The University of Southampton

IONS 10 Success

Published: 24 August 2011

IONS 10, the tenth international conference organised by the International OSA (Optical Society) Network of Students, saw young scientists from around the world descend upon the University of Southampton.

The three-day event, held in August at the Optoelectronics Research Centre, is the latest in the series organised by students for students working in all areas of optics and photonics. It provides a platform for early-career researchers to present their fields and encourages global networking.

More than 80 delegates, who came from as far away as Mexico, India and Israel, were able to view the University’s world-class photonics facilities. As well as presenting their own research, they heard plenary talks from eminent photonics community speakers including Dr. Emma Springate of the Central Laser Facility and OSA President Prof Chris Dainty.

With the University’s strong track record in innovation, it is perhaps unsurprising that its students were founder members of IONS in 2007. Building on this record, IONS-10 was notable for being the first to emphasise entrepreneurship, encouraging students to consider the commercial potential of their research. Not only did the conference bring companies to the University for a recruitment/trade fair, delegates were able to visit a working photonics factory. The highlight of the conference was a “Science in Business” plenary. This session featured inspiring talks and panel discussion from outstanding business figures including CEOs of major optics companies SPI and Fianium. The afternoon concluded with a talk from the University’s own Prof David Payne, taking students through his own journey from PhD student to world renowned scientist, and charging them with tackling future challenges in photonics.

Published: 26 August 2011

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