At the beginning of July, the Erlangen Graduate School in Advanced Optical Technologies (SAOT) presented the ninth SAOT Young Researcher Award in Optical Technologies (YRA). The winner is Professor Darko Zibar from the Department of Photonics Engineering at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) for his outstanding contributions related to ‘Application of machine learning techniques to optical communication’. Now, Zirba gets the opportunity to carry on his research work in close collaboration with several SAOT scientists.
For Zibar, whose focus of research is on coherent optical communication, signal processing, machine learning and nonlinear optics, the YRA is a great chance to work on his research in a vibrant community of fellow scientists. At SAOT he will work on ‘Nonlinear Fourier Transform Techniques for Next Generation of Optical Fibre Communication’.
About the expected impact of this work Zibar says: ‘By 2020, our society will require capacities that are physically impossible to implement using conventional optical transmission technologies. The results from the project will form the basis for a new generation of optical communication systems. As the project is solving an important societal challenge, of enabling the future optical communication infrastructure, the outcome of the project may also contribute to the economic competitiveness of German society’. Besides the money, the prize includes a twelve month research visit at Erlangen. The awardee can visit the SAOT either for one continuous visit or several shorter stays. While being in Erlangen, Zibar will have the formal status of a guest professor and will give lectures and seminars mainly about machine learning for the doctoral candidates of SAOT, too.
In 2006 the SAOT was established at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg within the ‘Excellence Initiative by the German Federal and State Governments to Promote Science and Research at German Universities’ to provide an interdisciplinary, structured education and research training program towards a Dr-degree (PhD) within a highly attractive research environment. The YRA is granted annually. It is open to young researchers with a proven record in optics, photonics and optical technologies. The maximum age at the date of application is 40 years.