Applied Physics and Photonics

Postal address
Pleinlaan 2
1050
Brussels
Belgium
Contact
Phone: +32-2-6293454

Expertise

Francis Berghmans (20/09/1969) is professor at the Faculty of Engineering of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). He is member of the Applied Physics and Photonics Department and of the photonics research group B-PHOT (Brussels Photonics), which counts about 70 scientists, engineers, and administrative and technical staff. He graduated as an Electrotechnical Engineer with majors in Applied Physics in 1992 and received his PhD in Applied Sciences in 1998, both at the VUB. As of the academic year 2018-2019, he serves as vice dean of the Faculty of Engineering.

 

Scientific activities and output: After his PhD graduation F. Berghmans was appointed leader of the Photonics section, which was part of the Instrumentation Department at the Belgian Nuclear Research Center SCK·CEN. In 2002 he was promoted Head of the Instrumentation Department of SCK·CEN. From 2006 onwards he was appointed Head of the Advanced Reactor Instrumentation Group counting 18 collaborators. As head of department he supervised multidisciplinary research on the applications of advanced photonic technologies in nuclear environments. He managed many research projects funded by the Fusion Programme of the European Commission – EURATOM as part of the development of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor – ITER, by the European Space Agency – ESA, and by the Suez-Tractebel-Electrabel group. He also managed the irradiations of devices and materials upon request from industry and research institutes, such as for example the gamma and neutron irradiations of photonic and electronic devices for the Large Hadron Collider of CERN. In 2005 he was appointed coordinator of the bilateral SCK·CEN-Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique “Joint Instrumentation Laboratory” that gathered the R&D capacities of both agencies in the field of nuclear instrumentation.

As of 1 September 2007 F. Berghmans took a permanent position at VUB, and is currently supervising 1 associate professor, 3 postdoctoral fellows and 6 PhD students that are part of his research team on micro-structured optical fibers and optical fiber based sensors. He serves as vice-dean of the faculty of Engineering.

F. Berghmans has authored/co-authored 112 Web of Science Core Collection indexed journal publications and 176 Web of Science Core Collection indexed publications in international conference proceedings. His Web of Science h-index is 27 (Google Scholar h-index is 35). He also authored 9 chapters in scientific monographs and was invited speaker at 14 international conferences. He is co-inventor on 7 patent applications.


European project coordination (since 2007): F. Berghmans has acquired substantial expertise in collaborative research in a European context and has built an extended scientific network. He is currently:

  • Vice-coordinator of the Project “ACceleraTing PHotonics deployment viA one STop-shop-technology access For Researchers – ACTPHAST 4R” (Horizon 2020 EU Research and Innovation programme – EU H2020)
  • Vice-coordinator of the Project “ACceleraTing PHotonics innovAtion for SME’s: a one STop-shop-incubator – ACTPHAST 4.0” (Horizon 2020 EU Research and Innovation programme – EU H2020) as well as Technical Coordination Team member and coordinator of the Technology Platform on “Glass and Polymer Specialty Fibers and Fiber Devices” in ACTPHAST 4.0.
  • VUB responsible for the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network “Fibre Nervous Sensing Systems - FINESSE” (Horizon 2020 EU Research and Innovation programme – EU H2020).
  • VUB responsible for the EURATOM Integrated Project “MYRRHA Research and Transmutation Endeavour - MYRTE” (Horizon 2020 EU Research and Innovation programme – EU H2020).
  • VUB responsible for the Cleansky 2 project “Structural HEalth Monitoring, Manufacturing and Repair Technologies for Life Management Of Composite Fuselage - SHERLOC” (EU H2020).
  • Management Committee member of the COST MP1401 action “Advanced fibre laser and coherent source as tools for society, manufacturing and lifescience”.

