Francesco Baldini

Francesco Baldini was born in 1961. He graduated in physics from the University of Florence magna cum laude in 25 February 1986. Since 1986 he joined the Optical Fiber Group at IROE-CNR (now IFAC-CNR) in Florence. In the first years of activity, his research was devoted to the development of optical fibre sensors and to the application of optical methods to the restoration of paintings and frescoes. Since the beginning of the Nineties, he is active in the field of optical sensors and devices for chemical and biochemical parameters, mainly for biomedical application. He is author of more than 180 publications on the subject in International Journals, in scientific books and in International Conference Proceedings and delivered more than 30 invited presentation at International and National conferences. He is/was coordinator and/or responsible of many international and national projects in the field of optical chemical and biochemical sensors. He was guest editor of a special issue of Sensors & Actuators on the Europt(r)ode II Conference held in Florence in 1994 and of several issues in Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry. He is associated editor of the journal Journal of Sensors and he was member of the International Advisory Board of the Journal Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry from 2005 to 2013. He is Chairman of the ASCOS (Advanced Study Course on Optical Chemical Sensors) Series ( In 2009 he was nominated fellow of SPIE for his achievements in biological and chemical sensing in biomedicine. He has been President of the Italian Society of Optics and Photonics (SIOF) for the biennium 2015-2016. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the Europt(r)ode Conference on Optical Chemical Sensors and Biosensors and is/has been member of the Scientific Committee of many International Conferences.

Professor Francis Berghmans

Vrije Universiteit
F. Berghmans was born in Ukkel (Belgium) in 1969. He received his Ph.D. in Applied Sciences in 1998 from the VUB (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium). In 1993 he joined the Belgian nuclear research center SCK·CEN, where he served as head of the Instrumentation Department and as leader of the Expert Group on Advanced Reactor Instrumentation. At SCK·CEN he supervised research in the field of radiation effects on photonic devices and optical fiber sensors. In 2007 he joined Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He holds a full professor position and is a member of the Applied Physics and Photonics Department and of the Brussels Photonics Team B-PHOT (, where he supervises research activities in the field of micro-optical sensors and photonic crystal fibers and teaches physics to bachelor students in engineering sciences as well as photonics to master students in photonics engineering. He has been involved in many collaborative research projects financed by various instances including the European Commission, the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) and the Agency for Innovation by Science and Technology – Flanders (IWT). He currently serves as vice-coordinator of the Integrated Project ‘Access Center for Photonics Innovation Solutions and Technology Support – ACTPHAST’ ( and is partnering in the Marie Sklodowska Curie Action - European Training Network ‘Fibre Nervous Sensing Systems – FINESSE’ (, both funded by the European Union. F. Berghmans is (co-)author of 106 journal papers and 165 publications in international conference proceedings indexed by the Web of Science Core Collection. He is general co-chair of SPIE Photonics Europe and fellow of SPIE.

Professor Sile Nic Chormaic

Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology
Síle Nic Chormaic holds a BSc and MSc from NUIM, Ireland and a PhD in H-atom interferometry from the Université Paris-Nord, France. Subsequently, she held postdoctoral positions in Austria, Australia and Germany. She returned to her native Ireland in 2000 and established an independent research group on topics in cold atom physics and whispering gallery resonators. Since 2012 she has held a professorship at OIST Graduate University, Japan where she leads the Light-Matter Interactions Unit. She also holds an Honorary Associate Professorship at the University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa and enjoys contributing to graduate education in atomic physics and optics.

