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RIAO/OPTILAS, ETOP draw international photonics community to Portugal

14 August 2013

Univ. of Porto Student Chapter leaders

SPIE Univ. of Porto Student Chapter members performed a number of roles for the successfully completed RIAO/OPTILAS and ETOP conferences in July; above chapter leaders with SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs.


RIAO-OPTILAS and ETOP entertainers, Univ. of Porto

Entertainers from the Univ. of Porto (above) employed a giant spoon to help emphasize the transcendence from traditional roles to roles as optical scientitists, researchers and engineers.


PORTO, Portugal -- "The theories and technologies related to optics are expanding," noted SPIE Vice President Toyohiko Yatagai, Director of the Center for Optical Research and Education at Utsunomiya Univ., in his keynote address at the successful RIAO/OPTILAS 2013 and ETOP 2013 in Porto, Portugal, 22-26 July. "I believe that the 21st century will be considered the century of optics and photonics."

RIAO/OPTILAS attracted more than 500 attendees from throughout the international Iberoamerican optics and photonics community. The meeting was organized by the Portuguese Society for Photonics (SPOF), along with the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (FCUP) and INESC TEC's Optoelectronics and Electronic System Unit (UOSE). SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, continued its long-term role as a sponsor of the widely international event.

RIAO (Reunión Iberoamericana de Óptica - Reunião Iberoamericana de Óptica) was established in 1992 in Spain, and for many years has been organized in concert with OPTILAS (Latin American Meeting on Optics, Lasers and Applications -- Encuentro Latinoamericano de Óptica, Láseres y sus Aplicaciones). The forum has steadily grown, becoming the major Iberoamerican scientific meeting, uniting optical researchers in Latin America, Spain and Portugal. The meeting last month at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto marked the event's first return to the Iberian Peninsula.

Manuel Filipe Costa
Manuel Filipe Costa

SPOF President Manuel Filipe Costa (Univ. do Minho) served as General Chair.

Among featured speakers, Bart Van Caenegem, Project Officer with the Photonics Unit of the Digital Agenda of the EU, noted that from 2007 through 2012, approximately 355 M€ has been invested in around 100 photonics research and innovation projects by the EU.

Under Horizon 2020, running from 2014, 1.6 B€ is foreseen for photonics and micro- and nano-electronics, he said. The proposed Horizon 2020 plan also envisions a PPP (Public Private Partnership) in line with the strategic roadmap issued by Photonics21 earlier this year. The plan would ensure a long-term commitment in photonics R&I on the part of the EC, Van Caenegem said.

Mourad Zghal
SPIE Senior Member Mourad
Zghal, associate professor at
SUP'COM, Univ. of Carthage,
and founder of the African Laser
Center, is also President of the
Optical Society of Tunisia,
co-organizers of ETOP 2013.


Co-located ETOP

The biennial ETOP (Education and Training in Optics and Photonics) conference was co-located with RIAO/OPTILAS, and included more than 40 invited speaker presentations, 50 posters and close to 70 oral presentations.  The event was jointly organized by Portugal and Tunisia Territorial Committees of the ICO (International Commission for Optics).

"What makes this conference special is the way it brings together, every two years, teachers, curriculum developers, education industry workers and students in the photonics education field to share their best practices and plans for the future," said SPIE Senior Member Marc Nantel, Associate Vice-President for Research and Innovation at Niagara College Canada, and a member of the SPIE Education Committee. "It is also the way the conference organizers take special care to address the growth of photonics, and our colleagues in emerging economies who need support and encouragement in their efforts to bring optics and photonics to their students."


Panel of experts

Women in Optics roundtable

A Women in Optics session included a distinguished panel (above) and a roundtable discussion. Among participants were SPIE Fellow and Past President María Yzuel (Univ. Autònoma de Barcelona); SPIE Fellows María Calvo (ICO Immediate Past President; Univ. Complutense de Madrid), Anna Consortini (ICO Past President; Univ. of Florence) and María Millán (Univ. Politècnica de Catalunya); SPIE Senior Members Cristina Solano (Centro de Investigaciones en Óptica) and Judy Donnelly (Three Rivers Community College); SPIE Member Angela Gúzman (ICO Secretary; CREOL, The College of Optics and Photonics, Univ. of Central Florida); SPIE Univ. de Porto Student Chapter Secretary Susana Silva and President Raquel Queirós; and Donna Strickland (OSA President; Univ. of Waterloo).


Student honors

Best Student Paper Awards sponsored by SPIE and including cash prizes, SPIE Digital Library subscriptions and SPIE Student Chapter memberships were presented by Prof. Yatagai:

  • First prize: Matias Mantineo, João Pinheiro and António Morgado, Univ. of Coimbra, for "Low-level laser therapy on injured rat muscle: assessment of irradiation parameters"
  • Second prize: Natalia Munera Ortiz, Carlos Trujillo and Jorge García-Sucerquia, Univ. Nacional de Colombia Sede Medellín, for "Digital holographic interferometry accelerated with GPU: application in mechanical micro-deformation measurement operating at video rate"
  • Third prize: Alicia Fernández-Oliveras, Manuel Rubiño and María Pérez, Univ. de Granada, for "Determination of optical properties in dental restorative biomaterials using the inverse-adding-doubling method"

Accepting awards (below from top) are Mantineo, Ortiz, and Fernández-Oliveras.

Matias Mantineo and Toyohiko Yatagai

Natalia Munera Ortiz and Toyohiko Yatagai

Alicia Fernández-Oliveras and Toyohiko Yatagai


SPIE is the publisher of the Proceedings of RIAO/OPTILAS.  The conference papers will be available in the SPIE Digital Library. Print books of the Proceedings will be available directly from the SPIE bookstore and from resellers around the world

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 more than 235,000 constituents from approximately 155 countries, offering conferences, continuing education, books, journals, and a digital library in support of interdisciplinary information exchange, professional networking, and patent precedent. SPIE provided over $3.2 million in support of education and outreach programs in 2012.


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