The Cluster of Excellence PhoenixD – Photonics, Optics, and Engineering – Innovation Across Disciplines
In the Cluster of Excellence PhoenixD (Photonics, Optics, and Engineering – Innovation Across Disciplines) more than 100 physicists, mechanical engineers, chemists, electrical engineers, computer scientists and mathematicians work together in the field of optical technologies. The team is as interdisciplinary as the research on optics and photonics itself. Photonics is one of the key technologies of the 21st century. Optical glass fibres are the backbone of the internet and mobile networks. Optical sensors and high-resolution cameras are a prerequisite for autonomous driving in the future, and lasers are replacing the scalpel in medical technology.
What are we researching?
PhoenixD is exploring the possibilities of digitalization for novel optical systems as well as their production and application. In addition to classical computer simulations, the main focus is on approaches that would be unthinkable without digital technology. Examples are lensless cameras or 3D printing in the production of optical components. Machine learning, artificial neural networks and artificial intelligence are keywords that are also becoming increasingly important for optics and photonics. Optical technologies are usually regarded as a field of physics. At Leibniz University Hannover, we extend this scope to engineering sciences, chemistry and computer sciences to reflect the importance of optics in industry and society as an interdisciplinary subject. Leibniz University Hannover bundled its expertise in the field of optics more firmly and has established the Leibniz School of Optics & Photonics (LSO) in spring 2020. The Leibniz School is closely linked to the PhoenixD cluster of excellence and has the same structure as a faculty.
What do we teach?
For doctoral students, we founded the PhoenixD Research School (PRS). In seminars, lectures and excursions, as well as during the annual summer school, the participants supplement their interdisciplinary studies. The Leibniz University has been offering an international Master's program in Optical Technologies in English and German for several years. This program is gaining popularity worldwide.
What is a Cluster of Excellence?
Clusters of Excellence support outstanding research fields at German universities. In September 2018, the Cluster of Excellence PhoenixD, along with 56 other Clusters, was recommended by an international review panel and approved by the German Research Foundation (DFG). Between 2019 and 2025, the Cluster of Excellence PhoenixD at the Leibniz University Hannover will receive approximately 52 million euros of funding from the federal government and the State of Lower Saxony via the German Research Foundation (DFG). The cluster is a collaboration of Leibniz University of Hannover with TU Braunschweig, Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute), Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt and Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.
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