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Feast of laser physics at SU
Author: Media & Communication, Faculty of Science
Published: 14/11/2016

More than 50 postgraduate students and research partners in laser physics from Africa and internationally will descend on Stellenbosch University (SU) in November 2016 for the ninth African Laser Centre (ALC) student workshop, as well as the ALC laser imaging workshop.

The ALC is a NEPAD flagship program hosted by the CSIR's National Laser Centre. The aim of the ALC is to encourage laser science and optics-related research collaboration between African researchers, and facilitating researcher and student exchanges between African institutes.

This year, the Laser Research Institute (LRI) in SU's Department of Physics will again play host to both workshops.

The ninth ALC student workshop

The ninth ALC student workshop will take place at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies (STIAS) in Stellenbosch from 24 to 26 November. The purpose of the symposium is to bring together ALC grant holders and partners from across Africa.

According to Prof. Erich Rohwer, head of the Department of Physics and convenor of the workshop, the workshop programme is designed to facilitate student presentations and interaction with project leaders.

"We have also allocated time slots for getting to know one another and to exchange ideas and share knowledge," he adds.

Tutorials will be provided by Prof. Tony Parker and his colleagues Dr J. Bernardino de la Serna, Prof. S. Botchway and Prof. P.M. Donaldson from Rutherford Appleton in the United Kingdom, as well as Dr A Heidt from Bern University in Switzerland.

Special guest speakers are Prof. Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop, Director of the Quantum Science Laboratory in the School of Mathematics and Physics at the University of Queensland, Australia; Prof. Michael Hamblin, Principal Investigator at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, Associate Professor of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School and  a member of the affiliated faculty of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Science and Technology; and Prof. Andrew Forbes, Distinguished Professor in laser physics at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.

So far participants are expected from Algeria, Botswana, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Netherlands, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, South Africa, Senegal, Sudan, Uganda, the United Kingdom, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

ALC laser imaging workshop

Specialists in the fields of microscopy and imaging will focus on laser-based imaging during this workshop that will take place on 28 to 30 November 2016 at Stellenbosch University's Department of Physics.

The aim is to train postgraduate students in these highly-specialised disciplines and to provide opportunities for networking and collaboration.

Topics such as STED microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, non-linear microscopy, time domain Ptychography and Fourier imaging will be presented by specialists in their fields. They are Dr Paul Donaldson (Rutherford Appleton), Dr Jorge Bernardino De La Serna (Rutherford Appleton,

Prof. Julian Moger  (Exeter), Prof. Stan Botchway (Rutherford Appleton), Prof. Tony Parker (Rutherford Appleton), and Dr Alex Heidt (Bern University).

From South Africa, there are Prof. A Forbes (WITS), Prof. M Mhlanga (UCT), Dr B Loos (SU), Prof. K Mueller-Nedebock (SU) and Dr D Spangenberg (SU).

Participants are from Algeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Germany, Ghana, India, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Netherlands, Nigeria, the Republic of Congo, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda, the United Kingdom and Zimbabwe.

For more information, contact Prof. Erich Rohwer at