Connecting you to your career by Dr. Arlene Smith, Karlsruhe July 2016

Arlene (2)Last Friday, 29th of July of 2016, OSKar had the pleasure of welcoming Dr. Arlene Smith, OSA Outstanding Young Professional, to give a presentation about Networking in the field of Optics. Our guest speaker started with an introduction about the Optical Society (OSA) and its 100th anniversary, and followed with a detailed description of her career and how being a member of OSA helped her to forge her path in the Optics community.

During her Ph.D. at the National University of Ireland, Galway, Dr. Smith founded the NUI Galway Student Chapter and since then has been very active, organizing and attending conferences (e.g. IONS) and doing volunteer work for the OSA. In 2014 Dr. Smith was granted the OSA Outstanding Young Professional Award.

Arlene presentation (2)

Throughout her career, Dr. Smith was involved in several different areas, from optical modelling to biomedical imaging, leading to her current position as a Product Engineer at Avo Photonics. This contrast between academia and industry was very interesting and helpful for the students to get an impression on the different career paths they may chose.

This talk was very well received by the students who are now eager to engage in networking activities, as suggested by our guest speaker. The OSKar team is very grateful to Dr. Arlene Smith for accepting the invitation and giving this great talk to our students!

Arlene bbq

Barbecue with Dr. Arlene Smith and the students

Excursion to Karl Storz, Tuttlingen 2016


Tuttlingen by the Danube

On the 12th of July, OSKar and KSOP organized a visit to Karl Storz, located in the beautiful city of Tuttlingen by the Danu be (Donau). Karl Storz is a family-owned company, after its founder Karl Storz died in 1996, his daughter took his position and has received several awards since then.

Karl Storz produces endoscopes (from greek “look” “inside”) for several applications. Apart from their known use in humans and animals, endoscopes are also needed to check airplanes (engines), old buildings and cars.

KS integrated OR

Integrated Operation Room

The visit started with a tour through the production site, where the students met several employees and got to know their work in detail. All components used in the endoscopes, such as lenses and optical fibers, are produced at Karl Storz. Even the software and the special furniture in the integrated OR (operation room) are designed and fabricated by the company itself.

During the tour through the “World of endoscopes“ the participants saw how the endoscopes are used in medicine and had the opportunity of participating in a simulation of a liver operation. They also got to know the most advanced endoscopes and their applications in daily life. At the end of the tour the students learned how fluorescent markers are used to detect cancer cells. After illuminating the tissue of interest with a blue spectrum, cancer cells emit in the red region of the spectrum and are easily detected by colour contrast imaging.

Finally there was a question and answer session about internships, thesis and job opportunities at Karl Storz with the HR Department, which was very helpful and enlightening for the Master’s and PhD students. A KSOP alumni also took part in this last session, talking to the students and explaining his steps towards working at Karl Storz.

karl storz


OSA Traveling Lecture: Prof. Xu on Multi-photon Bio-imaging

Yesterday, the 29th of June 2016, OSKar hosted another OSA Traveling Lecture at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, sponsored by the Optical Society. This year we invited OSA fellow Professor Chris Xu from Cornell university to give a presentation on Multi-photon Bio-imaging.

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Several students and professors of different backgrounds and research areas attended the talk and were amazed by Professor’s Xu presentation. The main focus of the talk was on the improved imaging of a mouse’s brain by using 2 and 3-photon-absorption. Followed by the lecture there was a small meet up with food and drinks, where the attendees could talk to the Professor in a more relaxed atmosphere. We are very grateful to OSA and specially Professor Xu for this exciting event.


CFEL Chapter’s Visit to Karlsruhe

From May 5th to 9th, under the invitation of OSKar, 8 representatives of the OSA student chapter in Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL), Hamburg, paid a visit to Karlsruhe. We OSkar members organized lab tours for the guests in the Institute of Photonics and Quantum Electronics (IPQ), and Institut für Angewandte Physik (APH), KIT. In these labs, our KIT PhD students and post doctor gave detailed introductions of their work on fields of optical frequency comb, photonic wire, super resolution microscopy and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy.



After the lab tour, OSKar board guided our guests to Baden-baden, a small but beautiful city in south to Karlsruhe. There we enjoyed the typical scenery in the south-western Germany in late Spring. In the evening, there was a gathering of CFEL chapter’s and OSKar members in Stövchen. Our guests from Hamburg also enjoyed the classic southern food – Flammkuchen. Finally, the Hamburg OSAers invited our OSKar to visit the northern harbor city.



We (OSKar) are open and looking forward to interaction with other chapters. Although this time, it is the first cooperation between CFEL OSA chapter and OSKar, the events, including both academic communication and entertainment activities, really built up a bridge of friendship between the two chapters in the northern and southern Germany.


Fraunhofer Talk by Dr. Eilenberger, KIT 2016

On April 20th, OSKar invited Dr. Falk Eilenberger, from Fraunhofer IOF, to give a talk on applications on nano-optics. The talk was held in the lecture hall of Lichttechnisches Insititut (LIT), at the KIT. Our secretary, Orlando Torres introduced the speaker. This lecture gave rise to huge interest among the students. The most impressive part was the anticipation of the development of the future of optics, i.e. optics in a very small size down to the nano-scale.

Dr. Eilenberger’s talk gave our students a space for discussion about nanoscience. Nanoscience is not only the concern of optics, but also the focus of many other research directions. We can imagine that in the coming years, the applications in nano-optics and other branches of nanoscience will play a broader and more significant role in our life.


After the talk, our colleague in charge of public relations, Isabel Allegro, also interviewed some of the audience for feedback. The interviewees regarded this lecture as comprehensive and helpful. Our chapter will provide as more attractive activities as possible in the future.