Erlangen Graduate School in Advanced Optical Technologies (SAOT)

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Image: FAU

With the first leg of Science Sets Sail now underway, we’d like to introduce you to the first of three FAU teams participating in leg 2. Five researchers from the Erlangen Graduate School in Advanced Technologies and their guests will swap their lab equipment for nautical telescopes from 25 July.

SAOT provides an interdisciplinary research and education programme of excellence within a broad international network of distinguished experts to promote innovation and leadership. The school ranges the full spectrum of: optical metrology, optical material processing, optics in communication and information technology, optical materials and systems, and computational optics.

Building strong international connections

Since its establishment in 2006, an international research and teaching network of distinguished scientists from top institutions around the world was created to support SAOT and increase its visibility.

The school hosts regular visits from leading researchers who collaborate with SAOT scientists and who also act as hosts in their home research institutes for Doctoral Candidates (DCs). More than 40 internships were launched for DCs abroad. By July 2011, more than 200 international guests had presented at over 100 seminars at SAOT.

Nearly 20 honorary guest professorships affiliated to SAOT were created for researchers from top international research institutions, many of them returning frequently to Erlangen to give lectures or to collaborate. Many formal collaboration agreements have been signed with international partner institutions. Dual-doctoral degree-programs will be established with some of the partner universities.

The international network is further enhanced by the SAOT Young Research Award (YRA) attracting leaders under the age of 40 from all over the world. The YRA awards €100,000 in prize money and has become one of the most coveted international research prizes in the field of optics.

Many publications of SAOT DCs were co-authored with international research partners which is an expression of the high quality of the scientific collaboration in this network available to SAOT members.

Adding Science Sets Sail into the mix

Science Sets Sail offers a great opportunity – particularly for our doctoral candidates – to strengthen and extend our network in the Baltic States. The Thor Heyerdahl is an inspiring environment for collaborative research initiatives.

During the trip, the SAOT team will work on the topic Industry 4.0. It wants to explore different ways to improve process control for additive manufacturing (AM). On the one hand, the continuing lack of process understanding in this – still comparably young – field impedes process planning and quality control based on expert knowledge and understanding.

On the other hand, a lot of the data collected during production processes – in particular, the potential for combining different sensors – is often ignored. Therefore, the team want to find out whether it can use statistical, big data, and pattern recognition approaches to gain new insights into the process itself and use this information for feedback control.

SAOT Science Sets Sail contact:
Joana Stuempfig Barrinho
Phone 09131/85 25855