Network and Careers

Employability is a major focus in this master programme and networking becomes increasingly important. Next to internships that connect students with industry,  different events give students the chance to mingle with co-students, professors and alumni and become part of the photonics community.

  • Light Nights: mixing professional flavor with a touch of social networking, this event brings the 1st & 2nd master year students in contact with each other and also with the professors and researchers in an informal way.
  • Photonics Event: Connecting Companies, Students and researchers. Innovative companies specialized in photonics meet up with students and researchers.
  • Photonics Summer Symposium:  at the end of each academic year, this 2-day event in June welcomes all master students. On the menu are 2nd year master thesis presentations for a jury of experts, inspiring lectures by international speakers, lab tours and social activities such as a BBQ, quiz, …

Photonics Student Chapters

Careers and employability 

Technological and scientific changes originated from light appear in our daily life, at a faster pace then ever.

Innovations in the field of self-driving cars, the transformation from WiFi to LiFi with optical fibers, or free-form solar panels that support green energy. Smart cities will further develop as networks of sensors that light up the roads in a sustainable way. Think of solutions such as the creation of implantable lenses that solve age blindness, in anywhere anytime cancer detection, in 3D creation and printing of organs to reduce experiments with animals.

Photonics Engineers are likely to take place in the driver seat of upcoming advanced innovations within medical and biomedical domains, telecom, sustainable energy or Industry 4.0:

  • Research in high-technology companies, with photonics-related activities but also integrated in multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Research in academic laboratories and research institutes. Many of our students join the research groups as PhD.
  • Research and Development of innovative photonic products in the industry, remodelling business processes in manufacturing
  • Technical support in a company for its products or services
  • Technical marketing and business development in consulting firms for a broad range of markets and solutions.



The European MSc. in Photonics offers the students exposure to cutting-edge research and top-level infrastructure in leading European academic institutes, providing knowledge and skills necessary for pursuing a career in academia as well as in industry.

Most importantly, the mobility tracks of the program sets an excellent ground for professional networking and cultural education which combined can make you stand out from the -competitive- crowd. Intensive, demanding but I would recommend it any time!

Alex Liles
PhD student St Andrews University (UK)


International research groups

The research groups at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and UGent encompass relevant fundamental and applied research, offering profound research possibilities in the wide field of photonics.

We immerse students in photonics with hands-on training sessions in state-of-the-art research laboratories, at the campus or at the VUB Photonics Innovation Center. The labs house valuable high-tech equipment and a clean room with a unique technology supply chain from fundamental, applied and industrial research up to prototyping for mass volume.  The center serves as an access hub for several national and international research groups and companies who can develop ready-to-market solutions.

A glimpse to a selection of research topics:

  • micro-optics
  • silicon photonics
  • heterogeneous integration of III/V material on silicon
  • biophotonics
  • optical fiber sensors
  • optical communication
  • integrated photonics
  • optical spectroscopy
  • lab-on-chip

The internationally recognized research groups at VUB and UGent have a primary focus on photonics. Their combined efforts have lead to a dedicated ‘center of excellence’ in photonics.

Looking for inspiration?

VUB B-PHOT organised a Bootcamp Photonics for Bachelors, an intensive day about photonics filled with visionairy trends, pop-up class, workshops and lab visits . For a first impression, have a look at the aftermovie with only happy faces!

You will find some more right here: