Skip To Content

Siegman International School on Lasers

19 July 2021 – 23 July 2021 OSA Virtual Event - Eastern Daylight Time (UTC - 04:00)

The Foundation hosted the All-Stars Virtual Siegman School on 19-23 July 2021. All past Siegman School students were invited to attend as well as those accepted for 2021. This program includes speakers from previous years, networking with peers and the opportunity to continue the the Siegman School tradition.

The Siegman International School is a week-long program that exposes students to in-depth learning of lasers and their applications from internationally recognized academic and industry leaders in the field. The school was established in honor of Anthony E. Siegman, 1999 Society President, founding board member of The Foundation and widely known expert on lasers and optics. This program is co-founded by IPG Photonics and endowed by donors from around the world. The scope includes all aspects of lasers and photonics.

Quick Links






Eric Rosas, Clúster Mexicano de Fotónica, Mexico

Jens Biegert, ICFO - Institut de Ciencies Fotoniques, Spain


Tim Carrig, Lockheed Martin, USA

Roel Baets, Ghent University, Belgium

Kishan Dholakia, University of Adelaide, Australia

Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop, University of Queensland, Australia

Donna Strickland, University of Waterloo, Canada

Sune Svanberg, Lund University, Sweden

Katarina Svanberg, Lund University, Sweden


Peter Andersen

Danmarks Tekniske Universitet, Denmark

Research areas *) Multimodal biophotonic imaging and endoscopy *) Optical coherence tomography / multi-photon tomography for biomedical applications *) Novel laser technology for medical diagnostics Publications Author or co-author of more than 120 peer-reviewed scientific papers and book chapters, editor of one book, 75 conference proceedings within nonlinear optics, laser technology, light-tissue interactions, biosensing, spectroscopy, optical coherence tomography, and multiphoton tomography. Patents Inventor or co-inventor of six patents (granted/pending). Appointments: Fellowships 2015: Fellow of OSA 2015: Fellow of SPIE Appointments: Editorships 2008 – 2011: Topical Editor, Optics Letters. 2012 – 2018: Deputy Editor, Optics Letters. 2010 –: Editorial board member, Journal of Biophotonics. 2013 –: Editorial board member, Journal of Biomedical Optics. Appointments (selected) Since 2004: Member of Conference Program Committee, “Coherence Domain Optical Methods and Optical Coherence Tomography in Biomedicine,” SPIE Photonics West (Biomedical Optics). 2016: Program Chair A&T, CLEO: Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics, 5-10 June 2016, San Jose, USA. 2017: Program Chair A&T, CLEO: Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics, 14-19 May 2017, San Jose, USA. 2018: General Chair A&T, CLEO: Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics, 13-18 May 2018, San Jose, USA. 2019: General Chair A&T, CLEO: Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics, 2019, San Jose, USA. Teaching and supervising *) Course responsible for the 34550 course in Biomedical Optics (5 ECTS) at DTU *) Course responsible for the 34455 course in Optical biosensors (5 ECTS) at DTU Organizer of graduate summer schools (selected) Since 2003, organizer of the biennial graduate summer school Biophotonics (03/05/07/09/11/13/15/17): *) “9th International Graduate summer school: Biophotonics ‘19”, 8–15 June 2019, Ven, Sweden In 2018, organizer of the OSA-Siegman School: *) “Siegman International Summer School on Lasers”, 28 July – 4 August 2018, Ven, Sweden

Thomas Baer

Stanford University, USA

Dr. Thomas Baer is the Executive Director of the Stanford Photonics Research Center, a consulting professor in the Applied Physics Department, and an Associate Member of the Stem Cell Institute at Stanford University. His current scientific research is focused on developing imaging and biochemical analysis technology for exploring the molecular basis of human developmental biology and regenerative medicine, optogenetics, and developing new high-throughput technologies for protein engineering. Before joining Stanford, Dr. Baer founded Arcturus Bioscience, Inc. which he established in 1996, serving as the company's Chairman and CEO until January 2005. Prior to Arcturus, Dr. Baer was Vice President of Research at Biometric Imaging, where he led an interdisciplinary group developing instrumentation and reagents with applications in the areas of AIDS monitoring, bone marrow transplant therapy, and blood supply quality control. From 1981 to 1992 Dr. Baer was at Spectra-Physics, Inc., in Mountain View, California, where he held positions as a Research Scientist, Spectra-Physics Fellow, and Vice-President of Research. He was named entrepreneur of the year for emerging companies in Silicon Valley in 2000 by the Silicon Valley Business Journal and medical technology that he developed was chosen by Time Magazine as one of the top 10 medical advances in 2010. Dr. Baer holds over 70 patents and his commercial products have received many industry awards for design innovation. He has been elected to the status of Fellow in two international scientific societies, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and The Optical Society of America (OSA) and served as the President of OSA in 2009. In 2012 he received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland and was awarded the Robert E. Hopkins Leadership Award by the Optical Society of America.