He also used to serve as:

  • Vice-coordinator of the Integrated Project “Access Center for Photonics Innovation Solutions and Technology Support - ACTPHAST” (7th Framework Programme of the European Commission - EU 7th FP) as well as Technical Coordination Team member and coordinator of the Technology Platform on “Glass and Polymer Specialty Fibers and Fiber Devices” in ACTPHAST.
  • Coordinator of the European project “Photonic Skins for Optical Sensing - PHOSFOS” (EU 7th FP).
  • VUB promoter of the European project “Versatile Easy installable Connector implementing new Technologies for accelerated fibre Optic network Roll-outs in Europe - VECTOR” (EU 7th FP).
  • Work package leader and member of the Executive Board of “Access To Micro-Optics Expertise, Services and Technologies – ACTMOST” (EU 7th FP).
  • Deputy work package leader in the “Network of Excellence - Photonics4Life” (EU 7th FP).
  • Work package leader and Executive Board Member in het “Network of Excellence on Micro-Optics – NEMO” (EU 6th FP).
  • Co-founder of and vice-chair of the COST 299 action “Optical Fibres for New Challenges Facing the Information Society – FIDES”.
  • Management Committee member of COST TD1001 “Novel and Reliable Optical Fibre Sensor Systems for Future Security and Safety Applications – OFSESA”.
  • Secretary, grant holder and working group leader of the COST 270 action “Reliability of Optical Components and Devices in Communications Systems and Networks”.

 

National project coordination (since 2007): F. Berghmans took a leading role as VUB spokesperson or principal investigator in the following regionally funded research projects

  • EOS (Excellence of Science) project “Carbon nanomaterial enhanced optical fibres for biomedical Imaging and sensing - CHARMING” (2018-2021)
  • Hercules Foundation Project “Fiber-Bragg-Grating Manufacturing Station” (2018-2021)
  • FWO Research Project "Biodegradable fiber optic technology for biophotonic applications " (2015 - 2018)
  • FWO Research Project "Robust vibration-based damage identification with a novel high-accuracy strain measurement system" (2014 - 2017)
  • Hercules Foundation Project “Optical Parametric Oscillator – Extreme optical nonlinearities in submicron- and nano-dimensioned waveguides” (2010-2015)
  • IWT SBO Project “Self Sensing Composites - SSC” (2013-2016)
  • IWT SBO Project “Effective Structural health Monitoring with Additive Manufacturing – e-SHM” (2012-2015)
  • IWT SBO Project “Flexible Artifical Optical Skins - FAOS” (2007-2010)

 

International visibility and outreach (since 2007): F. Berghmans is Fellow of SPIE, the International Society for Optics and Photonics. Since 2010, he serves as general chair of SPIE Photonics Europe, the largest bi-annual symposium in the field of photonics in Europe. For SPIE he served on:

  • the European Advisory Committee;
  • the Symposia Committee;
  • the Fellows Committee.

F. Berghmans is Senior Member of IEEE.

He served on many scientific and organising committees of international conferences supported by SPIE, IEEE and OSA (list below) and chaired numerous conference sessions as well.

