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Personal accounts (photonics specialised training course)

Arnaud Peigné, 2012 academic year student

Arnaud PeignéENSSAT - offering international opportunities
"After spending two years completing my preparatory foundation degree, I began studying at ENSSAT specialising in photonics. The end of my 1st year at ENSSAT gave me my first opportunity to go abroad, in Ireland. I was extremely eager to gain first-hand experience of the research world, see how it works. This placement was the first of my course and it had a dual objective: meet the requirement to complete a work placement overseas and retain the opportunity to proceed with two additional « long term » industry placements (during the 2nd and 3rd years of the course). Why Ireland?...

Primarily because this English-speaking destination is very practical for a short-term placement and its laboratories are extremely active in photonics, my specialist field. With regards to the method used to find my placement, I began by making a list of all research laboratories potentially liable to recruit a student from overseas. I later received a positive response from the Tyndall institute, a laboratory in Cork. This institute is a research laboratory specialising in photonics and microelectronics both of which are fields of expertise that fit perfectly with my studies at ENSSAT. I would strongly advise others to make a start with the search formalities as early as January and to spend time considering the various existing connections that already are in place between ENSSAT teacher/researchers and counterparts in other institutions elsewhere. Doing this is hugely beneficial within the search process. This was the reason my application was successful: the FOTON Institute had previously collaborated with the Tyndal institute.

The theme of my placement was focused on simulating the behaviour patterns of semi-conductive lasers. The experience was greatly enhanced by discovering laboratories and attending conferences. My work led me to write this brief note for students considering the possibility of doing a work placement in a specialised field of their choice. I encourage all those who remain unsure about the prospect of going abroad to experience life in a foreign country to go ahead. It will certainly prove to be worthwhile. Immersing oneself in a different culture within  a laboratory with different line management practices enables us to develop, in my opinion, a more « global » perspective.

Timothée Lincot, 2010 academic year student - Technical-commercial export engineer (Horiba)

Timothée LincotWhat does ENSSAT represent for you?
"Above all, ENSSAT is the place where I learn, experiment and develop the indispensable skills required to be a good engineer. Learning each of the subjects taught here represents a valuable advantage in my future career. Laser physics, holography and atomic physics are all areas we must become proficient in to become good engineers. Additionally, the social science modules are essential to complete the transition into the professional world and operate successfully in our future working environment. The sports module also gave me the opportunity to enjoy aquatic activities including sailing...

But it is also possible to acquire different skills outside the classes: in the context of clubs. Thus, being President of the Music Club has allowed me to develop my sense of duty and responsibility while exercising my passion. Finally, there is within Enssat a dynamic Student Association that organizes many events at Enssat and outside (which is important because we can not work 24 hours a day)."