Erlangen Graduate School in Advanced Optical Technologies (SAOT)

The Erlangen Graduate School in Advanced Optical Technologies (SAOT) was established at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in November 2006 within the framework of the Excellence Initiative of the German Federal and State Governments to Promote Science and Research at German Universities.


The SAOT stands for

  • Excellence
  • Internationality
  • Interdisciplinarity
  • Innovation
  • Leadership


The interdisciplinary character of optical applications represents a challenge and an opportunity to physicists, biologists, physicians and engineers. While they often use similar optical methods when working in their own disciplines, the realization of synergy effects demands close cooperation and technology transfer.


Based on the fundamentals of optics, the main topics in the research and education programme covered by the SAOT are:

  • Optical Metrology
  • Optical Material Processing
  • Optics in Medicine
  • Optics in Communication & Information Technology
  • Optical Materials and Systems
  • Computational Optics


Students with a wide range of backgrounds when joining the SAOT will be prepared for successful research programmes in a Graduate School Entrance Academy. Passing the examination at the end of this academy is obligatory for final admission to the SAOT. The SAOT provides an interdisciplinary research and education programme in which innovation and leadership are promoted within an expanded international network of outstanding researchers.


An important feature of the education and research in the SAOT is a series of international workshops on selected aspects of the six topics with experts from around the world. Summer and winter academies, project discussion groups, specialized courses and soft skills training projects also form parts of the SAOT programme. In a worldwide network, internationally renowned scientists act as instructors, guest professors or hosts for doctoral candidates during internships lasting 3 to 6 months abroad.


The SAOT is jointly run by three schools of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg:

  • School of Engineering
  • School of Science
  • Medical School


It is supported by different research centres in Erlangen, e. g.,

  • Bavarian Laser Centre (blz)
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Systems and Device Technology (IISB)
  • Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light (MPL)
  • Bavarian Center for Applied Energy Research (ZAE)



Erlangen Graduate School in Advanced Optical Technologies (SAOT)

Paul-Gordan-Str. 6

91052 Erlangen



Phone: +49 9131 85 25858

Fax: +49 9131 85 25851



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