Photonics research is one of the driving forces for innovative ecosystems where universities and industry collaborate to create new products with light technologies. Those cross-industry platforms need bright students and passionate PhDs with specific skills, from all over the globe, from Europe and from Belgium. With the Bootcamp Photonics for Bachelors we aim to make light technology more visible to students.
More than 200 persons from industry, universities and research centres celebrated the 10th anniversary of Belgian Industrial Research & Development (BiR&D) in the Palace of Academy on March 20th, 2018, in presence of His Majesty the King. Lien Smeesters, postdoc researcher at VUB B-PHOT Brussels Photonics, received the BiR&D Award in Science & Technology 2017-2018 for her work on “Improving food safety with optical screening”.
IOP Publishing has launched three high-impact open access journals. The scope of these journals will focus on research covering three aspects of the physical world that will shape the future of our planet: energy, materials and light. The titles will be led by editors-in-chief at the forefront of their respective fields. "JPhys Photonics is an innovative new open access journal for high quality research in all areas where physical sciences are applied in the field of photonics. The journal will showcase the most significant and exciting developments in photonics and photonics-enabled research."
Optical fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensors have been the subject of extensive and relentless research efforts over the past 40 years. This technology is now applied in diverse fields such as in bio and medical, and in structural health monitoring of civil and aeronautic engineering structures, FBG sensing based research and innovation is one of B-PHOT's cornerstone activities.
After a most inspiring PhD research and defense of her PhD thesis ‘Advances in freeform optical design methods for imaging applications’, Yunfeng has graduated as Doctor in Engineering. Including freeform components in optical systems provides numerous potentials for enhanced performance as well as compact and lightweight packaging with opportunities for mass production at low cost.
STEM project Quantum SpinOff introduces modern physics to 6th years students in Science Mathematics. Students from Sint Jozef Aarschot visited VUB B-PHOT research group to learn how photonics can be applied in innovative projects. Our researchers will support them throughout the full track until their own project is finalised.
During the continuous quest for maximizing the protection of data, substantial research has been performed in the domain of lasers and optical chaos. Recently B-PHOT researchers demonstrated that using mechanical strain, polarization chaos could be triggered in commercial VCSELs. Their article with results on “Strain induced polarization chaos in a solitary VCSEL” was published in Scientific Reports.
Support of innovative research activities are key in view of ensuring the safety of future particle accelerator driven nuclear systems. B-PHOT has successfully developed the measurement system enabling the monitoring of a real-scale fuel assembly mock-up for the future MYRRHA large multipurpose irradiation facility, in collaboration with the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK•CEN).
The VUB Science Show on photonics is a spectacular show that gives young minds insight in the potential of science and engineering in an entertaining way. A team of enthusiastic PhD researchers takes the students for an interactive journey into the world of light technology on 5 and 6 February. In half a day, multiple demonstrations bring them from the origin of light and photons to lasers, from the manipulation of light to optical fibers for data communication or for medical imaging applications such as endoscopy.
The growth in photonics business in Belgium and internationally requires excellent engineering talent with problem-solving skills. The European MSc. in Photonics offers an ideal mix of core knowledge with engaging hands-on labs and international internships to prepare future photonics engineers optimally for a bright career.
The Research Foundation in Flanders (FWO Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek) has awarded Dr. Martin Virte’s research grant “ReFlex – Reconfigurable node for flexible secure networks”.
VUB B-PHOT, VUB ETRO & Anteryon BV are offering 4 Ph. D. position within the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network, for the European Industrial Doctorate “xCLASS” project on Next generation Compact Lightsource And Spectrometer Systems.
The popular science TV show 'Matière Grise' (RTBF national television) celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2018. For this festive anniversary, a public award for scientific outreach will be presented during a special event. Prof. Francis Berghmans (engineering faculty, VUB B-PHOT) has been selected as one of the 18 nominees for his contribution to the show's episode on photonics. Het nederlanstalige bericht vindt u hieronder. Merci de trouver ci-dessous le texte en français.
Armenia is the next destination for the Photonics Explorer educational kit, thanks to the successful crowdfunding campaign of Tigran Baghdasaryan (postdoctoral researcher from VUB B-PHOT Brussels Photonics). In total 20 Armenian schools will receive their own Photonics Explorer kit for use in the classroom, with the educational material and teacher training sessions in Armenian. Together with Fiber Optics Communication Laboratory at the National Polytechnic University of Armenia as local partner, 5 000 young students will have the chance to work with this key technology.
