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Electrical and computer engineering professor Peter Herman is looking forward to continuing his research collaboration and graduate student exchange with Friedrich Schiller University Jena, thanks to funding from the Thuringen government.
By Jennifer Lanthier
"The best ideas often emerge in collaborations and I would have to say the most successful collaboration I have enjoyed has been with Professor Andreas Tūnnermann and his group in Jena," Herman said. "My PhD student obtained the most important data for his thesis in Jena."
Herman, who specializes in photonics -- the generation and manipulation of light-- made the comment at a meeting Feb. 19 to mark the signing of a letter of intent between the universities. The agreement, aimed at furthering their collaboration and research in photonics, is bolstered by funding of 75,000 euros from the Thuringen government's green technology program.
"The University of Toronto has deep and important ties to Germany, for faculty and for student engagement" said Judith Wolfson, vice-president (university relations). "We are very pleased to add to this extensive collaboration, the collaboration of Professor Tūnnermann and Professor Herman."
Tūnnermann is an "outstanding scientist," said Herman, and the city of Jena is "a research and industry centre of excellence in optics and photonics.
"Could Richard Wagner be conducting this transformation?" Herman said. "I see a complete circle of university and college training and industry excellence that feeds each other and creates a highly charged atmosphere of discovery and innovation."
Christine Lieberknecht, minister-president of Thuringia, spoke of the importance of green technologies and the need to reduce energy consumption and the production of greenhouse gases.
"It is very important to optimize education and training in this area and that is why we are grateful to have this collaboration with the University of Toronto, Liebernecht said, through a translator.
Graduate engineering student Jason Grenier said the collaboration offers exciting potential for students.
"A lot of discussion happens on the fringes, where different disciplines meet and getting to work in a different laboratory, with different approaches, is important," Grenier said." The opportunity to go to another top institute in photonics, like Jena, is incredible -- they really do outstanding work."
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