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SPIE/Optica Student Chapter

Getting the public excited about science

The SPIE/Optica Student Chapter is a non-profit organization based at the Center for Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering. Our members are students of a PhD program at the Medical University of Vienna and conducting research in an optics group of the ZMPBMT. The SPIE ("The International Society For Optics And Photonics") and Optica ("The Optical Society") are international associations, which among other things organize scientific conferences, in which many of the students of our center regularly participate. Both organizations support us not only with financial grants for special projects, such as the "International Day of Light", but also with an annual financial subsidy. With these grants, our Student Chapter hosts public events, among other things. Such events as "The Long Night of Museums", serve to vividly demonstrate to the population of Vienna the great importance of the research conducted at our center for medical advancement. Furthermore, this support of SPIE and Optica (former OSA) makes it possible for students to participate in international conferences with scholarships.

Our chapter is supervised by Wolfgang Drexler (SPIE) and Michael Pircher (Optica).
It was formally supervised by Christoph Hitzenberger (Optica), who has now entered his well-deserved retirement. The Chapter thanks Christoph for his fantastic commitment and support.

"How to take a group picture during the pandemic?" in the introductory video of the SPIE & Optica Student chapter at the Medical University of Vienna. The Student Chapter is a non-profit organization based at the Center for Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering run by and for the students. Our members (appearing in the video) are students of PhD programs at the Medical University of Vienna conducting their research in optics and photonics. Special thanks to our photographer Pablo Eugui.


Prajakta Belekar (President)
Jonas Nienhaus (Vizepräsident)
Maria Varaka ((Secretary)
Yash Patel (Treasurer)


Vladislav Agafonov ((former board member))
Anja Agneter
Adam Apro
Lukasz Bugyi
Akhil Jaya Chandran
Gabriel Giardina (former board member)
Florian Kapeller  (former board member)
Mengyuan Ke
Milana Kendrisic (former board member)

  • Marco Augustin
  • Daniela Bovenkamp (former board member)
  • Anja Britten (former board member)
  • Shiyu Deng
  • Sylvia Desissaire
  • Mikael Erkkilä (former board member)
  • Pablo Eugui
  • Stefan Georgiev
  • Johanna Gesperger (former board member)
  • Laurin Ginner (former board member)
  • Danielle J. Harper (former board member)
  • Bettina Kronsteiner
  • Antonia Lichtenegger (former board member)
  • Sam Mathew
  • Philipp Matten (former board member)
  • Alice Motschi (former board member)
  • Michael Niederleithner
  • Fabian Placzek (former board member)
  • Martin Pfister
  • Elisabet Rank (former board member)
  • David Reichert
  • Matthias Salas
  • Hannes Stegmann



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