Symposium on Optics

By OSA KULeuven Student Chapter

On February 8th and 9th 2016, the KU Leuven OSA student chapter organized a broad symposium on optics. With invited speakers from several European countries, we were able to address a large variety in audience. This was clear from the diverse backgrounds of the students that attended the symposium, ranging from biomedical sciences and (bio)chemistry, to optical engineering. However, all speakers gave a very clear and interesting talk, which could be followed by all of our attendants, master and PhD students alike. The chapter was able to provide participants and speakers with several coffee breaks and delicious lunches, for which we are very grateful to OSA for the grants we received. 

The symposium was kicked off by an introductory talk about optics by Professor Chris Van Haesendonck, of the physics department of our very own university, KU Leuven. After a short coffee break, the chapter was delighted to receive Enkeleda Balliu from the Photonics group at the Mid Sweden University in Sundsvall, Sweden. Enkeleda Balliu presently holds a position as a PhD student where her research work has been devoted to develop laser systems and fiber amplifiers, investigate and suppress the non-linearities of rare-earth doped fibers. Enkeleda Balliu’s talk focused on laser systems and recent advances of laser-assisted processing of thin films coated on flexible paper based substrates with the objective to make conductive tracks in printed electronics. We were able to receive this outstanding presenter via the traveling lecturer grant of OSA, for which we are very grateful.

In the afternoon, we had the pleasure to welcome another physics professor from our university: Professor Carmen Bartic, with her talk about optoelectronics for neuroscience. This was followed by a presentation by Dr. Werend Boesmans from TARGID (Translational Research Center for Gastrointestinal Disorders). He showed how to optically analyze the assembly and function of the neuro-glial networks in the gut. Last, but not least, we managed to set up an online talk with Dr. Barmak Heshmat from the Camera culture group at MIT media lab. Barmak Heshmat is an excellent speaker, and we were very delighted to follow his talk, where he brought three broad areas of ultrafast optics, computational methods, and optical device technologies together to introduce the possibilities for next generation of optical systems applicable to industrial, biomedical, and consumer product needs.

On the second day of the symposium we started with Professor Sebastian Munck of the department of Human Genetics of the KU Leuven and VIB. He gave a biomedical oriented talk about the improvement of resolution and the qualification of protein clusters. Our last speaker of the symposium was another invited speaker, Professor Johannes de Boer, from the university of Amsterdam (The Netherlands). He gave a clear and interesting talk about Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). After lunch, several students participated in the hands-on sessions, which consisted of an optical parcours they had to overcome with a laser beam. All these participants got some nice Belgian chocolate as rewards!

From the evaluation forms we handed out at the end of the symposium, we could conclude that everybody was very enthusiastic about this event. Overall, the Symposium on Optics was a great success!


Posted: 12 April 2016 by OSA KULeuven Student Chapter | with 0 comments

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