Considering the reduced possibility to hold in person events we have decided to launch a series of online talks on research and career paths in optics and photonics: OpTalks!

The talks will be around one hour long, held via Zoom approximately once per month, and will be open to all who register. Keep an eye on our social media for more info on the first talk being held in October.

In addition to inviting some speakers, we hope to hear from PhD and early career researchers, so if you’d like to give a talk please send us an email with your idea (or an abstract) to, and also please share this page with anyone in your network who might be interested! This would be a great opportunity for networking and sharing ideas with a broad audience, as well as a slightly less formal setting to give a first colloquium talk!

OPTalk 10 – Prof Jacopo Bertolotti – Imaging through scattering media

Thursday, November 25th 11:00am (UK time)

Register here

My research stem from a deep curiosity about the effect of disorder and randomness on the world around us. Disorder is often seen as a necessary evil. Something to be minimized whenever possible and tolerated when there is no other choice. Yet the very presence of disorder give rise to a rich physics that can be understood and exploited.

OpTalk 9 – Dr Peter Mosley

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Next up in our colloquia series is a talk from Dr Peter Mosley, from the Centre for Photonics and Photonic Materials in Bath. He will be delivering his talk via zoom, on Thursday 21st October at 12:30, titled: Unexpected adventures in microstructured fibre.You can find the full abstract, as well as a registration page here:…/tZwrf…As always, the talk will be a combination of technical science based content, as well as a more informal discussion around career paths. This talk is open to all, so please sign up for free using the link above! We look forward to seeing you all there. 😁

OpTalks8: Dr Peter Qiang Liu – August 17th 2021 – 3pm

Title: Exploring the Frontier of Photonics in the Mid-infrared Spectral Region: from Nanophotonic Biosensors to Graphene Plasmonic Conveyor Belt Network

In the technical part of my talk, I will discuss two areas of mid-infrared photonics research which my group is currently undertaking. The first topic focuses on our recent development of mid-infrared nanophotonic biosensors employing new materials (e.g., liquid gallium) and/or device structure designs to achieve convenient and efficient delivery of analytes to sensing hot spots (i.e., device regions with high field confinement and enhancement), which demonstrated state-of-the-art sensitivity performance for surface-enhanced infrared absorption spectroscopy (SEIRAS) sensing. The second topic is about a new technology platform for optical trapping and manipulation of nanoscale objects using mid-infrared light, which we recently proposed and theoretically investigated. We named it graphene plasmonic conveyor belt network, as it is based on electrically tunable graphene plasmonic structures and can be used to optically trap, transport and manipulate multiple nanoscale objects simultaneously and independently, in a way similar to a network of normal conveyor belts used in factories.
After the technical part of my talk, I will give an overview of my own career path and some key decision-making processes during this journey.

Dr. Peter Qiang Liu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the State University of New York at Buffalo (UB). He completed his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at Princeton University in 2012. Before joining UB in January 2017, he conducted postdoctoral research at Sandia National Laboratories (2015-2016) and ETH Zurich (2012-2015). His current research focuses on developing mid-infrared and terahertz photonics and optoelectronic devices for a wide range of applications.

Register: Register:

EUOPS OpTalks 7: Professor Martin Cryan – July 13, 2021 3:00 PM GMT

Martin is professor of Applied Electromagnetics and Photonics in the Department for Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Bristol. He completed his BEng at Leeds and a PhD at Bath. His research interests include photonic crystal-based Photonic Integrated Circuits, Finite Difference Time Domain (FDTD) modelling of nanophotonic devices, nanophotonics for light trapping in solar cells, solar thermal and solar thermionic cells, nanobiophotonics, nanoantennas for fluorescence sensing, and plasmonics.
The talk will be in two parts:
Part 1: Introduction to concepts and applications of metasurfaces. Some modelling and fabrication techniques for metasurfaces.
Part 2: Professor Cryan’s career progression; from microwave design engineer to academic at the University of Bristol.

Please sign up using the link below. We look forward to seeing you there!

RESCHEDULED: EUOPS OpTalks 6: Prof. Dr. Peter HommelhoffJun 15, 2021 2:00 PM GMT

Next up in the OpTalks series is Prof. Dr. Peter Hommelhoff: Tuesday 15th June at 2pm UK time. Register here!

Peter is currently the chair of Laser Physics at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität and a Fellow of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of light. His work currently combines the topics of laser physics, quantum, electron and nano-optics, strong field or attosecond physics, plasmonics and solid state physics. For this talk Peter will discuss how his group are using laser pulses on photonic nanostructures to investigate new concepts for particle acceleration. For the second half of his talk Peter will discuss his career journey to his current position. 

