wide variety of applications including Quantum Optics, Photo Acoustic Imaging, Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV), Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS), Atom Cooling, Ablation, Biotech and general research. Applicants went through three separate rounds of peer judging administered by the OSA Foundation before four finalists were selected for live presentation at the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO) in San Jose, CA.

Schwefel, along with fellow finalists, Junjie Yao (Duke University), Mohammadreza Nasiriavanaki (Wayne State University), and Doug Graham (California Polytechnic University), presented their proposals at a special session during OSA's CLEO conference in San Jose, CA on May 17, 2017. The presentations, moderated by Yoshitomo Okawachi (Columbia University), were judged in real-time by a distinguished panel organized by the OSA Foundation. Immediately following the presentations, the winner was announced, and the $30,000 prize awarded, at a reception honoring all of the applicants.

"We were blown away by the quality and ingenuity of all of the applicants in this competition," said Greg Smolka, VP sales and marketing, Quantel Laser. "The presentations were top quality and the live judging really added excitement to the event."

After receiving his large $30,000 check, Schwefel commented, "It is an honor for myself and my students from Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies to win this award, given the great competition. I am looking forward to getting my hands on the Quantel laser for exciting experiments in quantum optics."

During the awards ceremony, Smolka announced that, due to the overwhelming response and the great collaboration with the OSA Foundation, Quantel and the OSA Foundation would be repeating the program in 2018.

SOURCE: Quantel Laser;

About the Author

Gail Overton | Senior Editor (2004-2020)

Gail has more than 30 years of engineering, marketing, product management, and editorial experience in the photonics and optical communications industry. Before joining the staff at Laser Focus World in 2004, she held many product management and product marketing roles in the fiber-optics industry, most notably at Hughes (El Segundo, CA), GTE Labs (Waltham, MA), Corning (Corning, NY), Photon Kinetics (Beaverton, OR), and Newport Corporation (Irvine, CA). During her marketing career, Gail published articles in WDM Solutions and Sensors magazine and traveled internationally to conduct product and sales training. Gail received her BS degree in physics, with an emphasis in optics, from San Diego State University in San Diego, CA in May 1986.

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