Celebrating a Summer of (Lab) Love
15 August 2022
The UCL Electronic and Electrical Engineering (EEE) department hosted two interactive lab tours as part of their ongoing commitment to public engagement.
UCL Electronic and Electrical Engineering (EEE) dedicated this summer to opening two of their most innovative research spaces - the Nanotechnology Lab and the Optical Networks Group (ONG) Lab - for exclusive, behind the scenes access.
Run across two days, tours were led by EEE's most budding researchers and focused on explaining research and research components to those who wouldn't ordinarily engage with electronic engineering.
Tours were open to all, including members of the public. EEE had an excellent turnout, from industry persons, members from academia, school leavers and school children.
Both labs showcased their most utilised equipment and provided attendees with the chance to engage with each one of them. These included, in the Optical Networks Group lab, demonstrations on the principals of optical fibre transmission, state of the art optical fibres and how to splice them, how to maximise capacity in an optical transmission system, miniaturising optical transmitters on integrated circuits and testing ultra high speed directly modulated lasers transmission in hollow core fibre for use in next generation optical networks, in collaboration with Dr Yasuhiro Matsui at II-VI Incorporated and the Optoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Southampton.
Meanwhile, in the Nanotechnology lab, discussions surrounded whether it is possible to see a single atom, showcased via experiments using high-end microscopes and the different techniques used to characterise nanoelectronics devices such as scanning electron microscopes, atom force microscopy and optical spectroscopy.
The attendees were highly engaged, and feedback showed a keen interest to pursue these fields in some form later.
On the importance and significance of opening up EEE's innovative research spaces to a non-research audience, Professor Zhixin Liu, Lab Manager stated:
“With the lab tour events, we inform and inspire people to engage with engineering and physical sciences and understand its importance to their wellbeing and success, and to encourage bright minds into engineering and physical sciences careers.
Optoelectronics Research Centre, University of Southampton