The recent inaugural Subsea Optical Fibre Communications International Summer School was an overwhelming success by all measures, with nearly 100 participants from 29 countries around the globe immersed in the exciting world of submarine cables, learning from industry leading experts covering all aspects of the subsea industry.

The summer school was a feat accomplished through the joint collaboration of Google and the OSA Foundation.  The SubOptic Association was proud to be the Platinum Sponsor of this important industry initiative.  Many of SubOptic’s member companies supported the event by lending their own industry experts to the effort, who collectively tutored participants on the many aspects of the Subsea industry.  It was a unique learning opportunity for those lucky enough to attend, many of whom had little prior opportunity to learn about the practical application of their technical training.

Open to early-stage researchers, engineers and Ph.D. or Masters students, the school attracted an enriching, diverse blend of participants with a variety of cultural backgrounds, interests and advanced academic training.  Nearly 30% of the participants were women. The programme’s goal of providing a full introduction to the real and exciting world of submarine cables was welcomed by students, as the lectures covered technical topics (Optical Transmission, Network Topologies, Submerged Equipment and others) and also non-technical subjects, including Network Planning, Project Lifecycle and Contract Management.

Industry leading experts not only delivered lectures, but also participated in other events during the week with the students, including interactive round table discussions on topics as varied as, 'Evolution of Submarine Networks and Technology' and 'Marine: Past and Future Challenges'.  Overall, the week-long programme was truly unique, rewarding and beneficial for all of the participants and for the industry it represents one important step towards helping students and young people find a path towards careers in the undersea cable industry.

One attendee commented, "I would have to say that the school has indeed exceeded my expectations. It was a unique opportunity to learn from the top leaders in the industry. We had speakers from ASN, Facebook, NEC, Google, Orange and SubCom.  It gave me a chance to step out of my busy work environment and reflect on all other aspects of Subsea cable planning such as business modelling, consortium considerations and complications, tender issuance, permitting, tender evaluation, negotiation and supply contracts, practical considerations in laying the submarine cable, maintaining the cable, cable retrieving, splicing, etc.  In my opinion, the value of this school was beyond just learning about Subsea Communications. It created an exceptional opportunity for young professionals and researchers to freely interact with top decision makers in the industry and learn about potential career paths in this field. In addition, this school helped me make great friendships and connections with young talents across the globe. I made great friendships with people from Nigeria, Kenya, Congo, France, Estonia, Germany, Mexico, Pakistan, India, US, UK .... "

The SubOptic Association would like to congratulate all the presenters at the summer school and above all thank the organisers at Google and OSA Foundation for their vision and dedication to bring this first International Summer School to such a successful conclusion.