A call for Visiting Scholars (Guest Lecturers) for 2021-2022 is open: https://smartnet.astonphotonics.uk/guest-scholars/

SMARTNET invited scholars for the 2018-2022 academic years:


Assist Prof Konstantinos Vyrsokinos

Assistant Professor at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Bio: Dr Konstantinos Vyrsokinos is currently an Assistant Professor at the School of Physics at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and a founding member of the WinPhos research group. He holds a BSc degree (2001) from the same institute and a PhD from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, National Technical University of Greece (2007). He has participated so far in more than eleven EU and two National funded research projects. From 2018 until 2021 he was the project coordinator of the ICT MOICANA project and currently, he is the project Coordinator of the ICT NEBULA project, both dealing with the development of advanced Photonic Integrated Circuits for Telecom and Datacom Applications. Dr Vyrsokinos has published more than 140 scientific papers in peer reviewed journals and conferences and his research interests lie in the areas of design and experimental evaluation of PICs for various applications, photonic integration technologies, Neuromorphic photonics, and Quantum Random Generators.

Abstract: Silicon Nitride (SiN) Technology has rapidly progressed in recent decades providing key advantages such as ultra low-loss, low-cost, large tolerance to optical power and efficient coupling to optical fiber. In this series of lectures, we are going to discuss the fabrication details of SiN based Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs) and the performance metrics of key components. The course will also address two problems of SiN: How to co-integrate lasers in the same platform enabling efficient light coupling with low cost and also how to modulate this light at slow or high speed through plasmonic or photonic phase shifters, respectively. As a final step, we are going to discuss the design of 1D Optical Phased Arrays in SiN and we will compare its performance with similar structures from InP and polymer materials.

4 online lectures took place from the 27th to 30th of June 2022

Dr Georgios Sygletos

Principal Software and Data Engineer at Elsevier, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Bio: Dr Georgios Sygletos received his diploma in Computer Engineering and Informatics from the University of Patras, Greece, in 1999. In 2005 he received his PhD from the Department of Informatics and Telecommunications of the University of Athens, Greece, in collaboration with the National Centre of Scientific Research “Demokritos”. He defended a thesis about learning to combine different information extraction systems at the meta-level using machine learning. Since 2007 he has been working in the industry where he applied machine learning and big data technologies to solve various problems. His current position is Principal Data Engineer at Elsevier.

Abstract: This course will demonstrate how to use machine learning in the context of big data processing. We will start with a coverage of basic principles and tools, accompanied by hands-on tutorials on Apache Spark, which is considered a state-of-the-art platform for processing and analyzing big data. Emphasis will be given to using MLLib, which is Spark’s default machine learning library. We will also explore how to use PyTorch, a state-of-the-art deep learning framework together with Spark. All tutorials will be taught in Python.

8 online lectures took place from the 6th to 16th of June 2022

Prof Stanislav Derevyanko

School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel

Bio: Prof S. Derevyanko received his PhD degree in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics in 2001 from the Institute for Radiophysics and Electronics, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kharkiv, Ukraine. From January 2002 to September 2007 he was a research fellow at Photonics Research Group (now Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies) at Aston University, Birmingham, UK. From October 2007 to September 2012 he held a position of an EPSRC Advanced Fellow first at the Photonics Research Group and later at Mathematics Group at Aston University. In 2012 he moved to Israel where he held Marie Curie Inter-European fellowship at Weizmann Institute of Science from April 2013 to March 2015. In October 2015 he joined the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Ben Gurion University in Negev, Beersheba, Israel.
Prof Derevyanko is an author of over 50 papers in peer review journals and a dozen refereed conference proceedings. His main research interests include optical communications, information theory, signal processing and soliton theory.

Abstract: The nonlinear frequency Fourier transform (NFT) is a promising concept in the field of optical fiber communications. Based on well-established mathematical techniques of the integrable nonlinear evolutionary equation it proposes a data encoding scheme that is intrinsically immune to Kerr nonlinearity and chromatic dispersion which are thought to be the main limiting factor in the informational capacity of long-haul telecommunications.
In a series of 4 two-hour online lectures, we shall begin with the minimal self-contained introduction to the area of telecommunications gradually moving to the more advanced topics dealing with the NFT-techniques in the bottom-up approach. We shall emphasize the challenges and future perspectives of this exciting technique, including combining NFT with data-based equalization and transmission schemes.