B-PHOT Researcher Martin Virte at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, has been recognized for his impressive behind-the-scene work as a reviewer for the OSA/IEEE Journal of Lightwave Technology. As expert in laser dynamics and optical chaos, Martin has been evaluating several manuscripts submitted for publication.
Light sources emitting a broad range of colours are very promising for, amongst others, glucose monitoring and environmental gas sensing. But nowadays there is a lack of compact light sources generating broadband light in the mid-infrared domain. One possible approach to develop such a source is by combining compact waveguides on a chip with a strongly nonlinear optical material such as graphene.
VUB B-PHOT and ETRO are hiring 4 ESRs to start an Industrial PhD within the Marie Sklodowska-Curie ITN. The Marie Sklodowska-Curie ITN project xCLASS starts a training through research programme to address the severe shortage of expertise among European industrial graduates and PhDs aiming to fulfill the complete technology supply chain for the development of optical spectrometer systems. An expanding demand for sensorial information in application domains such as healthcare, agriculture, waste management and food sorting urges for novel and cost-effective methods to sense the desired analytes with high sensitivity, high reliability and a small mobile device.
At the 28th Annual Conference of the European Society for Biomaterials (ESB) in Athens, Jasper presented his work on "Gelatin Functionalization Strategies Enhance Biofabrication Versatility on the Micro and Macro-Scale." The Award Committee rewarded the scientific excellence of Jasper Van Hoorick with the Biointerphases poster award.
Prof. Sandra Van Vlierberghe, professor at both VUB B-PHOT and PBM Gent, has contributed to the knowledge in the field of biomaterials by elaborating innovative hydrogel crosslinking strategies that combine excellent biocompatibility with processing versatility. In addition to advancing biopolymers in the biomaterials field, she also introduced the solid state crosslinking capability of synthetic hydrogels, a finding which was patented jointly with industry.
Thanks to recent progress, Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) is becoming the norm in many countries, and the significant increase of bandwidth allows the emergence of new services and technologies. Tactile internet, telemedicine and real-time 3-D content generation are now realistic and probably represent the onset of the next wave of innovation.
After the submission of the evaluation file followed by the visit of the experts in 2016, the conclusions of the CTI have been confirmed to us today. This international quality label provides a set of standards that identifies high-quality engineering degree programmes in Europe and abroad, and facilitates academic and professional mobility.
Determining the authenticity of historical objects is a key element for the conservation and restoration of cultural heritage. Ancient materials are often fragile and require non-destructive analysis that allow the material to be investigated in a safe way. Scientific Reports Nature published the results of a first-line analysis for stained glass panels based on absorption spectroscopy, developed at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB).
The time that well-established manufacturing techniques for precision optics were restricted to rotationally symmetric surfaces are history. Important advances in manufacturing allow increasingly precise fabrication of lenses and mirrors with almost any shape, hence the name “freeform” optics. The use of freeform components in optical systems can provide enhanced performance. In areas that require compact and lightweight packaging, such as virtual- and augmented reality head-up displays, the freeform revolution is on the rise.
"Freeform optical design for a non-scanning corneal imaging system with a convexly curved image", published in OSA's Applied Optics journal, has recently been nominated as Editor's Pick. The work is the result of a research stay of B-PHOT PhD researcher Yunfeng Nie in the expert team of Prof. Herbert Gross at the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena in the framework of a collaboration with B-PHOT's freeform optics specialist Prof. Fabian Duerr, facilitated and financially supported by the EC Marie-Curie ITN project ADOPSYS.
One of the most rewarding activities we proud ourselves on at B-PHOT, is reaching out to young potentials to inspire them about photonics. Once young minds get engaged with science, they no longer perceive technology and engineering as 'things for uber nerds' and are eager to start experimenting themselves. Last week, Ioanna from the European Business School, finished her internship with us. During two weeks, she was on a mission to discover more about the world of fundamental and applied research in photonics.
The combination of a photonic crystal with graphene offers a window of opportunity to develop a highly sensitive sensor that at the same time enhances the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of the sensing device. Recently Iterio Degli-Eredi successfully presented his PhD research results on this new generation of biosensors and obtained the title of Doctor in Engineering.
Efficient spectral broadening of light in compact graphene-covered photonic chips has recently been successfully demonstrated in the frame of GRAPHENICS, a Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) ‘Young Explorers’ project led by professor Nathalie Vermeulen (VUB B-PHOT). The early-career researchers unveiled unexpected features in graphene’s nonlinear optical behaviour, playing a crucial role in the generation of spectrally broadband light on a chip.
