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Danish researcher receives FAU award worth 100,000 euros

Congratulations to Prof. Darko Zibar, PhD (centre) who is shown here with SAOT co-ordinator Prof. Dr. Michael Schmidt (left) and FAU President Prof. Dr. Joachim Hornegger. (Image: FAU/Georg Pöhlein)

Fast data transfer for the future

This year’s winner of the SAOT Young Researcher Award in Optical Technologies is Prof. Darko Zibar, PhD from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). The award, presented by the Erlangen Graduate School in Advanced Optical Technologies (SAOT) at FAU, recognises the researcher’s outstanding work on applications of machine learning in optical communication. The award comes with prize money of 100.000 euros and a one-year guest researcher position at FAU.

Today’s connected world was made possible by optical technologies. However, by 2020, our society will need transmission capacities that current communications technologies will be physically unable to deliver. It is therefore essential that ideas from nonlinear optics, machine learning and fibre optic communication are combined to develop more powerful optical systems.

SAOT award winner Prof. Darko Zibar

Prof. Darko Zibar, PhD, this year’s winner of the SAOT Young Researcher Award in Optical Technologies, conducts research on optical technologies so that in the future it will be possible to transmit more data in less time. (Image: FAU/Georg Pöhlein)

The award winner, Prof. Darko Zibar, conducts research in exactly this area – his focuses are on coherent optical communication, signal processing, machine learning and nonlinear optics. ‘The results of my research project will lay the foundations for a new generation of optical communication systems. The project is tackling an important social challenge and could therefore contribute to Germany’s economic competitiveness,’ Professor Zibar explains. During his time at SAOT the topic of his research will be ‘nonlinear Fourier transformation techniques for the next generation of fibre optic communication systems’. In addition to the prize money of 100,000 euros, the award includes a twelve-month research stay in Erlangen. Professor Zibar may choose to spend one year-long stay at FAU or to divide the time up into several shorter visits. He will have the status of visiting professor and will also give lectures and seminars for doctoral candidates at SAOT, mainly in the field of machine learning.

SAOT was established in 2006 as part of the German federal and regional governments’ Excellence Initiative. It provides a structured interdisciplinary doctoral program set in a highly attractive research environment. The Young Researcher Award is presented on an annual basis and was awarded for the ninth time this year. Researchers with a clear interest in optics, photonics and/or optical technologies who are under 40 years of age at the time of application may apply to be considered for the award.

Further information:

Dr. Andreas Bräuer
Phone: +49 9131 8525858

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