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Southampton Photonics Day stimulates interdisciplinary research across the University

Published: 5 September 2007

The Optoelectronics Research Centre held the University’s fourth annual Southampton Photonics Day this week (4th September), a day dedicated to setting the scene for the sharing of collaborative ideas and cross-school activities that fall within the broad area of photonics (the study of light and its applications) and photonic materials.

Photonics research at Southampton has already had a huge impact on the telecommunications, manufacturing, security and defence industries, as well as developing novel materials and devices in the nanoscale arena. Bringing together researchers from across the University will help strengthen the University’s position in driving the cutting-edge photonics research that will continue to transform global society and the economy.  

The Southampton Photonics Day is one of the most important events in the ORC calendar and always proves to be an exciting day. The ORC opens its doors to all those across the University who are interested, active or just curious about the photonics-based activities in Southampton, which range from the atomic scale through lab-based laser experiments, right up to the very outreaches of the observable Universe. This year a selection of talks was presented from the ORC, Maths, Physics and Astronomy, Chemistry, ECS and Biology.

The event provides research staff and students with an opportunity to network with members of the University, learn about what others are doing and widen their knowledge of photonics.

‘The University strives to encourage interdisciplinary research and in response to this the ORC organises this annual event which brings together researchers from across the University,’ comments Professor Rob Eason, one of the event organisers.

Professor Eason continues: ‘It is very important that those working in one area know what goes on in another school and that a problem currently being investigated in Maths for example, has relevance to a technological process in the ORC for a final application in Chemistry. The Photonics Day is designed to facilitate these connections and knowledge exchange, so we choose talks that are relevant and understandable across these various disciplines.’

‘In the past we have found that the Photonics Day offers a great opportunity to talk to researchers from other schools and tell everyone about what you are doing, why it's great or tricky, and how others can help you,’ says Professor David Payne, Director of the ORC.  

Some two years ago, Professor Dave Hanna who organised the first Photonics day, introduced a new initiative to the programme - the ‘Nano Talks,’ which are a fun and innovative way to present novel ideas to the audience. These talks are intended to provide a forum for PhD Students to grab 120 seconds (and not one second more) of glory and impress the audience with their research marvels as well as gain experience in presenting their work.

Posted by Marketing Officer, on 5 September 2007

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