With their vast experience and their cosmopolitan background in science, ASP visiting scholars regularly offer valuable feedback on our curriculum based on their personal perspectives. Some of these impressions are given here.
Prof. Dr. Richard Mildren, Macquarie University Sydney, NSW, Australia [April 2019]
"I recommend anyone, whether student or academic, studying optics to come to Jena as almost a sacred duty. Whether you're interested in history, the most cutting edge research, education or research translation - it is all there, in a dense interconnect of academia, industry and applied research. I spent 6 months in Jena for a sabbatical and very much appreciated all of this as well as the welcoming culture and small-town life. Many thanks also to my hosts in the Fraunhofer Institute!"
Prof. Dr. Yuri S. Kivshar, Research School of Physics and Engineering, The Australian National University, Canberra ACT, Australia [March 2018]
"I visited Jena many times and I believe Jena is a unique town not only as a special place for history of optics in Germany and the world, but also as a home for rapidly developing modern research in photonics that unifies all aspects of research from theory and experiment to technology. I believe the Abbe Center of Photonics has the largest number of enthusiastic young researchers I ever met in any place of the world, who will definitely drive its bright future!"
Prof. Dr. Wenshan Cai, Georgia Tech, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Atlanta, Georgia, USA [April 2018]
"It has been a tremendous pleasure and privilege to be associated with the guest professorship program at the Abbe Center of Photonics. Jena offers a unique ecosystem of optics like nobody else could have, a perfect blend of fundamental research and real-life applications, and a vivid arena in that people both from academia and industry grow and thrive coherently. For students and educators, Jena is a peaceful shrine with historical flair, from the namesake of the University to the collections in the Optical Museum. For engineers and entrepreneurs, Jena makes your innovative ideas come to fruition and your business meet the targets. My exchange of thoughts with colleagues at Jena has been truly stimulating and enlightening, and I believe many collaborative opportunities lie ahead of us that will be inspiring and rewarding for both sides. I enjoyed my stay of two weeks at Jena, albeit too short, and I certainly look forward to coming back in the not too distant future. As followers of a faith are likely to hold dear a must-visit holy place in their hearts, everyone in the optics community should try to connect to Jena. This is where things started and flourished."
Prof. Dr. Igor Lednev, State University of New York, Albany, USA [April 2017]
"The guest professorship program at the Abbe School of Photonics is unique in its kind because it offers terrific opportunity for scientific interactions across the disciplines, between academia and industry as well as between students and experienced researchers. The world-leading position of the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology (IPHT) in the broad field of fundamental and applied photonics generates a significant international presence in Jena that further stimulates information exchange and sharing unique complimentary expertise. I find my visit to Jena most productive, intellectually stimulating and hope to develop long-term collaborations based on new contacts made here."
Prof. Dr. Chris Poulton, University of Technology Sydney, Australia [November 2016]
"Jena is clearly one of the top places in the world for photonics, with really impressive strength in all areas of optical science. The shear concentration of world-class researchers, the quality of the research facilities, and the general level of enthusiasm for carrying out high-level science meant that my stay, of some four months, was educational, eye-opening, and highly productive. The close connections between the various research institutes, including the Leibnitz institute (IPHT) as well as the ACP, means that interdisciplinary collaborations find fertile ground to flourish - I was also highly impressed by the synergy with industrial partners, who work closely with researchers of all stripes to develop some truly unique capabilities. A highlight of my stay was the interaction with the many high-quality postgraduate students, with whom the Guest Professor position gave me the chance to interact through a series of lectures on advanced topics in photonics. These students are trained at the highest level in the science of optics and photonics, and giving these lectures was a great privilege and pleasure. In summary, I greatly enjoyed my stay in Jena and hope very much to maintain the many connections and collaborations that I built during my time there."
