July 2015: Promoting optics in Africa

Our chapter advisor, Rim Cherif, wants to ensure that her students get the same opportunities to pursue research as she did. She voiced this aspiration after receiving the 2015 ICO/ICTP Gallieno Denardo Award for young researchers from developing countries. One way Cherif works toward increasing opportunities for optics and photonics students and professionals is through collaboration with student organizations in Africa and the Optical Society of Tunisia (OST)….

To read more please visit logo spie

20 May 2015: World metrology day

We celebrated, on May 20th,  the world metrology day. Prof. Mourad zghal spoke about « Ibn Al Haytham: 1000 years of optics » while Dr. Rim Cherif presented « The white laser ».

To read more about this event in Tunisia, please download metrology_1. / metrology_2


February 2015: 2015 ICO:ICTP Gallieno Denardo Prize … Congratulations to Dr. Rim Cherif !

Our Chapter advisor, Rim Cherif has earned the ICTP Gallieno Denardo Prize for her achievements in the field of nonlinear optics, in particular her contributions to the design of highly nonlinear fibers for supercontinuum generation, a technique for producing broadband light sources that can be used for telecommunications and sensing devices.

To read more please visit ICTP News Highlights:


a09a1582_rbfDr. Rajan Jha with Dr. Rim Cherif shared the 2015 award


July 2014: Expansion of student activities in Africa: from south to north

Optics and photonics research in Africa has gradually grown in the past ten years with a very active optical community involved in state-of-the-art research. Despite relatively low resources, optics research in the continent is competitive with many international benchmarks and has had a significant impact within the African continent. In the past five years, a group of dynamic students have developed the student chapter network from Tunisia to South Africa. The first student chapters of the optical society of America (OSA) and the international society for optics and photonics (SPIE) were established in South Africa (in the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and in the University of Stellenbosch), followed by a chapter in Tunisia (Engineering school of communications of Tunis, Sup’Com). In this paper, we will present the major activities of the student chapters of Tunisia and South Africa, and how they are promoting optics and photonics in Africa.

Proc. SPIE 9289, 12th Education and Training in Optics and Photonics Conference, 928914 (July 17, 2014). This article was published in SPIE Digital Library.12030643-1 12030643-2 12030643-3 12030643-4 12030643-5 12030643-6 12030643-7 12030643-8


June 2014: First North African Workshop on Optics

OSA sponsored the first North African Workshop on Optics in March 2014 in Hammamet, Tunisia. This workshop brought together optical scientists from North Africa to discuss devices, solutions and architectures for all-optical networks, as well as optimization and management of optical networks.
OSA student prizes were awarded to Hasna Kilani, Polytechnic School of Tunis, Tunisia, and Amira Baili and Abir Hraghi, Engineering School of Communications, Tunisia.

This article was published in Optics & Photnics News magazine.11773968-0


08 March 2014: Our Vice president Amira Baili got the best student paper award for First place at the International Conference on Optics & Opto-electronics (ICOL-2014) in Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India.
The presentation was entitled:  » Mid-IR supercontinuum broadening in high nonlinear As2Se3 nanofiber with low confinement loss »


February 2014: A Beacon of Science for Tunisia… Congratulations to Prof. Mourad Zghal !

Our Chapter advisor, Mourad Zghal has joined the ranks of the world’s most prominent optics scientists: he has been named a Fellow of SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics. Each year, SPIE promotes members as new Fellows of the Society. SPIE will honor 76 new Fellows of the Society this year.

Fellows are Members of distinction who have made significant scientific and technical contributions in the multidisciplinary fields of optics, photonics, and imaging. They are honored for their technical achievement, for their service to the general optics community, and to SPIE in particular. SPIE Fellows have made significant scientific and technical contributions in optics, photonics, optoelectronics and imaging, and have performed notable service to the community.


ICTP-Svanberg-ZghalProf. M. Zghal receiving SPIE Fellow certificate from Prof. Katarina Svanberg, Past-SPIE president

Zghal is a regular participant of the Centre’s annual winter colleges on optics. In 2008, Zghal won the ICO/ICTP Gallieno Denardo Award for his original work in the development of numerical modeling techniques for photonic crystal fibers, microstructured optical fibers, and polarization. The award recognizes a researcher under 40 years of age from a developing country who has made significant contributions to the field of optics. »When researchers from developing countries arrive at ICTP there are huge possibilities waiting for them, from meeting renowned scientists to hearing about the latest advancements, » says Zghal.Zghal modestly suggests that scientists like him and Ben Lakhdar can serve as examples for others in developing countries who face similar challenges, and also as unofficial ambassadors promoting the type of opportunities available at ICTP. If one is realistic and hard-working, honours such as a SPIE Fellow are within one’s grasp, says Zghal, adding encouragingly, « If someone else did it, so can you. »
To read more please visit ICTP News:

ICTP-Zghal-Guzman-Yzuel-JohnsonSPIE Fellow Mourad Zghal (SUP’COM, University of Carthage), ICO Secretary Angela Guzmán (CREOL, College of Optics and Photonics, University of Central Florida), SPIE Past President María Yzuel (Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona), and OSA Past President and SPIE Member Anthony Johnson (CASPR, University of Maryland, Baltimore County)


05 November 2013: Tunisia hosts first African Summer School on Optics and Applications to Sustainable Development
Workshop seeks to attract ‘the brightest minds’ to the multidisciplinary science of light
TUNIS, Tunisia — More than 60 graduate and post-doctoral students and 20 speakers from several countries attended the recent first African Summer School on Optics and Applications to Sustainable Development (ASOSD) in Tunis.Organized by the Optical Society of Tunisia and supported by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, the International Commission for Optics (ICO), International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), African Laser, Atomic, Molecular and Optical Sciences Network (LAM), the Optical Society (OSA), and several other organizations, the school ran 31 August through 8 September.The workshop series is being organized by universities throughout Africa to provide education and training for advanced graduate students and post-doctoral faculty in optics, laser science and technology. A second workshop is being planned for 2015. Students and speakers at this year’s event were from Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Cameroon, Kenya, Portugal, South Africa, Nigeria, Italy, and France.Topics included optical communications, optical fibers and lasers; industrial applications and laser material processing; optics and the environment; optics and energy; biophotonics, biomedical applications and optical diagnosis techniques; and theoretical methods and experimental techniques.

Among the invited speakers, SPIE Fellow Zohra Ben Lakhdar of Tunis El Manar University gave an overview of ICO activities.

Program committee members including Zohra Ben Lakhdar, left, and Optical Society of Tunisia President Mourad Zghal welcomed participants to the First African Summer School on Optics and Applications to Sustainable Development

Other invited speakers included:

  • Rim Cherif (assistant professor, Faculty of Sciences, Tunis El Manar University) on « Publishing articles in peer-reviewed journals »
  • Manuel Filipe M. Costa (assistant professor, Department of Physics, Universidade do Minho) on « Optical non-invasive microtopographic inspection of surfaces »
  • Roberta Ramponi (Director, Institute of Photonics and Nanotechnology, Italian National Research Council, Politecnico di Milano) on « Femtosecond laser micromachining and its applications to the realization of biomedical and photonic devices »
  • Joe Niemela (Director, Office of External Affairs, ICTP) on « Optics activities in ICTP »
  • Ahmadou Wague (professor, Université Cheikh Anta Diop) on « Laser spectroscopy and applications at the Laboratoire Atomes Lasers. »


The workshop included a popular poster session with Best Poster Awards and prizes sponsored by SPIE. First prize was awarded to Amor Gueddana (Sup’Com-Tunisia) for his paper on « Nondeterministic quantum CNOT gate with double encoding. » Second prize went to Giulia Alice Fornaro (CERN) for « Optical coupling optimization between scintillators and photodetectors. » Jurors included Niemela, Ramponi, Wague, Zghal, George Thompson (ICTP), and SPIE Past President María Yzuel (Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona).
ASOSD-Gueddana-Yzuel-wide ASOSD-poster-session-jurors-200

Above, first-place Best Poster Award winner and SPIE Student Member Amor Gueddana with juror Maria Yzuel; below, from left, second place winner Guilia Alice Fornaro with jurors Roberta Ramponi, George Thompson, and Joe Niemela

« As light becomes a key cross-cutting discipline of science in the 21st century, it is essential that its importance is fully appreciated, » said SPIE Senior Member Mourad Zghal, president of the Optical Society of Tunisia and chair of the workshop. « It is equally vital that the brightest young minds from all areas of the world continue to be attracted to careers in this field. » Zghal is associate professor at the Ecole Supérieure des Communications de Tunis (Sup’Com), Université de Carthage.More information on the summer school is available at is the international society for optics and photonics, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies.To read more please visit press releases of SPIE: brand


07 September 2013: Our president Amor Gueddana got the best poster award in first prize during the ASOSD meeting. The poster was entitled:  » Non Deterministic quantum
CNOT Gate with Double Encoding ».
CIMG2498 CIMG2515


07 September 2013: Our vice-president Amine Ben Salem got the best oral presentation award in the ASOSD meeting.

The presentation was entitled: « Broadband coherent mid-IR supercontinuum generation using highly nonlinear tapered photonic crystal fibers ».