In recent months, several warnings have been published about the potential risk of fried food for the health of millions of consumers. A sensitive subject in a country as Belgium where fries are recognized as a national symbol. That's why Minister Ben Weyts sent a writing to European Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, responsible for health and food safety, to safeguard the traditional way of baking Belgian fries. Good news: photonics ensures the future of traditionally baked Belgian fries in a safe way, being a relief for every chip shop holder.
The Marie Sklodowska Curie Action - Innovative Training Network FINESSE organizes its first training event from 6 to 9 June at Vrije Universiteit Brussel. This Spring School welcomes both ITN FINESSES Early Stage Researchers (ESR) and young professionals during a four day Ph.D. level training about the Fundamentals of Optical Sensors.
Everyone is so busy, has so little time and there is LIGHT NIGHT crossing your path. SPIE Student Chapter went out of their way to give this edition a special touch celebrating their 10th anniversary. A few months before LIGHT NIGHT, SPIE Student Chapter Brussels and B-PHOT gathered to answer questions on what inspires students and professionals in high-tech and engineering nowadays. What is happening in photonics land, a specific topic involved future challenges, and how to tackle them through the right education? A good start, but let’s share 5 reasons to join us on Thursday 27 April at Vrije Universiteit Brussel!
Photonics21, the European Technology Platform representing industry and research in photonics, distinguishes students for their important contributions in Photonics Research & Innovation with industrial impact. This year, Dr. Ir. Lien Smeesters, alumni from the European Master of Science in Photonics and now post-doc researcher at VUB B-PHOT, is honoured with the European Innovation Award 2017 during the annual meeting of Photonics21.
The 2017 OSA Optical Design and Fabrication Congress will address recent advances in three sub-conferences on Optical Design, Optical Fabrication and Testing, and Freeform Optics.
To get a closer look at what industrial photonics looks like, the SPIE Student Chapter at VUB took its members for a company visit to ETAP Lighting in Antwerp (BE) and a tour in the Philips Museum in Eindhoven (NL).
PHABLABS 4.0 aims to make photonics, the science and technology of light, more accessible to youngsters from as early as ten years old up to young professionals, through the dynamic eco-system of European FabLabs.
One million hours of video is transmitted all over the world every minute. One of the main contributors to this huge number is Netflix, for which you require 25 Mbps of download speed to stream ultra-high definition content. With increased use of cloud based services and more and more devices (speakers, lamps, thermostats, etc.) being connected to the Internet besides an already increasing number of tablets, phones and laptops, we are approaching the limit of the bandwidth our internet service providers can provide us with, with electrical telecommunication technology.
January is traditionally a month of celebrations to start the New Year in many organizations. Also at B-PHOT, the team joined for its annual New Years reception to get together with colleagues and enjoy tasty food in a festive way.
The Vrije Universiteit Brussel makes 5 full scholarships available for international students who start the European Master of Science in Photonics in the academic year 2017-2018. The scholarships are assigned to highly qualified applicants on basis of excellence and include a stipend of 800 EUR per month.
Etienne Averlant has successfully defended his PhD thesis for which he carried out experimental and theoretical studies of localized structures in Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers (VCSELs), also called cavity solitons. Such structures consist of bright peaks of light, localized in space that can be switched on or off, in the plane transverse to the propagation of the beam. They have notably been proposed for two applications: all-optical information processing, and information storage.
Rector Prof. Caroline Pauwels and her team of vice-rectors visit the Photonics VUB Campus in Gooik to get acquainted with the campus buildings, the research infrastructure, and the research topics.
Are all French fries carcinogenic, should we skip our weekly portion? Fortunately not! Acrylamide gained major importance in our society, and was recently one of the major news items. Acrylamide is a carcinogenic substance that can be formed in larger or smaller quantities during high-temperature processing of starch-rich food. But what measures can we take to reduce the risk of acrylamide in our food? Should we avoid potatoes, bread or coffee after high-temperature processing on our menu?
To continuously optimize the quality of education while maintaining a high student satisfaction level at VUB, students of the European Master of Science in Photonics were queried through a written survey and a focus discussion organized by the Education and Student Policy Department of VUB.
Today a major concern of the agriculture industry is the screening of two specific types of food contaminants imposing a key threat to health, being acrylamide formed during high-temperature processing and mycotoxins produced by toxic fungi. Lien Smeesters' doctoral thesis investigates the use of spectroscopic sensing techniques to non-destructively detect these harmful products, avoiding their presence in the food chain.
