ECOP - Key Persons

Dr. Lydia Sanmartí-Vila

Job Titles:
  • Executive Officer
Dr. Lydia Sanmartí-Vila is a KTT Outreach Project Manager at ICFO. She is ECOP's Executive Officer, where she coordinates the pursuit of new projects for ECOP to encourage collaboration among the centres. She manages ICFO's international outreach projects and activities, such as GoPhoton! and LIGHT2015. Lydia has a degree in chemistry from the Autonomous University of Barcelona and a doctorate in neurobiology from the Otto von Guericke University in Germany, and has extensive international experience.

Prof. Chris Dainty

Prof. Dainty retired as Professor of Applied Physics at The National University of Ireland, Galway very recently. He is a former President of The International Commission of Optics (ICO) and of the EOS and is currently President of the Optical Society of America (OSA). His research group has developed Photonics outreach activities for local primary and secondary schools under the general theme of "Our Eyes", and also has developed Photonics outreach material supplementing the National Science Curriculum in Ireland.

Prof. Hugo Thienpont

Job Titles:
  • Professor at the Faculty of Engineering
Prof. Thienpont is a full professor at the Faculty of Engineering of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and chair of the Applied Physics and Photonics Department. He leads the B-PHOT Photonics Team at VUB, active in the field of micro-miniaturised Photonics for 25 years. He has been engaged in several EU supported outreach programs such as the development and distribution of the NEMO micro-optics educational kit, the travelling exhibition "Fascination of Light" and a Photonics science show, visited by more than 600 students in Brussels. He is the project coordinator of Photonics Explorer.

Prof. Lluis Torner - Chairman

Job Titles:
  • Chairman
Founding Director of ICFO-The Institute of Photonic Sciences, and full professor at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - Barcelona Tech. Prof. Torner is a Fellow of the European Physical Society, the European Optical Society and the Optical Society of America, and he was awarded the OSA Leadership Award in 2011. Prof. Torner has long supported outreach activities in Photonics and has established a full-time dedicated outreach team at ICFO.

Prof. Marc Vrakking

Prof. Vrakking is one of the Directors of the Max Born Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Short-pulse Spectroscopy in Berlin and full professor at the Free University Berlin. He takes particular interest in young scientists and was coordinator of several Marie Curie Training Networks and doctoral schools. Together with representatives of industry, science and education, he founded MINT Impuls e.V., a non-profit association, which pursues the independent promotion of STEM with the aim of attracting young people to careers in STEM.

Prof. Martin Leahy

Job Titles:
  • Chairman of Applied Physics at NUI Galway
Prof. Leahy is Chair of Applied Physics at NUI Galway and Scientific Director of the National Biophotonics and Imaging Platform, Ireland. He is a serial entrepreneur having been technical and/or managerial lead of several successful spin-out companies in biophotonics and energy. His main research interest is in the development of new modalities such as TiVi and cmOCT for 2D, 3D and 4D imaging of the microcirculation as well as the advancement of existing technologies such as laser Doppler and laser speckle. He is an adjunct professor at the Royal College of Surgeons, Fellow of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland, Fellow of the Institute of Physics and Fellow of SPIE. Since his return to full-time academia, he has played a leading role in graduate biophotonics education through NBIP, UL, NUI Galway and the Biophotonics and Imaging Graduate Summer School.

Prof. Paul French

Job Titles:
  • Head of the Photonics Group Within the Physics Department at Imperial College London
Prof. French is the Head of the Photonics Group within the Physics Department at Imperial College London, UK. He has worked as a Visiting Professor at the University of New Mexico and as a Consultant at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Holmdel, NJ. His research interests have evolved from ultrafast dye and solid-state laser physics to interdisciplinary biomedical optics-based research including coherence-gated imaging through turbid media and fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) for applications in molecular cell biology, drug discovery and clinical diagnosis. His current research includes the development of multidimensional fluorescence imaging for microscopy, endoscopy and tomography.

Prof. Pierre Chavel

Job Titles:
  • Research Scientist at L'Institut D'Optique
Prof. Chavel is a research scientist at L'Institut d'Optique, France. He has been active in learned societies (ICO, SPIE, OSA, EOS) and has participated in a number of EU funded projects in research and teaching, e.g. "Optics in Science and Technology" Erasmus Mundus master course. He has served as the Associate Director General for research at Institut d'Optique and is currently the head of doctoral education. Prof Chavel is the research group leader of Optical Systems and Components and the manager of the Rhone-Alpes Institut d'Optique site in Saint Etienne, France, where research is conducted on Visual Rendering, Optical Imaging, and Security. Prof Chavel offers master level education in optical engineering and image processing.

Prof. Roberta Ramponi

Job Titles:
  • Professor at the Politecnico
Prof. Ramponi is a full professor at the Politecnico di Milano, and chair of the BSc and MSc degrees in Physics Engineering, which include specific courses on Nano-optics and Photonics. She has been the President of EOS. Prof Ramponi is vice-president of the ICO, and member of the ICO Education Committee. She is a member of the Board of Stakeholders of the European Technology Platform Photonics21 and leader of Work Group 7 Education, Training and Disruptive Research. She has contributed to PoliLabKids, a program of Politecnico di Milano to bring children closer to science and technology.