Kinder-Uni KIT, August 2016

Last August OSKar started its education outreach activities, thanks to an SPIE outreach grant used to finance several experiments, including the exhibition “Optics Beyond the Visible”, where we worked with a heat vision camera. We had the opportunity to take part in the event “Kinder-Uni” at the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology, which features six days of exciting lectures and hands on experiments for hundreds of children every year during summer break.


During five days we had the pleasure to introduce many children to the fascinating world of optics with a wide spectrum of experiments from a secret LCD screen only visible to those who wear polarized glasses to our main attraction the heat vision camera!

We really enjoyed the opportunity to show children what we all are passionate about – light. Beyond that, the children’s inquiring mind and ability to be astonished was highly inspiring for all of us! We are looking forward to many more outreach activities in the future, especially with our cooperation partner – KIT’s High School Student’s Lab (Schülerlabor).


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.