Maynooth University co-hosts Photonics Ireland Conference 2018

Imaging with a microlens array
Thursday, August 30, 2018 - 15:15

Photonics Ireland 2018 will convene industry, academics and researchers to discuss a wide range of key topics in Photonics

Maynooth University and Cork Institute of Technology are co-hosting Ireland’s premier conference for photonics research - the study of light - at Páirc Uí Chaoimh Stadium, Cork, on 3-5 September. The recently refurbished Cork stadium will take a break from hosting sporting stars to host over 150 leading photonics researchers from across the world.

Photonics is the science of creating, manipulating, transmitting and detecting light. Photonics is everywhere, from smartphone displays to fibre-optic broadband to energy-saving LED lights to the laser surgery that saves our lives.

This year’s conference is co-organised by Cork Institute of Technology and Maynooth University, with co-chairs Dr Bryan Hennelly, (Maynooth University) and Dr William Whelan-Curtin (CIT) and technical chair Dr David Williams. The biennial Photonics Ireland conference series has been running since 2007 and covers many exciting topics such as nanophotonics and biophotonics.

“The global importance of photonics industrially and societally cannot be underestimated,” said conference co-chair, Dr Bryan Hennelly. “Photonics now plays an indispensable role in people’s lives; medical imaging and optical communications are only two obvious examples, and integrated photonics is expected to rival the electronics industry in years to come.”

Dr William Whelan-Curtin, the co-chair from Cork Institute of Technology, added: “We are very excited by the line-up of excellent plenary and invited speakers, and the diversity and quality of the contributed talks. This year’s conference will be an excellent showcase of photonics research.”

Photonics technology is already the world’s market leader in many of the products and services. Some 5,000 technology-intensive companies, many of them SMEs, directly employ over 300,000 people. A global market share of 15.5% leaves Europe second only to China. Photonics is a fiercely competitive global market that was worth €447 billion in 2015 and is growing by 6.2% per year.

Plenary speakers at the conference include Prof Malte Gather (University of St Andrews) on “A laser in a living cell”; Prof Miles Padgett (University of Glasgow) will deliver a talk titled: “How many pixels does your camera have? Ours has only one!" and Dr Joost van Kerkhof (LioniX International, a leading Dutch company in integrated photonics) will describe the latest TriPleX™ platform for Photonic Integrated Circuits.

A diverse range of attendees will present more than 50 contributed talks and 80 posters showcasing their work and providing updates on the 11 thematic areas.

To highlight the increased collaboration and co-operation between academic and industrial partners, there will be a special half-day Industry and Entrepreneurship session specifically targeting industry-academia collaborations, as well as a student-oriented session.

Lead sponsors of the event are Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), CIT’s Centre for Advanced Photonics & Process Analysis (CAPPA), the Irish Photonic Integration Centre (IPIC), and Maynooth University. Other sponsors include SPIE, Institute of Physics in Ireland, IEEE UK & Ireland Photonics Chapter, and the PIXAPP Photonic Packaging Pilot Line. A number of companies have also supported Photonics Ireland 2018 and will have exhibition booths at the event: see here for details.