IEEE Photonics Society Chapter, Uttar Pradesh (UP) Section was started in May 2021 formally by Dr. Akhilesh Tiwari, IIIT Allahabad, Prayagraj, UP in India, as a founding chair. At that time there were approximately 25 members in the Society’s UP Section Chapter. An Executive Committee was made by appointment of the local membership and now the Chapter has more than 60 members. Each year the activities of the Chapter have increased, including organizing the IEEE Workshop on Recent Advancements in Photonics (WRAP 2023).
In July 2023, (30) girls in secondary school from Kendriya Vidyalaya Jhalwa (KV-Jhalwa) were invited to participate in hands-on pre-university student engagement programming which included technical demonstrations and experiments. Again, a month later, a group of eager students embarked on an enthralling two-day educational excursion to an ‘Innovation Hub’ at the Indian Institute of Information Technology Allahabad (IIITA)-Akhil IAPT Anveshika Lab. The objective of the STEM program was to introduce the students to photonics to deepen their understanding of fundamental concepts. The KV Jhalwa students’ were hosted by the IIITA-Akhil IAPT Anveshika Lab team of IEEE Photonics Society Chapter, student branch IIIT Allahabad.
In August 2023, IEEE UP Section Women in Engineering organized the International Leadership Summit, where the IEEE Photonics Society Chapter, UP Section supported its coordinated and sponsored this activity at a large scale. More than 16 sessions were held, where the volunteers of the Chapter served as expert speakers and instructors. One meet & greet activity reached more than 120 girls from the school district.
In the month of December 2023, IEEE WRAP was organized, which is a biennial event organized by the IEEE Photonics Society in India. The primary aim of the workshop is to provide a platform that brings together global experts and researchers to disseminate and highlight novel contributions and challenges in the field of Photonics. IEEE WRAP acts as a major forum for presentation of technological progress and research outcomes in the area of Recent Advances in Photonics as a platform for exchanges between academia and industry. The first edition of IEEE WRAP was organized at IIT Delhi in 2013. Further editions were held at IISc Bangalore, Mahindra University, IIT Guwahati, and IIT Bombay in 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2022, respectively.
Held at IIIT Allahabad in 2023, IEEE WRAP showcased a rich tapestry of knowledge exchange, innovation, and collaboration under the leadership of Dr. Akhilesh Tiwari and Dr. Rajat Kumar Singh (General Chairs) and organized by Dr. Kavindra Kandapal, Dr. Sunny Sharma (Organizing Chairs), Dr. Pramod Kumar and Dr. Prasanna Misra (TPC Chairs). The event began with “Special Session I” and “Special Session II,” covering topics like micro-optics technology and plasmonics applications in healthcare and quantum technologies. The program was inaugurated by the prestigious scientist and honorable director of IIIT Allahabad, Prof. Mukul S. Sutawane.
At WRAP 2023 participants gained insights and perspectives from national and international experts: academia from IITs, IISc, IIITs, NITs, Central Universities, Colleges, Engineering Institutions etc., industries from BEL, Global Foundries, STL Tech. etc., research labs such as CSIR, DRDO, NPL, CEERI etc. More than 9 countries’ experts from the USA, Germany, Japan, Denmark, Italy, Cezch Republic, Ireland etc. were featured through scientific talks.
There were 9 technical tracks on the topics: Optical Communication and Networking, Programmable Photonics, Optical Sensors, Quantum Photonics and Nano Photonics, Terahertz Photonics, Photonics for Renewable Energy, Photonic Crystals and Plasmonics, Optoelectronic Devices and Circuits, AI/ML for Photonics.
There were two special sessions on Women in Photonics and Young Professionals. There were four keynote sessions, six technical sessions, and two poster sessions. A total of 121 papers were presented, orally and, wherein gender wise 48% of women were featured as first authors. One of the exciting parts of this workshop was a cultural event on the evening of December 7, 2023. A special cultural evening presented by the kids of varying ages on Lord Budhha’s life. It was an exciting experience for all. The Gala dinner on the following evening at the Hotel ‘The Sarovar Palace’ was an opportunity for all to network and discuss thoughts informally. An excursion was organized to visit the Holy site of ‘Sangam’, the confluence of three rivers – Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati in the morning of 9th December. The WRAP2023 gives a feeling of a complete activity well organized and managed for all giving a lifetime experience.
The details about the session are as follows:
Keynote Session I was conducted by Prof. R. Vijaya (IIT Kanpur) and Dr. Upendra Kumar. Prof. Vijaya where discussions on optical fibers’ role in laser technology were held, emphasizing their original research transformative impact, during the special session of Women in Engineering (WIE). This was chaired by Dr. Anjali Gautam and Dr. Sweta Tripathi. Dr. Upendra Kumar contributed to the exploration of the interplay between photonics, spin, and plasmonics.
Keynote Session II featured talks by Prof. Yogendra Kumar Mishra (SDU Denmark) and Prof. Yasushi Takahashi (OMU, Japan). The day concluded with a poster session featuring approx. 50 presentations across various photonics tracks.
On the second day, Keynote Session III, chaired by Dr. Sanjai Singh, Prof. Shekhar Verma, and Prof. Navneet Gupta (BITS Pilani), featured Prof. Srinivas Talabattula (IISc Bangalore) and Dr. Naresh Chand (AVP, Photonics Society, USA). Dr. Naresh Chand explored “Photonics for National Defense,” emphasizing local expertise’s role.
Among different tracks, the Track-5 focused on THz photonics with talks by Dr. Shriganesh Prabhu (TIFR Mumbai) and Dr. Somak Bhattacharyya (IIT BHU), followed by Dr. Arvind Singh’s (Czech Republic) exploration of “Terahertz Plasmons in Periodic Structures of Epitaxial Graphene.” Track-8 covered Optoelectronic Devices and Circuits, including a talk by Prof. Navneet Gupta on PDMS-based flexible sensors and two oral presentations. Keynote Session IV featured Prof. Antonio Di Bartolomeo (USF, Italy) discussing “Photoconductivity and electric transport in 2D transition metal dichalcogenides.” Track-1 on Optical Communication and Networking included five oral presentations. The day concluded with a poster session featuring 56 presentations across various photonics tracks.
The concluding day featured Keynote Session V, chaired by Prof. Yogendra Kumar Prajapati (MNNITA) and Dr. Triloki Pant, with talks by Prof. Shekhar Verma and Prof. Ramesh Kumar Sonkar (IIT Guwahati). Prof. Shekhar Verma discussed “Deep Learning for Photonic Structures,” delving into the fundamentals and principles of deep learning’s applicability in photonics. Prof. Ramesh Kumar Sonkar explored “Photonic Crystal based Multiplexing Techniques for High-Speed Optical Communication,” discussing silicon photonics applications.
Sessions on Photonics for Renewable Energy and AI/ML for Photonics included talks by Dr. Surya Prakash, Prof. Rachana Kumar (CSIR), and Prof. Ajit Kumar (DTU). The workshop ended with a panel discussion on “Fostering Collaboration and Innovations for Atma-Nirbhar Bharat” and the valedictory session, acknowledging the successful organization of WRAP 2023. Best paper awards were presented, and the winners of the PhD Colloquium/Young Professional were recognized. The event provided a platform for researchers, professionals, and students to delve into the transformative realms of photonics, fostering collaboration and innovation in the field.