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Exhibitors and technical attendees ‘thrilled’ by numbers and quality at SPIE Optics + Photonics

01 September 2011

BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA -- Total attendance at Optics + Photonics 2011 was just under 5,000, up nearly 10% over last year, at the close of the event last week.

The meeting ran 21-25 August in the San Diego, California, Convention Center and included four technical symposia. The week's three-day exhibition saw a record number of visitors to booths of 239 companies.

"It was a wonderful event," said Scott Orr of Qioptiq, whose company staffed a booth on the exhibit floor and participated in the technical conferences. "We were thrilled by both the number and the quality of the industrial as well as the academic traffic at our booth."

Approximately 3,200 technical presentations reported the latest advances in nanoscience and engineering, solar energy technology, photonic devices and applications, and optical engineering applications.

Up to 40 technical presentations ran concurrently in the conference rooms during the day throughout the week. Two evening poster sessions extended the programs, with the Monday evening poster session drawing a record 2,700 attendees to discuss the frontiers of optical science and engineering, nanotechnology, plasmonics, metamaterials, remote sensing, and more.

The synergy among the disciplines continues to be a big draw for many attendees.

"I love attending SPIE meetings because they are at the effervescent intersection between science, astronomy and engineering," said Jon Jenkins (NASA Ames Research Center), plenary speaker in the Astronomical Optics and Instrumentation. "I attend SPIE meetings to hear what is being developed and going on, knowing that these are the technologies of tomorrow that will advance both science and our quality of life."

Hear comments from Sir John Pendry (Imperial College), a Metamaterials conference keynote speaker, on the SPIE Optics + Photonics in a brief video interview:

Future of photonics

An open forum Monday evening with members of the National Academies' Harnessing Light committee drew around 80 participants and evoked some pointed comment for the committee to feed into its report. See the SPIE blog HarnessingMinds.org for a report.

The event week began with a two-day student leadership workshop attended by nearly 200 SPIE Student Chapter members from 36 countries. Keynote speaker was Aydogan Ozcan (Univ. of California, Los Angeles), whose group's work in developing global health systems includes technology enabling low-cost cellphone-based field analysis of diseases such as malaria.

Joseph Goodman, William Ayer Professor Emeritus at Stanford Univ. was honored with a tribute conference organized by John Caulfield (Alabama A&M Univ.) and Henri Arsenault (Univ. Laval) as part of the NanoScience + Engineering program.

Goodman was also awarded the The Rudolph Kingslake Medal and Prize, for his 2010 paper in Optical Engineering on speckle properties.

Among other awards presented at the annual banquet were:

  • Gold Medal of the Society: Harrison Barrett (College of Optical Sciences, Univ. of Arizona) for his work in image science.
  • SPIE Directors' Award: Robert Breault (Breault Research Organization) for his many years of exceptional leadership, dedication, and generous commitment of time, support, and inspiration to SPIE and the optics community.
  • SPIE President's Award: John Pellegrino (U.S. Army Research Lab) for his service as chairman of the SPIE Symposia Committee and commitment to the Society in developing the SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing symposium.

Read complete awards information in the SPIE press release.

View the SPIE Optics + Photonics event news, event photo gallery, and exhibition photo gallery.

SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, was founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. Serving more than 180,000 constituents from 168 countries, the Society advances emerging technologies through interdisciplinary information exchange, continuing education, publications, patent precedent and career and professional growth. SPIE annually organizes and sponsors approximately 25 major technical forums, exhibitions and education programs in North America, Europe, Asia and the South Pacific. SPIE provided over $2.3 million in support of education and outreach programs in 2010.



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