Don't we all want our food to be 100% nutritious and healthy? Food processors and farmers face many challenges to meet the highest standards as set by the food quality control agencies. Fulfilling these stringent requirements calls for accurate analytical measurements. Photonics technologies can answer the new needs in food safety and can help companies in their process to filter out tiny pieces of glass, stone or plastic, or insects, from mechanically harvested crops.
Within the recent news from Sylvania closing its production unit, Hugo Thienpont was invited to give more insights on the challenges and opportunities for the lighting industry and industry 4.0 in Europe. Radio 1 journalist for 'De Wereld Vandaag' asked about the crucial role light technologies will play in the re-industralisation of Europe.
15 secondary school teachers in Belgium have received their own Photonics Explorer kit during the teacher training recently, with the support of Hamamatsu Belgium. Photonics Explorer is a lab-in-a-box designed to stimulate students of the 2nd and 3rd grade to experiment in class with lasers, LEDs, lenses, optical fibers, and other high-tech components.
The Day of Science, Dag van de Wetenschap in Dutch, is a yearly event that allows young and old to get in touch with different sciences and their applications. With this initiative from the Flemish Government, over 100 research groups including B-PHOT have the opportunity to explain complex science and technology in a comprehensible way.
The final year students Science Mathematics from Kamsa Atheneum Aarschot visited B-PHOT research group to learn how innovative photonics research supports high-tech entrepreneurship and answers future global challenges. The students started their day at the VUB with workshops where they handle their own mini-projects linked to the topics of class courses in physics provided by the Photonics Explorer educational program.
The Science Show is a yearly event where we welcome over 1500 pupils and 120 teachers from 2nd and 3rd grade of secondary schools for an interactive Science Show on photonics.
VUB research group B-PHOT to showcase innovative projects together with Brubotics and MOBI at the ‘Innovatiebeurs’ at C-mine Genk.
Within her doctorate research, she studies different spectroscopic techniques, including absorbance and fluorescence spectroscopy, for the optical detection of carcinogenic mycotoxins and the prediction of the harmful acrylamide formation in food products.
Laser-based systems are widely used in research, industry, medical care and consumer products. The optical modeling and design of such systems is essential in order to find innovative solutions for various applications, and to develop novel applications beyond the current state-of-the-art.
The new rector of VUB, Caroline Pauwels, who will lead her first academic opening on 27 September, has announced her team of vice-rectors. They are Jan Danckaert (Education and Student Policy), Karin Vanderkerken (Research Policy), Hugo Thienpont (Innovation & Industrial Policy), and Sonja Snacken (International Relations Policy). The Board decided unanimously to appoint the new rector’s team.
We are inviting applications for a ESR position in Photonic crystal fibres optimized for distributed pressure sensing within the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network “FINESSE”
B-PHOT and CHIS have the pleasure to invite you to the public PhD defense of Manly Callewaert in order to obtain his degree of Doctor in Engineering. August 22nd, 2016 at 5 pm VUB Campus Building D, room D.0.02
Young B-PHOT professors developed a novel approach for converting one wavelength of light into another on a photonic chip. Their ‘automatic quasi-phase-matching’ approach enables efficient wavelength conversion in photonic integrated circuits that comply with the rules for mass-manufacturing in large-scale photonic foundries.
Each year 12 million people are confronted with the diagnosis of cancer, early detection is vital to reduce the mortality degree up to 30% (source WHO). Without a clear diagnosis, a second biopsy is required which increases the risks of complications and causes delays in treatments for patients. B-PHOT participates in the European InSPECT research that addresses the challenge to develop smart biophotonic devices for physicians that allow real-time diagnoses for cancer.
Three days packed with master thesis presentations, guest lectures from industry and academia, insightful perspectives and networking with peers. This must be the annual Photonics Summer Symposium!
Urszula, Agnieszka, Sidney and Qing. Four of our B-PHOT PhDs participated at the PhD Day at the VUB. They took the opportunity - and challenge - to explain their innovative research project in photonics through a comprehensive poster and ... a 3 minutes talk. A very good preparation for the kind of TED talks 'under 6 minutes'!
The 2500th Photonics Explorer has been handed over to a school in Finland. The concept of Photonics Explorer is a 'lab-in-a-box' that enables students of the 2nd and 3rd grade to do photonics experiments themselves at school with lasers, LEDs, lenses, optical fibers, and other high-tech components. Photonics Explorer is an educational kit, developed by the photonics research team B-PHOT at VUB (Vrije Universiteit Brussel), for students of secondary schools to experiment with the different properties of light and photons.
