Photons are the building blocks of many new exciting technological developments. Unfortunately, they often do not get the attention they deserve and for a long time, photons were mainly “trapped” by the confines of academia. However, this is gradually changing thanks to research groups like B-PHOT in Brussels who made it their mission to popularise photonics in education, cutting-edge academic research, and industry.
For me, the journey of giving photonics the attention it deserves also started at B-PHOT, when I decided to pursue my master and PhD in Photonics there. Not only did my master give me a touch of all the industries in which photonics-based technologies are emerging, it also kick-started my passion for photonic integrated circuits (PICs). My passion for PICs was then further nurtured during my PhD at B-PHOT in which I explored, among other things, how combining PICs with graphene can enhance their performance in e.g. sensing applications.
Although my current research focusses on integrated microwave photonics and is thus different from my PhD topic, my experiences at B-PHOT nevertheless served as a strong fundament for my current and future professional endeavours. And, most of all, I also gained lifelong friends during my time there.