The Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) is a key initiative established at the National Science Foundation to meet the challenges of educating next-generation U.S. Ph.D. scientists and engineers with interdisciplinary backgrounds, deep knowledge in chosen disciplines, and technical, professional, and personal skills.
The Columbia University IGERT on Optics and Quantum Electronics: Engineering Photons for a Sustainable Future facilitates the unique interdisciplinary training of Ph.D. scientists and engineers in the field of Optics and Quantum Electronics towards sustainable and renewable energy solutions. The energy economy is an immediate and grand challenge that must be tackled by current and future generations of scientists and engineers. We address this challenge by focusing on nanoscale device physics, nanomaterial spectroscopy, and technology innovations in two next-generation subsystems including optical communication networks and solar photovoltaics. These fundamental applied physics and engineering studies involve the manipulation of photons, through the realization of physical nanostructured devices and new functional materials, to deliver energy efficiencies dramatically better than current levels. The cross-training scientific research is synergistically integrated with innovative educational approaches and with an emphasis on underrepresented groups.
This IGERT is a new multi-million Center that reaches across seven departments at Columbia School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Columbia Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.Our focused research Thrusts advances specifically on:
This draws on our Core Expertises of: (A) optical physics, processes, and networks; (B) functional nanomaterials; and (C) renewable energy and sustainability.
To address these Thrusts, the Columbia Optics and Quantum Electronics IGERT program has brought together faculty from Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Earth and Environmental Engineering, City College Chemistry, and Barnard College Physics & Astronomy. In addition, we have participant support from Brookhaven National Laboratory, IBM Watson, the Earth Institute, and Teachers College.
We seek the best-of-the-best outstanding candidates for our PhD Fellowship training program, and encourage you to apply.
The Columbia Optics and Quantum Electronics IGERT program spans across the doctoral programs for the selected PhD Fellows. In addition, graduate students and postdocs in the above departments are eligible to become IGERT Associates and participate in the full program. The program elements are:
The cross-disciplinary courses and laboratory rotation ensures a cross-disciplinary and in-depth perspective to address the advances of optics and quantum electronics, spanning from nanomaterials optical spectroscopy, to state-of-the-art photonic devices and modules, to next-generation optical communications and photovoltaic architectures.
The two-year Fellowship provides stability for leading scientific breakthroughs, complemented by a strong sense of community in optics and quantum electronics with the monthly informal lunches, teaching and mentoring opportunities, and seminars from our peers at other institutions.
Industry, national laboratory, and major institution partners advance our efforts together, with emphasis on minority and women representation. Nanoscience teaching and improvement efforts for college-wide undergraduates are also available. Outstanding candidates for our PhD Fellowship training program are encouraged to apply.
"The IGERT program is intended to establish new models for graduate education and training in a fertile environment for collaborative research that transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries. It is also intended to facilitate diversity in student participation and preparation, and to contribute to a world-class, broadly inclusive, and globally engaged science and engineering workforce."
— The National Science Foundation