02 July 2019 IONS BCN’19 at ICFO

IONS Poster Session

ICONS hosts students from OSA Chapters around the world From June 26-29, 2019 ICONS welcomed students from 15 countries around the world to ICFO to participate in IONS BCN’19 - the conference in Optics for, of and by students. IONS (the International OSA Network of Students) is a program backed by the Optical Society of America (OSA) that encourages student chapters to organize and manage regional meetings which are focused on technical and professional development as well as on networking with peers and luminaries. The IONS conference ran for the first time at ICFO in 2007, came back to ICFO in 2009 and with IONS BCN’19, has returned once again after 10 years.

IONS BCN’19 hosted more than 80 enthusiastic attendees spanning the master up to the professor level. Four distinguished keynote speakers, Lukas Novotny, Eleni Diamanti, Jenny Nelson and Viola Vogel, kicked off the sessions on nanophotonics, quantum optics, optical devices and biophotonics, respectively. In total, the program included 28 student talks and a poster session of extremely high quality, facilitating intense discussions. In addition, Carlos Abellán, co-founder & CEO at ICFO spin-off QuSide, Luis José Salazar, Optics Payload & Operation Specialist at Aistech Space (both ICFO alumni), María Viñas, post-doc at the IO-CSIC in Madrid and OSA Ambassador 2019 and Simon Wall, ICFO Group Leader, participated in a panel discussion sharing insights into career opportunities after the PhD. Attendees also had the opportunity to visit the Barcelona Supercomputing Center as well as ESADE Business School for discussion on what an MBA after a PhD could do to leverage your career. On the final day, ICFO alumnus Danny Krautz, offered encouraging insight into Zeiss’ R+D policies and ventures.

With a majority of participants being students, questions and discussions flowed with a special freedom both inside and outside the auditorium. Not only was it stimulating to see the participation of students in the scientific discussions, it was fantastic to see invited speakers joining the social events, where these renowned researchers were willing to interact with students and give advice both on science and professional careers, providing a forum to unwind and network.

IONS BCN ’19 extended over four amazing days resulting in unforgettable memories. It was a great experience for the ONS organizing team, and we express our deep thank you to ICFO and everyone who made it happen.