During Wednesday’s lunchtime on April 26, the Line of Light auditorium was crowded with 80 bachelor, master and PhD students interested to hear about optics and photonics technologies in the “Lunch with Industry” event. After grabbing a sandwich with soda, they focused their attention firstly to Peter Skovgaard, CEO and Co-founder from Norlase, and later to Sidsel Petersen, representing NKT Photonics company. Peter made a short overview of how their novel high-power visible laser technology allowed them to become a promising start-up company with a vision to outperform currently leading solutions available on the market. Sidsel, on the other hand, shared the vision and perspective of NKT Photonics – one of the leaders in the market of high performance fiber and laser technologies. She was generous enough to bring some of the examples of industrial photonic crystal fiber products, components, and materials used in fabrication.
…Thanks to Norlase and NKT Photonics for shedding some light on current status of the laser industry!
A week later, on Friday 5, serial entrepreneur David Hardwick gave the talk “Science for profit and fun in the laser industry” accompanied by Prof. Jes Broeng. The duo addressed entrepreneurship, and shed light on some of the best ways to start a business in an effort to inspire students with innovation dreams.
David Hardwick is co-founder and Chairman of Norlase and Fauna Photonics in Denmark and an investor and advisor at BiFrost Communications. David is a past member of the Optical Society of America (OSA) Board and the OSA Foundation. He is a consultant to IMRA America and other companies in the industry.
During this event, everybody got a chance to pick the two entrepreneurs’ brains at the following discussion and plenty of opportunity to mingle. What a great afternoon!
The Copenhagen DTU YM Section helped with arranging a talk, funded by the OSA student chapter and the Department of Photonics, named FUNlight. FUNlight served as an informal lecture in which bachelor students were invited to get a closer look at research being done at the department, with subsequent free food and beverages. An oral presentation was made by Kresten Yvind, group leader of Nanophotonic Devices, who talked about Nano lasers and tunable MEMS lasers for OCT applications.
Directly following the FUNlight talk, students were given the opportunity for a lab tour both by the presenter as well as two EPS members: Ivan-Lazar Bundalo and Simone Gaiarin. They were thus given the opportunity to observe how cutting edge research equipment from different fields can actually look like in practice. The students, numbering around 20 people, were split in 3 groups and taken to 4 different labs from the fields:
- Optical chips (interconnects)
- Plastic fiber drawing tower
- Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) fabrication and testing
- High-speed optical communications
In drawing tower lab students were introduced to the whole process of making plastic optical fibers (step index and microstructured). They could see different stages of fiber fabrication as well as most common problems related to that technology and the research focus areas. In FBG lab they were shown how phase mask technique can be used with UV laser light to make FBGs in microstructured fibers. Further on, they have been shown the principle of how fiber optic strain, humidity and temperature sensors work.
The high-speed optical communication lab is mostly focused on system type of experiments using a combination of stock fiber and newly developed specialty fibers acquired from OFS Fitel Denmark and NTT Photonics Laboratories. The basics of long-reach optical communication and imperfections causing problems in transmission systems were explained.