Two international students at Niagara College win scholarships in their field


Published May 24, 2023 at 5:32 pm

Niagara College Photonics Engineering Technician students Janvi Patel and Harsha Gopi both won scholarships in their course. (Photo: Niagara College)

For the second straight year, students in Niagara College’s Photonic Engineering Program were given $2,500 scholarships.

While it sounds like some idle chatter out of The Big Bang Theory, photonics is essentially the science that involves generation of a photon (light), its detection, as well as manipulation via transmission, emission, signal processing, modulation, switching, amplification, and sensing.

Niagara College students Harsha Gopi and Janvi Patel were among just four recipients of the Eichenholz-SPIE Photonics scholarships awarded on behalf of SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics. Both will return in September to complete their course.

Both from India, Gopi and Patel hold a bachelor’s degree in physics and came to Niagara College in the Fall of 2022 to enhance their education in photonics.

Patel is especially proud to be studying in one of the only college-level programs in photonics technologies and manufacturing in Canada, allowing her to pursue her interests in photonics, nanoscience, and plasma physics.

“It gives me a sense of pride and honor to be a part of this unique program only offered at Niagara College,” she said. “During my time at the College, my classmates and I have been provided with well-equipped labs and experienced professors who can demonstrate photonics through experimental setups.”

Patel added, “Winning this scholarship has given me the motivation to work harder and toward achieving more accomplishments in the future.”

Similarly, Gopi feels the program’s integration of experiential learning has helped her grow as both a student and person by elevating her knowledge, confidence, and curiosity.

“I am gaining tons of hands-on experience that I know will adequately prepare me for the workplace,” said Gopi. “I can learn from professors who are well-experienced in the field and are always available to offer helpful support and guidance.”

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