An Ambassador to Inspire Us All

An Ambassador to Inspire Us All

By Institut de Ciències Fotòniques (ICFO) Student Chapter


On April 1st it was raining… it was raining a lot! But nothing stops an OSA Ambassadors. From Argonne National Laboratory (US), Dr. Chad Husko came in Barcelona early in the morning to visit the Institute of Photonic Science (ICFO) in Castelldefels. It was a long day for the OSA Student Chapter at ICFO, named ICONS since Dr. Anne l'Hullier (from Lund University) was giving a plenary talk about her research and ICONS was organizing a round table with her about her scientific experience. We were able to arrange everything and Chad was able to visit some labs during the day thanks to Dr. Niek Van Hulst (Molecular Nanophotonics), Dr. Darrick Chang (Theoretical Quantum-Nano Photonics Group) and Dr. Jens Biegert (Attoscience and Ultrafast Photonics Group and OSA Advisor at ICFO). All visits were enriching for everybody and (we hope) Chad had the opportunity to see how new ICFO is and the potential that our Centre has to develop and host lots of different social and skill-improving activities.



It was a great experience to listen to Dr. Anne l’Hullier as she is a very influential scientist who is a part of the Nobel Committee. Afterwards, the ICONS board, Chad and Niek enjoyed a good lunch and talked about the present and future of ICFO and OSA-ICONS. That was a nice moment, where people could talk in a very relax manner about OSA contributions to ICFO and, specifically, to ICONS. We also talked about the OSA Foundation Siegman International School on Lasers, who is organizing a summer school at ICFO where around hundred students are coming and the prospect future of ICFO.

After lunch the ICONS Board had a meeting with Chad to talk about the OSA Student Chapters where he gave a clear and inspirational talk as we discussed about the fundaments of ICONS and being a functional student chapter. Chad talked about the opportunities that OSA is giving us, tips for present activities and ideas for future ones. For example, in our chapter we have two main problems. The first one is that we are a research institute, not a university and this means that we lost most of the bachelor and master students to organize and help in the different activities. The second one is that we do not have the image to the students in our center that we would like to have. From those two examples Chad had some ideas of how to build a renowned image (for outsiders) and excite and create new opportunities to change our image (for insiders). Nowadays, we are creating a new certificate at ICFO focused in awarding a maximum of three students/workers who helped in the organization and stimulation of social and skill-improvement activities during a year. This is just one example of some of the good ideas that we had in the meeting.

ICONS also organizes a talk once or twice a month on Friday’s afternoon called ICONS Seminar. We have really good inputs because we talk about topics that could be interesting for most of the people; for example, the last seminars were about “High Impact factor Syndrome”, “Life after your PhD” and “Women in Science”. In the afternoon, Chad gave a talk titled “Careers beyond Academia” under our ICONS seminar spot. We thought that Chad’s talk was a nice overview of all those previous seminars and the room was full of people - PhD students, post-docs, group leaders and even the director of ICFO, Lluís Torner! The first impression of Chad’s talk was that we wouldn’t fall sleep. He interacted with people actively and did not give any chance to be bored. He talked about his past, his most important conclusions and then we got a general overview of different jobs and skills that scientist are able to apply for. He gave us a clear and powerful message; you need to know what your strengths are to know what you want to do in the future. He talked in general about the possibilities of the PhD students after the PhD, but also the information given for post-docs of the different grants and activities from OSA directly recommended for them was interesting.

In general the visit of Chad Husko, OSA Ambassador, was relevant and useful for OSA-ICONS chapter, but also for all the students that were able to attend to his conference. We have to thank him and OSA for the Ambassador Program and Traveling Lecturer Program, and also to all the people who helped that day, for the comments and ideas to improve the chapter!


Science will never die.

Posted: 13 May 2016 by Institut de Ciències Fotòniques (ICFO) Student Chapter | with 0 comments