Hanieh Fattahi

Max Planck Institute, Germany

Hanieh Fattahi studied Applied physics at Sharif University of Technology in Tehran and received her PhD in Physics at Ludwig Maximilians university of Munich. Since then, she has been a researcher at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics. She is the recipient of the Minerva scholarship of Max Planck Society in 2016 and was elected as a member of “Schiemann Kolleg” in 2017. Her research centers on i) ynthesis of intense controlled waveforms of laser light, ii) design and development of thin-disk lasers and optical parametric amplifiers, and iii) femtosecond molecular fieldoscopy. She is the fellow of Max Planck center for Extreme and Quantum Photonics in Ottawa, a visiting scientist of the Chemistry department of Harvard University, and co-coordinator of the International Max-Planck Research School of Advanced Photon Science (IMPRS-APS).

Andrew Forbes

University of Witwatersrand, South Africa

Andrew received his PhD (1998) from the University of Natal (South Africa), and subsequently spent several years working as an applied laser physicist, first for the South African Atomic Energy Corporation and then later in a private laser company where he was Technical Director. In 2004 he joined the CSIR National Laser Centre where he was Chief Researcher and Research Group Leader of the Mathematical Optics group. In March 2015 Andrew joined the U. Witwatersrand on the Distinguished Professor programme and has established a new laboratory for Structured Light. Andrew chairs or serves on the committees of several international conferences, OSA and SPIE committees, and serves on the editorial board of three optics journals. He has published more than 300 scientific papers, several patents, and has delivered more than 60 invited talks internationally. He is active in promoting photonics in South Africa, a founding member of the Photonics Initiative of South Africa, a Fellow of both SPIE and the OSA, and an elected member of the Academy of Science of South Africa. In 2015 Andrew won a national award for his contribution to photonics in Africa. Andrew spends his time having fun with the taxpayers’ money, continuing his love affair with laser beams and resonators, digital holography, orbital angular momentum and quantum optics.

Jim Kafka

Spectra-Physics, USA

Jim Kafka attended the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester, where he obtained a B.S. in Optics in 1977 and a Ph.D. in Optics in 1983, studying with Conger Gabel and Gerard Mourou, the recipient of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics. During this pivotal time at Rochester and through his work at the Institute and Laboratory for Laser Energetics, Kafka met many lifelong friends and colleagues, including several future OSA Presidents Susan Houde-Walter, Ian Walmsley and Donna Strickland, who was also awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics. In 1983, Kafka started as a Senior Scientist at Spectra-Physics Lasers, where he has held a series of positions with increasing responsibility including Chief Business Unit Technology Officer. He was recently named a Fellow of MKS, the parent company of Spectra-Physics. During the past 36 years, he designed several of the company’s most significant products, including the Tsunami, the first commercial ultrafast Ti:sapphire laser (1990), the Millennia X, the first commercial 10 W solid-state green laser (1997), and the InSight, the first broadly tunable ultrafast source for microscopy (2011). Kafka was recognized as a Spectra-Physics Fellow in 1987. He also received the Thermo Electron Corporate Award for Technical Innovation in 2002 and the first Newport Corporation Strategic Patent Award in 2007 for his patent of the first diode-pumped double-clad fiber laser. Kafka has over 40 United States patents and multiple foreign equivalents. He has more than 30 publications in refereed journals and has made more than 40 presentations at CLEO, OSA topical meetings, SPIE conferences and at major universities. Kafka recently presented a plenary talk at the 2018 IEEE Photonics Conference. Kafka has served the professional community as the Ultrafast Topical Editor for JOSA B (1994-1995), Lasers Technical Group Chair (1995-1997), and on a dozen conference organizing committees. He has served as the CLEO program chair (1999), CLEO general chair (2001) and on the CLEO Steering Committee (1997–2001). He completed a three-year sequence as the Program and General Chair of the Advanced Solid-State Photonics topical meeting (2009-2011). Kafka was named an OSA Fellow in 2005 and served as a Director at Large on the OSA Board of Directors from 2012 to 2014. He was a member (2015) and chair (2016) of the prestigious Charles Hard Townes Medal Committee. One of his favorite contributions to the optics community has been serving as a Distinguished Traveling Lecturer for the APS Division of Laser Science from 1999 to the present.

