Cord Arnold – Director of the programme
What is your academic background?
"I am a physicist from education. I performed my PhD in biophotonics, studying eye correction with ultrashort laser pulses. My research has always focused on ultrafast laser technology, including both the development of such advanced technology and the application of ultrashort laser pulses in time-resolved studies. We operate in Lund sources of femtosecond and attosecond pulses from the infrared to the soft-X-ray spectral range and investigate the fastest accessible dynamics in atoms, molecules and solid-state materials."
What course/s are you teaching?
"I teach in almost the whole chain of courses of the photonics programme. In particular, I am mainly responsible for two courses, i.e. ‘Optics and optical design’, which is the first course you will take in the programme and ‘Medical optics’. I also teach in ‘Opto-electronics and optical communication’ as well as ‘Advanced optics and lasers’."
Do you have experience from industry?
"I have not personally worked in industry, but I collaborate with local and international companies. I also actively follow earlier graduates from the programme in their industry careers. I am co-founder and stakeholder of the deep-tech company Sphere Ultrafast Photonics."
How would you describe the programme to a potential student?
"The photonics programme gives holistic training in many aspects of modern optics and photonics. It will equip you with all the knowledge needed to excel in the photonics sector and related areas. While many graduates choose to join industry directly, the programme also is excellent preparation for a PhD and careers in academia."
Are there any key courses in the programme?
"We have grouped the courses that are part of the programme into branches, which makes it easy to choose courses according to your preferences. The obligatory courses establish the knowledge required to follow the elective courses. The first course that you take in the programme is ‘Optics and optical design’. This course is designed to pick up every student at her/his particular level and to even out differences in previous photonics education."
Is there any cutting-edge research going on in the department that the students benefit from? If yes, how?
"The programme originates from and is closely coupled to world-leading research in the fields of ultrafast science, relativistic optics, quantum optics and laser diagnostics for combustion, medicine and ecology, grouped as the Lund Laser Centre (LLC). There also is strong coupling to the local synchrotron facility (MAX-IV)."
Could you give any concrete examples of student-industry interaction during the programme?
"Performing the degree project in industry is the most common way to obtain experience outside of the university. There are close connections to Lund-based companies, like Axis Communications, Ericsson and SpectraCure."
What do students need to be successful in this programme?
"To be successful in the programme, you need to have a background in science or engineering and you need to have a deeply rooted interest in light and photons. With this perspective, you can make a difference by helping to shape our future with the help of light."