Fellowship Provides 10 Student Members of Photonics Center with Tuition and Stipend for Research Assistantships

Contact: Leigh Hallisey, 617-353-8899 |
Contact: Kira Jastive, 617-358-1240 | kjastive@bu.edu

(Boston) – The Boston University Photonics Center announced today a new program funding photonics graduate students in the sciences and engineering and has selected the first recipients of these prestigious awards. Beginning in September 2006, the Center will support Research Assistantships for ten graduate students through its Cooperative Agreement Grant with the Army Research Laboratory.

“The need for greater interdisciplinary research and education in photonics will require the very best students in the graduate pipeline,” said Dr. Thomas Bifano, acting director of the Photonics Center. “At the same time, we want our advanced graduate students to develop their research communication skills, and become engaged with the greater scientific society in photonics.”

The recipients of these awards are broken down into two categories: full year Junior Assistantships and two semester Senior Assistantships. The 2006 Photonics Center Junior Research Assistants are David Harrah from the Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering Department, Alon Singer from the Biomedical Engineering Department and Sebastian Remi from the Physics Department. Photonics Center Senior Research Assistants for 2006 are Ayca Yalcin, Nick Vamivakasand Josh Abell from from the Electical and Computer Systems Engineering Department, Kurt Schoner from BME, Logan Chieffo from the Chemistry Department, Forest Huang from the Manufacturing Engineering Department, and Xihua Wang from the Physics Department.

The selection for these Awards is merit based and students were evaluated on criteria that included academic record, scores on standardized tests, recommendation letters, publications, conference presentations, participation in the Photonics Center community, and recommendation of the graduate committee of the affiliated BU department. Compatibility with research programs in the Photonics Center is an additional consideration. The Fellowship Committee Members included Photonics Center Professors Irving Bigio, Selim Unlu, and Shyam Erramilli.

“The Committee was very impressed with the overall high quality and excellence of the student nominees,” said Unlu. “Selection of the final list was a difficult task, as these candidates represent some of the very best students at Boston University.”

This cohort of students will be charged with a range of activities and specific duties aimed at building the Photonics Community, including self-organizing a graduate student journal club and weekly afternoon social; assisting Photonics staff members in maintaining Center research; meeting with seminar speakers and distinguished visitors; attending national and international photonics meetings to present their work; presenting posters at the annual Science & Engineering Symposium; assisting with workshop organization; and being ambassadors for Boston University’s Photonics Center.

“One of the core missions of the Photonics Center is to educate the students who will become the academic and industrial leaders of tomorrow,” said Bifano. “These Assistantships will not only promote our students’ research and training skills, but the students themselves will foster a spirit of collaboration across Departments, disciplines, and among faculty, staff and students at Boston University.”

The Boston University Photonics Center is dedicated to academic scholarship, entrepreneurial technology development, and innovative educational enrichment in the field of photonics. The Photonics Center houses shared state-of-the-art facilities, including an optical fiber draw tower, an optical processing facility, a sophisticated optical metrology laboratory, and an integrated optoelectronics packaging laboratory. These assets, combined with leading academic experts and a dedicated staff, make the Photonics Center an extraordinary resource for students, faculty, and affiliated companies. For more information, please visit www.thephotonicscenter.com.

Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized institution of higher education and research. With more than 30,000 students, it is the fourth largest independent university in the United States. BU contains 17 colleges and schools along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes which are central to the school’s research and teaching mission.