Humboldt meets Leibniz - Emerging Topics in Optics and Photonics

With the inaugural symposium "Humboldt meets Leibniz - Emerging Topics in Optics and Photonics ", Leibniz University has successfully launched a new series of events. Under the motto "Connecting Talents across generations", twelve award winners from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation met with 140 young researchers from across six continents to exchange ideas and experiences on scientific and career-relevant topics at Herrenhausen Palace from June 12-14, 2022.

Thank you to all award winners and participants for making the premiere of Humboldt meets Leibniz an unforgettable event with their openness, commitment, and enthusiasm for research!

Many thanks to the Volkswagen Foundation, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the DFG for their support and belief in our concept!

It was great to finally see again many young scientists in such an engaged, lively and open exchange with senior researchers after such a long time. We have missed this atmosphere in the Xplanatorium Herrenhausen for far too long.
Katja Ebeling, Volkswagen Foundation, Head Conferences & Symposia


First Get-Together of the Award winners with representatives of Leibniz University Hannover.

Ice-breaker session of the participants – making new contacts and enjoying the view over Hannover.

Excellent event to be a part of. Amazing experience of connecting with great and young minds from around the globe. Warm and welcoming organisers. Mesmerized by the beauty of Herrenhausen Palace. Enjoyed and learned a new perception in each and every session. A big thanks to the organisers for making me a part of it.
Dr. Alaka Panda, Odisha, India
The idea to bring Humboldt Awardees together with young scholars from all over the world was persued in a very sucessful way. The intensive discussions among the young scientists and the "Preisträger" showed how important and necessary a platform like this event is. I hope very much that there will be a follow-up!
Dr. Ulrike Albrecht, LUH University Council


Warm opening remarks by Georg Schütte (Secretary General of the Volkswagen Foundation), Volker Epping (President of Leibniz University Hannover), Thomas Hesse (Deputy Secretary General of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation) and Uwe Morgner (Spokesperson of the Cluster of Excellence PhoenixD).

Imagine your expectations for an event are incredibly high, but in the end, they are still surpassed. I had a blast the last two days with incredible insights into optics and photonics. Thanks to all the organizers of Humboldt meets Leibniz and of course Leibniz Universität Hannover.
Liam Shelling Neto, TU Braunschweig

Three Lives

Hans-Albert Bachor, Thuc-Quyen Nguyen, and Daya Reddy gave short presentations on their lives, career paths, and the decisions they took which set them on the trajectory to become internationally-known scientists. Thank you for three inspiring, touching, and encouraging talks!

This meeting showed so well why we need face to face meetings to create the foundation of future collaborations and careers. Technical details can be handled differently in a sustainable future, personal contacts need the careful attention this meeting has provided.
Prof. Dr. Hans-Albert Bachor, Australian Academy of Science
It is a wonderful novel-type event that is not only an academic conference, from which you get a lot of knowledge and fruitful discussions, but also a symposium for academic career buildup, where you can find the lighthouse that can guide you to your destination.
Xinyang Liu, Tampere University


“Building a microscope for quantum science and a telescope for fundamental physics”

Jun Ye shared his fascination for atomic clocks in his lecture "Building a microscope for quantum science and a telescope for fundamental physics" and paid tribute to the pioneers who laid the foundation for today's scientific developments.

Congratulations to you and co-organizers for pulling off such a splendid event. I totally enjoyed, and made a number of new young friends. Thank you very much for paying attention to every single detail.
Prof. Dr. Jun Ye, JILA, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and University of Colorado

Panel Discussion

“Careers in Optics and Photonics: Prospects, Challenges and Rewards”

Julie Gould in discussion with the award winners Andrew Forbes and Naira Hovakimyan, Ludger Overmeyer (Leibniz University Hannover), Anna Lena Giesecke (University of Duisburg-Essen / Fraunhofer IMS), and Hagen Zimer (TRUMPF Laser GmbH) on their career paths in industry, academia or in self-employment, their personal experiences, and career planning.

I had the opportunity to meet many participants, whether on stage or off, and it was inspiring to see how enthusiastic they were to get involved in the workshops, poster sessions and Q&A discussions with on-stage panels. Thank you to the team for putting together this super event, I hope to be invited back in the future!
Dr. Julie Gould, Moderator

Scientific and Poster Sessions

Exciting flash talks and poster presentations, with scarcely enough time for all the thought-provoking questions, and valuable input and feedback from the award winners and fellow participants.

HmL was my first ever conference, and it was an amazing experience. I enjoyed the opportunity to meet with so many other ECRs as well as making some experienced contacts. It was a very fun few days which reinforced my motivation to have a career in research.
Sphinx J. Svensson, University of Glasgow
The event was a perfect fusion of science- experience and enthusiasm. I loved the flash talks, sharing our research to a room full of friendly photonics enthusiasts was exhilarating. The cherry of my cake was that I even got some valuable insights on my current challenges.
Jaya Sagar, University of Bristol

Open Sessions

Lively discussions and focused group work on questions concerning career planning or the required transferable skills to reach personal goals, hosted by the award winners.  

HmL was an absolutely unique conference with a perfect balance of scientific exchange and networking with people in the field! It was organized with great care and efficiency such that the atmosphere was upbeat and lively and at the same time, conducive to serious in-depth discussions.
Vaidehi Lapalikar, Technische Universität Dresden


Humbolt meets Leibniz 2022: bringing together open-minded people in an inspiring environment with the best weather Hannover has to offer! We look forward to the next event in this exciting series.

Everything was so well organized and detailed. I also appreciated for the contribution of the keynote speakers and the rest of the participants, they had all valuable talks/presentations and left important traces for my academic/personal life.
Yonca BAB, Research Assistant, Istanbul Technical University
After we started planning 3 years ago, but had to postpone this network meeting again and again, it was a pleasure to see so many young scientists in such lively exchange - among each other and also with the award winners.
Mareike Rüßmann, Volkswagen Foundation, Conferences & Symposia