On June 1st and 2nd, 2016 the 10th annual Photonics Event is taking place in Veldhoven, the Netherlands. Photonics has been defined as the key enabling technology improving industries’ businesses and becoming more competitive on al global scale. Prof. Heidi Ottevaere was invited to give her views on women in photonics.
On the 10th World Biomaterials Congress in Montreal, PhD candidate Jasper Van Hoorick won a WBC Trainee Merit award. He received the award for his research in the development of new biocompatible gelatin derivatives that enable improved handling via two-photon polymerization. This laser based, high-resolution 3D printing technique allows the creation of microstructures to below the order of magnitude of cells.
At the age of 17 or 18 many youngsters are thinking about their future, and what to study to reach the ultimate job. DREAM DAY offers students from the 3rd stage ASO the breech of a whole year project around “future education”. Students of KA Dendermonde visited the Photonics Innovation Center in Gooik where Prof. Heidi Ottevaere and Ing. Tine De Pauw gave them an introduction in the exciting world of the science and technology of light.
Yunfeng Nie, PhD at B-PHOT Brussels Photonics Team, is the 2016 winner of the Michael Kidger Memorial Scholarship award. She wins the award for her continuing research on new design algorithms for specialty freeform imaging systems.
At the occasion of a special edition of their “Light Night”, the SPIE Brussels Student Chapter is organizing “LIGHTtalks” about “Careers in Photonics”. The goal is to create awareness among all students about the potential of photonics and its applications and career opportunities.
During Hannover Messe, the world's leading trade fair for industrial technology, B-PHOT had the pleasure to present innovating projects in photonics of small and medium companies that are collaborating with ACTPHAST. The ACTPHAST program, a European Commission supported large scale project, is designed to support all European SME with expertise in photonics and with cost-effective low risk guidance, up from R&D to prototyping, which allows companies to accelerate the development of their innovative projects.
The students of 6WiWe of Sint Bernarduscollege Oudenaarde got introduced into microfluidics, as well as lab-on-chips using chromatography and optics during their visit at the VUB labs.
Professor Hugo Thienpont is honored to receive the Francqui Chair 2015-2016 K.U. Leuven. Hugo Thienpont is professor at the Faculty for Engineering and chairman of the department of Applied Physics and Photonics (TONA) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels. As director of B-PHOT, he has built, together with the 70 co-workers of the Brussels Photonics Team, specific expertise and technologies in the science of light which positions them as preferred academic partner in applied and industrial research in Flanders and Europe.
Dr. Jan Watté, R&D Manager of the Optics Group Advanced Engineering at Commscope and Fellow of the Faculty of Engineering at VUB, has given a guest lecture on "An industrial perspective on optical telecom" in the Optical Communication Systems class of Prof. Van Erps.
Andrea Ceglia, post-doctoral researcher of the Brussel Photonics Team of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel received the 2015 “Premio Improta” award issued by the Italian Association of Archaeometry (AIAR - www.associazioneaiar.com) dedicated to the young researchers who excelled in the field of archaeometry.
The Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering (JMM) has recently announced the Highlights of 2015.
Diane De Coster has successfully presented her PhD thesis entitled “Microfluidic devices for Raman spectroscopy and optical trapping” during a public session. She demonstrated the miniaturization and integration of Raman spectroscopy and optical trapping on a single lab-on-chip (LOC) device to reduce the cost and complexity of these laboratory processes compared to bulky laboratory analyses.
In February 2016 the book ‘Tunable Micro-optics’, edited by Hans Zappe and Claudia Duppé from Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany was published. B-PHOT members Heidi Ottevaere, Lien Smeesters, and Hugo Thienpont contributed with a chapter on “Characterization of micro-optics” to this book.
In conjunction with the SPIE Photonics Europe 2016 conference taking place in early April in Brussels, a daylong Graphene Photonics workshop will be organized, chaired by Nathalie Vermeulen of B-PHOT and Frank Koppens of ICFO.
Jasper Van Hoorick, joint PhD student between the Polymer Chemistry & Biomaterials Research Group at Ghent University and the Brussels Photonics Team of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, received the 2014 Agoria Award for Technological Dissertations for his Master thesis entitled ‘Tunable hydrogel-polyester combination scaffolds for tissue engineering purposes.’
B-PHOT members Prof. Heidi Ottevaere and Prof. Wendy Meulebroeck recently took part in a webinar on optical spectroscopy. Spectroscopy can be used in a variety of application fields, such as ancient glass research, and food safety.
Seven students of KA Oudenaarde came to visit B-PHOT, the Brussels Photonics Team. Prof. Heidi Ottevaere initiated the research field of photonics to those students as well as potential applications. The students visited the laser lab and the fiber sensing lab.
Recently a mini-SEM from Hirox was installed at B-PHOT's Photonic Innovation Center in Gooik. This new table top Scanning Electron Microscope is the first of its kind in Belgium. The SH-5000M, as the instrument is called, was installed in B-PHOT's cleanroom.
On November 5th, 2015, Ben De Pauw has successfully presented his PhD thesis entitled "Experimental analysis of flow-induced vibration in lead-bismuth cooled nuclear fuel assemblies" during a public session. He demonstrated the accurate characterization of vibrations in the lead-bismuth cooled fuel assembly intended for MYRRHA – the multi-purpose hybrid research reactor for high-tech applications – using optical fibre Bragg gratings as vibration sensors and applying state-of-the-art modal analysis techniques to the measurements.
On the 26th and the 27th of October, ten young B-PHOT researchers teamed up for a lively and interactive Photonics science show, where they showcased basic but important concepts of light and light technology. These concepts were illustrated with cutting-edge real-life applications.
Sidney Goossens has just started his PhD research on optical fiber based sensors for structural health monitoring of composite materials at B-PHOT. His MSc dissertation entitled 'Dynamic strain analysis with micro-structured fiber optic strain sensors embedded in structural components' has been selected for the longlist of the 'de Vlaamse Scriptieprijs 2015'.
On the 21st of October, the chair Mireille Aerens was inaugurated. Mrs. Aerens, an advocate for animal rights, donated a large amount of money to the VUB. The money will be used to research how animal testing can be replaced by in-vitro methods using stem cells. B-PHOT will play an important role in this research with its “lab-on-a-chip” technology.
On September 21st, 2015, Carlos Belmonte Palmero successfully defended his PhD thesis entitled "Semiconductor lasers for random bit generation, wavelength tuning and circularly polarized light emission" in a public session. In his PhD research, Carlos showed that semiconductor lasers can efficiently be used for generating sequences of random bits at high-speed, but also that, combined with the properties of liquid crystal, they can be extremely versatile devices.
On September 21st, the photonics department of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) welcomed a ten-person delegation from Beihang University (Beijing, China). The group, consisting of professors and PhD students, was in Brussels for a three-day visit.
On June 4th, B-PHOT kicked off the exhibition “Discover the power of light” in the Atomium. During June, July and August, 201.280 people visited this exhibition in Belgium’s most famous monument. These visitor numbers mean an increase of almost 10% compared to the same period last year.
During the summer, our Photonics Innovation Center (PIC) in Gooik welcomed 15 kids between the ages of 10 and 12. The trip was organised by ‘Sapikids’ (a contraction of sapiens and kids), a company which organises science and technology workshops for children. Sapikids is a member of the STEM academy, an initiative of the Flemish Government to promote science for children and teenagers up to 18 years.
In the frameworks of the International Year of Light 2015 and the European project GoPhoton!, several outreach activities were organized by B-PHOT. One of those activities consists of ten workshops about photonics for young minds. These workshops take place in the Atomium.
Over the past years, B-Phot researchers Jürgen Van Erps, Heidi Ottevaere, Diane De Coster, Tom Verschooten, Michael Vervaeke and Hugo Thienpont have worked on the smart design and fabrication of optofluidic labs-on-chips which offer the sensitivity of laboratory-scale optical detection instruments with portability, fast response times, low sample consumption, and parallel processing and read-out. Their recent SPIE Newsroom article entitled "Photonics-enhanced polymer labs-on-chips" is currently among the top 10 most read articles .
On August 27, 2015, Sanne Sulejmani successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled "Microstructured optical fiber Bragg grating-based sensors for shear strain measurements" in a public session. In her PhD research work she successfully demonstrated shear strain detection in various materials and structures based on fiber Bragg grating sensors fabricated in specialty microstructured optical fibers (‘MOFBG sensor’).
B-PHOT's research on the Butterfly micro-structured optical fiber sensor is featured in the July 2015 edition of Laser Focus World.
On the 1st July 2015, Andrea Ceglia successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis entitled "Unravelling technology and distribution of ancient glass by means of X-ray and UV-vis-NIR spectroscopy" in a public session.
