The Photonics100: Alexander Braun Q&A
Imaging and Machine Vision Europe talks to previous honoree of The Photonics100 Alexander Braun, Professor of Physics at the University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf.
What is the next big thing in your area of photonics research?
Optical quality and image quality for autonomous driving: understanding what elements or features of optical and image quality are relevant for the AI-based perception and decision SW stack, especially for automotive mass production. We don’t need a good MTF end-of-line, we need good traffic sign detection and recognition in the field, for one million camera systems per year!
What do you think the biggest challenges in your area will be over the next year?
Linking and correlating those optical features to the actual AI performance. Physical-realistic simulation of environmental influences on image quality such as temperature, dirt, rain, and so on.
What advice would you give to someone embarking on a career in photonics research?
If you’re embarking on a career in optics/photonics I would not give general advice, because the field is so vast. I would only confirm your choice, strongly! If well-chosen, you basically have a job guarantee! Photonics is great, and unfortunately, it’s very underrated in the public eye. The industry is (and has been) desperately looking for talent, but sadly there is a huge gap between what young people find attractive and start studying, and what the industry would like as an optical skill set.
Who, in your opinion, are the up-and-coming R&D ‘rock stars’ in your area or organisation?
Professor Felix Heide, Princeton and CTO of Algolux.
You can make your nomination for The Photonics100 2024 here.