The University of Southampton


International OSA Network of Students

Students in the field of optics and photonics will one day become the world leaders in this area of research. So in 2006, OSA Student Chapters across Europe (Barcelona, Southampton, Naples & Munich) decided to establish a network wherein personal and professional connections could be made. This took the shape of holding student conferences hosted by the OSA student chapters in different countries.

This international effort affords young researchers the opportunity to meet their peers, present their research and be exposed to others’, tour international research centres and broaden their personal horizons by visiting other countries. Presently the IONS project is supported by universities across Europe, Australasia, South America and North America.

While the more established scientific conferences focus strongly on just one particular topic in optics and are rather impersonal, IONS conferences focus on the development of the researcher. The benefits received by the students participating in this initiative are:

•     The chance to broaden their knowledge about photonic research conducted outside their usual environment.

•     To get insight into research opportunities and working in different institutes around the world.

•     The more informal conference experience provides one with the opportunity build self-confidence and related skills.

•     Enjoy the social and cultural activities organized during these gatherings, instilling the work hard, play hard ethos!

The Southampton OSA Student Chapter has successfully held the second IONS conference back in July 2007, the first being held in Barcelona in January 2007. In August 2011, the Southampton Student chapter will again host the event, the tenth conference, which promises to be well attended by both students and interested parties in industry.

To find out more about the IONS project please follow