Earlier this year, I was looking for research opportunities in the engineering field. After multiple hours of mindlessly searching the internet, I finally came across the “AIM Photonics Undergraduate Research Internship” page and very quickly became interested. I thought it was a brilliant program that recruited undergraduate students to work in the labs with graduate students while gaining research experience. I pulled up the application and realized that it was due that day! I knew I couldn’t let this opportunity go so I quickly started writing my personal statement and sent two of my most influential professors an email requesting a letter of recommendation. I submitted my application at 11:45PM that night. I think th2at the time spent on this application was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made
So far, my research has consisted of reviewing material from modern and optical physics and practicing optical fiber alignment with tunable lasers as well as measuring resistance of photonic chips. I have collected the data and created an IV Graph as well as a spreadsheet with the resistance measurements. I am going to present my results this week to my mentor and faculty advisor. This will be a great chance for me to practice my oral communication skills for my future career as an engineer when I am expected to tell people about my research.
In the second half of my research experience, I hope to learn more lab techniques as well as the work that is going into the field of photonics. My mentor shared with me that this field is still somewhat in the beginning stages and that once enough research is done, it will change the way the world communicates for the better. It will be much faster and way more energy efficient than the current state of communication and let’s be honest, who doesn’t want that?