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Keynote Speakers


Session 1: Optics for life


Prof. Marie-Claire Schanne-Klein
Laboratoire D’Optique et Biosciences (LOB) – Ecole polytechnique



Title: Polarization-resolved Second Harmonic Imaging of collagen organization in biological tissues

Description:  This talk is devoted to Second Harmonic Generation (SHG) microscopy that is the gold standard for in situ visualization of collagen 3D organization in unstained biological tissues. Collagen is a structural protein that is the main component of skin, cornea, bone, arteries… It is organized as fibrils, with specific diameter and distribution in every type of tissue. Any disruption of this 3D organization affects the biomechanical and biophysical properties of the tissue and the integrity of the cellular response. SHG microscopy enables quantitative analyses of fibrils distribution based on a thorough analysis of the physical origin of collagen signal. In particular, polarization-resolved SHG imaging probes collagen 3D organization at sub-micrometer to millimeter scales and provides new information about skin and cornea structure and biomechanics.


Prof. Jerker Widengren
Department of Applied Physics, Experimental Biomolecular Physics Group, KTH




Session 2: Optics for energy


Dr. Thomas Vandervelde
ECE Department, Tufts University



Title: Metaphotonics for Energy Harvesting

Description: Debates surrounding the worldwide energy crisis no longer center on whether or not it looms on the horizon, but if it has, in fact, already begun. The most commonly proposed strategies to address these concerns focus on either 1) production of more energy through the development or expansion of clean domestic sources, or 2) ambitious reductions in the amount of energy we consume. Our model, instead, combines these approaches by proposing the harvesting of previously wasted thermal energy and creating novel modes of generating power on an industrial scale. Specifically, we are developing an entirely new class of solid-state thermal-energy converters, with an emphasis on thermophotovoltaic (TPV) cells. TPV devices convert heat into electrical current in a manner similar to the more common photovoltaic (PV) cells used for solar energy conversion. TPV and PV cells differ, however, in that while PV cells absorb visible and ultraviolet light, TPV cells absorb longer wavelength light in the infrared regime, including radiation currently lost as waste heat. Importantly, where PV cells absorb only radiation emitted directly from visible radiation sources, TPV systems can incorporate an intermediate absorber/converter, allowing them to capture energy from a much broader range of energy sources. Shaping the way light interacts with the components in this system is paramount to the end efficiency achieved. The development of TPV cells leverages advances in disparate fields of study, including metamaterials and infrared photodetectors, which could have a transformative effect on both power generation and waste heat harvesting worldwide.


Dr. Carsten Baur
European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), ESA



Title: Solar cells for space applications: challenges and opportunities

Description: Solar cells are an enabling technology for space missions. Almost all satellites rely on solar cells as the primary energy source. The talk will discuss the major challenges when operating solar cells in the harsh space environment. On the other hand, it will also be shown how the specific boundary conditions of space missions open opportunities for the solar cell development exploring new technologies.

Session 3: Lasers


Prof. Dr. Eberhard Riedle



Title: Pushing the NOPA to New Frontiers – An Ideal Source of Ultrashort Pulses with Tailored Properties

Description: Optical Parametric Amplifiers are arguably the most versatile devices to generate ultrafast pulses with a tremendous range of properties. In my talk I will focus on noncollinearly phase matched setups that can directly deliver pulses from the deep blue to the MIR, with repetition rates from a few Hz to MHz, average power well into the Watt range and pulse durations down to a few femtoseconds, i.e. close to the single cycle limit. I will show examples how selected parameters can be readily optimized, even though not all can be reached simultaneously. The application in spectroscopy is the main driving force behind the various developments.


Prof. Manuel Joffre
Laboratiore d’Optique et Biosciences (Ecole Polytechnique – CNRS – INSERM – U. Paris-Saclay



Title: Mid-infrared multidimensional spectroscopy in carboxyhemoglobin

Description: Multidimensional spectroscopy in the transposition to nonlinear optical spectroscopy of two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance. After a general introduction on the basic principles behind this coherent-spectroscopy approach, the talk will focus on its implementation in the mid-infrared (2DIR spectroscopy) with a particular emphasis on the application to vibrational dynamics in carboxyhemoglobin. We will discuss both the equilibrium situation, where 2DIR turns out to be highly sensitive to the protein structure fluctuations, and the non-equilibrium situation, shedding new light on relaxation in a vibrational ladder.

