Eric Wille has been working as an optical system engineer for the European Space Agency since 2009. He is managing several technology development activities with European companies and research institutes in the fields of x-ray optics, quantum optics and laser communication. He is responsible for the development of a new concept of X-ray optics, named Silicon Pore Optics, which was successfully demonstrated in the past years. It became the baseline technology for ESA’s next X-ray observatory, recently selected as second large class mission of the Cosmic Vision programme. Eric was also responsible for ESA’s activities on quantum teleportation, which set a new distance world record in 2012 by teleporting quantum states of light across 143 km of open air.
Eric studied physics at the Darmstadt University of Technology (Germany), École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland) and University of Innsbruck (Austria), where he obtained a PhD (Dr.rer.nat.) in experimental quantum optics. During his academic career, he performed research in the fields of nonlinear dynamics, semiconductor diode lasers, ultracold quantum gases and quantum optics. His publications include more than 30 scientific and technical papers in peer reviewed journals and conference proceedings.
Eric has always actively promoted the communication of science and technology with the general public using TV, print and digital media. He is member of the Young ESA network and active in organizing international events for young professionals within the space community.