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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


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


100 Scientists On An Island

What do you get when you gather about 100 laser scientists on a small island? You get a lot of geeky light jokes (pun intended), learning, discussions ranging from lasers, solitons, POTUS, gender issues to new anime. All in all you get one of the best laser schools ever conducted!I was lucky to be a part of the fifth Siegman International School on Lasers in the Island of Hven, Backafallsbyn in...

Added:10 Sep 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


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 who is leading the IP & Optical Networking Research Group in NOKIA Bell Labs in France. 

Added:01 Jun 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


Kurt Bernardo Wolf on Being Adaptable in the Pursuit of Science

In this installment of Senior Member Insights, we talk with Kurt Bernardo Wolf. Kurt is currently titular researcher in the Instituto de Ciencias Físicas, of the National University, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), at the Cuernavaca campus. Prior to the Instituto de Ciencias Físicas opening in 1985, he had worked at the Applied Mathematics institute in Mexico City, and lectured...

Added:10 Apr 2018


Tina Kidger on Success Through Confidence

For this installment of Senior Member Insights, we talk with Tina E. Kidger. Tina is currently European Events Consultant for Synopsys, and an emeritus member of the board of directors of the European Optical Society. Since 1982, she has also served as managing director of Kidger Optics Ltd. Tina is very active in the optics community and is a leading organizer and participant at international...

Added:29 Mar 2018


Pavel Peterka on the Importance of Collaboration

For this installment of Senior Member Insights, we talk with Pavel Peterka. Pavel is currently a senior research scientist at the Institute of Photonics and Electronics of the Czech Academy of Sciences. Since 2007, he has taught a one-semester course on fiber lasers and amplifiers at the Czech Technical University in Prague.  

Added:27 Feb 2018


Joel Villatoro on Being Open to Opportunity

In this installment of Senior Member Insights we talk with Joel Villatoro. Joel is currently an Ikerbasque research professor at the University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, Spain. Prior to joining the University of the Basque Country, Joel was a research fellow in industrial photonics at Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies, Birmingham, U.K., and a researcher at the Institute of...

Added:27 Feb 2018


Judith Dawes on Juggling Leadership and Teaching

In this instalment of Senor Member Insights, we talk with Judith Dawes, professor of physics at Macquarie University, where she chairs the Faculty Women in STEM committee and is a member of the university senate. Judith has recently been elected treasurer of Science and Technology Australia, and until 2017, was a chief investigator of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for...

Added:13 Feb 2018


Driving Diversity, Closing the Gap: Celebrating International Day for Women and Girls in Science

The fourth industrial revolution dawns upon us and with that evokes a quintessential question, how do we, as women and girls in science, seek opportunities and be influential during this shift of science, technology and innovation? We are currently in an era where science and physical systems are fusing to develop emerging technology that is based on artificial intelligence, robotics, Internet...

Added:11 Feb 2018


Neset Akozbek on the Power of Persistence

For this installment of Senior Member Insights, we talk with Neset Akozbek, a senior research scientist at AEgis Technologies Group Inc in Huntsville, Ala., USA, where he leads a small R&D group in applied research and advanced technology development in nanophotonics. In addition, Neset is a defense contractor at the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research and Engineering Center, supporting...

Added:30 Jan 2018


Pursuing a Passion for Teaching with Anca Sala

For this installment of Senior Member Insights, we talk with Anca Sala. Anca is currently professor and dean of the College of Engineering at Baker College in Michigan, USA, where she has introduced several new degree programs, including a program in photonics and laser technology for which she obtained support from the National Science Foundation. She was recognized as 2016 Educator of the...

Added:02 Jan 2018


The Importance of Science Communication

Science communication plays an increasingly important role in our society, but today’s PhD students have few formal training opportunities. The Communicating Science workshop for graduate students, formally known as ComSciCon, was created to help fill this gap by teaching science communication skills to graduate students from across a wide variety of scientific disciplines in an intensive...

Added:11 Oct 2017


Creating Thought Provoking Presentations at the 2017 Siegman School

Writing articles and giving presentations is the essence of scientific work. To make science is to communicate our findings to our peers and the public. But how do we do it in an efficient, understandable and friendly manner? This is a serious problem that a lot of scientists, young and old, struggle with. At the Siegman School on Lasers this year, in León, México, we had the opportunity to...

Added:02 Oct 2017


Choosing the Right Research Group for Your PhD

The PhD journey is incredibly rewarding but also filled with many roadblocks and frustrations along the way. Unlike undergraduate studies, where the curriculum is set, the PhD program is much less defined. You are thrown into the research group without well-defined responsibilities and expectations and you are expected to figure it out along the way. Here a few things, based on recent...

