Author Archives: astropoetamee

IOU-NA Research Experience for Native American Undergraduates 2017 Program

The fourth year of the Integrated Optics for Undergraduate Native Americans (IOU-NA) Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program has come to a close at the University of Arizona, College of Optical Sciences. The IOU-NA program is designed for Native American students to participate in hands-on research opportunities at the University of Arizona in optics and photonics, as well as in hydrology, astronomy, soil sciences, atmospheric sciences, environmental sciences, and more. IOU-NA students participate in Native American focused workshops facilitated by the Center for Integrated Access Networks (CIAN) staff. This summer twelve students from across the country came together,

The IOU-NA program is designed for Native American students to participate in hands-on research opportunities at the University of Arizona in optics and photonics, as well as in hydrology, astronomy, soil sciences, atmospheric sciences, environmental sciences, and more. IOU-NA students participate in Native American focused workshops facilitated by the Center for Integrated Access Networks (CIAN) staff.

This summer twelve students from across the country came together, performed, and presented unique and innovative research projects. Over the last four years, the IOU-NA program has hosted 35 NA students from 12 different tribes, 17 different universities, and many were freshmen and sophomores. Thirteen students have since graduated and eleven students have gone on to pursue higher degrees of education including degrees from the University of Arizona, MIT, University of Virginia, and more.

Since the program has begun CIAN’s IOU-NA REU program will continue for two more years based on National Science Foundation Funding. This year’s students are listed below along with their project titles and mentors.

If you would like to learn more or apply for the program visit our website here.

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Israel Aragon

Fort Lewis College
Optical Diffraction Switching
Pierre-Alexandre Blanche, Colton Bigler


Leo Bia

University of Arizona
The effects of increasing temperatures on photochemical smog in the Phoenix Metropolitan area during 1984 to 2016
Chris Castro

Refreeno Harvey

Fort Lewis College
Research in Hydrology for Streamflow Infiltration at Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed
Pieter Hazenberg

Antonia Jim

Fort Lewis College
Testing the Ability of Landscape Evolution Observatory Soil To Support Plant Growth
Aditi Sengupta

Jasmine Lopez

Tohono O’odham Community College
Water Quality in The Southern United States & Navajo Nation
Paloma Beamer, Nathan Lothrop, Yoshi Ornelas

Madison McMillen

University of Arkansas
Navajo Gold King Mine Spill (GKMS) Exposure Project: Dietary Patterns Pre- and Post- the GKMS
Paloma Beamer, Nathan Lothrop, Yoshi Ornelas

Natasha Manygoats

 University of Arizona
Effects of centrifuging brine prior to membrane distillation has on the performance and fouling of the membrane
Vicky Karanikola, Bob Arnold, Chris Yazzie

Micah Mann

University of Arizona
Fluorescent Anisotropy Measurements
Leilei Peng, Dustin Tran, Dongli Xu


Harrisetta Sandoval

Fort Lewis College
Assembling and Operating a Direct Write Photolithography System
Sasaan Showghi

Jesse Toledo

 University of California, Los Angeles
Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed Raindrop Size and Distribution
Pieter Hazenberg

Leon Toledo

Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute
Adaptations of Plants against Damage by Insects and Pathogens
Betsy Arnold

Craig Draper

University of Arizona
An Optical Ising Machine Based on Multi-core Fiber Lasers
Pierre-Alexandre Blanche, Lichuan Liu

O-RETiNAS 2017 Program

In its second year of grant funding (7th year for CIAN’s Native American focused Research Experience for Teachers programs) CIAN hosted eight educators of Native American students. These teachers participated in an 8-week summer program at the University of Arizona. This included multiple relevant workshops, a course in the College of Education through the Teachers in Industry program, an intensive research laboratory experience, and a unique industry experience at CIAN’s partner companies (Edmund Optics, Lam Optics, and the UA Tech Park).