Prof. Dr. Igal Brener, Sandia National Laboratories and Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA [April 2016]
"I was very impressed with the sheer quantity and quality of R&D activities in all aspects of optics in and around Jena. This provided for the perfect stimulating environment for my stay hosted by the Abbe Center of Photonics (ACP) at the Friedrich Schiller University. In addition to working with my host and her students, I interacted with other professors at the ACP and researchers in the neighboring institutions. I think that the level of research and teaching makes the ACP one of the best places to pursue a career in optics."
Prof. Dr. Asger Mortensen, Department of Photonics Engineering, Technical University of Denmark [April 2015]
"My 2-month stay in Jena at the Abbe School of Photonics has been highly rewarding and a truly exciting experience for me. Being invited to spend a sabbatical in the 'Lichtstadt' during the International Year of Light has been a great honour for me! The historic academic atmosphere, the stimulating scientific environment, and the impressive industry activity create a unique setting for leading research and innovation in the field of optics & photonics.
The ASP guest-professor program has been a wonderful platform for me to engage in both young-researcher training and in research collaborations. Lecturing for dedicated research students, postdocs, and faculty has been a real privilege for me. The weekly lectures have also served to catalyse enlightening discussions from which projects/collaborations are now emerging, thus hopefully creating impact that reach far beyond my return to DTU. Indeed, I hope that my term in Jena will be the seed for long-term research collaborations and future student and researcher exchange. Also on a personal level, my stay has been highly rewarding and I have enjoyed the warm and kind hospitality of Prof. Thomas Pertsch, his nano-optics research group, and the entire ASP organization.
I am leaving Jena with my luggage full of long-lasting memories and I already anticipate my return for at least shorter visits - hopefully also to see your activities flourish in the new Abbe Center of Photonics building!"
Prof. Dr. Javier Aizpurua, University of the Basque Country, San Sebastián, the Basque Country, Spain [December 2014]
"My stay in Jena at the Abbe Center of Photonics (ACP) has been a really enlightening one. It is really encouraging to be immersed in an atmosphere of cooperation and collaboration within Optics, being exposed to a multidisciplinary effort that covers aspects of biochemistry, optical signaling, image formation, or chemical physics, at a very high level. I valued enormously during my stay the double aspect of the visiting professorship: on the one hand, the interaction with about 80 students integrated at the Abbe Center of Photonics who were attending my lectures was really intense and full of nice feedback. On the other hand, from a scientific perspective, the interaction and visits to many state-of-the-art research groups associated to the sister Institutes of the ACP, such as the Leibniz Institue of Photonic Technology (IPHT) or the Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Optik und Feinmechanik (IOF), has been really fulfilling in terms of scientific content and sharing attitude. It has been a privilege to visit this pole of Optics and to be hosted by Prof. Deckert, as a fantastic representative of this exemplary scientific community."
Prof. Dr. Benjamin Eggleton, Director of the CUDOS ARC Centre of Excellence, School of Physics, University of Sydney, Australia [September 2014]
"My stay at ACP was very enjoyable and stimulating and a great foundation for future collaboration and partnership. It was wonderful to see the laboratories and facilities in Jena. It is an amazing optics ecosystem and certainly unique."
Prof. Dr. Mikhail N. Shneider, Research Professor, Princeton University, Princeton, USA [May 2014]
"I believe that Abbe Center of Photonics at Friedrich Schiller University in Jena is one of the world leaders in modern optics, photonics and their applications, which not only provides a unique educational center for students - future scientists and engineers, but also a modern research organization, conducting the most advanced researches on a highest scientific level in close connection with industry and other research institutions."
Prof. Dr. Sheng-Lung Huang, Graduate Institute of Photonics and Optoelectronics, National Taiwan University, Taiwan [May 2014]
"The long history of optics in Jena has really inscribed into the daily lives of this university town. From the street names, and the giant optics centers and factories, no one can ignore the existence of optics here. The gapless linkage between the University faculty/students and the scientists at Beutenberg campus really creates a huge amount of synergy for idea and vision burst in photonics for life. I was amazed by the vibrant activities here, all kinds of intra-institute, inter-institute, as well as international collaborations make the photonic researches at the Abbe Center of Photonics a truly world class hub. These really help built up the strong academia and industry prosperity here, and again enrich the optics culture in Jena. It is really nice to visit Jena."
