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October 2006 Number 69


A proud past and a challenging future

Professor Mauro F Pereira of Sheffield Hallam University, UK, gives a lecture presentation at the 2006 LFNM conference in Ukraine.

This instrument for measuring electrical field distribution in microwave waveguides was originally developed more than 70 years ago, but is still in good working condition in one of the teaching labs at KhNURE.

One of KhNURE's current joint projects with industry: laser digital pattern printing in co-operation with BASF.

This year's LFNM conference highlighted how physics and optics in Ukraine can benefit from international collaboration.

The 8th International Conference on Laser and Fiber-Optical Networks Modelling was held at Kharkiv National University (KhNU) and Kharkov University of National Electronics (KhNURE) Ukraine, on June 29 - July 1, 2006 with about 140 papers presented among plenary sessions, invited papers, oral and poster communications. At the occasion of this workshop, Prof. Mauro Pereira gave an invited talk and a longer introductory lecture on advanced microscopic methods applied to designing new materials and structures for optical devices. He visited teaching, research and industrial labs and had meetings with key scientists in Kharkov discussing possible topics and mechanisms for future collaboration. KhNURE is among the oldest and most widely recognized universities in Eastern Europe. Since its foundation in 1804, over 100,000 students graduated and hosted three Nobel Prize Laureates: L. Landau, I. Mechnikov and S. Kuznets. Its current enrols 12,000 students and employs 2,000 lecturers, including 200 full Professors with Habilitation (Dr. Degree) and over 1,000 Professors with a PhD (candidate degree). However the future of Education and Research in Ukraine is facing some uncertainty, since a typical Prof. salary is around $200 a month and costs in Ukraine keep rising. KhNURE was set up in 1930, and regardless of all difficulties as mentioned above it struggles to keep good educational standards and as seen in the photos selected, some of its laboratories have joint projects with the industry, e.g. ceramic cylinder construction for printing and digital patterns for printing (cooperation with BASF) and commercial laser engraving in different types of materials. Of particular interest is the theoretical modelling being developed at the Photonics Laboratory. New concepts for optoelectronic materials are being developed in collaboration with the University of Guanajuato in Mexico and the LEOS Student Chapter has developed an interesting interactive teaching software suite for basic photonics studies. The main difficulty to be addressed at present for immediate progress is access to electronic journals. In summary, there is potential for future contributions to optics in Kharkov. International collaboration and partnerships should be supported.

The ICO Travelling Lecture Program is devoted to the support of visiting scientists to lecture in scientific and academical institutions out of their country of origin and to enhance mutual international cooperation.

The Chair of the ICO Travelling Lecture Program is Prof. Alexander A. Sawchuk (USC, USA). Scientists or host groups interested in participating in this program should send a letter of application by e-mail to Prof. A. Sawchuk with details of the proposed lecture program and ICO support requested: Official letters of invitation from the local institutions or research centres are also required along with a tentative calendar of activities supported by the host institution.

Application forms can be downloaded from:

Mauro F. Pereira


Winter College 2007 to focus on fibres

The 2007 Winter College will be hosted by the ICTP in Trieste, Italy, in February.

The ICTP announce details of the 2007 Winter College on Fibre Optics, Fibre Lasers and Sensors.

The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) has announced the forthcoming Winter College on Fibre Optics, Fibre Lasers and Sensors, which will be held at the ICTP, Trieste, Italy, from 12 to 23 February, 2007. The Winter College is co-sponsored by ICO, EOS, OSA, OWLS and SPIE.

The Directors of this year will be: A. Clarkson (University of Southampton, UK), H.L. Fragnito (University of Campinas, Brazil) and the local organizer G. Denardo.

The College will expose the participants to the scientific issues that are driving the progress of fiber lasers and modern fiber optics. The program consists of lectures by international experts, group discussions and laboratory demonstrations. The aim is to provide the background needed to follow the most advanced literature on these subjects.

The main topics will be quite broadened and focused on: Fundamentals of fibre lasers and amplifiers. Spectroscopy of rare-earth-doped glasses. High power fibre lasers and amplifiers. Ultrashort pulse generated in fibre lasers. Fibre sensors. Optical fibre communications. Photonics crystals. Non-linear effects on optical fibres and applications and fibre Bragg gratings.

Also, and by continuing with the tradition initiated last year, an ICTP Preparatory School on Mathematics will be organized before the College (from 5 to 9 February 2006), with the purpose to recollect some basic scientific elements that are relevant to the contents of the College lectures. Also, the LAMP (Laser, Atomic and Molecular Physics) programme will include group discussions and internal seminars by participants.

Students and scientists from all over the world who are from countries members of the United Nations, UNESCO or IAEA are welcome and encouraged to present their application forms. The closing day for requesting participation is October 15, 2006.

For more information, read the full announcement at: URL:


Successful ETOP series heads to Canada

ETOP 2007 will be hosted by the Ontario Photonics Education and Training Association on 3-5 June.

The Ottawa Convention Centre in Ontario, Canada, where the ETOP 2007 meeting will be held on 3-5 June.

Following with the series of meetings of Education and Training in Optics and Photonics (ETOP), the Ontario Photonics Education and Training Association (OPETA), will be hosting ETOP 2007 in Ottawa, Canada. After the successful ETOP 2005 that was held in Marseille, France (see ICO NL, January 2006 issue). The general principle is that it changes continents every time, having been held in Tucson, Arizona, USA, in 2003.

