Photonics Days 2020
In cooperation with the Max Planck School of Photonics

From September 21 to 23, we will again welcome students and doctoral candidates to the Photonics Days 2020 in Jena. Further information about the program will follow soon. Registration period: May 1 to August 15, 2020.

Look forward to a varied and exciting program!


Impressions from the Photonics Days 2019


The traditional annual event of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF – the Photonics Days Jena – took place from September 17 to 19, 2019 and focused on the young scientists. Together with the photonics graduate school Max Planck School of Photonics, the participants were offered a varied program.


They tinkered, pitched and networked for three days: This year’s Photonics Days Jena had it all. The annual event of the Fraunhofer IOF was organized in cooperation with the newly established Max Planck School of Photonics as an HR and career event for the first time and primarily addressed students and doctoral students.


The Makeathon of the Lichtwerkstatt Jena – the Photonics Makerspace of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena – was concerned with finding creative solutions to questions from the field of photonics. The elaborated projects were presented in the form of short pitches to a jury, which awarded the best among the large number of innovative ideas.

Industry speeddating, career fair and science & industry breakfast

Moreover, the participants were offered extensive opportunities to clarify questions about their career choices: Which career paths can be taken in photonics? What is important when I apply for jobs in photonics companies? To gain perspectives, participants had ample opportunity to meet representatives of the optics and photonics industry (at a science and industry breakfast and industry speeddates), while they also could gain insights into future trends and requirements in the industry.

Escape room

In addition to the makeathon, the students could also demonstrate their scientific creativity in an escape room. With bundled competence different puzzles had to be solved to find the way out of the Escape Room.

Free lecture program: Elevator Pitches and Physics Nobel Prize winner

On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, a public lecture series was added to the program. Around 300 visitors streamed into the lecture hall of the Friedrich Schiller University to listen to the keynote speeches by ZEISS CEO Prof. Michael Kaschke and physics Nobel Prize winner Gérard Mourou. The “Elevator Pitches” of the Center of Excellence in Photonics, where young scientists had to convince the audience of their research ideas in 3-minute short lectures, also enjoyed great popularity.


René Lachmann and Benedict Diederich from the Leibniz Institute for Photonic Technologies (IPHT) received the most votes. They presented an approach for developing sophisticated microscope technology, which is otherwise only available in stationary form, as a mobile toolbox. In order for the concept to be imitable – e.g. for educational institutions or laboratory environments – the data of the project is publicly accessible. With their pitch they prevailed against a total of seven competitors and received prize money of 20,000 euros from the funds of the photonics service center.

Elevator pitches and keynote speeches of Gérard Mourou and Michael Kaschke

We hope that all attendees of the Photonics Days 2019 had a lot of fun and, above all, were able to gain valuable insights and contacts for their personal future in science!



Photonics Days 2019
In cooperation with the Max Planck School of Photonics

September 17th – 19th, 2019 in Jena


A great opportunity for students and PhD students!


Photonics Days 2019 means three exciting days all about photonics! #whatsnext Gérard Mourou, Nobel Laureate in Physics 2018, will be speaking about Extreme Light, outlining current developments and looking into the future of photonics. Another lecture will be held by Prof. Dr. Michael Kaschke. He will talk about the role and future challenges of photonics. But the event does not only contain fascinating lectures, it also encourages the participants to become active themselves. #network During a Makeathon, innovative solutions to current photonics problems can be programmed or created, and the best approaches will be awarded with prizes.

In addition, a major focus of the Photonics Days will also be the networking of graduates and doctoral students with major German companies in the optics and photonics industry. For this purpose, various events such as the “Science & Industry Breakfast” or a career fair with speeddating will be offered, at which important contacts in the photonics industry can be established and networks expanded. #meet


Think photonics further – at the Photonics Days 2019.



As a new networking and career event, the Photonics Days Jena – which emerged from the Jena Optics Talks – combine the tradition of Jena as an optics location with the dynamics of the modern optics and photonics industry.


The supporters of the Photonics Days 2019






The Photonics Days 2019 take place with the friendly support of the State Development Corporation of Thuringia (LEG Thüringen), Carl Zeiss AG, Excelitas Technologies GmbH & Co. KG, Trumpf GmbH, Active Fiber Systems GmbH, Schott AG, Gitterwerk GmbH, OptoNet Jena e.V., Technology Recruiting Experts GmbH, and Deutsches Optisches Museum in Jena.

Click here for more information about our partners: Company profiles

If you would also like to present your company as part of the #meet program (Thursday, 19 September 2019), you are welcome to contact us at It is possible to network with the event participants at a speed dating event or to present yourself at the career fair with a stand.


The organizers

The event Photonics Days 2019 is organized by the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF and the Max Planck School of Photonics.

More information about Fraunhofer IOF:
More information about Max Planck School of Photonics: