Skip to main content

#FacesofPhotonics: Rising star Christopher Han

Christopher Han
SPIE’s #FacesofPhotonics social media campaign connects SPIE members in the global optics, photonics, and STEM communities. It serves to highlight similarities, celebrate differences, and foster a space where conversation and community can thrive.

This week on #FacesofPhotonics we are sharing the story of Christopher Han, a junior at Suzhou Singapore International School in China. Last year he presented his first academic paper at SPIE Optical Metrology in Munich. What an achievement! Check out his paper on the SPIE Digital Library.

We hope you enjoy his story.

Getting started

In June 2016, I started an internship at a local optics company for a summer project where I would help to design an application. I worked with Master's students to program an app using C++, an app that could calculate the optimum transmission sphere when the data of a test surface was provided. The students were also having discussions regarding being innovative and doing research so that they could publish papers. 

However, I didn’t give those discussions much thought because I saw myself as a high-school student who had no possibility of publishing a paper. When I first started that project, I had no experience with C++, but I read a book on it and pursued further research in order to gain the necessary knowledge. 

I learned the basics through these methods and taught myself to write simple codes; more sophisticated codes required extended research online. Using these skills, I began to help programming the application. 

Presenting at SPIE Optical Metrology

Entering the field

After the application was complete and functioning, I was captivated by the idea of contributing to the larger field of science. I wanted to share our findings through presentations and publications, based on our discussions that summer. I thought I would take a shot, so I submitted my first paper to an SPIE conference. 

I was pleasantly surprised when that paper was accepted. I presented my findings in the poster session at SPIE Optical Metrology in Munich, Germany, in June 2017,  my first international conference. At this conference, I was honored to explain to many experts and Ph.D. students how this application eliminated tedious manual calculations and allowed for increased efficiency and convenience. 

I felt like my actions had a purpose and I was able to express that through the conference.

Outside the conference in Munich

Networking in Munich

I met Professor Tiziani during the SPIE Fellows Luncheon in Munich. He was talking to other students while I was quietly listening. When he finished talking, I went up to him and introduced myself and the application I was presenting at the conference. 

He was intrigued and impressed that a new generation of SPIE is starting to grow. Subsequently, we talked about my future path and how SPIE is providing me with a great opportunity. 

 Together in Munich: Christopher with Hans Tiziani, SPIE Fellow and 
professor emeritus of the University of Stuttgart

Follow along with past and upcoming stories on SPIE social media channels:

Or search #FacesofPhotonics on your favorite social network!


Popular posts from this blog

#FacesofPhotonics: Rising Researcher Alina Zare

SPIE's #FacesofPhotonics is sharing the story of Alina Zare, Associate Professor at the The Machine Learning and Sensing Lab at the University of Florida. Dr. Zare was recognized as a 2018 Rising Researcher for her work in Electronic Imaging & Signal Processing, at the SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing conference.

This program recognizes early career professionals who conduct outstanding research in the defense, commercial, and scientific sensing, imaging, optics, or related fields. If you want to learn more about the program, the details are here.

Enjoy the interview with Alina!

1. Tell us about when you first became interested in optics and photonics. In my senior year of  undergraduate studies in computer science, I was taking an Image Processing elective.  I really enjoyed the course, and the professor for the class, Dr. Gerhard Ritter, encouraged me to do some undergraduate research.  
So I joined Dr. Paul Gader's research lab as a undergraduate researcher where I he…

#FacesofPhotonics: Photovoltaics PhD Student Arfa Karani

Meet this week's SPIE Faces of Photonics feature, Arfa Karani. Arfa is a physics PhD student at the University of Cambridge, studying the physics of solar cells. She is originally from India, but has lived outside her home country for many years while pursuing her education. 

Arfa was also President of the SPIE Student Chapter at the University of Cambridge in 2017-18, and continues to remain involved with the chapter when she's not hard at work in the university's Cavendish Lab.

Enjoy her interview!

1. How did you become interested in the optics and photonics field? Was there a person who inspired you?

My physics teacher at school inspired me. I got interested in studying optics because my curiosity was satisfied by this teacher, who was extremely enthusiastic about what they did. When you ask too many questions as a child, people try to divert your attention once they are tired of answering. Not this teacher.

I know it’s a bit cliché, but I was amazed by how one could cre…

#FacesofPhotonics: Optimax Director of Technology and Strategy, Jessica DeGroote Nelson

SPIE Senior Member Jessica DeGroote Nelson works as the director of technology and strategy at Optimax Systems in Ontario, New York. She also teaches as an adjunct assistant professor at The Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester (UR), and is a Conference Chair for SPIE Optifab 2019. 
This year at SPIE Optics + Photonics in San Diego, Nelson will be teaching Optical Materials, Fabrication, and Testing for the Optical Engineer. This course is geared toward optical engineers who are hoping to learn the basics about how optics are made, and ways in which to help reduce the cost of the optics they are designing. 
"Optical tolerancing and the cost to fabricate an optic can be a point of tension or confusion between optical designers and optical fabricators," Nelson says. "I teach this course to help give optical designers who are new to the field a few tools in their toolbelt as they navigate tolerancing and purchasing some of their first designs. One of the thi…