Omar de Varona

Dr. Omar de Varona obtained his degree in Telecommunications Engineering from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in 2011 and completed the Master Program in Telecommunications Engineering by the University Carlos III de Madrid in 2014, including a research stay at the Research Group of Information Engineering of the University of Florence to complete his Master Thesis. In 2015, he joined the Laser Development Department at Laser Zentrum Hannover (LZH) to carry out research activities funded by the European Commission under the FP7-MCA-ITN programme “GraWIToN”. Dr. de Varona worked on the research and development of Single-Frequency fiber Amplifiers for the Next Generation of Gravitational Waves Detectors (GWDs) at 1.5μm, obtaining in 2019 his PhD in Laser Physics by the University of Hannover with thesis title “Fiber Amplifiers at 1.5μm for Laser Sources in Next-Generation Gravitational Wave Detectors”, receiving the qualification of Magna Cum Laude. As member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, he participated in meetings and workshops towards the design of the next generation GWDs as a laser expert. During this period, he established a number of international collaboration with scientific and industrial partners in the field of lasers and photonics. Between 2018 and 2021, Dr. de Varona participated in projects aimed at the study and development of lasers for hostile conditions (e.g., extreme temperatures, radioactive environments, vacuum, etc.), which sparked his interest towards the investigation of new photonic architectures intended to intrinsically operate in such environments. In 2020, Omar de Varona became awarded with the competitive grant “Juan de la Cierva” (success rate ~15%) by the Ministry of Science of Spain, and joined the Department of Physics at the Universidad de La Laguna in 2021 as well as the IUdEA (Institute of Advanced Studies on Atomic and Molecular Physics and Photonics). Further this year, he became granted by the European Commission with a MSCA Individual Fellowship (success rate ~11%) to carry out the GRAIL project (Grant Agreement 101026739) at the ULL premises, starting its activities in September 2022.

Google Scholar:

Airán Ródenas

Dr. Ródenas is the host supervisor of the GRAIL project at the Universidad de La Laguna (ULL). He developed the 3D laser nanostructuring crystals technique applied in the project, which allows to envisage a future generation of nano-engineered crystals with properties beyond those of natural crystals. As a Ramón y Cajal tenure-track professor, he leads the LeapLab (Light-Matter interactions and Extreme-Applications Photonics Lab) at the Physics Department of the ULL. He is also member of the IUdEA institute (Institute of Advanced Studies on Atomic and Molecular Physics and Photonics). From May 2017 to 2019 he was a EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellow. Previously, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Heriot Watt University (UK) on the development of the first 3D mid-infrared on-chip waveguide beam-combiners for stellar interferometry and astrophotonics, as well as on the fabrication of 3D photonic crystals. He has also been associate professor and researcher at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (Spain) for a period of 4 years, working in the EU Collaborative FP7 project JEDIACE as scientist in charge of developing novel photonic sensors from first concept to industrial environment testing. He has directed or co-directed multiple PhD and MSc theses. His teaching experience started in 2013, having carried out activities at the Universitat Rovira I Virgili, at the Heriot Watt University and at the University of La Laguna. The work of Dr. Ródenas in the field of 3D engineered photonics and 3D laser nanoprocessing has led to the publication of over 70 papers in high impact journals, including Nature Photonics. He has 7 invited talks in international conferences, and over 17 oral presentations in international conferences and seminars. He has been evaluator for the ERC (European Research Council), for the Spanish State Research Agency (Agencia Estatal de Investigación), for the Argentinian ANPCyT state agency, and for the Polish government. He is frequent reviewer of various international photonics and applied physics journals [Light and Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group), Applied Optics, Sensors & Actuators, Optics Letters, Optics Express, Optical Materials Express, Chemical Physics Letters, Applied Physics Letters and others]. He is the inventor and co-author of 1 patent for anti-icing aircraft automated systems. Dr. Ródenas collaborates with 20 research groups from 11 countries and with industrial partners in the fields of air transport (Dassault, Fuji Heavy Industries), photonics (Resolution Spectra, Optoscribe) and laser-based fabrication (LightFAB).


Google Scholar: