A brighter, lighter and healthier world

Tom Ako

I hate to say it but there was a period before getting to VUB when I doubted my ability to finish this program. I believe the most important thing I got from VUB is confidence in myself.

Programme strengths

Photonics is now widely recognized as a major innovation enabling discipline for the 21st century. It is the field of science and technology where the fundamental properties of light and its interaction with matter are studied and applied. Since several decades, photonics has been used in many applications and household appliances, like the first commercial laser diodes in CD players. Nowadays, photonics is a discipline of key importance in industrial sectors such as the tele- and data communication, the display and printing industry, the biotechnology industry, the energy sector, the medical instrumentation sector, etc.

European researchers, both in industry and universities, have traditionally been very active and visible in many of the developments in photonics. Much of the photonics research has been stimulated actively through European funding and several European university groups now have access to high-end design software as well as fabrication and characterisation equipment.

A few years ago, a specific European Master of Science in Photonics was established, bringing together the two leading Belgian universities in the field: Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Universiteit Gent. This collaboration leads to a joint degree. The Master allows both EU and non-EU students to enroll in an international educational programme, and has a fixed mobility window with many exciting opportunities to study abroad.

Each academic year is also concluded by a Photonics Summer Symposium where all master year students meet, defend their master thesis projects and attend lectures of world-renowned speakers in the field of photonics.

Why choose VUB?

The Vrije Universiteit Brussel has more than 30 years of experience in the exciting field of optics and photonics research and innovation. Today VUB is a world leader in photonics research and has received world renowned awards and prizes in various fields. The research groups have collaboration agreements with top-level research groups all over the world. They maintain strong ties with Flemish and European companies through development services, training and consulting. VUB is also recognized for its leadership in the photonics European research and innovation area through its coordinating role in large-scale European Commission-supported projects and for its international networking activities with world-class research teams.

Studying photonics at the VUB means that you will work in a top-class team and will be able to join one of many research areas. Today our Photonics department is internationally recognized for its distinct scientific and technological contributions to the photonics field.

The research activities of these universities cover nearly all relevant fundamental research and applications, offering you top education and in-depth research possibilities in the wide field of photonics. There is an opportunity to broaden your knowledge and skills in other engineering disciplines, such as ICT, biosciences, physics and chemistry of materials, industrial management and entrepreneurship

Looking for photonics STEM activities? Visit our new site


Hugo Thienpont
Prof. Dr. Ir.
Hugo Thienpont
Managing Director
Nadia Cornand

Nadia Cornand
+32 2 791 68 52

How to reach B-Phot?

VUB - Campus Etterbeek
Pleinlaan 2
1050 Elsene
Building F - 9th floor

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