Added:09 Aug 2017


My First Trip as an OSA Ambassador

I arrived in Beijing on 20 April after a 23 hour long trip. While I was tired from the travel, I met with Aixin Zhang, PhD student at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Physics (IOP) and President of the OSA Student Chapter who took me to IOP. I was welcomed by Professor Ling-An Wu, Chapter Advisor, and was impressed by the huge building and hospitality of all the professors and...

Added:08 May 2017


Traveling Lecturer: Learning Beyond the Lab

Antigone presented her 'skill bill' lecture about the importance of developing additional skills during your education and career in order to further it. The reasons and the way of furthering were not the classical idea of financial gain or prestige but more about your personal best and what you as individuals would be happiest doing as well as how to further the quality of the work. 

Added:02 Mar 2017


Traveling Lecturer: Late Night Conversations turn to Collaboration

A few month ago I was in Rochester, NY for FiO2016. The meeting agenda was so busy, like always it is. Although tired, the day always ended with a group of us chatting in the hotel lobby about optics, science and life. As if all of us wanted to draw as much as possible on the opportunity of being there. A few months later, I received an invitation to visit the Lund OSA Chapter in Sweden. I had...

Added:27 Feb 2017


2017 Special Program Grant Recipients - Round 1

OSA would like to congratulate the following student chapters and local sections on receiving the Special Program Grant. This grant awards up to $1,500 USD for high impact youth education/community outreach or professional development events. Chapters and sections went through a vigorous application and review process and we are thrilled with this first round of winners and their...

Added:05 Jan 2017


An Push For Photonics

On 10 November 2016, the Michigan Technological University (MTU) Student Chapter of OSA hosted a campus-wide outreach event with invited speakers representing a broad range of career paths within the field of photonics. Attending students had the opportunity to interact one-on-one with industry contacts and academic researchers across multiple disciplines. Student resumes and CVs were furnished...

Added:01 Dec 2016


From Engineer to Career: How to Become a Successful Professional

Every student is concerned with one and the same detail: to get a good job and be a successful professional. The Arizona chapter invited me to not talk about my groups nanophotonic research which focuses on novel opto-electronic device physics, emerging material such as TMDs and TCOs, and plasmonics. Here, I was asked to talk about what it takes to be successful after graduation. I broke this...

Added:07 Nov 2016


Lab Visits - An Investment That Is Worth It

Dear OSA members,   This is the fourth in a series of blog posts I’m writing throughout 2016 in my role as OSA Ambassador. You can find earlier posts on visits to Barcelona and Quebec, and OSA FiberTech in Sydney.   In this post I will discuss a recent trip Down Under to visit our colleagues at the University of Queensland and Griffith University in Brisbane. This follows on...

Added:02 Nov 2016


Coming Back to the Down Under

​Hey there! This is the third in a series of blog posts I’m writing throughout 2016 in my role as OSA Ambassador. You can find earlier posts on visits to Barcelona and Quebec.   In this post I will discuss a recent trip Down Under to attend the OSA Photonics and Fiber Technology conference in Sydney. I worked at the University of Sydney for four years...

Added:26 Oct 2016


Waves and Structured Materials

On June 3rd 2016, a large number of optics faculty, students and industry leaders descended on UNC Charlotte for a special one-time workshop on “Waves and Structured Materials”. The workshop was designed to be informal and allow plenty of time for discussion and networking with those who attended. The keynote invited speakers were Dr. Phil Russell, Max Planck Institute who spoke on...

Added:06 Oct 2016


Working In Optics

The career event “Working in Optics in Berlin” took place on 15 June at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and was funded by the OSA Ambassador Program. It was organized by Aline Dinkelaker, OSA Ambassador, and the student chapter BerlinOptik. More than 80 participants registered to attend the event, with participants from each of the three universities in Berlin as well as from...

Added:25 Jul 2016


Leading PhD Students to the Path of Industry

According to a study by The Royal Society, less than 1% of current PhD graduates will become tenured professors. Moreover, approximately 30% of PhD graduates will be unemployed upon graduation. To combat a more competitive job market and fewer academic jobs, Washington State University’s OSA/SPIE student chapter focuses on professional development. Through OSA’s Traveling Lecturer...

Added:13 May 2016


Motivating to Pursue Your Dreams

Professor Kishan Dholakia’s visit was really a great experience for the students of International School of Photonics. His lectures were really informative and impressive speaking on the scale of his presentation skills. There were three illuminating lectures, each of them being interesting in its own ways as the titles: 1. Lights, Camera, Action: Optics in Healthcare, 2. Shaped Beams and...

Added:12 Apr 2016