  • OSA Advanced Photonics Congress, Zurich, Switzerland, 2018 (Technical Subcommittee)
  • SPIE Photonics Europe, Strasbourg, France, 2018 (general chair and scientific steering committee)
  • Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics Europe (CLEO/Europe), Munich, Germany, 2017 (Technical Program Committee)
  • International Conference on Optical Fibre Sensors 2017, Jeju, South-Korea, 2017 (Technical Programme Committee)
  • European Workshop on Optical Fibre Sensors 2016, Limerick, Ireland, 2016 (Technical Programme Committee)
  • SPIE Photonics Europe, Brussels, Belgium, 2016 (general chair and scientific steering committee)
  • Optical Sensing and Detection IV, Brussels, Belgium, 2016 (conference co-chair)
  • Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics Europe (CLEO/Europe), Munich, Germany, 2015 (Technical Program Committee)
  • International Conference on Optical Fibre Sensors 2015, Curibita, Brazil, 2015 (Technical Programme Committee)
  • International Conference on Optical Fibre Sensors 2014, Santander, Spain, 2014 (Technical Programme Committee)
  • SPIE Photonics Europe, Brussels, Belgium, 2014 (general chair and scientific steering committee)
  • Optical Sensing and Detection III, Brussels, Belgium, 2014 (conference co-chair)
  • Fringe ‘13, Stuttgart, Germany, 2013 (International Program Committee)
  • Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics Europe (CLEO/Europe), Munich, Germany, 2013 (Technical Program Committee)
  • International Conference on Optical Fibre Sensors 2012, Beijing, China, 2012 (Technical Program Committee)
  • SPIE Photonics Europe, Brussels, Belgium, 2012 (general chair and scientific steering committee)
  • Optical Sensing and Detection II, Brussels, Belgium, 2012 (conference co-chair)
  • Optical Micro- and Nanometrology III, Brussels, Belgium, 2010 (Technical Programme Committee)
  • Photonic Crystal Fibers IV, Brussels, Belgium, 2010 (Technical Programme Committee)
  • Micro-optics 2010, Brussels, Belgium, 2010 (Technical Programme Committee)
  • SPIE Photonics Europe, Brussels, Belgium, 2010 (general chair and scientific steering committee)
  • Optical Sensing and Detection, Brussels, Belgium, 2010 (conference co-chair)
  • OSA Optical Sensors, Karlsruhe, Germany, 2010 (Technical Programme Committee)
  • 14th Microoptics Conference – MOC 2008, Brussels, Belgium, 2010 (Technical Programme Committee)
  • Optical Micro- and Nanometrology in Microsystems Technology, Strasbourg, France, 2008 (Technical Programme Committee)
  • Micro-Optics, Strasbourg, France, 2008 (Technical Programme Committee)

F. Berghmans also frequently serves as referee for the following international journals: OSA Optics Letters, OSA Optics Express, OSA Applied Optics, OSA/IEEE Journal of Lightwave Technology, IEEE Photonics Technology Letters, IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics.

On a local level, F. Berghmans was co-holder of the “VUB – TE-Connectivity (CommScope) chair”. He also actively participates in the training sessions organised for French speaking secondary school teachers in collaboration with the non-profit organization “EYEST” which is responsible for the global distribution of the “Photonics Explorer” kits and in the lectures supporting the PhabLabs 4.0 ‘PHotonics enhanced fAB LABS supporting the next revolution in digitalization’ initiative at VUB.

 

Education and academic duties (since 2007): F. Berghmans holds an important academic duty as he is in charge of the introductory physics course on “Waves and Electromagnetism” (9 ECTS) for the 1st Bachelor year in Engineering, 1st Bachelor year in Physics and Astronomy and 2nd Bachelor year in Mathematics. He is also teaching the course on “Photonics” (4 ECTS) as part of the interuniversity (VUB – Universiteit Gent) “European Master of Science in Photonics”.

For the Faculty of Engineering at VUB, F. Berghmans is:

  • vice-dean
  • vice-chair of the Education Council for the Bachelor years;
  • delegate with the university’s Research Council;
  • delegate with the university’s Gender Action Policy steering group;
  • member of the faculty’s Public Relation commission.

Research output

  1. Poly(D, L-Lactic Acid) (PDLLA) Biodegradable and Biocompatible Polymer Optical Fiber

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

  2. Towards poly(D,L-lactic acid)-based biodegradable and biocompatible polymer optical fiber

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperResearch

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Activities

  1. IOP Publishing (Publisher)

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity

  2. MDPI AG (Publisher)

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity

  3. SPIE (Publisher)

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity

View all (16) »

Prizes

  1. Brussels Ambassador Award

    Prize: National/international honour

  2. Nomination for the Public Prize of "Matière Grise"

    Prize: National/international honour

  3. IEEE Senior Member

    Prize: Election to learned society

View all (5) »

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