Friday, May 10, 2019

Insights about conference “DOC Riga 2019”

This year, on 11th and 12th of April, for the 15th year in a row, the international conference "Developments in Optics and Communications 2019" was held, bringing together students and experts from different science fields such as biophotonics, visual science, laser physics and spectroscopy, optical materials and phenomena. 
DOC 2019 moments

More than 50 participants from all over the world participated in the conference to present the latest developments in the above-mentioned sections. In parallel with the presentations, laboratory works were organized in laser physics and spectroscopy in collaboration with “LaserLab Europe”.

The conference started with the presentations on the latest developments in biophotonics. Stefan Andersson-Engels (Ireland) and Dmitrijs Bliznuks (Latvia) were invited as the keynote speakers in this section. The biophotonics section was opened by enthusiastic Stefan Andersson-Engels, who introduced the audience to the achievements in the diagnosis of lung health in newborns using the oxygen gas and water vapor NIR spectroscopy method. Next, Dmitrijs Bliznuks informed about the success of the development of a mobile and portable skin cancer diagnostic system developed at the University of Latvia.
Stefan Andersson-Engels explaining how spectroscopy may help improving the care of infants at risk (left). 
Dmitrijs Bliznuks telling about new ways of assessing the skin health using cloud-based technologies (right)
The next section of Optical Materials and Phenomena was dedicated to the major achievements in the development of materials and various phenomena used in optical systems. The invited speaker Arturs Bundulis introduced the participants to a new organic gas sensor that is immune to electromagnetic fields, sensitive and above all to be manufactured inexpensively: "Such sensors can be used, for example, for whispering gallery mode resonators, hetero-core and waveguide Mach-Zehnder interferometric devices".
Arturs Bundulis presenting the benefits of innovative gas sensors
The second day of the conference was opened with the Vision Science section, during which the invited speaker, Antonio M. Morgado (Portugal), told about the relative openness of the eye and its benefits in terms of human structure: "The eye makes it possible to see and visualize the vascular and nervous system and understand their structure thanks to corneal metabolic imaging and optical coherence tomography".
Antonio M. Morgado explaining the findings in optical coherent tomography
The fourth and final section of the conference, Laser Physics and Spectroscopy, outlined the research aspects and their current situation regarding lasers and spectroscopy. The section was opened by Aigars Atvars, a researcher at the University of Latvia, presenting the participants with an in-depth course in quantum mechanics and atomic-level spectroscopy: "Understanding quantum mechanics allows us to better understand and explain physical phenomena at the atomic level".
Aigars Atvars telling about the principles of quantum mechanics
What is more, the conference participants were invited to develop their soft skills. Tatjana Pladere, the doctoral student at the University of Latvia, shared her experience and discussed how to use different attention getters.
Conference participants discussing the implementation of attention getters
During the event, the participants were offered to test their eye pressure thanks to our supporters of the Latvian American Eye Center (LAAC), and learn about the most widespread eye diseases, their causes and possible therapies within the Vision Science section.
Latvian American Eye Center representative demonstrates the eye pressure assessment device
At the end of the conference, the organizers were honored to present the awards for the best oral presentation and the best poster presentation to Balys Momgaudis ("Experimental assessment of absorbed pulse energy via time resolved digital holography") and Dan Buozius ("Properties of terahertz wave generated by laser induced air plasma").
Balys and Dan receive the awards
We would like to express our gratitude to all the speakers, guests and conference chairs, organizing and scientific committee for the amazing two day conference! We are grateful to the following support organizations: SPIE, OSA, LaserLab Europe, Latvian American Eye Center and University of Latvia.
DOC Riga 2019 participants
Let’s meet at DOC Riga 2020 next year!


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