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Showing posts from October, 2018

#FacesofPhotonics: PhD Student Researcher, Brandon Hellman

Meet Brandon Hellman, this week's SPIE Faces of Photonics series feature. He is a student researcher at the University of Arizona, pursuing a PhD in Optical Sciences. Brandon and his colleagues work on making new lidar systems in Professor Yuzuru Takashima's lab. You can see a sample of their work on the College of Optical Sciences' YouTube page.


Enjoy the interview with Brandon!

1. Share your favorite outreach or volunteer story. 
Laser Fun Day is an annual optics outreach event put on by the Student Optics Chapter "SOCk" in the College of Optical Sciences. The event is free and open to the public, encouraging hundreds of children and adults of all ages to explore optics through hands-on demos put on by undergraduate and graduate students and faculty in the college. 
Demos include a laser maze -- Mission: Impossible-style -- a six-foot-long kaleidoscope, laser radios, solar telescopes, meter-wide Fresnel lenses that melt lava rocks into obsidian, infrared camera…

#FacesofPhotonics: Imperial College Postdoc, Hannah Williams

SPIE's Faces of Photonics series is sharing the story of Dr. Hannah Williams! Hannah recently graduated from Imperial College London after completing her thesis on ultracold molecules. She now continues that research as a postdoctoral research associate in the College's Centre for Cold Matter.

Along with her postdoc work, Hannah recently announced via Twitter that she is a Doctoral Prize Research Fellow for The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. This recognition is yet another achievement to add to her impressive list of accomplishments, which includes organizing and leading events such as the Gamechangers for Diversity in STEM event held recently at the Alan Turing Institute in London, of which SPIE was a sponsor.

Enjoy the interview with Hannah, and be sure to follow her on Twitter.


1. Tell us about when you first became interested in optics and photonics.

I did a summer placement in a lab during my undergraduate. This was the first time I'd ever used a …

#FacesofPhotonics and Women In Optics feature: IBM Researcher Anuja De Silva

Meet the SPIE Faces of Photonics star of the week, SPIE Member Anuja De Silva. Anuja grew up in Sri Lanka and now resides in Albany, New York, where she works as a materials and process researcher in the Semiconductor Technology Research division of IBM. Speaking of her work, she says, "I develop new types of materials and processes that help us to scale the size of computer chips... It's hardware development for next-generation semiconductor devices."

Anuja graduated with her Bachelor's in Chemistry from Mount Holyoke College and went on to get her Master's and PhD in Materials Chemistry from Cornell University. Upon conducting a research project for her undergraduate degree, she found her passion for optics and materials research.


"I have always been interested in math and science," Anuja shares. "The options in Sri Lanka, where I grew up, for a career as a research scientist were limited. My mother encouraged me to apply to college in the Unite…