Professor Brian Culshaw

University of Strathclyde
United Kingdom

Professor Andrea Cusano

University of Sannio

Professor Michel Digonnet

Stanford University
Michel Digonnet received the degree of engineering from Ecole Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie de la Ville de Paris, the Diplome d'Etudes Approfondies in coherent optics from the University of Paris, Orsay, France (1978), and an MS (1980) and PhD (1983) from the Department of Applied Physics at Stanford University, California. His doctoral research centered on WDM fiber couplers and single-crystal fiber lasers and amplifiers. He is a Research Professor in the Ginzton Laboratory at Stanford University Professor. He has been a world-class expert in fiber optic sensors since the inception of this field nearly 40 years ago. He has made several significant contributions to the general area of photonics, including the development of the first fiber-optic amplifiers and efficient broadband superfluorescent fiber light sources, novel designs in acoustic fiber sensor arrays, the world’s most sensitive passive fiber acoustic sensors, fiber optic gyroscopes for aircraft inertial navigation, and record slow light in optical fibers. He is currently spearheading a new field involving the use of slow light in fibers to generate sensors with unprecedented sensitivity, which has led to a passive fiber strain with a record resolution of 30 femtostrain/√Hz. He has published 320 articles, edited several books, chaired numerous conferences on fiber devices and fiber sensors, and taught courses on lasers, fiber amplifiers, and fiber sensors. The most successful of his 150 patents, the fiber optic amplifier, enabled the deployment of the high-speed Internet in the 1990s.

Gerald Farrell

Founder and Director of the DIT Photonics Research Centre (PRC)
Prof. Farrell is the founder and Director of the DIT Photonics Research Centre (PRC). He leads a multinational research team of researchers focusing on several areas of optical fiber sensing research, for example micro-fiber and nanofiber sensors for chemical and bio-sensing and sensors for composite materials. Prof. Farrell has led several long-term research collaborations with research groups in China, Poland and Australia. He has over 330 publications in the area of photonics and is an Associate Editor and referee for a range of Photonics journals and has been a member of international photonics conference technical committees. He was a Director for several years with the startup company PX Instrument Technology, focusing on the design of optical fiber system test and measurement technologies. He has been involved in a number of research networks, such as the EU COST Action on Optical Sensors. Prof. Farrell is also a visiting professor in China at Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications and at Harbin Engineering University and is a member of the Optical Society of America and of SPIE.

Arthur H. Hartog

Schlumberger Gould Research Centre, Cambridge
Arthur H. Hartog is a Schlumberger Fellow at the Schlumberger Gould Research Centre, Cambridge (UK). He has worked on all aspects of distributed sensing from basic science, through to engineering, manufacturing and applications development. His current research interests are the investigation of new distributed sensing techniques and their applications to borehole measurements. He is a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and Optical Society of America (OSA). He has recently published a volume entitled “An introduction to distributed optical fibre sensors” (CRC/Taylor & Francis ISBN 9781482259575).

Dr. Sarah Hayes

University of Limerick
Sarah graduated from the University of Limerick in 2007 with a B.Sc. (Ed) in the Physical Sciences, and received her PhD in Science Education in 2011. post-primary school Physics and Chemistry teacher with many years of teaching experience. Sarah is currently responsible for the Education, Training and Outreach and Public Engagement activities at the Synthesis and Solid State Pharmaceutical Centre (SSPC) at the University of Limerick, and has held this role since August 2013. Sarah moved to the SSPC from a position as a lecturer in Science/Science Education in Mary Immaculate College. Prior to this Sarah worked in the University of Bremen, Germany as a Scientific Co-worker, in the University of Limerick as a post-doctoral researcher, and a Project Officer in the Physical Sciences in the National Centre for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and Learning (NCE-MSTL). Through her various roles Sarah has been involved in research, curriculum development and providing Continuous Professional Development courses with the focus on research informed best practice. Her most significant focus has been in the area of informal learning and engagement. She is also the chair of the steering committee of the Science Hub in Learning Hub Limerick and is also the chair and secretary of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Chemical Education Research Group (CERG).

Professor Davide Iannuzzi

VU Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Professor Kyriacos Kalli

Cyprus University of Technology

Professor Kate Sugden

Aston University
United Kingdom

Professor Luc Thevenaz

Luc Thévenaz received the M.Sc. degree and the Ph.D. degree in physics from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. In 1988 he joined the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne (EPFL) where he currently leads a research group involved in photonics, namely fibre optics and optical sensing. Research topics include fibre sensors, slow & fast light, nonlinear fibre optics and laser spectroscopy in gases. His expertise covers all applications of stimulated Brillouin scattering in optical fibres and he is known for his innovative concepts related to distributed fibre sensing. During his career he stayed at Stanford University, at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), at Tel Aviv University, at the University of Sydney and at the Polytechnic University of Valencia. In 2000 he co-founded the company Omnisens that is developing and commercializing advanced photonic instrumentation based on distributed fibre sensing. He is Fellow of both the IEEE and the Optical Society of America and Associate Editor of 3 major scientific journals.