Whoever had expected an easy-going three-day
vacation in Southampton, had mistaken the 2nd IONS meeting for
everything but a student's conference. The hosting OSA Student Chapter
of the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) in Southampton (United
Kingdon) had prepared a dense programme for the participants.
More than 20 student chapter members joined the conference, coming from six European Student Chapters (ORC (UK), ICFO (Spain), Ancona (Italy), Naples (Italy), Southern Germany, Albannach Alliance Student Chapter (Scotland)) and the universities of Istambul (Turkey) and Aston University (Birmingham, UK).
Following a welcome by ORC's director, Professor Payne, the conference started with presentations of the student chapters and their activities. Soon after, the scientific part of the meeting commenced with three presentations of spin-off companies of ORC. During a display of the companys' products there were great opportunities to discuss with the industial researchers, who also filled leading positions in their respective companies. The programme included many extremely interesting research talks on the second day. As a distinct feature of an IONS meeting, talks were presented by students, postdocs and professors likewise. While the students gave an detailed overview on their research work, the professors provided us with an extensive overview on their field of research and a brief presentation of their group. After the presentations, during a poster session and a lab tour there were plenty of opportunities to communicate with the researchers, to understand more on different aspects of optics and to get an extensive impression of the research at ORC.
Despite of an extensive scientific programme, there was enough time to meet other researchers outside their labs: during ORC's International Food Day which happened to take place during the conference and which gave us a taste of the world's cuisine, over a few communal drinks in the evenings and during a trip to the historical docklands in Portsmouth. Most participants were accomodated in a nearby students' residence which supported the socializing greatly. The ICFO-OSA Student Chapter (IOSC) wants to thank the ORC Student Chapter for the excellent organization of the IONS meeting in Southampton! It was a pleasure being there, to meet the people and to learn a lot! We are looking forward to the next IONS meeting hosted by the Southern Germany Chapter, scheduled for january 2008!