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Optics research that is beneficial for the industry?

  1. Nov 23, 2006 #1

    I have a BSc in Physics and am currently doing an MSc in Optics and Photonics. I am planning on doing a PhD next year, somehow relating to optics/photonics/lasers/solid state (though probably not all of them!). I am not sure if I always want to stay in academia, so I am wondering what I should do for my PhD to keep my options open to be able to work in the industry (definitely still involving physics...I don't think I will swith to a banking career or anything like that). What recommendations do you have for a PhD that relates to the above but is still useful in the industry? Something like fiber optics is an obvious one...although I don't think I want to do my whole PhD on that. I am very interested in lasers and will hopefully be doing my final MSc project in Nanowire lasers. I am also very interested in optoelectronics (solid state relating to optics vaguely). What specific research would you recommend to incorporate all that?

    I heard Caltech does semiconductor lasers (one of the only universities to offer it, most of the research is done in industry as far as I know), so I guess that would be an idea...any others? Thanks a lot!!


  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 23, 2006 #2
    I don't think it really matters. Industry is looking for your problem solving ability not some specific skill. I am doing nothing that I studied in school.
  4. Nov 27, 2006 #3
    Just try to keep your research APPLIED. Don't go crazy and do string theory or something. In chosing your graduate school, you'll have to look at the reserach interests of the particular professors that you could be working under. Many, MANY universities (CalTech, CU Boulder, MIT, UC Berkeley, University of Tennessee etc.) collaborate extensively with some of the national labs -- sometimes even "running" them under contact. Those univesities might have particularly interesting "applied" projects (allowing you to work on research at the facility... which could give an edge in later applying to industry postions... since many industry jobs are actually contracting to the gov't.
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