Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from January, 2013

'Breaking stuff': photonics careers and women

What is it like for women pursuing careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields?
Clearly, the experience is different for women and for men. Salary data show global pay disparities: across the world, women in photonics, for example, earn less than men.
It isn’t a quality issue. The Association of Women in Science reports that awards, patents, and funding opportunities for women are proportionately fewer -- but at the same time, women publish in higher percentages and in journals with higher impact factors, and startups with women as top executives are more successful.
Noting that "the problem is not the lack of female talent," the European Commission has quantified what it calls a “leaky pipeline.” In 2006, for example, women accounted for 45% of PhD graduates but in the same year, 82% of the most senior researchers were men and just 18% women.
In the United States, women are 50% of the total workforce but 24% of the STEM workforce.
In Africa t…

Photonics on the road to safer driving

In the Netherlands, by midyear they expect to have installed the first of several innovations that will lead to better highway safety and energy efficiency, Smart Planet has reported. Lights that are activated by passing cars, special lanes for charging electric vehicles while they’re moving, and temperature-responsive road paint that alerts drivers to freezing conditions are just a few of the features of this highway of the future. Watch the video:


Two companies, Studio Roosegaarde and Heijmans Infrastructure, came up with the highway ideas. The luminous road markings and temperature indicating road will be installed first, and the other things shown in the video will take longer.
Any one of these ideas would be a welcome enhancement, but taken together, an exciting new driving environment will be created beginning this summer in Holland’s Brabant province. By the way, this comes from the country that last year brought us heated bike lanes for icy streets.
Technology to monitor the …