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  Jonathan Knight University of Bath, United Kingdom
Title: Making better optical fibers

Conventional optical fibres based on total internal reflection have enabled high-bandwidth digital communications and many other applications. However they are fundamentally unable to achieve some desirable performance characteristics. For example, they cannot transmit ultraviolet and mid-infrared light, or powerful short or ultrashort pulses. For these applications, optical fibres based on the use of a hollow core surrounded by microstructured silica can be much better. Over the last few years, a new family of hollow-core fibres based on the use of anti-resonances has emerged. We will review the basic physics and demonstrated performance of these novel fibres, and discuss their potential limitations and expected further performance gains.

Jonathan Knight is a Professor of Physics at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom. His research focuses on developing new forms of optical fibre, from concept through fabrication and characterisation to applications. 

Chao LU The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China
Title: Application of Optical Transmission Techniques in Distributed Optical Fibre Sensing Systems

Optical communication and distributed optical sensing system are two important application areas of optical fiber. Both systems use some of the excellent properties offered by optical fiber including low loss and immunity to electromagnetic interference etc. Although they have been developed separately over many years, they share a lot of similarities in signal detection techniques. The repaid development of high capacity optical communication systems in recent years have created many new tools for signal detection and they can be explored for potential sensing applications. In the talk, application of signal detection techniques developed for optical communication systems to enhance the performance of distributed sensing system performance is described. In addition, some recent work in combining optical communication and distributed sensing system is highlighted.
Chao LU obtained his BEng in Electronic Engineering from Tsinghua University, China in 1985, and his MSc and PhD from University of Manchester in 1987 and 1990 respectively. He joined the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore as a faculty member in 1991 and was there until 2006. From June 2002 to December 2005, he was seconded to the Institute for Infocomm Research, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore, as Program Director and Department Manager leading a research group in the area of optical communication and fibre devices. He joined the Department of Electronic and Information Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2006 and is Chair Professor of Fibre Optics there now. Over the years, he has published more than 300 papers in major international journals. His research interests are in the area of high capacity transmission techniques for long haul and short reach systems and distributed optical sensing systems. In addition to academic research work, he has had many industrial collaborative research projects and has a number of awarded patents. His current research interests are in the area of high capacity transmission techniques for long haul and short reach systems and distributed optical sensing systems. He is a fellow of the Optical Society (OSA).

René-Jean Essiambre Bell Labs, Nokia
Title: Wired communication: from Maxwell to optical fibers
Electrical wired communication appeared in the 19th century and enabled for the first time near-instantaneous communication over continental distances. Over the last two centuries, there has been a steady evolution from using electrical currents to using electromagnetic fields to transmit information over long distances. The discovery of low-loss optical fibers in the last few decades has enabled a dramatic increase in the rate of information transmission and, importantly, a considerable reduction in the cost of transmitted bits. The latter lead to a widespread democratization of information sharing.
We will present an overview of the evolution of long-haul wired communication, from single metallic wires to optical fibers. The emphasis will be on the physical phenomena thought to have driven technological evolution and some historical events that may have played a role in the development of long-haul communication.
René-Jean Essiambre received his Ph.D. in Physics from Laval University, Québec City, Canada and pursued post-doctoral studies at the Institute of Optics of the University of Rochester, Rochester, NY. In 1997, he joined Lucent Technologies (which became Alcatel-Lucent and now Nokia). Dr. Essiambre worked on fiber lasers, optical fiber nonlinearity, advanced modulation formats, coherent detection, space-division multiplexing and information theory applied to optical fibers. He has an extensive knowledge of fiber-optic communication systems and contributed to the design of many installed commercial systems. He has given over 100 invited talks, including the 2018 Physics Nobel Prize Lecture of Arthur Ashkin. He has served on or chaired several conference committees, including OFC, ECOC, CLEO and the IEEE Photonics Society (IPS). He was program and general co-chair of CLEO Science & Innovation in 2012 and 2014, respectively. He is a recipient of the 2005 Engineering Excellence Award from OSA, a fellow of the IEEE and the OSA, and a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff (DMTS) and Fellow at Bell Labs, Nokia. He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Studies of Technical University of Munich (IAS-TUM) in Munich, Germany. He is an Ambassador of TUM. He is currently member of the Board of Governors and V-P of the Membership Council at IPS.

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