Robert Kruhlak Alumni


“I currently live in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Learning physics at NMU has helped me travel many places in the world. After graduating from NMU in 1993, I spent a year in the M.S.C. program in Chemistry and then moved out west to start on my Ph.D. I received my Ph.D. in Physics in 2000 from Washington State University in organic nonlinear optics. I used Labview to control optical experiments on polymer thin films and fibres. Matlab was essential for analyzing data and simulating theories of how the polymers were behaving. Since receiving my Ph.D., I have been a term limited lecturer and post-doctoral fellow in the Physics Department at the University of Auckland in Auckland, New Zealand.

During my time in Auckland, I conducted research on how light propagates in optical fibres. The most interesting are a class of fibre called microstructured or holey fibres. They typically have a pattern of air holes around the fibre core that run the entire length of the fibre, which can be kilometers long. The fraction of air around the core determines the dispersion in the
fibre. This gives the research incredible control over how intense laser light propagates in the fibre and allows us to observe nonlinear phenomena that I thought only existed in textbook theory. The most exciting has to be supercontinuum generation, where single wavelength laser light is converted as it propagates inside the fibre into a white light continuum.

I have two wonderful kids, Aiden, 7 and Justine, 4 that I am teaching about the world while my wife Nicole works full-time. When I have the time, I work as an education technology consultant. Two of my clients have been: the Open Education Resource Foundation, an independent, not for profit organization that provides leadership, international networking and support for educators and educational institutions; and the Commonwealth of Learning, an intergovernmental organization created by Commonwealth Heads of Government to encourage the development and sharing of open learning/distance education knowledge, resources and technologies."