Alvaro Casas Bedoya
University of Sydney, Australia

Alvaro Casas Bedoya Profile

Alvaro Casas Bedoya received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Sydney in 2013 and a double M.Sc. degree in Photonics (through the Erasmus Mundus program scholarship) from St. Andrews & Heriot-Watt Universities in Scotland in 2008, and Gent & VUB Universities in Belgium in 2009 (Distinction level). Casas Bedoya is a native of Colombia, South America, were he obtained a B.Sc. in Physics (Hons) from Universidad del Valle in 2005. Casas Bedoya was the 2015 recipient of the OSA Ivan P. Kaminow Outstanding Early Career Professional Prize, a member of the OSA Ambassador inaugural class (2016), a Contributing Editor to Optics & Photonics News (OPN), and an OSA Senior Member. Also, he is a co-founder and current president of the first Australian OSA local section in Sydney and is the OSA/SPIE Student Chapter Advisor at the University of Sydney.

Casas Bedoya has been actively involved with OSA and has served on several councils. His volunteer service began nearly 10 years ago when he represented all OSA members on the Membership and Educational Service Council for two-terms (2010-2017). In 2013, he served as the Young Professional Representative to the Publications Council and currently, he serves as the Career Focus Contributing Editor for OPN. Casas Bedoya is also part of the technical committee for OSA’s annual meeting, Frontiers in Optics and has been twice one of the co-chairs for the Photonic Integration and Silicon Photonics session in the OSA Latin America Optics & Photonics Conference (LAOP).

Casas Bedoya is an experimentalist with 10 years of experience in CMOS silicon photonics design and nanofabrication. He is part of the worldwide effort to advance silicon photonics and hybrid integrated circuits towards microwave photonics applications. He pioneered a functional microwave signal processing device based on stimulated Brillouin scattering from a silicon nanowire and the first multi-material (hybrid) integrated chip for high efficiency Brillouin scattering processes in a CMOS compatible platform. His expertise also includes electro-optical and packaging integration, skills that he recently used to enable the demonstration of an integrated microwave photonic spectral shaper on a silicon chip which provided distinct phase and amplitude modulation transformations.

Casas Bedoya is the lead photonics nanofabrication manager at the University of Sydney where he supervises diverse nanofabrication efforts. He has also helped numerous procurements teams to define the specification for some of the tools in state-of-the-art nanofabrication facility at the University of Sydney Nanoscience Institute.

Alvaro Casas Bedoya Statement

I am honored to stand for election to the OSA Board of Directors and acknowledge the outstanding profiles of my fellow candidates. Since the early stages of my career, I have been actively involved with OSA and have always been committed to representing the young international community working in optics. I have had the privilege of being elected three times as the president and representative of highly enthusiastic and motivated groups of scientists around the world—the first in Colombia while doing my B.Sc.; the second in Australia during my Ph.D. study; and the third in my present role as the early-career researcher (ECR) representative for the local section in the same country.

While in Sydney, I have also had an influence on the Australian educational sector and outreach in general. In 2014, I proposed and coordinated a student challenge aimed at renewing the international educational resource “The OSA Optics Discovery Kit.” This kit, supplied to schools, teachers and students around the world through outreach programs, contains a variety of optical components and detailed instructions that aim to introduce students to modern optical science and engineering. Together with my colleagues, we tailored the experiential outcomes of the experiments to align with the state and national curriculum.

I proudly embrace The Optical Society’s pathway toward 2030 and its goal of becoming the most recognized and effective organization for scientists, engineers, business leaders, students and early-career professionals in optics and photonics, and I am honored to be one of the 2021 candidates for the OSA Board of Directors. If elected, my priorities would be:

Students and ECRs. I will focus on building opportunities for young scientists on how to connect and learn more about the past, present and future in optics. From a scientific and mentoring perspective, I will leverage and reinforce partnerships and programs such as The Cheeky Scientist, IONS, and the OSA Ambassadors. I will also work toward bridging the gap between industry and academia with mentoring and networking initiatives.

Publications. OSA is the world-leading society for optics and photonics, and I want to strengthen the access to science through its publications in all parts of the world. And through scientific initiatives, incentives and new programs, I will aim to increase the number of journal publications from developing countries.

Conferences, networking and recovering from major worldwide events. Conferences and face-to-face networking have been the main way to create unique opportunities and scientific links. This should not change; however, the world scientific community is recognizing the need for large-scale modern teleconference solutions. I believe that OSA can continue playing a key role internationally in facilitating an online space for sharing scientific knowledge and for alleviating the consequences of recent societal impacts.

Finally, I am committed to the OSA community and respect all of the society’s i4 Core Values: innovation, integrity, inclusivity and impact. I would be delighted to represent all OSA members as a Board of Directors member.