4 online lectures took place from the 21st to 25th of February 2022


Prof Kyriakos Vlachos

Computer Engineering and Informatics Department, University of Patras, Greece

Bio: Prof Kyriakos G. Vlachos received his Dipl.-Ing. degree in electrical and computer engineering from the National University of Athens (NTUA), Greece, in 1998 and his Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering, also from NTUA, in 2001. From 1997 to 2001 he was a Senior Research Associate in the Photonics Communications Research Laboratory (ICCS/NTUA). In April 2001 he joined Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies, working on behalf of the Applied Photonics Group. Prof. Vlachos conducted research on high-speed optical networks and DWDM transmission techniques. During 2003, he joined the National Regulation Authority of Telecommunication and Postal Service of Greece (EETT), where he served as a Scientific Advisor for various techno-economic issues for the promotion of broadband technologies. Since 2003, he was also a member of the Computer Engineering Laboratory of the Technical University of Delft, and since 2005 he has been a Faculty Member of the Computer Engineering and Informatics Department of the University of Patras, Greece. In 2007, he founded the Photonic Networks and TechnologyLaboratory (PNET) (http://ru1photonicslab.cti.gr/). His research interests are in the areas of high-speed protocols and technologies for broadband, high-speed networks, optical packet/burst switching, and grid networks. Prof. Vlachos has participated in various research projects funded by the European Commission (IST-STOLAS, IST-PRO3, ESPRIT-DOALL, ephoton/ONe, ICT-BONE, and ICT-DICONET). Prof. Vlachos is a member of IEEE and the Technical Chamber of Greece, and he periodically acts as a scientific reviewer for the General Secretariat for Research and Technology of Greece (GSRT) as well as for the European Commission and the Netherlander Organization for Scientific Research, Technology Foundation. Prof. Vlachos is the (co)author of more than 100 journal and conference publications and holds 2 patents.

Abstract: The proposed activity concerned lectures on Network Security focusing on the hands-on experience. The course dealt with the analysis, design, and management issues for achieving an effective network security zone. Key concepts and technologies that were presented included Linux firewalls, authentication, type of attacks (DDoS/DOS/DNS) and possible mitigation techniques. An overview of encryption algorithms and security protocols was also presented. Students had to have access to a personal Virtual Machine (VM) in which they flashed a Debian OS (or other Linux distro). By login into their VM, they experimented with using Linux firewalls, hardening server security as well as monitoring potential malicious attempts for breaching security.

8 online lectures took place from 5th to 16th of July 2021

Dr Vladyslav Kolbasyn

National Technical University “Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute”, Ukraine

Bio: Dr Vladyslav Kolbasin is a Senior Data Scientist at Toshiba R&D Centre Ukraine. He has a total 17 years of IT experience, 9 years as a Data Scientist. His research interests broadly involve Deep Learning, NLP and Computer Vision problems, also he is interested in researching dynamical systems and time-series identification. Vladyslav is a senior lecturer at CMAD department of NTU “KhPI”. He also has 1 gold medal at the Kaggle text classification competition.

Abstract: The general focus of these lectures was to highlight the evolution of deep learning methods for time-series and dynamic systems analysis and processing. Lectures started with an introduction to basic deep networks like CNN and RNN, followed by advanced techniques like attention mechanisms and transformers. At the end of the first week, it was discussed how all these architectures can be combined and used for time-series processing. Further topics covered in the second week were generative models, meta-learning, domain adaptation and adversarial attacks. The final theme was numerical ODE solving using deep learning techniques.

8 online lectures took place from the 14th to 25th of June 2021





Prof Charis Mesaritakis

University of the Aegean, Mitilini, Greece

Bio: Prof Charis Mesaritakis acquired his diploma, MSc and PhD from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece. He has been awarded a postdoctoral EU Marie-Curie Fellowship, involving high precision laser telemetry in III-V Labs, France; Followed by two competitive national research grants, PROMITHEAS from the G. Latsis foundation and HFRI-GSRT NEBULA, both focusing on the investigation of photonic neuromorphic technologies and photonic machine learning.

Since 2019, he is an Associate Professor at the Department of Information and Communication Systems Engineering at the University of the Aegean. Currently, he is a manager of the EU H2020 NEoteRIC project also focuses on photonic neuromorphic paradigms. Prof Charis Mesaritakis is the author and co-author of more than 80 publications in highly cited journals and international conferences focusing on quantum-dot laser dynamics, neuromorphic systems and physical layer security, whereas he is a patent holder for photonic-physical unclonable functions modules for implementing physical layer security.