Session 4: Wave-guided optics


Prof. John Dudley
University of Franche-Comté, FEMTO-ST


Title: Solitons to supercontinuum – the science and applications of nonlinear fiber optics

Description: The optical supercontinuum is one of the most remarkable manifestations of nonlinear fibre optics, and has found extensive applications in fields including optical frequency metrology, biological imaging and astrophysics.   The supercontinuum also provides a beautiful illustration of the richness of nonlinear soliton physics, and this talk will provide an overview of the links between solitons and supercontinuum that will be suitable for a general audience.  Specifically, beginning from the earliest historical development of soliton science in the 19th century, we will see how solitons provide a unifying concept that connects work carried out during the Manhattan project, the birth of optical fibre communications, the development of femtosecond lasers, supercontinuum generation, to the latest research today that is providing new insights into the emergence of extreme waves on the ocean.


Prof. Delphine Marris-Morini
Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (C2N), Université Paris-Sud, Université Paris-Saclay


Title: Silicon photonics for high performance optical communications and sensing applications

Description: Silicon photonics has generated a strong interest in recent years, first mainly for optical telecommunications and optical interconnects in integrated circuits. The main rationales of silicon photonics are the reduction of photonic system costs and the increase of the number of functionalities on the same chip combining photonics and electronics. Recent advances in optoelectronic devices for telecommunication will be presented with a focus on high speed optical modulators and photodetectors. More recently silicon photonics has also been proposed as a powerful solution for sensing applications. Indeed, the demonstration of integrated photonic circuits in the mid-IR wavelength range (2-20 µm) is a major issue for the realization of sensors for many applications requiring portable spectroscopic detection schemes. In this context, Ge-rich SiGe waveguides provides good prospects to develop mid-IR optical devices. Recent results will be reviewed and the perspectives offered by such a new platform will be introduced and discussed.

Session 5: Optical imaging and polarimetry

Prof. Viktor Gruev
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Title: Bio-Inspired Sensors: From the Ocean to the Operating Room

Description: Nature has served as an inspiration for novel, efficient and economic designs in architecture, engineering and science in general. In this talk, I will describe a bio-inspired imaging sensor designs capable of capturing both color and polarization properties of light. The imaging system mimics the elegant visual system of the mantis shrimp using various nanomaterials and specialized CMOS imaging technology. This unique sensor is currently deployed in the Great Barrier Reef to study marine life behavior in their natural habitat and to better understand environmental changes in the reef. Furthermore, this technology is also enabling several medical imaging applications, such as label-free neural recordings, stress is tendons and early cancer detection.


Prof. François Goudail
Institut d’Optique



Title: How can information processing help designing active polarimetric imagers?

Description: Active polarimetric imaging consists in illuminating a scene with light polarized in a prescribed state, and analyze the light scattered by the scene. In many cases of practical interest, the objective is to maximize the contrast of the objects of interest with respect to the background of the scene. For that purpose, one needs adaptive polarimetric imagers and optimization algorithms to find the best illumination and analysis polarization states. I will explain how to design and operate such imaging systems and such algorithms. This approach will illustrate how useful it is to merge optics and information processing to design efficient imaging systems. Their performance will be illusrated on different imaging applications.

Professional development speaker


Dr. Antigone Marino
Institute of Applied Sciences and Intelligent Systems (ISASI), National Research Council (CNR)



Title: How to build your digital reputation

Description: Once upon a time, there was a file in every scientist’s computer called curriculum dot something. Nowadays, this file is not enough to promote your career. Society is collecting all the information in the biggest database we have ever had, internet. The care of our digital records can be a fundamental key for our work.

Each of us will have tried, at least once, to search for their name on google. At best, the results showed something interesting. At worst, there was absolutely nothing. Academia, research and industrial worlds daily draw information from the internet. And not being present online, or not it being in the right way, is equivalent to submit a poor quality curriculum when you are desperately looking for a job.

The digital reputation of a scientist is defined by his/her behaviour in the online environment and by the content he/she posts about him/her self and others. Tagged photos, blog posts and social network interactions will all shape how a scientist is perceived by others online and offline, both now and in the future. That is why it is crucial to devote time to checking and entering information that can be found on the internet.

In this talk we will review the most important social media realities, from LinkedIn to ResearchGate. Tips to analyse and control your digital presence will be given.

A good presence on socials, their proper use, and, above all, the consistency of information, can become the turbo needed to optimize a scientist’s career.