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“Illuminated”, an IEEE Photonics Podcast, Shines a Light on Hot Topics in Photonics

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The IEEE Photonics Society, professional home for an international network of scientists and engineers who represent the laser, optoelectronics, and photonics community, has launched a new podcast, called “Illuminated”. Illuminated, an IEEE Photonics Podcast, is an audio series that shines a light on hot topics in photonics, and the subject matter experts advancing technology forward.

With several episodes now available, Illuminated covers technical topics, such as Nanophotonics, Quantum, and LiDAR to growing STEM talent pools and entrepreneurship-driven subject matters. The podcast is led by the Society’s Young Professionals Advisory Committee (YPAC) and Emerging Technologies Task Force (ETTF). IEEE Young Professionals, up to 15 years post their first degree, serve as hosts of the episodes released monthly, and technical members of the ETTF are identified as moderators. In each episode, an expert guest speaker(s) is interviewed on a hot topic of interest, i.e., rising photonics subject, industry trend, controversial issue, and/or news-worthy subject matter.

“This initiative marks a fresh and novel take on research, science, innovation and scientific communication. Multi-disciplinary and multi-background members of the community get together to chat about careers, opportunities and overall development – but don’t worry, we have plenty of laughs along the way too”, shares Akhil Kallepalli, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow and Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Strathclyde, UK, and Past Associate Vice President of Young Professionals. 

Designed to help students and early career gain personalized career insights, listeners of the podcast receive guidance from senior professionals in photonics and a blend of intergenerational perspectives throughout the conversations, which can equip one with skills and techniques as you navigate the photonics field, technically and professionally.

In the episode, “Nanophotonics Trapping Light for Device Applications”, Deep Jariwala, Associate Professor and Peter & Susanne Armstrong Distinguished Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania, USA, shares his expertise on the field of nanophotonics and how his applications range from telecommunications to medical imaging, sensing and quantum technologies. Research in this field is advancing rapidly, leading to new possibilities for the development of nanoscale optical components and devices, as well as the potential for new materials and processes to enable new applications.

In a later episode, “Harnessing Quantum Sensing Technologies”, Amr Helmy, Professor at the University of Toronto, Canada, provides career advice on how to get into the field of quantum sensing technologies, which have changed the landscape of quantum over the past 10 years with startups contributing greatly to its ever-growing research and commercialization.

Peter Dragic, Associate Professor of the University of Illinois, Urbana – Champaign, shares in “Navigating Future Pathways of LiDAR Technologies” his expertise bridging a gap between next generation laser sources and active sensing systems such as LIDAR. He sheds light on its applications, complexities, and potential future paths, as well as how LiDAR is in diverse fields such as automotive, surveying, mapping, and archaeology. Listeners gain insights into the challenges of crafting high-power lasers for LiDAR systems, and the pivotal role of laser alignment in ensuring accurate measurements, for example.

Lorenzo Pavesi, IEEE Photonics Society Emerging Technologies Task Force Chair, shares: “This carefully crafted podcast delivers informative and captivating content suitable for a broad audience. Our goal is to familiarize both IEEE members and the general public with several emerging technologies by featuring the individuals driving the advancements and delving into the technical aspects of each technique. Whether you’re a young professional or a respected IEEE fellow, anticipate acquiring valuable insights and varied viewpoints across the realm of photonics technology”.

Listeners can subscribe to Illuminated on Spotify, Amazon Music, or via Buzzsprout, a trusted podcast platform used by over 100,000 active podcasters.