The Chair of ETOP 2007 will be Dr. Marc Nantel. ETOP is co-sponsored by ICO, OSA and SPIE. Also, recently, IEEE/LEOS has joined to the ETOP Steering Committee for sponsorship, contributing as well by now to this unique join venture.

The Canadian Ontario region benefits from an impressive technological activity, where technology giants like Nortel Networks and JDS Uniphase associate closely with a growing number of very active small-and-medium photonics companies. It represents an enormous potentiality for offering training in photonics to young researchers and engineers interested in orienting their carriers to the emerging photonics technologies.

ETOP 2007 will be co-located with Photonics North 2007, and will be held at the Ottawa Convention Center.

ETOP is devoted to topics at the pre-college, technician, two-year, four-year and graduate-equivalent levels. Typical session topics include: training and laboratory materials for demonstrations; training and continuing education in industry; education in geometrical optics, quantum optics, technologies for integrated diffractive optics; software for teaching; computer assisted learning; curriculum development, and laboratories for optics and photonics education.

All the Proceedings of ETOP series are now electronically available at: as a facility from the SPIE Digital Library.

For more information, please visit


Tunisia granted full ICO membership

Professor Zohra Ben Lakhdar, president of the Tunisian Optical Society and the Tunisian Territorial Committee.

The ICO annual bureau meeting was held in September in Russia.

On September 2 and 3, 2006, the ICO Bureau had its Annual Bureau Meeting. This year was held in Saint Petersburg, Russia, coinciding with the ICO Topical Meeting on Optoinformatics / Information Photonics 2006.

At this occasion the ICO Bureau had the great pleasure to receive the application of Tunisia for full ICO membership. Tunisia has been an Associate member since 2003. The application was unanimously approved by the ICO Bureau.

The President of the Tunisian Optical Society and President of the Territorial Committee is Prof. Zohra Ben Lakhdar. She is currently professor of physics at Tunis El Manar University in Tunisia and director of the Department of Physics Laboratory of Atomic-Molecular Spectroscopy and Applications. Prof. Ben Lakhdar is a member of the Islamic Academy of Sciences and since 2001 has been an associate member of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, Italy. In 2005 she was honored by being named a winner of the L'OREAL-UNESCO Award for Women In Science.

Professor Ben Lakhdar with her collaborators at the Physics Laboratory of Atomic-Molecular Spectroscopy and Applications at the University of Tunisia.

Professor Ben Lakhdar with her undergraduate students.

The Board of the Tunisian Committee for Optics (TCO) consists of: Zohar Ben Lakhdar (President), Souad Lahmar (Vice-President), Hassen Ghalila (Secre-tary), Zoubeida Dhaouadi (Treasure).

Among the forthcoming future activities of the TCO is the support and participation at the "International Days on Ibn_Al_Haythem", organized by the Tunisian Association of "Youngs in Science", 26 - 28 December 2006, Tunisia. The event is supported by the Tunisian Optical Society, the University of Gabès and UNESCO.


New member-at-large for ICO/US Advisory Committee

Arthur Guenther appointed to USAC/ICO National Advisory Committee for Optics.

Arthur H. Guenther, research professor at the University of New Mexico (USA), Center for High Technology Materials, has been recently appointed as a member-at-large of the U.S. Advisory Committee for the International Commission for Optics (USAC/ICO), which represents the interests of the U.S. optics community internationally.

The main purpose of the USAC/ICO is to promote the advancement of the field of optics and photonics in the United States and throughout the world, as well as to effect appropriate USA participation in the International Commission for Optics through the national academies.

USAC/ICO is the official representation of the USA as an ICO Territorial Committee since 1948.

Arthur Guenther is with the University of New Mexico (UNM) after a career as chief scientist with the U.S. Air Force, chief scientist for advanced defense technology at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and science advisor for laboratory development and manager of alliances with Sandia National Laboratories. His professional activities are quite large and outstanding: he has been helping for the foundation of an industry association in New Mexico, he also promotes optics education programs - constructing a career ladder for optical technicians and theorists at West Mesa High School, Central New Mexico Community College and UNM.

He was ICO President (term 1999 - 2002) and he was their official representative to the Education and Training in Optics and Photonics (ETOP) Conference. He is still very active inside ETOP and will participate in the next scheduled in June 2007 in Ottawa, Canada. He previously chaired this biannual meeting in Singapore.


International Commission for Optics

Bureau members (2005-2008):

President: A T Friberg;

Past-President: R. Dändliker; Treasurer: A Sawchuk;

Secretary: M.L. Calvo, Departamento de Optica, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias Fisicas, Ciudad Universitaria, E 28040 Madrid, Spain, phone +34 91 394 4684, fax +34 91 394 4683, e-mail

Associate Secretary: G von Bally

Vice-Presidents, elected: S N Bagayev, A M Guzmán, G F Jin, B Y Kim, M Kujawinska, H Lefèvre, J Love, I Yamaguchi

Vice-Presidents, appointed: J. Braat, M. Gu, I.C. Khoo, G. Sincerbox, H.P. Stahl, A. Wagué

Senior Adviser (ad personam): P. Chavel.

IUPAP Council Representative: Y. Petroff