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Traveling Lecturer: A Technical and Professional Visit

Yang Yue, Juniper Networks, USA

On March 22nd, I visited the Ningbo University Student Chapter of OSA in Ningbo, Zhejiang, China. The chapter is in the laboratory of Infrared Materials and Devices (LIMD) of Ningbo University, Key Laboratory of Photoelectric Materials and Devices of Zhejiang Province.

More than 30 passionate professors and students attended the lecture where I first shared the importance and significant impact of optics/photonics today to society and industry. For the paramount scientific award, “Nobel Prize in Physics”, ~40% achievements are in optics and photonics which shows how optics and photonics are deeply embedded in our daily life nowadays. From the most popular smart phone to the upcoming virtual/augmented reality and driverless car, they are ubiquitous. Then, I presented my academic research to the audience, “terabit-scale optical communications using orbital-angular-momentum multiplexing” by introducing the basics of orbital angular momentum (OAM), and its application as a recently explored dimension for spatial division multiplexing (SDM) to increase the data capacity. I also presented the latest research on high capacity and spectral efficient systems of using OAM modes for SDM in fiber and free space. We discussed different methods to reconfigurable manipulate and perform different networking functions on multiplexed OAM beams.

After the academic work, I shared the industrial trend in optical communications. The critical issue is the challenge of meeting the needs of increasing the data capacity without compromising size, weight, power and cost (SWaP-C) constraints. The latest industrial development on packet-optical engine was discussed together with our recently developed transmitter de-skew technique. I also shared some personal experience of doing scientific research and my understanding of PhD. Finally, I wished the students being 'Piled Higher and Deeper' without 'Permanent Head Damage' through their 'PhD'. The topics fitted the audience’s background and interest well and generated a strong resonance.

The Q&A session trigged questions for both academia and industry. Furthermore, I had the great opportunity to meet with Professor Shixun Dai, who was recently selected to the National Innovative Talent Promotion Program "Young and middle-aged science and technology innovation leader". We shared the latest academic and industrial trends during this meeting which very fruitful as well as discussing some opportunities for some potential collaboration.

Afterwards, I was invited to some laboratories and facilities, including a series of advanced experimental platforms including chalcogenide materials fabrication from small to large sizes, fiber drawing, thin film costing, material physical and chemistry, and optical properties measurements, etc. The Ningbo University students introduced their frontier research works in different sub-fields, and extremely triggered my interest.

It is my great honor to be invited by the Ningbo University Student Chapter of OSA. I owe a big “Thank you!” to the organizers, especially the chapter president Xin Han. Without their hardwork and dedication, this activity would not have been so successful. I would also like to sincerely express my gratitude to the OSA Traveling Lecturer Program. Without its strong support, nothing shared above would be possible. I am looking forward to another opportunity to serve and learn through this program in the near future!
Image for keeping the session alive