IONS-5 in Barcelona: Mediterranean Networking with fellow Young Researchers
The fifth conference of the IONS Project drew more than 60 young scientiest from 19 student chapters from 2 continents and 11 countries to Barcelona, Spain. Organized by the local ICONS Student Chapter at ICFO - The Institute of Photonic Sciences, the conference featured an extensive, challenging scientific, educational outreach and networking programme for the PhD students.
The scientific part of the conference, with almost 20 talks and a poster session by young scientists, extended over the first two days. The presentations reflected the great variety of scientific backgrounds of the students and covered all areas of optics and photonics. They were the starting point for discussions and explanations bridging the gap between the different disciplines in optics, e.g. Quantum Optics and Laser Design.
Since IONS is a conference specifically for young researchers, the keynote speakers didn't only introduced their respective research. They focussed their talks on their path from an undergrad student to what they are now: Thomas M. Baer, OSA President and CEO of the Stanford Photonics Research Center; Lukas Novotny, Head of the Nano-Optics Group at Rochester University and Co-Chair of Frontiers in Optics 2008/Laser Science XXIV. Apart from the numerous anecdotes reflecting their time as PhD students, the conference participants took away an impression of what their career in the future might look like.
Four talks by ICFO Professors and a lab tour presented the research activities at the hosting institute, ICFO - The Institute of Photonic Sciences to the participants.
The participants are very active in their respective student chapters; a special session on educational outreach allowed the chapters to report on their activities and learn about other chapter's activites.