Abstract: During the last years, Neuromorphic Photonics has attracted the spotlight of attention, due to unique advantages that emerge when combining the merits of integrated photonics such as high wall-plug efficiency, inherent parallelism and bio-isomorphism of their dynamics with neuro-computational concepts. In particular, biological system’s attributes such as spiking, excitability and plasticity unlock unique computational features that allow a new generation of unconventional photonic “processors” based on concepts such as reservoir computing, liquid state machines and spiking neural networks. These optical concepts are currently implemented using state-of-the-art of photonic technology and aim at addressing high-end machine learning related applications such as: high speed image processing (industry 4.0, machine vision, aerospace etc.), next-generation plastic optical networks and high-speed low-power processing in general.

4 online lectures took place from the 7th to 11th of June 2021

Prof Adonis Bogris

Department of Informatics and Computer Engineering, UNIWA, Greece

Bio: Prof Adonis Bogris received the B.S. degree in informatics, the M.Sc. degree in telecommunications, and the PhD degree from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Currently, he is a professor at the University of West Attica. Prof A. Bogris is the head of broadband communications and networks unit of the Parallel and Distributed Systems and Networks lab and director of PDSN lab (PDSN, www.pdsn.uniwa.gr) and co-director of the research unit on neuromorphic computing and photonics (rncp.eu).

Abstract: Digital signal processing and its synergy with optical signal processing is an indispensable tool which enables high speed communications in either short-reach or long-haul transmission systems. As the baud rate and/or the modulation format complexity increases, the signal processing must become even more elegant so as to protect the transmitted signals from transceiver imperfections and the interplay of chromatic dispersion and fiber non-linearity. Very recently, machine learning techniques and/or hardware accelerators based on neuromorphic computing emerge as two promising ways to enhance the capabilities of signal processing especially in harsh nonlinear environments for symbol rates exceeding 50 Gbaud.

The seminar provided a state of the art overview of the emerging neuromorphic computing and machine learning techniques and models towards the mitigation of transmission impairments in optical communication systems.

4 online lectures took place from the 31st of May to the 4th of June 2021


Dr Auro Perego

AiPT, Aston University, Birmingham, United Kingdom

Bio: Auro M. Perego obtained his PhD in Electrical Engineering from the Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies (AIPT), Aston University in 2018. He is currently a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow at the AIPT and his research interests include nonlinear fibre optics, instabilities in optical systems, laser physics, mode-locking and frequency combs generation in lasers and optical resonators.

Abstract: The general focus of these lectures was on the analytical theory of nonlinear phenomena in optical fibres and in passive driven fibre resonators.

An introduction to the nonlinear Schrödinger equation and analysis of nonlinear effects on light pulses propagating in single mode fibres was presented; the concept of modulation instability and its application in parametric amplification was discussed in detail. A further topic covered was the analytical modelling of light dynamics in passive fibre resonators with external injection where modulation instability, bistability, cavity solitons and frequency combs were described.

4 online lectures took place from the 24th to 28th of May 2021

Dr Vladimir Gordienko

AiPT, Aston University, Birmingham, United Kingdom

Bio: Dr Vladimir Gordienko received his PhD for his work on broadband fibre optic parametric amplifiers at Aston University, Birmingham, UK in 2018. Since then he has been a Research Fellow at Aston University working on several government and industry funded projects focused on four-wave mixing based devices. He is now leading teams of researchers working on fibre optic parametric amplifiers and optical wavelength converters. Dr Gordienko is an author of ~30 journal and conference publications, including 3 invited talks, and a patent.

Abstract: The global tech industry is heavily reliant on fibre optic communications, and its further development is bound to faster and cheaper data transmission. Therefore, one of the key research focuses is the invention of new technologies and devices to increase capacity of fibre optic links at a reduced cost. These lectures covered principles, state of art and applications of a range of novel amplifiers and nonlinearity-based devices likely to transform optical communications within the next decade by multiplying the capacity of communication links and improving the utilization of available bandwidth.

4 online lectures took place from the 26th to 30th of April 2021







Dr Vladyslav Kolbasyn

National Technical University ‘Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute’, Kharkiv, Ukraine

Dr Vladyslav Kolbasyn is a researcher and a lecturer in machine learning, computer graphics and computational geometry and object-oriented programming at Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute. The focus of interest of Dr Kolbasyn is machine learning, deep learning, data analytics, mathematical models and algorithms. His key technical skills are deep knowledge of machine learning, deep learning, R/Python and its packages/libraries, and experience in the development and programming of non-trivial applications and algorithms.

A lecture course about Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) was presented. Different ANN concepts were reviewed within the course. Dr Vladyslav Kolbasyn started with the introduction to convolution and recurrent neural networks, several examples of how these concepts can be used for solving practical tasks in signal processing and computer vision and continued with advanced techniques like GANs and Meta-learning were discussed. In the final lecture, adversarial attacks on ML algorithms (one of many edges of ANNs applicability) were tackled.