Prof. Dr. Andrew Berger, Associate Professor of Optics, University of Rochester, New York, USA [March 2014]
"My home city is Rochester, New York (USA), the home of Kodak, Xerox, and many other optical companies and university research groups. I could not have picked a more appropriate place than Jena to spend a sabbatical year. Both Rochester and Jena embrace their rich tradition of optical innovation and make it a central part of the region's identity. Even when I am not at work, I am aware of the huge cultural contributions of Ernst Abbe to Jena, or I am watching my son play football in one of the many Schott youth teams. I think that the city's pride in optics truly strengthens the research and education programs. As a guest researcher, I have directly benefitted from the interplay between the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology, the Abbe School of Photonics, the Institute of Applied Physics, and several other entities on the Beutenberg campus. The Abbe School in particular gave me the chance to interact with a wide range of people through guest lectures and conference activities. Jena is a world-class hub for optics, and I will certainly be spreading the word back in Rochester and across the USA that this is a place for collaborations, visits, and student exchange."
Prof. Dr. David D. Sampson, Winthrop Professor and Director of the Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation & Analysis, The University of Western Australia, Crawley/Perth, Australia [June 2013]
"There is nowhere else in the photonics world like Jena. It seems to me that a huge proportion of Jena's 100,000 people are involved in some way in supporting a massive amount of optics and photonics research and commercial activity. It took me quite some time during my visit to understand the complexity and richness of the different local institutions and interactions.
What is really spectacular at the Abbe Center of Photonics are the very large cohorts of students, both Master students and graduates, from the different research groups. They all seem very well connected and eager to attend the lectures, which is inspiring.
My overall impressions are very positive and I thoroughly enjoyed my time here. It has been really fascinating, and together with my colleagues we have initiated several collaborative projects and planned for the mutual exchange of scientists in the next year. I am excited by the prospect of an exchange of students with the Abbe School of Photonics too."
Prof. Dr. Federico Capasso, Robert L. Wallace Professor of Applied Physics, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA [March 2013]
"I was enthusiastic to come to Jena - a very significant connection of science, technology, and industry exists at this place which is very fruitful but not easy to realize. Likewise, the strong local connections between fundamental and application-oriented science in Jena are quite unique at least in Europe. Having been introduced to the education and research that is carried out at the Abbe Center of Photonics, there were particularly two aspects I was extremely impressed by: First, the broad range of ideas and their integration into practice are impressive. At the Abbe Center of Photonics, much effort is undertaken which might lead to the development of novel instruments, connecting to a rich historical tradition that goes back to scientists and innovators such as Abbe, Zeiss, and Schott. Second, I was truly impressed by the variety and the level of expertise of the doctoral students of the Abbe School of Photonics. Their abilities to assemble complex optical setups with their own hands and to develop their own scientific ideas are rarely found nowadays. I have seen many places worldwide: the Abbe Center is really a world-class operation, that's for sure."
Prof. Dr. Martin C. Richardson, Director of the Townes Laser Institute, College of Optics & Photonics, University of Central Florida, USA [February 2013]
"The M.Sc. Photonics program at the Abbe School of Photonics at the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität in Jena is in my opinion the strongest anywhere, and serves best the interests of the surrounding laser and photonics industries. It is a robust program with some 40 incoming students each year, selected from a pool that can be as large as 700. This too demonstrates the attractiveness of the program. We now have seen nearly a dozen of these students come to the University of Central Florida as part of the Atlantis-MILMI International Master's degree between our two universities. Every single student has been well prepared, motivated, and is a credit to the program. Part of the reason for the program's success is the strong involvement of the local industries, which provide opportunities for internships and of course employment opportunities for many of its students."