In celebration of the international year of light IYL2015 EU Director Khalil Rouhana, Rector Paul De Knop, B-PHOT Director Hugo Thienpont, Director Henri Simons and Chairman Freddy Thielemans of the Atomium officially opened the exhibition “ID#2015: Discover the power of light!” on 11 June 2015. The inauguration was part of the PhotonicSplash event, organised in the framework of the European GoPhoton project, and happened in the presence of several GoPhoton partners from Barcelona, Berlin, Paris and Bratislava, as well as 160 VIPs.
In the frame of the International Year of Light 2015, Nathalie Vermeulen from the Brussels Photonics Team receives the “LIGHT2015 Young Women in Photonics Award”. She is granted this prestigeous price for “introducing a disruptive model for the nonlinear process of Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Scattering and employing it to conceptualize a novel cooling technique for Raman lasers. She also came up with a groundbreaking phase matching approach for on-chip nonlinear wavelength converters, enabling device manufacturing in photonic foundries with standard fabrication rules. Today she impacts mid-infrared solid-state laser development, and targets next‐generation nonlinear photonic devices based on graphene.” The Award ceremony will take place on June 24 at the World of Photonics Congress in Munich. Interview with Nathalie on Ring TV (Dutch spoken) : http://www.ringtv.be/nieuws/gooikse-prof-wint-internationale-award
In the framework of 'UNESCO International Year of Light 2015' and the European project "GoPhoton", the Brussels Photonics Team B-PHOT of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel organizes the exhibition 'Discover the power of light!" in close collaboration with the Atomium . This exhibition runs for more than 4 months from the 4th of June 2015 till 18th of October 2015 in the Atomium building and will immerse more than 300.000 visitors in the fascinating world of light phenoma and light technology.
B-PHOT showcased the power of light and photonics on Saturday 9 May 2015 at the occasion of the EU Open Door Day in the Berlaymont building. Thousands of inquisitive EU citizens visited the B-PHOT booth, where B-PHOT researchers explained the basic principles of light and illustrated the impact of light technology on our daily lives. The multitude of hands-on experiments and the variety of demonstrations excited both young and old. Whereas the “solar-boat” competition was extremely popular with kids, the infrared imaging camera and its applications impressed everybody.
B-PHOT highlights the impact of its photonics research and innovation on food and food safety at Milano’s world fair 2015. The fair opened on May 1st and explores the theme "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life". B-PHOT grasps the unique opportunity of “EXPO 2015” and “International Year of Light 2015” to showcase the enabling power of light and the impact of light technologies on food-sorting, food-safety and health.
On 27th April 2015, Tigran Baghdasaryan successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis entitled "A study of multi-photon inscription of fiber Bragg gratings in glass microstructured optical fibers" in a public session. During his defense he explained how the turn of the 21st century has marked the introduction of a new type of optical fibers, known as ‘Microstructured Optical Fibers’ (MOFs).
The SPIE Brussels student chapter board organized a 3-day teambuilding event to further stimulate the bonds between the researchers at B-PHOT. The teambuilding was organised in the Ardennes, from the 15th until the 17th of April, with 2 overnights in a guest house at Forrières.
MYRTE stands for 'MYRRHA Research and Transmutation Endeavour'. The Strategic Research Agenda of the EU Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technical platform requires new large infrastructures for its successful deployment. MYRRHA has been identified as a long term supporting research facility for all ESNII (European Sustainable Nuclear Industrial Initiative) systems and as such put in the high-priority list of ESFRI (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures).
Flanders' Chamber of Commerce and Industry VOKA has interviewed Prof. Hugo Thienpont on the economic impact of photonics at the occasion of 2015 International Year of Light and Light-based technologies . The article (in Dutch) was published in the March 2015 issue of VOKA’s magazine “Ondernemers” and is distributed over 18.000 companies in Flanders and Brussels.
On Friday 20 February 2015, B-PHOT researcher Nathalie Vermeulen received the Ignace Vanderschueren VUB-price for Fundamental and Applied Sciences, which is awarded every 6 years. The award commission selected Nathalie as laureate for this prestigeous price in recognition of the significance of her PhD research work on Raman lasers.
In his PhD thesis, Gebirie Yizengaw realized a miniaturized multichannel multiresolution imaging system in which the different channels have different Fields Of View (FOV) and angular resolutions. His imaging system is therefore able to capture, at the same time, images of an individual scene with different magnifications. It also enables to process the different images with different image processing algorithms. For example a motion detection algorithm could be implemented on the wide FOV - low resolution image, whereas a face detection algorithm could be used for the narrow FOV -high resolution image.
