A call for Visiting Scholars (Guest Lecturers) for 2020-2022 is open: https://smartnet.astonphotonics.uk/guest-scholars/

SMARTNET invited scholars for 2018-2020 academic years:


Dr Vladyslav Kolbasyn

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

Dr Vladyslav Kolbasyn is a researcher and a lecturer of 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, experience in 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 Colbasyn 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 continue 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.

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.



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.
Prof Emmanouil (Manos) Varvarigos

National Technical University of Athens, Greece

Professor Emmanouil Varvarigos was involved in general tutorials of the conference ONDM – 2019 (23rd Conference on Optical Network Design and Modeling 2019) and gave a talk on “Self-Monitored, Self-adjusted Optical Network”.


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.