This past Friday we were quite busy with celebrating the 50 years of scientific career of our own emeritus professor at the AOG, Prof David Jackson. To mark this milestone, a mini-conference was organised, bringing together all of his former students and colleagues. It was really inspiring to attend all these talks from people all over the world having successful scientific careers which have themselves started here at Kent.
It was a very hectic day, indeed, including quite a few talks, networking sessions and even a poster session (where we were invited to present posters showcasing the current research at the AOG, which has moved a bit sideways from Prof’s areas of research – from optical fibre sensors to biomedical imaging. It was also quite interesting to network with all these former students who worked towards a PhD, like me, but in the early to late 1980s. Things that we take for granted nowadays such as fibre couplers and specialist fibre splicing equipment simply didn’t exist; to grab traces from an oscilloscope screen an actual Polaroid camera (!) had to be employed with a special adapter; and obviously the dissemination of articles and the journals available to publish them were considerably different from today.
I volunteered for taking the visitors round the campus in an impromptu tour – when it came to take them by the library I actually realised that I have barely went in there during these past three years at Kent! Nowadays every single scientific article is only a couple of clicks away (provided your institution subscribes the journal in question, that is… 😛 ).