Photonics Days 2022

Jena connects the Photonics community, this year in person and virtually

October 05, 2022

Scientists, students, and companies were taking part in the career and networking event, organized by the Fraunhofer Institute of Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF in cooperation with the Max Planck School of Photonics.
A total of 18 nationalities were represented at the event, thus enabling a lively exchange of knowledge and culture. The participants came primarily from Germany, Mexico, and India.
We have selected the highlights for you and hope to see you next year (again).


Since the announcement in Stockholm that the Nobel Prize in physics is related to quantum photonics, the whole world is keeping an eye on the field of study.
This enthusiasm was also palpable at the Photonics Days. People from all over the world were sitting in a large room suffused with light when Prof. Dr. Stefan Nolte, deputy of the Fraunhofer IOF welcomed the attendees to two days full of exciting scientific lectures, workshops, career opportunities, and creative thinking around the theme of photonics.


The lectures of the series Photonics4Future draw one’s attention to how photonics can benefit our society. In the lecture ‘Continuous multi-sensor 3D scanning and its application for patient monitoring in radiation therapy, Dr. Peter Kühmstedt and Christoph Munkelt presented the characteristics of this patient surface scanning system. As a sensing principle, it uses invisible aperiodic sinusoidal fringes in the near-infrared spectrum.
Photonics was also presented from an environmentally relevant point of view. In the keynote lecture ‘Miniaturizations of optics – where does this journey go?’ Ruth Houbertz discussed whether glass or plastics should be used to produce optics.

In light of application-related research, the Applied Photonics Award was given to honour outstanding researchers. A jury of experts, consisting of representatives from science and industry, had previously selected the award-winning theses:

Best Bachelor Thesis

Magdalena Hilbert (University of Jena): "Gas Sensing with 2D Materials on Exposed-Core Fibers"

Best Master Thesis

Felix Wechsler (University of Jena): "Kaleidomicroscope - A Kaleidoscopic Multiview Microscope"

Best Dissertation

Dr. René Kirrbach (Technische Universität Dresden): "Investigations on linear optical wireless frontends and application-specific freeform lenses for optical wireless communications"

Prize of the Jury for Scientific Excellence, Graduate

Jan-Wilke Henke (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen): "Demonstration of the interaction between free electrons and fibre-integrated photonic resonators"

Sounds exciting? Read more about their research here:  Applied Photonics Award 2022

We have a superposition for you! Besides the scientific input participants could connect with industry partners at the corporate and career sessions this year.
In total twelve representatives from companies like ‘Carl Zeiss AG’, ‘asphericon GmbH’ and ‘Menlo Systems GmbH’ were presenting their innovative work and open positions. In addition, it was possible to get a personal interview with the representatives at the career fair in cooperation with OPTICA. 




Completed was the event with a broad offer for networking. During the industry breakfast, workshops, the Makethon from the Lichtwerkstatt Jena and sessions like ‘Digital Detox – Offtime is the new luxury. Staying mindful in a distracted world.’ or ‘Learning about Sustainability from Mars Missions on Earth’ everyone could exchange ideas. In the offered workshops the participants trained their presentation skills, who knows maybe applying them for their Nobel Prize speech one day.

Sincere thanks to all for attending this year and we are already looking forward to the next Photonics Days. You want to know more about the Photonics Days, then click here: Photonics Days Jena

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