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ORC student wins Ingenious Royal Academy Grant

Date Announced: 03 Jul 2018

Andrei Donko, pictured right.

Southampton, UK -- Andrei Donko, a PhD student at the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), has been awarded an Ingenious public engagement grant from the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) to organise a series of interactive workshops for underserved audiences.

Andrei, who is also a director of the ORC’s outreach team, the Lightwave Roadshow, will use his £9k grant to run a ‘Photonics Music Workshop’ which challenges the assumption that engineering is mundane and unimaginative, and aims to inspire the next generation of British engineers into the field of photonics. The workshops are aimed at school children aged 14-18 years and will combine basic principles of digital encoding, optical data transfer and lasers to create music.

Ingenious is an awards scheme for projects that engage the public with engineers and engineering. The scheme has funded over 200 projects to date, which aim to inspire, motivate, raise awareness, and provide opportunities for engineers to engage with members of the public from groups currently underrepresented in the field.

On learning of the award, Andrei said: “I’m delighted to have been granted the award and cannot wait to get started! The small projects I engage in my free time suddenly have a greater purpose. I really hope the project can make a difference and benefit those who need it most.”

Andrei is a PhD student in the Optical Fibre Devices and Sensors group, led by Professor Gilberto Brambilla and Doctor Martynas Beresna. His research focuses on utilising femtosecond laser writing to fabricate novel distributed fibre sensors. The University of Southampton was recently awarded the prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for its world-leading expertise in ‘harnessing the power of light’. The Award panel particularly noted the ORC’s photonics outreach activities as an area of strength.

If you are a school or postgraduate researcher and are interested in getting involved with the Photonics Music Workshop, please contact Andrei via email: a.l.donko@soton.ac.uk


University of Southampton
University Road
Southampton SO17 1BJ

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Tel. +44 (0)23 8059 5000
Fax +44 (0)23 8059 3131

E-mail: a.l.donko@soton.ac.uk

Web Site: https://www.orc.soton.ac.uk/outreach

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