A few days ago, Xia Shiqi, a postdoctoral fellow at the School of Physical Sciences of Nankai University and TEDA Institute of Applied Physics, was awarded the 2023 Global Rising Stars of Light.
The Global Optics Future Star is an international honor initiated by Light: Science & Applications, the leading journal of the Excellence Program, in collaboration with iCANx, to recognize and reward young scientists who have excelled in the field of optics.
The selection of this year’s Global Optical Future Star Award lasted for 6 months, and received applications from many outstanding young scientists from Stanford University, Duke University, University of Washington, Georgia Institute of Technology, Washington University in St. Louis, Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, Max Planck Institute for Photoscience Research, Tel Aviv University, Monash University, National University of Singapore, Tsinghua University, Nankai University, Huazhong University of Science and Technology and other top universities around the world. They competed for the Future Star Award in the “Faculty Track” and “Before Faculty Track” tracks, and Xia Shiqi stood out among the candidates and won the 2023 Global Optical Future Star (Before Faculty Track, only 3 people were selected).
Rising star of optics and pioneer of science and technology
Xia Shiqi received his Ph.D. in optics from Nankai University in 2021, and was later selected for the “Postdoctoral Innovative Talent Support Program”, and is currently engaged in postdoctoral research in the research group of Professor Chen Zhigang and Professor Xu Jingjun of Nankai University.
Xia’s research interests mainly involve topological photonics and non-Hermitian optics, and has potential applications in optical communication, optical computing, and optical sensors.
Xia Shiqi said, “We know that light travels in a straight line in a vacuum, because vacuum is a uniform medium. In other words, in a non-uniform medium, light does not necessarily travel in a straight line, so we can manipulate the transmission of light by changing the arrangement of the medium. His research interests are in the field of controlled optical transmission through topological and non-Hermitian properties, which allow the transmission of light to be unaffected by structural impurities, while non-Hermitian gains are lost.
When talking about the reasons for choosing this direction, Xia Shiqi concluded, “In general, it is the interest and the guidance of mentors and friends. ”
The interest of middle and high school and the enlightenment of high school teachers made Xia Shiqi choose to major in applied physics. His own efforts and the guidance of university teachers led him to enter Nankai and become interested in topological photonics. Through in-depth research and discussions with his teachers, he became familiar with cutting-edge optical research fields such as non-Hermitian optics.
“Scientific Method + Optimism”
Xia Shiqi’s main work has been published in a number of internationally renowned academic journals, including Science, Nature Communications, Physical Review Letters, Light: Science & Applications, and Advanced Photonics, and he has co-published more than 20 academic papers. He has won the Guo Guangcan Optics Outstanding Paper Award of the Chinese Optical Society, the Wang Daheng Optics Award – Student Optics Award, etc., and his achievements have been selected as the Top Ten Advances in Chinese Optics in 2021 and the Top Ten Advances in Global Optics and Photonics “Optics in 2022”.
The achievement of scientific research results has its own accident, but there is also the necessity behind the accident, that is, the application of scientific methods. “We have come to the end of the project, and we spend more time conceiving the topic, conducting experiments, processing data, and writing papers. The span of this process may be one or two years, and there will be a lot of uncertainties in between. Therefore, we need to have a general and clear plan. Xia Shiqi believes that it is necessary to have a macro grasp of the topic, roughly evaluate the innovativeness of the topic, the corresponding theory and the difficulty of the experiment, and then carry out the corresponding experiment, which will “go relatively smoothly”.
Whether you’re starting a new project or doing an experiment, it’s not uncommon for you to fail. “For example, I tried to further improve the experimental parameters through some methods, but I also worked hard for several months, but in the end I didn’t succeed.” The setbacks were frustrating, but they also gave Xia Shiqi more encouragement, “thinking that I must do something”. In the process of scientific research, “try-fail-try”, Xia Shiqi continues to accumulate experience and sum up experience. It is this good attitude that makes him say when he looks back on his scientific research journey, “The experience of failure is also unforgettable.” ”
In Nankai, solidarity and mutual assistance climb the peak together
Xia Shiqi mentioned many times that Nankai was crucial to his academic development. When he first entered the school, the teachers and senior brothers and sisters in the research group provided all-round guidance and support to help him adapt to the new academic environment. During his 7 years in Nankai, the school’s rich academic resources and good academic atmosphere, as well as the solid professional knowledge of teachers and classmates, have had a profound impact on him. While striving to explore new experimental protocols, Xia Shiqi actively shared his experience with other students in the research group to promote common growth. “In the past few years of studying in Nankai, I have learned that it is very important to help each other and contribute to each other in scientific research. This team spirit not only contributes to personal growth, but also to the development of the research group. ”
Start with interest, and choose to continue on the road of interest. When talking about future planning, Xia Shiqi said, “After the postdoctoral fellowship is released, I will continue to engage in scientific research, which is my interest, and it is a great luck to be able to make my interest my career.” ”
For the “back waves” on the road of scientific research, Xia Shiqi would like to say to the younger students in Nankai: enthusiasm for scientific research is a very valuable driving force. “I hope you can maintain this pure love, so that you can still work hard to move forward when the research encounters difficulties and setbacks, and finally reap the results.”
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