Clara Saraceno

Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany

Clara Saraceno was born in Argentina in 1983 and studied at the Institut d’Optique in Palaiseau, France. After completing her studies she first went into industry from 2007 to 2008, working for a laser manufacturer (Coherent Inc.) in the USA. She then continued her academic training in Switzerland, completing a doctorate in Physics at ETH Zurich in 2012 which brought her, amongst others, the 2013 QEOD Thesis Prize, awarded by the Electronics and Optics Division of the European Physical Society. After graduation, Saraceno has worked at ETH Zurich and the University of Neuchatel as a postdoctoral researcher. Most recently, her research work on high-power ultrafast lasers earned her the Sofja Kovalevskaja Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (2015). In 2016, she was appointed as Professor in the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology in the Ruhr University Bochum, where she currently works on ultrafast laser physics and terahertz technology.

Eric Van Stryland


Eric Van Stryland received a PhD in Physics in 1976, from the Univ. of Arizona, Optical Sciences Center, where he worked on optical coherent transients and photon counting statistics. He worked in femtosecond pulse production, multiphoton absorption, and laser induced damage at the Center for Laser Studies, Univ. of Southern California. He joined the physics department at the Univ. of North Texas in l978 helping to form the Center for Applied Quantum Electronics. In l987 he joined the newly formed CREOL (Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers) at the Univ. of Central Florida. NSF and DoD have funded him for the past 30 years. His current research interests are in the characterization of the nonlinear optical properties of materials and their temporal response as well as the applications of these nonlinear materials properties for optical switching, beam control etc. He developed the Z-scan technique and established the methodology for applying Kramers-Kronig relations to ultrafast nonlinearities and developed the field of cascaded second-order effects. The JQE publication on Z-scan has been noted as the most highly cited paper in the journal’s 30 year history by a factor of 2. He is a fellow of the Optical Society of America (OSA), IEEE, SPIE and APS, a past member of the OSA and LIA Boards of Directors, former co-chair of the OSA Science and Engineering Council. He also served as a topical editor for Optics Letters. He was elected President of the OSA for 2006. He graduated 31 Ph.D.’s and published ~300 papers and is on the ISI ‘highly cited’ list. In 2003 he was awarded the highest honor UCF bestows, the Pegasus Award (earlier he was co-recipient of UNT’s highest award). He was Director of the School of Optics/CREOL from 1999 to 2004. With the elevation of the School to a College, he became its first Dean. In addition, Governor Jeb Bush established the Florida Photonics Center of Excellence (FPCE) in 2003 and he was the Director of that Center along with CREOL, both centers within the College. In a second round of centers of excellence, the College established the Townes Laser Institute named after the inventor of the maser and laser, Charles Hard Townes. In January, 2009 he retired as Dean but continues as a faculty member in the College, and he received UCF’s Researcher of the Year Award. He became a Trustee Chair in 2012, and was awarded the R.W. Wood Prize of the OSA in 2012.


Monday, 19 July   

Welcome, Introductions and Ice Breaker

  • Chad Stark, OSA Foundation Executive Director

Laser Spectroscopy Applied to the Environmental, Ecological, Agricultural and Food Safety Areas

  • Sune Svanberg, Lund University
  • Laser-Based Spectroscopy To Meet Some Challenges in Medicine
  • Katarina Svanberg, Lund University

Facilitated Recap and End of Day 1

Tuesday, 20 July   

New Perspective for Imaging at Depth

  • Kishan Dholakia, University of St. Andrews

Facilitated Recap with Co-Hosts Eric Rosas and Jens Biegert

Break/Snack Time/Power Nap/Meditation

Optical Micromanipulation on Nano and Microscale

  • Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop, University of Queensland

Facilitated Recap with Co-Hosts Eric Rosas and Jens Biegert

Additional Programming

  • Ask Me Anything Session with Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop
  • Ask Me Anything Session with Kishan Dholakia
Wednesday, 21 July   

Making New Connections Networking Activity

Laser Radar Sensing of Chemical Plumes and Atmospheric Trace Gases

  • Tim Carrig, Lockheed Martin

Facilitated Recap with Co-Hosts Eric Rosas and Jens Biegert

Additonal Programming

  • Ask Me Anything Session with Tim Carrig
Thursday, 22 July   

Silicon Photonics Turns Pervasive

  • Roel Baets, Ghent University

Facilitated Recap with Co-Hosts Eric Rosas and Jens Biegert

Additional Programming

  • Ask Me Anything Session with Roel Baets
Friday, 23 July   

Making New Connections Networking Activity

Closing Session with Nobel Laureate Donna Strickland, University of Waterloo 

Image for keeping the session alive