MPSP Alumni Interview with Dr. Jonas Hammer

Why Photonics is so fascinating and a network so valuable

January 18, 2022

The MPSP was launched in 2018 - which means our first PhD students have already completed their doctorates. We asked our alumnus Dr. Jonas Hammer what tips he has for those who are just starting with their PhD and how he benefited from the Max Planck School of Photonics. 

Hi Jonas, can you please briefly introduce yourself and tell us what you did your PhD on? 

"My name is Jonas Hammer, I am currently a researcher in the "Microstructured Optical Fibres“ group at the Max Planck Institute Erlangen. For my PhD thesis I investigated the use of special types of optical fibres for applications in quantum optics." 

Looking back, what advice would you give to doctoral students who are still at the beginning of their PhD time?

"I think it is always a good idea to collaborate with other researchers. Especially in the beginning of the PhD it’s worth getting an idea about what the other researchers around you are working on. Knowing the experts for problems you may face in the future will benefit you a lot and it will help you to develop your own ideas as well."

Why did you decide to pursue a career in photonics? What drives your passion for science?

"I came into contact with photonics almost by coincidence when I was looking for a bachelor project. Right away I was fascinated with the vast possibilities you have in optics and I still am. Be it controlling electron motion using pulses of light or generating all the colours of the rainbow in a short length of optical fibre."

You stayed in research after your doctorate and are now moving to industry - how did you decide on your career path?

"During the last year as a postdoc, I had the opportunity to finish some open projects that were started during my PhD. Also, we could realize some experimental ideas that combined work from colleagues with work I had already done during the PhD, which was a fascinating experience. However, I now feel it is the right time to move on and apply the skills I learned in research. I’m looking forward to the challanges a more application-targeted industry job will bring up."

Did you benefit from the MPSP network / program during your doctoral studies? What did you find most valuable?

"Definitely! I did benefit from the lectures and talks given at various events. It is always a good idea to get a broader view over topics researchers on all kinds of professional levels are working on. A network like the MPSP helped me a lot to learn about topics that are not necessarily only within the narrow spectrum of topics I was working on myself. The most valuable part of the program was probably simply getting to know researchers from institutes all across Germany at the MPSP-Events."

Thank you for your time and good luck with your further career in Photonics!

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