KAUST Ph.D. student awarded 2019 Optics and Photonics Education Scholarship

KAUST Ph.D. student Jorge Holguín-Lerma was recently awarded a 2019 Optics and Photonics Education Scholarship from SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics. Holguín-Lerma is pictured here working in the lab on the KAUST campus. File photo.

By David Murphy, KAUST News

SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, recently awarded KAUST Ph.D. student Jorge Holguín-Lerma a 2019 Optics and Photonics Education Scholarship for his potential research contributions to optics, photonics or other related fields. Holguín-Lerma joined KAUST in August 2016 and is a member of Professor Boon S. Ooi's Photonics Laboratory.

"I am honored to be able to bring this award to KAUST, as it represents the support that I have received here," Holguín-Lerma said. "It means that my work has been meaningful and has the potential to change the way we apply optics and photonics. I cannot help but share this excitement with the people [who] have helped me through my personal and academic life."

Solving technological challenges

Holguín-Lerma's current research centers on the development of novel semiconductor laser and superluminescent diodes and their applications to optical communications, sensing and instrumentation.

"I am dedicated to achieving first-time demonstrations of novel laser diodes and superluminescent diodes that can solve the technological challenges in the areas of smart white lighting, space-air-ground-underwater sensing and communications, biomedical imaging and advanced instrumentation," he stated. "Many of these state-of-the-art technologies—including LiFi, LIDAR, biosensors and atomic clocks—still rely on conventional light emitters; my work is to provide novel devices that will enable brand-new capabilities and superior performance on such applications."

KAUST Ph.D. student Jorge Holguín-Lerma is a member of the Photonics Laboratory led by Professor Boon S. Ooi (pictured here). Photo by Asharaf K. AbdulRahman.

Holguín-Lerma also has professional experience in the area of device characterization due to his time working as a component engineer in Mexico for Honeywell International Inc. Over the course of his research career so far, he has authored/co-authored over 25 journal and conference papers while maintaining an active leadership outreach role as the Optical Society's student chapter president at KAUST. In July, Holguín-Lerma will also give an oral presentation on his research at one of the major academic conferences in the field of group III nitride research, the 13th International Conference on Nitride Semiconductor (ICNS-13) in the U.S.

Future research work

In regards to his research, Holguín-Lerma is excited for what the future may hold—particularly for the rest of his time at the University.

"I...[look] forward to continuing my work and achieving more results for the Photonics Lab...and KAUST," he said.

"Ever since I first became aware of KAUST...I was convinced that this was the right place for me," he added. "I have been fortunate to have been given the chance to join the M.S. program in material science and engineering and later the Ph.D. program in electrical engineering. Now I am thrilled by the miracle of producing light on a chip—that keeps me motivated."

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