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Mentoring Future Leaders

#WeAreOSA is a new series of podcasts and blogs featuring inspirational stories and perspectives from scientists and engineers improving the world. In this We Are OSA podcast, we explore the unique rapport between a mentor and mentee with first-hand stories from two OSA members – Chris Dainty, 2011 OSA President, and Arlene Smith, 2020 OSA Board of Directors.

Added:23 Mar 2021


Luminar Technologies Co-Founder and CTO Jason Eichenholz Discusses a Milestone for the Company

In this OSA podcast episode, Luminar Technologies Co-Founder and CTO Jason Eichenholz explains the importance of Luminar Technologies going public and what it means for the company’s LIDAR technology and automotive industry. Eichenholz describes the alternative pathway towards becoming public and opportunities to deliver the software for self-driving cars to market.

Added:09 Mar 2021


A Superposition State

2020 OSA Ambassador, Claire McLellan, shares her experiences mentoring students duing the COVID-19 pandemic and highlights her work in engineering quantum sensors in this Discover OSA blog article. 

Added:28 Aug 2020


Scientist to scientist: Make time to try The OSAF Innovation School

The Innovation School powered by the OSA Foundation introduces intrapreneurial and entrepreneurial scientists to the nuances of business. I attended their first virtual school 12 - 17 July 2020, which included the same successful elements as their in-person schools and occurred as The Optical Society (OSA) transitioned many meetings and events to virtual programs.

Added:06 Aug 2020


Traveling the World from my Kitchen Chair: Experiences from a 2020 OSA Ambassador

I applied to become an OSA Ambassador and was granted that honor in 2020. I was immediately drawn to the OSA ambassador program as it provided me the opportunity to meet and motivate students and young professionals around the world by joining and leading them through technical discussions, professional development webinars, identifying opportunities for increased diversity and inclusion...

Added:23 Jul 2020


IONS OPUMA 2020: First online IONS conference retrospective

The IONS OPUMA 2020 conference, held 8 – 12 June 2020, was the first online student run conference sponsored by The Optical Society (OSA). Being the first online IONS was not a decision taken out of curiosity, but an initiative taken in response to the crisis of the Covid-19 global pandemic.

Added:01 Jul 2020


Taking the dive into the unknown after we’re PhDone!

I applaud OSA for providing a virtual platform for informative content such as Isaiah Hankel’s Cheeky Scientist webinar.  This content helps ensure that OSA members can thrive in the new normal by having access to the tools, skills and experience from worldwide experts and, more importantly, it helps us stay connected with our peers.

Added:24 Apr 2020


Getting involved with OSA

I have been a member of OSA since 2010, when I joined the University of Southampton student chapter council. As a council member, I had the opportunity to organise events to bring the local optics student community together as well as to speak to grade school students about the joy of optics as part of our outreach activities. Taking a leadership role and engaging with the community served to...

Added:31 Mar 2020


Becoming an OSA council student representative

Nearly 10 years ago, I was offered the opportunity to represent all OSA student members and help shape the future of new OSA member programs. This dramatically changed my life and career perspective as I was directly influencing and endorsing new initiatives.

Added:08 Nov 2019


The 15th International Gathering of Optics and Photonics Educators: ETOP2019

Since 1988, educators from around the world have met every two years at the international ETOP (Education and Training in Optics and Photonics) conference to share and learn best practices for teaching optics and photonics . This year’s ETOP, hosted by Université Laval and the Centre d’Optique, Photonique et Laser in Québec City, Québec, Canada, was attended by over 175 educators...

Added:19 Jun 2019


Effective Presentations

For anyone at any career stage who wants to improve their presentation skills, some tips and suggestions for crafting an effective presentation. Presentations are not just great opportunities to explain your results to a broader community, but also moments for you to get in touch again with the big picture of your scientific work

Added:07 Jun 2019


Laser Fun Day at University of Arizona

The OSA Student Chapter of the James C. Wyant College of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona organized the ninth annual Laser Fun Day featured a number of optics and photonics demonstrations. 

Added:22 May 2019


Advice from an Industry Professional: OSA Ambassador Interview Series

​​Jelena Pesic, 2018 OSA Ambassador, conducts interviews with researchers in the field of industry. She asks a wide-range of questions regarding their inital interest in science, why they chose optics, to why industry is important. The fourth interview is with Annachiara Pagano, member of the technical staff/Senior Technology Expert at TIM in Italy.

Added:12 Nov 2018


A Global, Diverse and Inclusive OSA: Challenges and Opportunities

As a researcher I travel quite often. This year in particular, was my first year as an OSA Ambassador and I had the opportunity to travel much more than usual, to places where I had never been before.  This role as OSA Ambassador has allowed me to expand my network dramatically and gave me the incredible opportunity to connect with a great number of colleagues, mostly students, around the...

Added:26 Oct 2018


What More Can I do to Prepare for a Career in Industry

Committing to major career decisions can be tough in any stage of life, but especially for students. What field of optics do I want to study? Am I more interested in theory or experiments? What school should I attend? Which lab should I join? Should I switch labs? Should I pursue more education or a post-doc? Do I want to work in academia or industry?

Added:31 Jul 2018


Stretch Assignments: Getting Outside Your Comfort Zone

The reason many of us became scientists and engineers is because we enjoy solving hard problems.  Whether it is experimental design, hardware implementation or data analysis, we relish heading home at the end of the day (or night!) feeling like we thought a lot and made progress toward our goals.  As early career professionals, tackling difficult problems at the edge or just outside...

Added:23 Jun 2018


Advice from an Industry Professional: OSA Ambassador Interview Series

​Jelena Pesic, 2018 OSA Ambassador, conducts interviews with researchers in the field of industry. She asks a wide-range of questions regarding their inital interest in science, why they chose optics, to why industry is important. The third interview is with Sébastien Bigo, leader of the IP and Optical Networking Research Group at Nokia Bell Labs in France. 

Added:13 Jun 2018


Sharing My True Excitement for the Inaugural International Day of Light

The International Day of Light (IDL) is a global initiative that provides an annual focal point for the continued appreciation of light and the role it plays in science, culture and art, education, and sustainable development, and in fields as diverse as medicine, communications, and energy. IDL is a worldwide event to help achieve the goals of United Nations Educational, Scientific and...

Added:31 May 2018


An Insightful Experience at OSA Leadership

​Dr. Ivan P. Kaminow was a pioneer in the area of telecommunications and was passionate about mentoring early career professionals and the OSA Ivan P. Kaminow Early Career Professional Prize has been constituted in his memory. I remember waking up in the first week of January and seeing the email from OSA that announced the award, a truly fantastic start to the year for me! It is an incredible...

Added:02 May 2018


Advice from an Industry Professional: OSA Ambassador Interview Series

Jelena Pesic, 2018 OSA Ambassador, conducts interviews with researchers in the field of industry. She asks a wide-range of questions regarding their inital interest in science, why they chose optics, to why industry is important. The first interview is with Andrew Lord (visiting professor at Essex University), Head of Optical Research in BT in the United Kingdom.  

Added:20 Apr 2018