This marks the first talk since our association with the Max Planck School of Photonics and is set to be a very exciting one, we can’t wait for you to join us!

EUOPS OpTalks 5: Sean TipperApr 21, 2021 2:00 PM GMT

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Our next OpTalks colloquium speaker is Sean Tipper, CTO of Sentinel Photonics. Sean brings a different perspective to the series so far, having been primarily based in industry. His talk, titled “Hacking cameras into laser detectors for the modern battlefield”, is split into two parts:

Part 1: Presentation on exploiting low cost rolling shutter CMOS colour cameras to detect lasers on the modern battlefield. And,

Part 2: Career path overview, the ups and the downs.

Please sign up using the link below. We look forward to seeing you there!

EUOPS OpTalks 4: Dr Sejeong KimMar 30, 2021 10:00 AM GMT

Next up in our OpTalks Colloquia series: Dr. Sejeong Kim from the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Melbourne, Australia. As a newly appointed lecturer at the University Of Melbourne, Dr Kim will first tell us about her work on hBN emitters and their photonic integration on photonic cavities and waveguides.

Then, she will discuss her personal career path to her current position, along with some of her struggles along the way.This colloquia will take place via zoom on 30th March at 10am.

Please sign up using the link below.…/reg…/WN_4JzmXlb1SYitYYvYPUZ_WQ

We look forward to seeing you all there!

EUOPS OpTalks 3: Dr Charles DowningFeb 25, 2021 1:00 PM GMT

Registration link

Our speaker for the third OpTalk colloquium will be Dr Charles Downing, Royal Society University Research Fellow and Proleptic Lecturer at the University of Exeter. He works in the Quantum Systems and Nanomaterials Group and the Centre for Metamaterial Research and Innovation.

Charles already completed his PhD in Physics at the University of Exeter in 2015 before moving on to postdoctoral researcher positions at the Université de Strasbourg (2015-2017) and at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (2017-2018). Before returning to Exeter last year, he was a Juan de la Cierva Fellow, at Universidad de Zaragoza from 2018 to 2020. His research interests include condensed matter theory, metamaterials, nanophotonics, quantum optics, and plasmonics. Besides his impressive academic and publication record, Charles is also on the Advisory Board of the Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter!

See his website for more:

We look forward to hearing from him about:
“Some simple models in topological nanophotonics”
Dr Charles Downing (University of Exeter)

Part 1
I will present some celebrated topological models, and discuss how they have interesting consequences when applied to photonic systems.

Part 2
I will talk about my personal career path in physics research, from PhD to postdoc to proleptic lecturer.

EUOPS OpTalks 2: Rachel GrangeDec 8, 2020 1:00 PM GMT

Rachel Grange, is an Assistant Professor in Optical Nanomaterials Group at the Department of Physics, Institute for Quantum Electronics in the ETH Zurich. Her research expertise includes integrated photonics, nanomaterials, nonlinear optics. She develops top-down and buttom-up fabricated nanostructures with metal-oxides, particulary lithium niobate and barium titanate and semiconductor galium arsenide.

She has received her BSc and MSc degree in physics in 2002 from Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, and PhD in natural sciences in 2006 from the Department of Physics at ETH Zurich. After obtaining her PhD, she then served as a scientific advisorat the State Secreteriat for Education and Research at the Swiss government in Bern and at the Working Party on Nanotechnology at OECD, Paris until 2010. Concurrently, she continued her academic career as a post-doctoral researcher in the group of Prof. Demetri Psaltis at EPFL in the fields of applied nonlinear optics for imaging applications, nano-optics and optofluidics. In 2011 she started working as a junior group leader with the Carl Zeiss Foundation grant at the Institute of Applied Physics (IAP), Friedrich-Schiller University of Jena, Germany. In 2015 she was appointed as Assistant Professor of Physics at ETH Zurich and started her research lab, Optical Nanomaterial Group.

EUOPS OpTalks 1: Dr Joel Carpenter

Part 1: Time reversal of optical waves

Abstract : I’ll present a new arbitrary vector spatiotemporal beam shaper which allows optical fields to be created with arbitrary amplitude, phase and polarisation at each point in space and time.

Part 2: My career path from birth to permanent academic position

I’ll give my own personal example of the steps through my career that led to my current position at The University of Queensland.

A recording of the talk is available here: