KOALA (Konference on Optics And Laser Applications) aims to facilitate discussion and networking between students in different research fields in optics who otherwise would be unlikely to meet. This gives students a fresh perspective, as well as the opportunity to learn about research beyond their own field in optics. Participants also learn how to communicate to people who are not experts in their field – an essential skill.
KOALA aims to bring the benefits of IONS conferences to Australian and New Zealand optics PhD students. The first KOALA conference was run in 2008 in Brisbane by the University of Queensland OSA student chapter and was a great success – 5 days, 40 students across 7 institutions and widely varied research topics. KOALA 2009 was held in Sydney in late November 2009 and followed the success of last year’s meeting.
We hope to help forge the way through to making this conference an annual event, allowing students in our region to benefit from this experience for years to come.