12 - 16 April 2026
Strasbourg, France
Plenary Event
Hot Topics I
icon_in-person.svgIn person: 4 April 2022 • 09:00 - 11:00 CEST | Schweitzer Auditorium, Niveau/Level 0 
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Paul Montgomery, Univ. of Strasbourg (France)
2022 Symposium Chair

City of Strasbourg Welcome

Presentation of the 2022 SPIE Mozi Award

Anita Mahadevan-Jansen, Vanderbilt Univ. (United States)
2022 SPIE President

SPIE congratulates Thomas W. Ebbesen, Director, The Institute for Advanced Study of the Univ. of Strasbourg (USIAS) and CNRS (France), in recognition of his phenomenal contributions to the field of nano-optics, especially the extraordinary optical transmission through sub-wavelength hole arrays.

Introduction to Hot Topics

Access to photonics innovation support for European researchers and companies through ACTPHAST4R and PhotonHub Europe

Hugo Thienpont, Director, Brussels Photonics; Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium)

We introduce two major large-scale EC-funded initiatives to provide European researchers and companies with access to highly-advanced photonics technology supply chains from prototyping, to upscaling, and manufacturing and to a variety of services that aim at facilitating the market readiness of their product innovation efforts.

Hugo Thienpont is the research director of the Brussels Photonics research group B-PHOT at Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Since 2012 he is also VUB Vice-Rector for innovation and industrial policy. He coordinates several large-scale European research and innovation projects such as PhotonHub, the European Digital Innovation Hub for Photonics. Hugo is Vice-President of the European Technology Platform “Photonics21” and the recipient of the 2021 SPIE Gold Medal.

Quantum computing: prospects and challenges

Heike Riel, IBM Fellow and Department Head of Science & Technology, IBM Research Zürich (Switzerland)

The field of quantum computing has evolved into a large interdisciplinary community where significant resources are invested worldwide. As a result, accelerated progress is achieved and we are at the beginning of a new age of computation, developing programmable quantum systems towards universal quantum computers. Quantum computers promise to solve certain mathematical problems that are intractable to classical computers. Quantum computing systems are built from the bottom up reaching the limits of what can be classically simulated. The IBM Quantum Development Roadmap describes our vision of creating a quantum computing ecosystem delivering quantum applications through the cloud. This requires developing the entire quantum computing stack starting from the qubit and quantum processor technology, control electronics to software, algorithms and applications for quantum computing, implemented in the cloud and integrated with high performance computing. In this presentation the recent developments of our quantum computing systems and the scientific advances that enabled scaling superconducting quantum processors to 127 qubits are presented. Besides scale, also quality and speed will be discussed building the key metric for measuring the performance of quantum computation. Examples of applications where the computational power of quantum computing could make a difference are provided.

Heike Riel is IBM Fellow, head of science & technology and lead of IBM Research Quantum Europe and Africa. She leads the science & technology department aiming to create breakthroughs in quantum computing and technologies, physics of artificial intelligence, nanoscience and nanotechnology and to explore new directions to computing. Her research has contributed to advancements in OLED display technology, molecular electronics and semiconductor nanoscale materials and devices. She received a masters in physics from the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg and a PhD in physics from University of Bayreuth (Germany) and an MBA from Henley Business College (UK). In 2003 she became a research staff Member and was leading teams in semiconducting nanowire research, materials integration, and nanoscale devices. From 2015 till end of 2018 she was at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center leading the Physical Sciences and then the IoT Technology and AI Solutions department. She has authored more than 150 peer-reviewed publications and filed more than 50 patents. She has received several prestigious honors, e.g., elected member of the Leopoldina – German National Academy of Sciences and the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences; the APS David Adler Lectureship Award in the field of materials physics, the 2022 IEEE Andrew S. Grove Award, Fellow of the American Physical Society, honorary doctorate by Lund University.

Einstein Telescope, the pioneer project for a third-generation GW observatory in Europe: science, technologies and perspectives

Michele Punturo, Director, National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) and Co-chair Einstein Telescope ISC

Einstein Telescope (ET) is the pioneer project aiming to the realisation of a 3rd generation Gravitational Wave Observatory in Europe. Benefiting of the momentum given by the scientific successes of the LIGO and Virgo detectors, the ET project had, in the last few years, an important boost toward its realisation, entering in many of the national and international roadmaps. ET will be simultaneously a new discovery and a precision measurement observatory; it has a rich variety of scientific and multidisciplinary targets in astrophysics, nuclear physics, fundamental physics and cosmology. ET will be also a technological challenge: in order to achieve the expected sensitivity a new underground research infrastructure will be realised, a multi-interferometer per detector design will be implemented hosting new or updated technologies studied to reduce the noises limiting the current detectors. An overview of the science targets, of the observatory design, of the needed technologies and of the ET project organisation will be presented.

Michele Punturo is a Physicist, Research Director in the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN), having a leading role in Gravitational Wave research. He had a fundamental role in the development of the European gravitational wave detector Virgo, based in Pisa, Italy, leading different sectors of the experiment. He contributed to the first detection of the gravitational waves in the LIGO-Virgo collaboration, discovery awarded with the Breakthrough prize in 2016 and with the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2017. Michele is co-leading the European and global activities addressed to the development of future gravitational wave observatories; he proposed and coordinated the design of Einstein Telescope (ET, 2008-2011), the European 3rd generation gravitational wave observatory. He coordinated and submitted in 2020 the proposal of the ET observatory to the European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI); ET has been now included in the 2021 update of the ESFRI roadmap and it is now a pan-European project of central relevance in gravitational wave research. Michele proposed and coordinated several projects funded by the European Commission addressed to support the European and worldwide collaboration in gravitational wave research. He is co-author of more than 330 scientific publications.