TRANSNET Director Professor Polina Bayvel looks back at 2021, with an emphasis on our first in-person all-team meet in two years!
On 9th December 2021 we had our first TRANSNET in-person team meeting for the entire programme, with over 40 people taking part (most of those absent were on secondments in industry)! The meeting, in Cambridge, took place two years after last such meeting in December 2019 (at Aston University).
This was a chance for many researchers to meet each other for the first time, catchup on research progress, sparking many interesting discussions and new collaborations. Real-life breakout groups allowed the assumptions to be questioned and details of modelling and experiments to be probed in a much more inspired and spontaneous manner.
We spent a lot of time discussing which of the models are best for optical networks and system modelling – ranging from exact physical models to probabilistic principled approaches to heuristic models with no prior knowledge of the system…and the range of problems – network topology design, routing and nonlinearity mitigation, for networks ranging from long-haul transmission to data centres to optics in high-performance computer systems.
These debates will, no doubt, continue as we learn our way through to new solutions and results for networks with the highest throughput, least delay and able to adapt the fastest!
Research cannot be done online, and collaborative research even more so… We have tried to mitigate Covid-19 related damages to the project, but the experimental programme has been most affected, as have collaborative activities. Despite this, we are proud to report significant progress – many new research papers, new grants and numerous awards and prizes. Lab closure time has been used to undertake major new equipment procurement, expanding in both electrical and optical bandwidths (above 100GHz and beyond 200nm) and plan new experiments.
We are looking forward to a much more productive and transformative 2022. Wishing you all a happy and healthy holiday season and a very happy 2022!
L-R: Ronit Sohanpal, Josh Nevin, Zhixin Liu, Mindaugas Jarmolovicius, Lidia Galdino, Benedikt Geiger and George Zervas.