Tech Forms Research Unit with France's CNRS

Largest scientific organization in Europe collaborating with Georgia Tech on secure networks and innovative materials

Georgia Tech and France's Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) have partnered to create a joint international research unit (unité mixte internationale - UMI) to focus on telecommunications and innovative materials research.

The UMI, which is the first of its kind in France, will be based at Georgia Tech Lorraine (GT Lorraine), the European campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology located in Metz, France. Created in 1990, GT Lorraine excels in secure networks and innovative materials research.

Two large and select French engineering schools, ENSAM and SUPELEC, and two universities, Franche Comté University in Besançon and Paul Verlaine University in Metz, are associate members.

"The fact that the UMI agreement was officially signed in Paris at the CNRS headquarters in the presence of Dr. Catherine Brechignac, president of CNRS, and Dr. A. Migus, director of CNRS, shows that CNRS attaches great importance to this new venture between Georgia Tech and CNRS. It is clear that Georgia Tech Lorraine played an important role in this strategic partnership," said Dr. Yves Berthelot, director of GT Lorraine.

The partnership between GT Lorraine and CNRS started in 1998 with a mixed research unit (UMR) of CNRS in the area of secure telecommunications networks through optical fibers.

The new mixed international GT-CNRS unit will be devoted to optics-based communication using the dynamics of chaos in optoelectronic components, quantum cryptography and ultrafast optical communication.

The UMI's research will also focus on innovative materials related to optics, electronics and mechanical engineering, with an emphasis on nanotechnology and intelligent materials. The research will target industrial applications for aeronautics, automotives, biomedical engineering and energy.

Dr. Abdallah Ougazzaden, a GT Lorraine professor, will direct the UMI. Ougazzaden has a doctorate in optoelectronics, and his thesis led to record performances on a worldwide scale and a transfer of know-how in the new technology of semiconductor laser manufacturing with Alcatel CIT. He was previously a researcher with CNET and worked as a director of research with Bell Labs in the United States. He then joined the University of Metz as professor and deputy manager of the Photonic Optical Materials Laboratory and Systems (LMOPS/SUPELEC). He is the author and joint author of more than 130 publications and holds 20 patents.

"I look forward to leading the combination of the research strengths of Georgia Tech with other superior French universities and engineering schools to make significant advances in secure networks and materials research and to extend this international partnership with other partners and other research areas," Ougazzaden said. "I'm sure that we have all the ingredients to be successful in this international research unit."

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