• About the Society
  • SPIE Fact Sheet
    Bylaws and Policies
    SPIE Europe
    Officers & Directors
    Related Organizations
  • SPIE Altruism
  • Advocacy
  • International Day of Light
  • Awards Programs
  • Press Room
  • Jobs at SPIE
Print PageEmail Page

SPIE Fact Sheet

OPTO Plenary at SPIE Photonics West

SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, is a not-for-profit educational society organized to advance emerging light-based technologies through interdisciplinary information exchange, continuing education, publications, career development, and advocacy.

  • Founded in 1955 as the Society of Photographic Instrumentation Engineers under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code
  • International office in Bellingham, Washington, USA
  • SPIE Europe office in Cardiff, Wales, UK
  • More than 264,000 constituents from approximately 166 countries

SPIE advances education in the global community, including with on-going programs that provide free access to the SPIE Digital Library to high schools and institutions in disadvantaged countries. These SPIE programs are aligned with the not-for-profit society's mission to ensure affordable access to its publications to the greatest number of researchers possible. Access to information improves education, economic opportunities, and social welfare.

  • SPIE offers its journals and proceedings at low or no cost in International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) partner and network countries with low- and lower-middle-income economies as identified by the World Bank. Eligible institutions include universities, libraries, not-for-profit research institutes, teaching hospitals, and other similar institutions in countries identified by INASP. Access is available within those countries to many health professionals, agricultural extension workers, and other professionals with not-for-profit status who are working in remote areas and within research institutes without formal collections.
  • SPIE provides free or low-cost distribution of articles published in the SPIE Digital Library to scientists at institutions in least-developed or low-income countries through the eJDS program of the International Centre for Theoretical Physics.
  • SPIE makes the complete SPIE Digital Library available to high schools for free and to two-year colleges at a subsidized price.

Conferences and Exhibitions

SPIE presents approximately 25 major technical forums, exhibitions, and education programs each year in venues in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and South America. Among the events are:

  • Advanced Lithography
  • Asia-Pacific Remote Sensing
  • Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation
  • Defense + Commercial Sensing
    • Defense + Security
    • Commercial + Scientific Sensing and Imaging
  • Digital Optical Technologies
  • European Conferences on Biomedical Optics (with OSA)
  • Laser Damage
  • Medical Imaging
  • Microtechnologies
  • NanoPhotonics Australasia
  • Optical Metrology
  • Optical Systems Design
  • Optics + Optoelectronics
  • Optics + Photonics
  • Optifab
  • Pacific Rim Laser Damage (with SIOM)
  • Photomask Technology + Extreme UV Lithography
  • Photonics Asia (with COS)
  • Photonics Europe
  • Photonics West
    • BiOS: Biomedical Optics
    • LASE: Laser Technology and Industrial Applications
    • OPTO: Optoelectronics and Photonic Materials, and Devices
  • Remote Sensing
  • Security + Defence
  • Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring
  • Technologies and Applications of Structured Light
  • Translational Biophotonics


  • SPIE Digital Library, the world's largest collection of optics and photonics research
  • More than 463,000 research papers and more than 320 ebooks from SPIE Press
  • Approximately 18,000 new articles and 25 ebooks added each year, including the Spotlights ebooks series
  • Proceedings of SPIE
  • Peer-reviewed scholarly journals, with open access publication options
    • Optical Engineering
    • Journal of Electronic Imaging (with IS&T)
    • Journal of Biomedical Optics
    • Journal of Micro/Nanolithography,MEMS, and MOEMS
    • Journal of Applied Remote Sensing
    • Journal of Nanophotonics
    • Journal of Photonics for Energy
    • Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems
    • Journal of Medical Imaging
    • Neurophotonics
  • Print monographs, tutorial texts, Field Guides, and reference books from SPIE Press
  • SPIE Newsroom
    • 5,000+ expert-authored technical articles
    • SPIE.tv, including more than 500 video interviews and features
  • SPIE Professional quarterly membership magazine, with industry reports, technology overviews, career and education advice, and entrepreneurial profiles
  • Optipedia -- encyclopedic articles on optics and photonics

Professional Development

  • Professional development courses at SPIE conferences on basic optics principles and advanced photonics and microelectronics technologies (CEUs available; ANSI IACET Authorized Provider)
  • On-demand web-streamed courses including CEU quiz component
  • In-company training

Industry Relations

Community Support and Outreach

SPIE provided $4 million in support of education, outreach, and advocacy programs in 2017.

  • $298,000 in education and travel scholarships awarded to 88 recipients in 2017
  • $80,000 in support of photonics-related education and outreach projects in 2017
  • Free or low-cost distribution of the SPIE Digital Library in developing nations through the eJDS program of the International Centre for Theoretical Physics
  • Free or low-cost access to the SPIE Digital Library in developing nations via the INASP program
  • Support for the UNESCO Active Learning in Optics and Photonics program, a hands-on learning program to train teachers in developing countries
  • Partner in funding programs at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics providing students from developing nations with access to seminars from top researchers
  • Visiting Lecturers Program, bringing world-class scientists and engineers to SPIE Student Chapters and other approved regional organizations
  • Women in Optics Speakers and Networking Events, promoting professional growth through community building, networking, and encouraging young women to choose optics as a career
  • Arthur H. Guenther Congressional Fellowship (with OSA)
  • Free educational posters and DVDs


Approximately 18,700 members, with targeted services for each level:

  • Individual
  • Student
  • Early Career Professional
  • Life
  • Corporate
  • Senior -- honored for their professional experience, active involvement, and significant performance
  • Fellow -- members of distinction who have made considerable technical and scientific contributions in optics, photonics, optoelectronics, and imaging


The SPIE awards program recognizes outstanding contributions from individuals throughout the scientific community.

  • Gold Medal of the Society
  • Britton Chance Biomedical Optics Award
  • Biophotonics Technology Innovator Award
  • A.E. Conrady Award
  • Harold E. Edgerton Award
  • Dennis Gabor Award
  • George W. Goddard Award
  • Rudolf Kingslake Medal and Prize
  • G.G. Stokes Award
  • Chandra S. Vikram Award in Optical Metrology
  • Frits Zernike Award for Microlithography
  • Early Career Achievement Award
  • SPIE Educator Award
  • SPIE Technology Achievement Award
  • President's Award
  • Directors' Award
  • Joseph W. Goodman Book Writing Award

Executive Committee of the Board of Directors

  • President Maryellen Giger, University of Chicago
  • Immediate Past President Glenn Boreman, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • President-Elect Jim Oschmann, Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp.
  • Vice President John Greivenkamp, University of Arizona
  • Secretary/Treasurer Gary Spiegel, Newport Corp. (retired)
  • CEO Eugene Arthurs, SPIE
Maryellen Giger

Glenn Boreman

Jim Oschmann

John Greivenkamp

Gary Spiegel

Eugene Arthurs


Non-Discrimination Policy

SPIE does not discriminate in hiring, access to programs, or eligibility of services based on race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, political affiliation, union membership, or veteran status other than as allowed by law.


Media Contact:
Daneet Steffens, Public Relations Manager
+1 360 685 5478