The University of Southampton

ORC hosts International Network of Students Conference

Published: 24 July 2007

The Optoelectronics Research Centre was chosen to host the first official Optical Society of America (OSA) International Network of Students (IONS) Conference last week (19-21 July). The ORC’s OSA Student Chapter welcomed students from seven different institutions across the world. Attendees came from Turkey, Spain, Germany, Italy and the UK.

The conference, sponsored by the ORC, OSA and Thorlabs, was aimed at bringing together students from different universities to establish and strengthen professional and personal ties.

The ORC’s OSA Student Chapter arranged a busy programme packed full of research seminars, exhibitions and social events, as well as guest speakers from the photonics industry and from the University’s spin-out companies. Richard Williams, CEO of ORC spin-out company Stratophase, was one of the guest speakers at the event. Richard talked about the latest sensor to be developed by Stratophase which can detect the presence of anthrax or other biological hazards by monitoring the change in light refraction caused by the presence of harmful molecules, a crucial device for the defence and security industries. Attendees also heard from Alec Reader, Business Development Director for Innos (a spin-out from the University’s School of Electronics and Computer Science), about how the company has worked with Polymer Vision to develop the world’s first ‘roll-up’ display. Rollable display technology enables mobile devices to incorporate a display that is larger than the device itself, offering the potential to transform the future for mobile devices. The latest developments in ultrafast supercontinuum fibre lasers were the subject of the final industrial presentation given by John Clowes of Fianium. The visiting students also got a chance to tour some of the state-of-the-art labs where the ORC’s cutting-edge research actually happens.

‘The IONS Conference is a great way to meet other students from similar fields and it was a great honour to be able to hold it in Southampton and showcase the ORC’s research,’ comments Chris Holmes, PhD Student and OSA Student Chapter President. ‘It was also a fantastic opportunity to hear about what other Student Chapters do, both in terms of outreach activities and research. Hopefully we will have even more chances to work together in the future.’

The visitors could not come to the ORC without experiencing an International Food Day, one of the most popular events in the ORC’s diary. This is the third year running that the ORC has organised this special event which is designed to celebrate the cultural diversity of such a highly international school. As always, there were plenty of traditional dishes from every corner of the globe, made by the ORC’s very own staff and students.

Posted by Marketing Officer, on 24 July 2007

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