Plenary Speakers


Roberto Sabella (Ericsson Reasearch, Italy)

“An industrial perspective for MWP applications to 6G communciation systems”

Roberto Sabella is Head of the Optical Systems department of Ericsson Research, based in Pisa, Italy, and Montreal, Canada, which carry out research on transport network architecture and systems for radio networks, high-capacity optical transmission and switching systems for mobile network evolution towards the 6th generation, integrated photonic technologies, photonic interconnects and processing subsystems and modules for future radio systems and HW platforms. Dr. Sabella received the degree in electronic engineering in 1987 and after one year of experience on radar systems he joined Ericsson when he was HW designer, system engineer, researcher and, starting from 1997, manager of different departments, spanning from system engineering, technology and innovation and research manager. During his career, he has published more than 150 papers on peer-reviewed journals and international conferences, two books on optical communications, and holds more than 30 patents. He was adjunct professor of “Telecom systems design” at the University of Rome “La Sapienza” and lecturer in several European universities. He is a senior member of IEEE and has guest edited many special issues in several IEEE journals and magazines. In addition, he organized international conferences and workshops on different topics: he has been Technical Program Committee Co-Chair of ECOC 2018 conference, and Chairman of ICC 2023 Industry Forum.


Kerry Vahala (Caltech, USA)

“Low-noise microwave generation by optical frequency division on-a-chip”

Kerry Vahala is Professor of Applied Physics at Caltech and holds the Jenkins Chair in Information Science and Technology. His research on chip-based high-Q optical resonators and related nonlinear optical devices has advanced miniature frequency and time systems, microwave sources, parametric oscillators, astrocombs and gyroscopes. Vahala also made early contributions to the subject of cavity optomechanics and demonstrations of chip-based devices to cavity QED phenomena. A member of the National Academy of Engineering and Fellow of the IEEE and Optica, he received the IEEE Sarnoff Medal for research on quantum-well laser dynamics, the Alexander von Humboldt award and MPQ Distinguished Scholar Award for work on ultra-high-Q optical microcavities, a NASA achievement award for application of microcombs to exoplanet detection, and the Optica Paul F. Forman Team Engineering Excellence Award for a 2-photon optical clock. Vahala is also the Executive Officer of the Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science at Caltech.


Sergio Leon-Saval (University of Sidney, Australia)

“Astrophotonics: Using light for understanding the universe”

Sergio Leon-Saval is a Professor at the School of Physics in the University of Sydney where he is now Director of the Sydney Astrophotonics Instrumentation Laboratory (SAIL), and Director of the Institute of Photonics and Optical Science (IPOS). Prof Leon-Saval is one of the pioneers of the field of astrophotonics, a research field that started less than 15 years ago – fueled by some of his early research on optical fibre systems and devices. This field of research has a strong cross-disciplinary and translational research foundations, creating innovative astronomical instrumentation and concepts using photonics technologies from other fields, such as optical telecommunications. His pioneering contributions to the field and the conceptual and experimental development of photonic lanterns and their applications got him the distinction of Fellow of Optica in 2023. He is also a Council Member of the Australian and New Zealand Optical Society (ANZOS) and he was the 2019 recipient of the ANZOS John Love Award, that recognizes innovations and technical advances in the field of optics and photonics.


Michel Sotom (Thales Alenia Space, France)

“Microwave photonics for space applications: achievements and prospects”

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