Learning activities for the IC-IMPACTS Summer Institute in Optical Sensing Technologies for Infrastructure, Water and Mobile Health include interactive presentations, panel sessions, case studies, group discussions, laboratory visits and demonstrations, poster sessions, and opportunities for participating in a themed topic challenge, and networking.


Plenary Sessions and Panel Discussions

Plenary presentations will feature academic experts and industry professionals from the optics sensing technologies field speaking on a particular theme. A facilitated panel discussion will follow each of the plenary sessions. These facilitated discussions will be an opportunity for the participants to engage directly with the speakers.

Participants will also have an opportunity to interact with the speakers during refreshment breaks or over lunch.

Seminar Session and Applied Case Studies

A foundational seminar will address what student researchers working in the field of optical sensing technologies need to know and how the research is being used in different contexts. The session offers an opportunity to learn about specific issues and best practices, while engaging in dialogue with leading experts.

Case studies provide practical, real-life examples to contextualize theoretical concepts. This session will highlight challenges, strategies and best practices.

Laboratory Visits and Demonstrations

Visits will be made to laboratories to examine innovative approaches and applications. Demonstrations by researchers will provide insights and examples of how sensing technologies are being used across sectors to measure how an infrastructure is performing, to measure water quality, and to measure the spread of infection.

Working Group Sessions: Topic Challenge

Working in small pre-selected groups, the focus will be on the members’ abilities to work collaboratively, research, analyze, and synthesize a topic or issue and inform/explain their learning to an audience.  Thorough analysis and research is completed by the team to answer a pre-determined guiding question.  The team must demonstrate their learning to the audience by creating an original, creative, and powerful response.  The audience will have the opportunity to ask clarifying questions following the presentation.

Poster Sessions

A select number of participants will be invited to develop and present a poster during the Summer Institute. The posters will be on display during the lunch breaks on Monday, June 15th  and Wednesday, June 17th.

The posters will be adjudicated by a panel of judges who will select the best poster. Recognition of the best poster will take place at a reception on the evening of Wednesday, June 17th.


The white foam poster board, provided by IC-­IMPACTS, will be 30” by 40”. Alternatively presenters can bring their own poster board so long as the size is the same as these specifications. Poster boards from IC-­IMPACTS will be available for pick up at the Registration Desk on Sunday, June 14th.

All posters must be completed by 11:00 am on Monday, June 15th and ready for display.

You must bring all necessary items for creating your poster board including push-­pins, tape, velcro or any other fastening materials. Any materials you wish to affix must be preprinted by you and you must bring your own writing materials for the poster. We ask all posters to be completed to a very high professional level.

Poster presenters may keep the posters at the conclusion of the presentation or provide them to IC-­IMPACTS for display in our central offices.

Specific contents of the poster must include:

  • The poster should be legible from about a distance of 3 metres, suggesting a text size of at least 24 points
  • Title of the research project, name of the presenter, and name of institution
  • Credit must be provided to all team members
  • The poster should cover the following components either through written or visual form:
    • Project goals and objectives
    • Methods
    • Results or progress to date
    • Innovativeness of the research approach
    • Potential impact of the outcomes

Summer Institute participants and speakers will be encouraged to follow up with poster  presenters on a one-­to-­one basis during the lunch breaks.

We recommend that all presenters bring with them 15-20 copies of a one-page printed abstract of their research project with contact details as a hand out to those interested in more information about the project.

A prize for the best poster will be presented.