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Optical Design & Engineering

McManamon: "Harnessing Light" study will be just a starting point

SPIE Newsroom
10 July 2012

Update: The report, entitled "Optics and Photonics -- Essential Technologies for Our Nation," will be released on August 13, with a formal unveiling August 15, beginning at 4 pm at the SPIE Optics + Photonics symposium in San Diego.

The anticipated "Harnessing Light" report from the National Academies will consist of important themes, and educating the population about photonics is key to getting the most from the study's recommendations, says Paul McManamon, past president of SPIE and cochair of the study committee.

The study is based on nearly two years of work gathering input from the optics and photonics community. The committee received both public and private testimony at numerous meetings across the United States.

The committee focused on not only building on the success of the original 1998 Harnessing Light report in establishing optics as an enabling technology impacting a wide range of disciplines, but also on identifying technological opportunities that have arisen from recent advances in optical science and how to translate progress in photonics innovation into competitiveness advantage, workforce needs, and manufacturing infrastructure. The report is expected to be issued in late summer 2012.

In another SPIE video, Committee members Erik Svedberg and Larry Goldberg talk about the process of gathering input for the report and the potential outcomes from its release. Link to video: Harnessing Light 2 report aims to chart course for photonics' future.