Going Back Where It All Began
By Giovanni Volpe, University of Gothenburg
On June 2-3 2016, I have visited the OSA Student Chapter at ICFO - the Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona, Spain. I was hosted by the Vice-President of the Student, Kavitha Kalavoor, and I had the opportunity to meet several of the other Officers of the Student Chapter.
This has been a particualrly exciting visit for me because I was one of the founders of the ICFO-OSA Student Chapter back in 2005. While I was its President (from 2005-2007), we started a lot of activities including "El Dia de La Luz" ("The Day of Light", ) and the IONS - The International OSA Network of Students. I was very happy to see that more than ten years down the road the Student Chapter is still active and running.
I gave a seminar that was attended by several about 30 Student Chapter members and postdoctoral researchers. Taking into account that I got my PhD degree from ICFO, I titled this seminar "Life after ICFO: A PhD is not enough.” In this student-chapter-oriented seminar, I presented the progress of my scientific career after being awarded a PhD Degree from ICFO in 2008. I gave an overview of the challenges and opportunities that I’ve met during my postdoc at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems and during my current position as assistant professor at Bilkent University. On the one hand, I gave an overview of the science I’ve been doing, including work on various applications of optical manipulation, on the study of systems with multiplicative noise, and on the study of active matter and non-equilibrium physics. On the other hand, I also emphasised the non-scientific aspects of my career and the role they have played, including my involvement with the Optical Society (OSA), my role as a founder and editor of "Optics and Photonics Focus”, and the interaction with funding agencies and industry. I tried and gave an assessment of what I believe it means and it takes to be successful in science, which might serve as a starting point for a discussion with the students of the ICFO OSA Student Chapter.
Posted: 5 July 2016 by
Giovanni Volpe, University of Gothenburg
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