SUSSP79 Summer School in Photonic Sensing & Spectroscopy
In July 2023 we hosted our fourth international summer school. This years’ theme, Photonic Sensing and Spectroscopy, brought postgraduate research students and early career researchers together with experts in this area for 10 days at the University of St Andrews. The event offered a full programme of academic sessions, including delegate poster sessions, technical talks, discussion panels on themes such as AI and sustainability, project work, and a full-day hackathon. A packed social calendar for the Summer School included a traditional ceilidh, formal Summer School dinner, and sea surfing!
The panel of guest speakers included Dr Geoffrey Cranch (US Naval Research Laboratory), Dr Hanieh Fattahi (Max Plank Institute for the Science of Light), Prof. Malte Gather (University of Cologne), Prof. Anita Mahadevan-Jansen (Vanderbilt University), Prof. Piotr Maslowski (Nicolaus Copernicus University), Dr Harry Milton (Vision Smart Optics), Dr Lucile Rutkowski (Université de Rennes), and Prof. Frank Vollmer (University of Exeter). The full programme including abstracts can be viewed here.
In addition to our technical talks, we ran a series of workshops to help develop skills for researcher in the early stages of their career. There were sessions on Public Engagement by Camilla Irvine-Fortescue (Heriot-Watt University), Promoting your Research by Christine Tudhope (University of St Andrews) and Navigating your Early Career by Anita Mahadevan-Jansen (Vanderbilt University).
Throughout the summer school attendees were able to vote for their favourite posters and at the end of the week first prize poster was awarded to Shannon Thompson for her poster, ‘Optical Spectroscopy to Enable Screening in the Liver Transplant Theatre’. Shannon is a CDT in Applied Photonics student working with the University of Edinburgh and the Edinburgh Transplant Centre. The second prize was awarded to Ieva Pakamoryte for her poster, ‘Liquid crystal lasers: a combined molecular-electromagnetic model towards improved higher power stability’. Ieva is a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh. The third prize poster was awarded to Andreas Herbst for his poster, ‘Field resolved Spectro-Microscopy’. Andreas is a PhD student at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light.
We also ran a photo competition throughout the summer school. Attendees were asked to submit the best photo they captured during their time in St Andrews. The winner was Riccardo Brameri for his image of St Andrews at night. Riccardo is a PhD student at Università degli studi di Pavia.
Feedback from the delegates of the summer school included “Full on, challenging, interesting, and incredibly fun. It has given me a new perspective on my own work, and inspired me to really make the most of the next two years. I also can’t wait for the next summer school two years from now!” and “I’ve had an amazing week and a half. The combination of incredible photonics and physics education with a brilliant social setting has been fantastic.”
We are grateful to all of our sponsors who provided financial support to enable to summer school to happen this was provided by SUPA, SUSSP and Coherent Inc.