2-weeks course of 8 online lectures from the 29th June 2020 to the9th July 2020

Dr Georgios Sygletos

Big data engineer at Elsevier, Netherlands

Dr Georgios Sygletos works as a big data engineer at Elsevier. He holds a PhD in Computer Science with a thesis on machine learning and information extraction. He has hands-on experience with software development, operations, machine learning, NoSQL databases, microservices and the big data ecosystem.

The taught course had the title “Big data software & platforms”. The course provided good coverage of modern big data principles and tools, accompanied by a hands-on tutorial to Apache Spark. The latter was considered a state-of-the art platform for processing and analysing big data. The tutorial was taught in Python.

Given the academic and rich industry background of Dr Georgios Sygletos, with emphasis on distributed systems and the big data ecosystem, this course mainly conveyed the enthusiasm to the students towards pursuing a career in data engineering and data science.

2-weeks course of 8 online lectures from the13th July 2020 to the 23rd July 2020


Dr Marcos Anastasopoulos

University of Bristol, UK

Dr Markos Anastasopoulos has presented a tutorial of “Network Modeling” under the frame of an ONDM-2019 Summer School. The Summer School has offered a set of presentations, addressing MSc and PhD students in the areas of Optical and 5G Networking.

The main purpose of the tutorial was to present to the SMARTNET students the basic principles and methods for developing optimization models applied in the design of smart communication and sensors networks. This set of lectures was focused on optimization problems and methods for traffic routing, flow, and resource capacity optimization. The design models and considered methods were mainly used for backbone and core telecom networks as these are among the most challenging due to their scale, complexity, and cost. Emphasis was given on explaining the principles and methods of network modeling and optimization in a comprehensive, unified, generic, and precise manner. To achieve this goal by the lectures that was given presented the problems on a level of abstraction to avoid unnecessary complexity aiming at helping the Erasmus Mundus students to understand the basics, developments, and recent advances in network design. To cover the major issues in the design of smart telecom networks, the following topics were addressed:

  1. modeling techniques for developing and formulating various design problems;
  2. multi-layer modeling of networks comprising different technologies (and functionalities); and
  3. development of network protection and restoration mechanisms.

13-16 May 2019 under the frame of an ONDM-2019 Summer School, Athens, Greece

Prof Emmanouil (Manos) Varvarigos

National Technical University of Athens, Greece

Prof Manos Varvarigos is a Professor at the National Technical University of Athens. He has held faculty positions at the
University of California (1992-1998), Delft University of Technology (1998-2000), University of Patras (2000-2015) and Monash University (2017-2018).

He developed and delivered a 4 days course in the ONDM summer school, which was organized by UoA for our SMARTNET students.  The course introduced the students to the fundamentals of Optical Networks, Network planning and SDN
concepts. Participants were informed about the vision of an optical network that continuously observes its state and takes
dynamically reconfiguration actions to optimize its operation. Students were also trained on the most state of the art simulation tools for optical network design.

13-16 May 2019 under the frame of an ONDM-2019 Summer School, Athens, Greece

Dr Claudio Porzi

Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy

In May 2019 Dr Claudio Porzi was invited to give a course of lectures for the SMARTNET students at Aston University, named “Photonic Integrated Circuits for Microwave Photonics”.

Claudio Porzi received the MSc degree in Electronics Engineering from University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Italy, and the PhD in Telecommunications from “Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna”, Pisa, Italy, in 2000 and 2005, respectively. He is currently Assistant Professor at the Institute of Communication, Information, and Perception Technologies (TeCIP) of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, within the Digital and Microwave Photonics research area, working on the design and characterization of photonic integrated circuits for telecom/datacom and microwave photonics applications. Since 2009 he is co-lecturer of the “Photonic Technology” course at Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna. Dr Claudio Porzi co-authored more than 100 research papers published in peer-reviewed journals or presented at international conferences in the fields of optical communications, microwave photonics, and photonic integrated circuits and six international patents.

The course consisted of the four 2-hour lectures, where Claudio was discussed his research, which provided an overview of integrated microwave photonics as well as the basic ingredients of photonic-integrated circuit design. The design strategies for the realization of miniaturized functional devices within a photonic-integrated chip exploiting different technological platforms was also discussed. The students, attending the course, became familiar with the topic of integrated microwave photonics, the current research trends, the open challenges, and the main application fields, with a special emphasis on the opportunities for practical deployments for commercial applications.

27-31 May 2019 at Aston University, Birmingham, UK