SPIE expands ICTP support with funding for research capability

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SPIE has provided funding for a research initiative on quantum cascade lasers (QCL) at the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, Italy. SPIE gave $30,000 in project support in 2008, beginning a three-year commitment at this level toward the QCL research capability. ICTP funds also will support the project.

The research and SPIE's continued support of the ICTP's annual Winter College in Optics both have been inspired by the late Gallieno Denardo, long-time director of optics activities at ICTP, said SPIE CEO Dr Eugene Arthurs.

'We see ICTP as an important leader in attempts to develop scientific infrastructure in parts of the world where these are currently weak,' Arthurs said. 'Gallieno Denardo promoted optics as an accessible and affordable modern science for countries with limited scientific infrastructure.'

The Winter College in Optics was one result of Denardo's vision, as were his efforts to provide opportunities for students from developing areas to participate in competitive research in optics at ICTP, Arthurs said.

The QCL research project was developed with the strong backing of ICTP director Professor K. R. Sreenivasan and will be implemented by Denardo's successor, Dr Joe Niemela. The work will be done in collaboration with INFN (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nuclear) and led by Dr Andrea Vacchi of INFN Trieste and ICTP, in collaboration with Institute for Nanoelectronics, Technische Universität München (TUM). Dr Giancarlo Raiteri, from the Univ. of Trieste and ICTP, will mimic part of the QCL work at the TUM.