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Vanessa Duarte wins national prize for “Best PhD Thesis in Optics and Photonics"

by IT on 27-10-2020
Former IT researcher in Aveiro, Vanessa Duarte, scooped her third award for making key advances in optics and photonics research. (see more)

Vanessa Cunha Duarte was the winner of the 8th Optics and Photonics Portuguese Society Award for the “Best PhD Thesis in Optics and Photonics in Portugal, 2019”. This marks the researcher’s third distinction in three years, after winning the Altice Innovation Award for Academia in 2018 and the Fraunhofer Portugal Challenge in 2019.

Under the supervision of IT researchers Rogério Nogueira and Miguel Drummond, and Lars Zimmermann from the IHP - Leibniz-Institut für innovative Mikroelektronik (Germany), the award-winning thesis — “Microwave photonics beamforming for satellite radio communication links” — paves the way for photonics in next-generation satellite communications.

Within the framework of the European project BEACON, Vanessa Duarte spent three years developing a photonic processor, that not only offers flexible coverage and a higher data transmission capacity, but also reduces the cost of satellite services to the same levels as optical fiber, promising to make the internet truly global.

“Vanessa Duarte has done world-class research, providing the first demonstration of real-time beam separation ever achieved by a complete photonic-aided payload receiver. Her work resulted in one international patent, three awards and multiple publications in top-ranked journals and conferences, namely Nature Communications”, said Miguel Drummond.

Each year, SPOF (Sociedade Portuguesa para a Investigação e Desenvolvimento da Óptica e Fotónica) rewards the best PhD thesis in any field related to Optics and Photonics with a diploma and a symbolic cash prize of 500 euros.

The society was founded in 2009 to promote optics within scientific and technological research, as well as to encourage training and education in pure, applied and photonic optics.