Teacher School Taught at Subject & Grade Taught Mentor Project
Marjorie Beno Pinon Middle School 7th grade science Alan Kost Laboratory Robotics Distance Learning Education
Roger CrazyWolf Thoreau HS 9-12th science and health Jesse Little Supersonic Pressure Profiles
Rowena Ranoco Newcomb High School 10-12th chemistry, anatomy & physiology, integrated science Sasaan Showghi DIY Droplet Lenses from Three Commercial Polymers
Claire McKenzie Los Alamitos Middle School 7-12th, & Developmental Com. College mathematics and physics Bob Norwood Which Lens do I Use? The Characterization of Acylindrical Array Lenses
Dan Moreno Gresham School 9-12th chemistry and biology Jeff Pyun Nanomaterial Synthesis for Magneto-Optical Sensing Applications
Rolanda Francis Wingate High School 9-12th chemistry, physics, environmental sciences, intervention math & reading Dan Kilper Fiber Optic Temperature Monitoring for Water
Olivia Lansing East Valley Academy 9-12th biology, chemistry, physics, earth science, environmental science Euan McLeod Characterization of Functionalized Gold Nanoparticles with Gel Electrophoresis
Cynthia Demone Sherman Indian High School 10-12th biology and chemistry Alan Kost Laboratory Robotics Distance Learning Education

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CIAN would like to especially thank the many faculty and graduate student mentors who made this summer such a success. Additionally, CIAN gives special thanks to the industry partners hosting teachers throughout this summer.

Edmund Optics

Lam Optics

UA Tech Park

If you are interested in learning more about the O-RETiNAS RET program or applying, please visit our website.

Additionally, if you are interested in hosting teachers as an industry partner or helping in other ways as an industry partner, please contact us.

CIAN Lecture Series Webinar – Gilles Lamant

Integrated Photonics IC

Date:  Friday, April 28, 2017
Time:  2pm PST, 2pm AZT, 5pm EST

Please register by clicking on the link: Webinar   or copy and pasting to your browser:


Gilles Lamant

Gilles graduated from ESIEE (Ecole Supérieure D’Ingénieurs en Electronique et Electrotechnique), Paris, France in 1991.

He joined Cadence during his last year of study to work on his thesis (1989). He holds an Engineering Degree with a double major (Signal processing and component modeling).

After working in the field (including 8+ years in Japan and 2+ years in Russia), with customers in the areas of analog, Mixed-signal designs and custom layout, he joined the R&D team in San Jose. He lead the migration of the Virtuoso platform to the industry standard database (OpenAccess). He was instrumental in enabling the FinFet flow in the Virtuoso advanced node platform. About 4 years ago, he engaged into following the photonics industry, and in the last 2 years, lead the Virtuoso development and integration with Virtuoso two main partners, Lumerical and PhoeniX.

Looking forward at the next disturbance in the force is his job. He is currently learning about spin-tropics, spin-wave devices.

Gilles has about 20 patents, several as a single author.

Gilles hobbies include Lego, Pottery and doing things with my 2 twin boys (~6 yo).


The close integration of photonics ICs with their electrical counterpart has highlighted for many large companies the big gap in design methodology/productivity/predictability between the two. This has triggered an attempt to leverage the EDA investment (technical and methodology) to ramp up photonics IC design. This is very similar to what has happen on the manufacturing side, with Silicon Photonics taking advantages of all the advances made in CMOS manufacturing.

We will review several key examples of EDA methodologies (such as schematic driven layout) that can be used and leverage to increase photonics design productivity. At the same time, we will highlight some differences between the two domains, and how these are dealt with in a production environment such as Virtuoso.

Finally we will present some highlights of what can further be done to leverage the 3D, 2.5D IC methodology, signal integrity capabilities and packaging features of the electronics tools as the EPDA solution matures.

OIDA 2017 Conference & Poster Competition

The recent OIDA/CIAN Workshop sponsored by IPIC and Go!Foton on March 19th, in Los Angeles, CA was a success!

The workshop was targeted at companies and innovators considering or already investing in integrated photonics to meet their future product requirements, and who need to understand key manufacturing challenges and how they can be addressed. Read more about the conference.
Key questions addressed included:

  • What supply chain, manufacturing, and packaging challenges are common across applications?
  • What common or standardized elements exist across applications?
  • What resources are available and how can gaps be filled?

Also during the conference a poster judging competition took place. Three top posters were selected as winners.

1st Place Winner

Jordan Davis
University of California, San Diego

Project Abstract

Silicon photonic waveguides are typically designed to operate with the fundamental mode due to low cross talk with higher order modes and low propagation loss. However, currently, silicon photonics is being exploited for operation with higher order modes propagation for mode-division multiplexing (MDM).  This approach utilizes the orthogonal modes of a waveguide by encoding information both in space and wavelength to augment bandwidth limited wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) systems. Conventionally, ring resonators and grating structures are applied to achieve spatial modes conversion. In this paper, we explore an alternative approach to mode conversion using counter-directional resonators. We introduce a cavity into grating-assisted directional couplers, offering both flexibility in design and wavelength selectivity provided by resonant structures. Our compact (54.5 μm2) device is demonstrated experimentally to operate with resonant 1st and 2nd order guided TE-modes.

