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New SPIE Student Chapters activated at eight more schools


30 October 2012

Tomonori Hu at SPIE Student Leadership workshop
Student leadership workshops are among the diverse career development opportunities availalbe to members of SPIE Student Chapters and Clubs. Above, University of Sydney chapter member Tomonori Hu (at left) and other students participate in the workshop held at SPIE Optics and Photonics in San Diego, California, in August.


BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA and LUND, Sweden -- Students at eight additional universities now have access to diverse career development and leadership programs, as members of new SPIE Student Chapters approved by the Board of Directors of the Society at their meeting this month in Lund.

The move boosts the total number of Student Chapters and Clubs affiliated with SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, to 215 in more than 40 countries.

"SPIE's Student Chapter program creates leadership opportunities for student members. It is extremely exciting to see the continuous growth and enthusiasm for the program," said Tasha Chicovsky, Student Activities Coordinator. "We welcome this new group of chapters into our international network of optics and photonics students and look forward to working with them."

The newest SPIE Student Chapters are at:

  • COUP (Escuela Universitaria de Óptica, Universidad de Pamplona), Colombia
  • IISER (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research) Kolkata, India
  • Imperial College London, United Kingdom
  • Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Mexico
  • National University of Mongolia, Mongolia
  • University of Otago, New Zealand
  • Universidad Politécnica de Tulancingo, Mexico
  • Vidya Jyothi Institute of Technology, India.

The Student Chapter program encourages students of optics and photonics to create and engage in a diverse array of career development opportunities with funding for officer travel to SPIE meetings, student leadership workshops, a Visiting Lecturer Program, and activities that promote participation in the optics and photonics community.

Outreach projects are an important component of SPIE Student Chapter and Club activities. Last year, students reached more than 8,000 K-12 students and other community members with programs teaching about optics and photonics, and sharing their enthusiasm for the field. Projects often utilize kits and other materials provided by SPIE, teaching optics principles through activities such as telescope or kaleidoscope building and a hit-the-target laser competition.

The annual Optics Outreach Olympics at Optics and Photonics provides in-person recognition for participating teams whose project demonstrations are judged by established leaders in the field.

Student members are also invited to pitch their photonics business proposals to a panel of experts at the SPIE Start-up Challenge at SPIE Photonics West. Winners are awarded cash prizes as well as sponsorship to attend Entrepreneurship Academies at the University of California, Davis.

Networking opportunities with experts at SPIE meetings are a significant benefit to student members, who pay reduced conference and professional development short courser registration fees, and may be invited to serve or sit in on conference program and Society committees.

SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. The Society serves nearly 225,000 constituents from approximately 150 countries, offering conferences, continuing education, books, journals, and a digital library in support of interdisciplinary information exchange, professional growth, and patent precedent. SPIE provided over $2.7 million in support of education and outreach programs in 2011.


Media contact:
Amy Nelson
Public Relations Manager, SPIE
+1 360 685 5478