Visit by OSA Ambassador Dr. Arlene Smith

The University of Kent OSA Student Chapter was proud to host Dr. Arlene Smith, a 2017 OSA Ambassador, who had offered to visit the Chapter and give a talk on professional development. Prior to her visit, the Chapter had advertised the event to staff and students of the School of Physical Sciences and the School of Engineering and Digital Arts by placing television screen adverts in the foyers of the two Schools and by sending email reminders.

The President of the Chapter, Mike Everson, received Dr. Smith at the Ingram Building and took her on a short tour of the Photonics laboratories of the Applied Optics Group. Afterwards she was taken to lunch at Dolce Vita by the Chapter Advisor Professor Adrian Podoleanu and accompanied by the Chapters’ President, Secretary and Treasurer for light conversation.

At 1 pm, Dr. Smith gave her talk entitled “Optical Networking: Connecting You to Your Career”. She began by giving a background of OSA and the field of Optics and Photonics, including information and statistics regarding the different chapters and other associated organisations, collaborative partners and external connections. This gave a very interesting insight into the current work of OSA.

Recounting her personal experience, Dr. Smith presented a guide for postgraduate students, who are thinking about the next step in their career. She highlighted the benefits of being active in the scientific community and encouraged students to network through a variety of different events such as conferences.

At the end of the one hour talk, pictures were taken with the audience and with members of the chapter. The event was attended by staff and students of the Applied Optics Group, School of Physical Sciences and the Communications Research Group, School of Engineering and Digital Arts.

Abstract of the Talk:

In today’s competitive job market, simply having an MSc or PhD may not be enough to get you where you want to go. In this talk, I will share my experiences as an early career professional in the optics industry, including making the jump from academia to industry and the value of establishing and growing a professional network.

Biography of the Speaker:

Dr. Arlene Smith is a Program Manager for Avo Photonics, Inc., USA and a 2017 OSA Ambassador.
She obtained a BSc in Physics and Astronomy from the National University of Ireland, Galway, an MSc in Photonics and Optoelectronic Devices from the University of St Andrews and a PhD from the National University of Ireland, Galway. She previously worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Biomedical Imaging at the University of Michigan.

Venue of the Talk:
Room 110, Ingram Building
School of Physical Sciences
University of Kent

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