From the Winner

OIDA was a chance for me to visualize the hurdles that photonic startups are meeting. I learned about the opportunities that exist to bring a product to market and the prices associated with these products.

2nd Place Winner

Peter Weigel
University of California, San Diego

Project Abstract

This research focuses on bringing lithium niobate films-on-insulator (LNOI) to the foundry-fabricated silicon-on-insulator (SOI) platform. This is done by fabricating bonded SOI-LNOI integrated devices, mitigating thermal stresses in the bonded stack to allow for standard fabrication procedures, and creating a fully functioning PDK of hybrid Si-LN optical device components for third party users. This technology enables compact devices in LN and highly efficient nonlinear optical devices based in Si, both of which are unattainable with each standalone bulk material platform.

From the Winner

The OIDA workshop at OFC 2017 was an exceptional opportunity to hear of the different routes researchers in academia and industry are currently taking to grow integrated photonics from a low-production, manually-intensive industry into something akin to the booming industry that integrated electronics has been for the last five decades. I left the workshop with a feeling of profound fortune to have the chance to work in a field with such impressive men and women.

3rd Place Winner

Alexander Gazman
Columbia University

Project Abstract

This research is focused on developing silicon photonic subsystems for high-performance computers and data-center applications. To be able to integrate the silicon photonic technology and utilize its functionality, software-defined control planes ought to reconfigure their operation based on the network needs. Previously we developed a subsystem consisting of a fast tunable laser and a silicon photonic chip operating as a demultiplexer. The demonstrated FPGA-based controlled plane allowed the user to choose a desired wavelength of operation and spatial switching: unicast, multicast or broadcast. In the presented work at the OIDA we added another layer of a feedback control ensure thermal stability of our subsystem.

From the Winner

The industry speakers broaden my view on their take on the silicon photonic technology. Additional applications were presented along with commercialization challenges.


This poster session was made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Career-FIT Opportunity in Ireland – Apply Today

Career-FIT: Career Development Fellowships in the National Technology Centre Programme


ENTERPRISE IRELAND invites applicants to its new Marie Sklodowska-Curie cofunded transnational programme that offers an opportunity for experienced researchers to develop their careers in market focused applied research in Ireland’s Technology Centres, with an enterprise secondment (of 6-12 months in an enterprise Ireland client company) during the Fellowship (of 36 months). Covering a wide range of academic and industry areas aligned with Ireland’s Smart Specialisation Strategy, the 15 Technology Centres were established to encourage greater efficiency in the interaction between researchers, industry, and the public sector, in research that promotes economic growth by its direct relevance to industry agendas. Each multidisciplinary Centre offers excellent facilities and equipment for Fellow use: experienced scientific staff to support the Fellow’s research and extensive enterprise relationships on which market focused applied research can be progressed.

Career-FIT is a postdoctoral fellowship programme, part-funded by Horizon 2020and part-funded by Enterprise Ireland. A key feature of Career-FIT is the opportunity for an experienced researcher from outside Ireland to develop their careers in market focused applied research through 3-year fellowships with secondment into industry through Ireland’s Technology Centres.

Successful candidates will carry out research in Ireland and will gain inter-sectoral and interdisciplinary exposure thorough this programme.

Experienced researchers are defined as those who are in possession of a doctoral degree or have at least four years of full-time equivalent research experience.

There will be two calls under the Career-FIT programme. The first call has an application deadline of 31 March 2017. The second call will open in 2018. There will be 25 fellowships awarded in each call.

For more details and contact information see here.


CIAN Student Retreat Innovation to Market Workshop 2017

This year’s Student Retreat and Innovation to Market Workshop took place in San Francisco, CA. Students from across the CIAN universities attended to participate in the professional development and innovation workshops. Two speakers gave workshops for the students. Below is included the recording of Will Tungpagasit’s presentation on Startup Life and Bri McWhorter’s summary of best practices in formal presentations.

will-tungpagasitStartup Life: Fact and Fiction
Will Tungpagasit
Shabuta Corp.

