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CREOL, The College of Optics & Photonics
Alumni Profiles
Michaël Hemmer
2011 PhD in Optics
XMichaël Hemmer
2011 PhD in Optics

Current Position: Senior Scientist at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL) at the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY) in Hamburg, Germany

I am currently working on the development of high energy and high repetition rate pulsed lasers to drive strong-field experiments, THz generation experiments and ultimately enable laser driven electron acceleration.

How an Education from the College of Optics and Photonics has helped his career:

On top of the great time I had doing research at CREOL in Martin Richardson's group, I have acquired a good number of connections during my PhD that are now crucially important for my career. This is of course without mentioning the technical skills I gained during my PhD that make me a rather suitable candidate for a great variety of jobs, either in academia or industry. While the choice of a PhD advisor is always a bit of a Russian roulette game (after all, you come to grad school with little academic experience as a grad student and make a choice of advisor that can really influence the rest of your career within a few weeks with little objective information), I think I have been quite lucky to end up in a group with a management that suited exactly both my interest and the way I enjoy working. Good way to get a career started...

Advice for Graduate students:

Choose a research area that is promising and offer a lot of career opportunities, ideally in both industry and academia and stick to it (changing research topic is like hitting a reset button that takes you back a couple of years). You don't want to become a world expert in a field that will lose interest/funding/perspectives in the next 5 years. I have chosen laser engineering and design as my research area because it is quite clear that lasers will be around and in demand for the next 40-50 years.
When you leave grad school for your first job, already have in mind that you will be leaving this job some day and ask yourself the added value you will be able to sell.

David Haefner
2010 PhD in Optics
Gabriel Popescu
2002 PhD in Optics
Hubert Seigneur
2010 PhD in Optics
Umar Piracha
2012 PhD in Electrical Engineering

Optics & Photonics PhD: Program


The Optics PhD program provides the highest-quality education in optical science and engineering, allowing students to conduct scholarly, fundamental, and applied research, while aiding in the development of Florida's and the nation's technology-based industries. Read more...

Degree Requirements

The Optics PhD requires a minimum of 72 hours graduate semester credit hours, as described in the table below. Detail requirements are given in the Graduate Catalog.
PhD Requirements: 72 credit hours overall
Coursework (39 Hours) Core (15 hours) OSE 5115 Interference, Diffraction and Coherence
OSE 5312 Light Matter Interactions
OSE 6111 Optical Wave Propagation
OSE 6211 Imaging & Optical Systems
OSE 6525 Laser Engineering
Additional Coursework requirements (24 hours) At least 15 hours must be Optics course work
At least 6 hours science/engineering graduate laboratory (at least 3 hours must be in Optics)
Research and Dissertation (33 Hours) Dissertation Hours At least 15 hours of dissertation (OSE 7980)
Other No more than 18 hours combined of directed research, doctoral research and independent studies, (OSE 6918, 7919 or 6908) may be counted toward the PhD degree.

Important Links

College of Optics Academic Programs Office
Dr. David Hagan, Associate Dean,
Rachel Franzetta, Graduate Coordinator,
Alma Montelongo, Senior Admissions Specialist,
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