EDPO News and events

Photonics Day

The Photonics Day is a yearly event that aims at promoting research discussions and networking among members of the EPFL photonic community as well as researchers and industry players in the Photonic sector. The program includes invited talks from world-leaders in the field, presentations from the best EPFL PhD thesis awards and posters from students in the doctoral program. Our sponsors will also be present with a small exhibition.

This year the Photonics Day will take place in-person (registration and covid-pass required, see below) on the 2nd December 2021 at the Forum Rolex. We will hear about cutting edge research in nano-optics, optical nano-materials, metasurfaces and elctro-optical systems from our speakers (see their complete biographies below):

  • Vahid Sandoghdar, Max-Planck Institute for the Science of Light.
    • Coherent and efficient coupling of single molecules to light: from quantum optics to biophotonics
  • Rachel Grange, ETHZ.
    • Nonlinear and Electro-Optic Metal-Oxides for Telecom and Sensing Devices
  • Patrice Genevet, CNRS and Univ. Côte Azur.
    • Fundamentals & Applications of Optical Metasurfaces
  • Cristina Benea-Chelmus, EPFL.
    • Electro-optic transducers for free-space and on-chip applications


Full program

Please register here



Prof. Vahid Sandoghdar, Max-Plank Institute for the Science of Light, Erlangen – Vahid Sandoghdar is one of the pioneers of the field of Nano-Optics, which merges various methods and research areas to investigate fundamental issues in the interaction between light and matter at the nanometer scale. His current research ranges from quantum optics, plasmonics and ultrahigh resolution microscopy to nanobiophysics. Sandoghdar obtained his B.S. in physics from the University of California at Davis in 1987 and Ph.D. in physics from Yale University in 1993. After a postdoctoral stay at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, he moved to the University of Konstanz in Germany, where he started a new line of research to combine single molecule spectroscopy, scanning probe microscopy and quantum optics. In 2001, he became full professor at the Laboratory of Physical Chemistry at ETH in Zurich, Switzerland. In 2011, he became director at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Erlangen and Alexander von Humboldt Professor at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany. Vahid Sandoghdar is the founder and spokesperson of the newly established Max-Planck-Zentrum für Physik und Medizin, a joint research center that addresses questions in fundamental medical research with physical and mathematical methods.


Prof. Rachel Grange, ETHZ – Rachel Grange is an associate professor in integrated optics and nanophotonics in the Department of Physics at ETH Zurich and head of the Optical Nanomaterial Group. She has been assistant professor at ETH Zurich since 2015. From 2011 to 2014, she was junior group leader at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany. Her research covers top-down and bottom-up fabricated nanostructures with metal-oxides.


Prof. Patrice Genevet, CNRS and Universite Côte d’Azur –  Patrice Genevet obtained his PhD at University of Nice Sophia Antipolis in France. He did two years of postdoctorate fellowship (2009-2011) in the Capasso group (SEAS, Harvard University) in collaboration with Prof. Marlan Scully followed by three years of Research Associate at Harvard University School of Applied Science and Engineering  (2011- 2014, SEAS, Harvard University). In 2014, he obtained the position of senior research scientist at SIMTech –Singapore Institute for Manufacturing Technologies. In 2015, He joined the CNRS at the “Centre de Recherche sur l’hétéro-épitaxie et ses applications” as ‘Chargé de Recherche’. He is the recipient of the ERC starting Grant 2015 on Functional flat optical components and applications, the 2019 ERC PoC and the 2017 Aimé-Cotton price from the French Physical Society. He authored 90 peer-review manuscripts and 6 international patents (H-factor 42, Citations 17909).


Prof. Cristina Benea-Chelmus, EPFL – She is an incoming tenure-track assistant professor at EPFL and head of the Hybrid Photonics Laboratory (HYLAB). Her group researches the physics of hybrid integrated devices that link the microwave and terahertz domain with the optical domain. She investigates fundamental limits in efficiency, frequency and resolution for applications in metrology, ultrafast wave synthesis and optoelectronic control of optical systems. Prior to that, she was a postdoctoral scientist at Harvard University, supported by an independent grant from the Hans-Eggenberger Foundation and a visiting scholar at Regensburg University. She obtained her PhD in 2018 from ETH Zurich. Among other recognitions, she has been awarded a PRIMA grant in 2021.


Sponsored by:




Photos Photonics Day 2021

Photos Photonics Day 2019

Photos Photonics Day 2018