Will Tungpagasit, engineer and entrepreneur, will share his experiences founding and building companies in Silicon Valley. He will clarify the hype surrounding the industry, what options you have to actually building a company, and specific strategies on how to innovate efficiently via entrepreneurship. Afterwards, he’ll lead a brainstorming session and meditation workshop.

bri-mcwhorterPresentation Fundamentals: Formal presentations, Elevator Pitches & Developing Your Brand
Bri McWhorter
Activate to Captivate

Using acting tools, learn the techniques that all the best public speakers utilize to craft a dynamic and compelling speech. Become familiar with the necessary vocal, articulation and breath support tools that every presenter should have. Figure out how to distill your message to clearly articulate your ideas and take advantage of every opportunity which comes your way. Explore what makes you unique, clarify your career goals and make a plan to develop your personal brand.

Defining Your Audience:
Formal Presentations, Elevator Pitches and Developing Your Brand
By Bri McWhorter

No matter where you are presenting your ideas, whether it is in a formal presentation, an elevator pitch or developing your brand, you need to think about your audience first. How you craft and deliver your message depends on who you are speaking to.

 1. Presentation

Think about what type of audience you will be addressing. Are they a technical audience or a general one? What type of jargon is appropriate? How much detail can you go into? Knowing these answers will help you develop and organize your message.

Once you have that message, you have to think about the best way to deliver it. Focus on telling your story, rather than reiterating facts. Tell the audience why they should care about your research. Get them invested in the process.

2. Elevator Pitch

In an elevator pitch, you have a very small window of time where you have to capture your audience’s attention. Have a few pitches ready depending on whom you are talking to. That way, once you know a bit about their background, you can jump into the pitch that best fits the situation.

However, it isn’t enough to have different ideas of pitches, you need to workshop them. Practice with people from different backgrounds. See what works and what doesn’t. Then adjust your message depending on that feedback. It would be a shame to miss an opportunity to connect with someone because you didn’t take the time to work on perfecting your pitches.

3. Developing Your Brand

Knowing who your target audience is will help you decide which social media platforms to utilize. There are so many options available and it can be a bit overwhelming when you are starting out. For example, if you are trying to target young millennials, Snapchat is a good place to start. However, if you are trying to reach experts in your industry, I would suggest utilizing LinkedIn first, so you can establish a larger professional network.

Once you decide who you want to target, start connecting with people. Engage with posts they’ve written. Share your own ideas by writing articles. Establish your voice and take advantage of every networking opportunity that social media provides.


During a presentation, a pitch, or building your brand, always think about your audience first. Craft your goal by thinking about things from their perspective. This will help you create, distil and deliver your message in the most effective way.

Lumerical hosts Webinar

web_lcml-feb2017Recently, photonic design methodologies incorporating mature electronic design automation (EDA) software with optical design and simulation tools have emerged to support reliable photonic integrated circuit (PIC) design. Critical to any of these design methodologies is a Process Design Kit (PDK). The PDK provides the required fundamental information to produce a design based on a specific foundry process, from component geometries and cells for layout, to design rules, process variability data and simulation models. Essential to first-time-right designs, and the foundation of reliable fabless design methodologies for PICs is the inclusion of a calibrated photonic compact model library (CML) in the photonic PDK. The photonic CML enables a separation of component design from circuit design where PIC designers can scale complexity and optimize circuit performance and yield, confident that the underlying component geometry, material composition, and component design physics are represented by the CML, thereby ensuring reliable fabrication and predictable operation of their designs.

Lumerical’s suite of photonic design tools provides an infrastructure that supports the development and distribution of CMLs for PIC simulation and design. Typically, a CML is built upon a combination of accurate component-level simulation results and experimentally measured data. Lumerical works with leading integrated photonics foundries and researchers to develop modeling methods and libraries of the most advanced integrated photonics components.

We are hosting a complimentary webinar to introduce the Lumerical Compact Model Library (LCML), a reference library of common photonic elements and corresponding model development workflows. The webinar will show users how the LCML can be used to:

  • develop foundry-calibrated models for Process Design Kits (PDKs);
  • develop custom components and models for internal libraries;
  • and, design innovative photonic circuits and systems.

Two sessions will be held on February 7, 2017. Complete session details, as well as registration information, can be found here:

To evaluate Lumerical simulation products, visit our Download Center and register for a 30-day trial.

As a photonic simulation software provider, Lumerical develops tools which enable product designers to understand light, and predict how it behaves within complex structures, circuits, and systems. Our current simulation software suite offers optical (FDTD Solutions, MODE Solutions), electrical (DEVICE CT), and thermal (DEVICE HT) simulation for component design, as well as circuit simulation for system design (INTERCONNECT).