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SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs among SPIE Student Chapter supporters at Armenia symposium

12 August 2016

Eugene Arthurs, Astghik Chalyan Gagik Buniatyan of  LT-YRKAL; Aram Popoyan, National Academy of Sciences of Armenia Institute for Physical Research, Academician and Member of the NAS Presidium; SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs; David Pakhchanyan, Deputy Minister of Defense of the Republic of Armenia and President of the State Military Industrial Committee; Professor Hayk Sarkisyan of the Russian Armenian University and Yerevan State University.
SPIE Eugene Arthurs presents a plaque recognizing the chapter's accomplishments to Astghik Chalyan, president of the SPIE Student Chapter of Yerevan State University and National Academy of Sciences of Armenia.
The chapter celebrated its tenth anniversary during the OPTICS-2016 symmposium in Yerevan in July.
From left, symposium attendees Gagik Buniatyan of LT-PYRKAL; Aram Popoyan, National Academy of Sciences of Armenia Institute for Physical Research, Academician and Member of the NAS Presidium; SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs; David Pakhchanyan, Deputy Minister of Defense of the Republic of Armenia and President of the State Military Industrial Committee; Professor Hayk Sarkisyan of the Russian Armenian University and Yerevan State University.

SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs was among attendees at the recent 4th International Symposium on Optics and its Applications (OPTICS-2016) held in Yerevan, Armenia. The SPIE Student Chapter of Yerevan State University and National Academy of Sciences of Armenia was a conference organizer, along with several universities and institutes and the lasers and systems company LT-PYRKAL.

The symposium covered topics such as optical properties of nanostructures, quantum optics, laser spectroscopy, photonics and fiber optics. It marked both the 10th anniversary of the YSU student chapter of SPIE and the 100th anniversary of The Optical Society (OSA).

Co-organizers were:

  • OSA YSU and NAS student chapter
  • SPIE and OSA Wroclaw University of Technology student chapters
  • SPIE and OSA Bauman Moscow State University student chapters
  • SPIE, OSA, and IEEE Optical Student Chapter at ITMO University.

"Optics and photonics is a very promising field," Arthurs said in an interview with the newspaper Golos Armenii during his visit. "The results of research in this field are widely used in military and medical industries, and other areas. I think Armenia has a sufficiently developed business community to start companies within this field and to establish their relationships with foreign markets."

Arthurs stressed the important promise for the future represented by the high level of Armenian students interested in optics.

Gagik Buniatyan, Director of LT-PYRKAL, also attended the symposium. He told the newspaper that when first contacted 10 years ago to support the creation of the chapter, he was skeptical of its ability to succeed long-term. But after a decade of conferences, student workshops, and visits from business professionals and international leaders in the field, he said he is excited to see where the chapter goes next.

"I think it is time to take the next step: to create new high-tech companies in the field of lasers and optics with proactive efforts of young Armenian scientists and engineers," he said. "Armenia has all the necessary prerequisites. And we are always ready to support young people and share our experience of working in international markets."

Post-Soviet Armenia experienced a loss of professionals in the fields of science and technology, and educational efforts in those areas also decreased. The creation of the student chapter has presented a critical opportunity to attract Armenian youth to science.

"It is necessary to enhance the prestige of science in our society," said Professor Aram Papoyan, Director of the NAS Institute for Physical Research, so that future scholars will have the potential to push economic and technological developments and defense capabilities in Armenia.

OPTICS-2016 attendees
OPTICS-2016 organizers
SPIE Yerevan State University and NAS Student Chapter Members
SPIE Yerevan State University and NAS Student Chapter Members and colleagues