Over the past few years B-PHOT researchers have been investigating how to properly model slow-light propagation in silicon photonic crystal structures. In 2014 their research yielded a publication titled "On the limitations of the first-order nonlinear Schrödinger equation in slow-light photonic crystal structures" in the Journal of the Optical Society of America B (JOSA B). Recently this publication was enlisted as one of the most frequently downloaded JOSA B articles on integrated optics in 2014.
On 27th January 2015, B-PHOT organized the Inaugural Lecture of the VUB - TE Connectivity Chair. The lecture on 'Fiber Optics at TE Connectivity: past achievements & future opportunities' was delivered by Dr. Davy Brown, VP & CTO of Broadband Network Solutions at TE Connectivity.
To promote the scientific output of Supélec’s researchers, the Supélec Foundation organizes every year its publication prize: “le prix de la publication”. This award recognizes the PhD student of Supélec who has defended his thesis the same year and who has the best record in terms of publications. In 2014, this prize has been awarded to Martin Virte for his brilliant work about the nonlinear dynamics of quantum dot lasers. The ceremony took place during the prestigious gala from the Supélec Foundation in the National Marine Museum in Paris (France) on the 27th of November. After a challenging 180-second presentation of his research, Martin received the 3000 euros award from the members of the jury.
B-PHOT researcher Stijn Roelandt recently conducted research on the subjective perception of speckle by a human observer, which was published in Optics Express*. The rising interest in this research has resulted in the paper being selected for publication in the most recent issue of the Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics (VJBO), which is a special feature of OSA's Optics InfoBase
During October and November 16 remarkably talented young people between 14 and 18 years old were guests at B-PHOT.
Recent work of B-PHOT researchers JinLuo Cheng and Nathalie Vermeulen, and their collaboration partner John E. Sipe from the University of Toronto, has been selected by the Optical Society of America for the special December edition of Optics & Photonics News, enlisting the top 30 of “most exciting optics research results in 2014.”
In this PhD thesis, state-of-the-art improvements are presented for both home theater projection systems and high-power laser projection systems. Secondary optics for an innovative LED-based light source targeting mid-level power output projection systems are investigated, designed and demonstrated.
Lien Smeesters was chosen to be a jury member in the SPIE International Year of Light Photo Contest to evaluate different photographs about light and light-based technologies. The SPIE Photo Contest is organised to raise awareness about the International Year of Light 2015 Celebration and the vital role of light and light-based technologies in daily life.
Lien, Lara, Evert, Iterio en Jens , 5 young B-PHOT researchers, supported by B-PHOT's outreach staff Tine De Pauw and Nathalie Debaes, triggered the interest of many visitors with optics and photonics experiments during the ‘Day of Science’ .
In his PhD thesis, Stefaan looked at two different domains in Minimally Invasive Procedures, cochlear implants and endomicroscopy, and researched for each domain how novel fiber optic techniques can help overcome some of the major challenges associated with each.
It is generally acknowledged that a human observer will no longer perceive speckle in projected images once the speckle contrast becomes sufficiently small. However, up until now, no in-depth investigation on the perception of speckle by human observers has been investigated. B-PHOT researcher Stijn Roelandt recently investigated this topic and published his findings in a paper entitled “Human speckle perception threshold for still images from a laser projection system”*
On 5 and 6 November 2014 B-PHOT participated, together with VUB's Technology Transfer Interface, to the TTO Flanders Booth during Creativity World Forum in Kortrijk, Europe’s biggest conference on entrepreneurial creativity. This forum brought together more than 3000 business professionals (CEOs, entrepreneurs, developers, researchers and public sector representatives) from all over the world.
With the Graduate Student Fellowship Award, the IEEE Photonics Society recognizes, every year, ten outstanding student members worldwide for their research work. In 2014, the fellowship has been awarded to B-phot researcher Martin Virte, along with 9 other young researchers across the world, in recognition of his paradigm-shifting research about the nonlinear dynamics of quantum dot laser diodes. Martin is among the three European-based researchers distinguished this year.
On 21 October 2014, Yannick Lefevre defended his PhD thesis titled: “New Perspectives on Four-Wave Mixing in Silicon Waveguide Structures.” Optical four-wave-mixing processes are nonlinear mixing interactions that enable a wide variety of photonic functionalities, including wavelength conversion, parametric amplification, all-optical switching, and signal regeneration. In silicon waveguide structures, these interactions can be triggered at low optical powers due to the tight optical confinement offered by these structures.
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