CIMG3303 136


29 July 2013: ETOP 2013: advances in O&P education
The leading international conference on education and training in optics held in Porto with record attendance.
“Our books and our pens are our most powerful weapons. In this world education is the only solution. Education first.”
Citation by Maria L Calvo at the ETOP opening ceremony, extracted from the July 2013 speech to the United Nations by 16-year-old Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai. In October 2012 Yousafzai was shot in the head and neck in an assassination attempt by Taliban gunmen because of her promotion of education for girls in Pakistan.

Inauguration of ETOP 2013. From left to right: Vasudevan Lakshminarayanan, Mourad Zghal (Chair), Pereira Leite and Donna Strickland.aul Urbach

The teaching of optics and photonics, critical fields at the core of today’s scientific and technological infrastructure, must continually be upgraded and renewed in order to meet the growing demands of research, science and industry for the sake of the sustainable development of our world and humankind. The International Conference on Education and Training in Optics, known as ETOP, is the principal conference that brings together the international community of optics and photonics educators, leading optics and photonics scientists, academia, and industry, from all around the world to share experiences and knowledge, to discuss, demonstrate and learn about new developments and approaches to teaching in these fields. Through presentations, panel discussions, workshops and exhibits, it is the intent of this conference to inform professors, students, teachers and professional trainers on how to promote the learning of optics and photonics for the future.Since 1988, SPIE, the International Society for Optics and Photonics, and OSA, The Optical Society, have sponsored the ETOP conference. The first meeting, initiated by SPIE’s Academic Advisory Committee, focused on undergraduate- and master’s-level programmes in optics and related fields, the supply and demand for graduates, and academia–industry interaction. The first ETOP was held in conjunction with SPIE’s annual meeting in San Diego. It brought together scientists, technicians and educators to discuss educational programmes and the opportunities and challenges for graduates. The second conference was held in 1991 in St Petersburg, Russia, for which the ICO joined the founding organizations as a co-sponsor. From there, ETOP became a biennial meeting that has been held in Pecs, Hungary (1993); San Diego, California, USA (1995); Delft, the Netherlands (1997); Cancun, Mexico (1999); Singapore (2001); Tucson, Arizona, USA (2003); Marseille, France (2005); Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (2007); and St Asaph, Wales (2009). The 2011 conference was scheduled to be held in Tunisia but was cancelled by the ETOP Long Range Advisory Committee because of the civil unrest in the region.
ETOP 2013 was then held 23–26 July in the beautiful city of Porto, Portugal, sponsored by SPIE, OSA, IEEE, and ICO. It was jointly organized by the Portugal and Tunisia Territorial Committees of the ICO. Conference chairs were Prof. Manuel Filipe P. C. Martins Costa of the University of Minho in Portugal and Prof. Mourad Zghal of the University of Carthage in Tunis, Tunisia. The event was collocated with RIAO/OPTILAS 2013.
We are very proud to present to you the outcome and results of the ETOP’2013 Conference. This event attracted over 210 participants including 68 students, with 140 submitted works including 31 invited presentations, 5 workshops, 3 hands-on activities, 1 short course, a poster session and two parallel sessions with RIAO/OPTILAS (Entrepreneurship in Optics & Photonics session and Women & Optics session). It was the first ever ETOP event of this scale at which we were able to actively engage with and reach out to a wider range of delegates from 38 countries
Additionally, the conference served as a forum for representatives from academia and industry as well as students to interact and build bridges. The different sessions provided the framework of wider discussions on how to improve education, training and teaching in the field of optics and photonics. Indeed, the four days were buzzing with lively discussion and debate – not only during the interactive sessions, but also around the coffee tables.
We would like to express our thanks to our host, the Science Faculty of the University of Porto, for providing its premises, technical equipment and ever-helpful staff. And last, but certainly not least, we wish to thank wholeheartedly all contributors and participants of this event for making it an informative as well as enjoyable event.

Conference chairs, Prof. Manuel Filipe P. C. Martins Costa (University of Minho, Portugal) and Prof. Mourad Zghal (University of Carthage, Tunisia).

This article was published in ICO Newsletter. For further information please visit the website zeropoint_logo


23 – 26 July 2013: Participation at the 12th Education and Training in Optics and Photonics Conference, ETOP’2013.

The biennial ETOP (Education and Training in Optics and Photonics) conference was co-located with RIAO/OPTILAS, and included more than 40 invited speaker presentations, 50 posters and close to 70 oral presentations. The event was jointly organized by Portugal and Tunisia Territorial Committees of the ICO (International Commission for Optics).

For more information please visit SPIE website (Press releases)

RIAO/OPTILAS 2013 and ETOP 2013

RIAO-Zghal-175Prof. Mourad Zghal,

Founder of the African Laser
Center, President of the Optical Society of Tunisia,
and co-organizer of ETOP 2013