Keynote Speakers

Jessica DeGroote Nelson

Jessica DeGroote Nelson is the Director of Technology and Strategy at Optimax Systems, Inc. She graduated from The Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester with her B.S., M.S, and Ph.D. in 2002, 2004 and 2007 respectively. Dr. Nelson returned to the University of Rochester to earn her M.B.A. from the Simon School in 2013.  In addition to working full time at Optimax, she is currently an adjunct faculty member at The Institute of Optics teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in optical materials, fabrication and testing. Dr. Nelson is an active member in both OSA an SPIE.






Howard Wiseman

Howard Wiseman is an Australian theoretical quantum physicist. He completed his PhD on quantum measurement and feedback theory, at the University of Queensland, in 1994. After postdocs at the University of Auckland, and back in Queensland, he joined Griffith University in 1999. He is best known for his work in quantum information, quantum foundations, and quantum measurement and control. He is least known for his work in Arthurian history and literature, which he nonetheless also holds dear. Howard has co-authored a widely used Cambridge text-book, and more than 200 refereed papers. He has won several national awards, prizes, and medals, and has been elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, the American Physical Society, and the Optical Society of America. He has been the Director of the Centre for Quantum Dynamics at Griffith University since 2007.



Denise Zezell

Prof. Denise M. Zezell, is PhD in Physics responsible for the Laboratory of Biophotonics since 1992, and Head of the Laser Applications department at Nuclear and Energy Research Institute (IPEN-CNEN/SP), in association with University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Her activities expanded research through all dental applications from in vitro studies to clinical uses of lasers, boosting Brazilian industrial developments as a commercial return from research. Her main research activities are in the physical and chemical characterization of biological tissues irradiated by laser, aiming the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic methods in Medicine and Dentistry. Recently she also dedicates to the study of early diagnosis of skin and oral tumors by optical biopsy. Infrared Thermography, Fourier Transform Infrared Thermography (micro-FTIR) and Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) are the main techniques used. She has published over 130 peer reviewed publications.


Andrew Forbes

Andrew Forbes studied Physics at the University of Natal and received his PhD in 1998.  From 1999 he spent several years working as an applied laser physicist, where he helped develop a laser company from a small start-up to a medium size enterprise.  During this time, much of it as technical director of the company, he led the development of several laser systems which are now in use at blue chip institutes around the world. In 2005 Andrew decided to return to more research orientated activities and joined the CSIR National Laser Centre where he was Chief Researcher and Research Group Leader of the Mathematical Optics group.  Ten years later, in 2015, Andrew moved to Wits University as a Distinguished Professor where he has started a new group working on Structured Light.

Andrew chairs or serves on the committees of several international conferences, is an editorial board member for two journals, is a Fellow of SPIE and the OSA, a founding member of the Photonics Initiative of South Africa and an elected member of the Academy of Science of South Africa. He is an active populariser of science through numerous popular articles, television shows and radio contributions, and runs a programme to advance photonics at previously disadvantaged institutions. In 2015 Andrew won a national award for his contributions to Photonics in South Africa over the past decade.  Andrew spends his time having fun with the taxpayers’ money, continuing his love affair with laser beams and resonators, digital holography, orbital angular momentum and quantum optics.