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    SPIE leaders speak at ANZCOP, meet with AOS, tour labs

    17 December 2013

    SPIE was well-represented at the recent Australian and New Zealand Conference on Optics and Photonics (ANZCOP) in Fremantle, where featured speakers included SPIE President-Elect Philip Stahl as well as SPIE Fellows Bruce Tromberg, Jas Sanghera, Jagadish Chennupati, and Miles Padgett, and SPIE Members Benjamin Eggleton, Brian Wilson, and Ann Roberts.

    David SampsonAnother SPIE Fellow, David Sampson (at right), director of the Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation and Analsyis (CMCA) and also of the Optical and Biomedical Engineering Lab at the University of Western Australia (UWA), was conference chair. SPIE Member Mick Withford, director of the Photonics Research Centre at Macquarie University, was technical program chair.

    Stahl, a senior optical physicist at Nasa Marshall Space Flight Center, spoke on “James Webb Space Telescope -– the first light machine.”

    Tromberg, director of the Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Clinic at the University of California, Irvine, spoke about “Engineering optics from benchtop to bedside,” and described the institute’s work in cancer detection and biophotonics. Tromberg noted that his roots as a member of the Australia rugby during his university years qualifies him as an honorary Australian.

    Padgett, a professor at the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Glasgow, spoke on “Light in a twist: optical angular momentum.”

    Philip Stahl and Mick (Michael) Whitford

    Philip Stahl and Mick (Michael) Withford at ANZCOP


    The SPIE Student Prize for an outstanding presentation was awarded to SPIE Student Member Kelsey Kennedy (below, with presenter Stahl), from the UWA Optical and Biomedical Engineering Lab (OBEL).

    Philip Stahl and Kelsey Kennedy


    Benjamin EggletonSPIE members were among the attendees who gathered for a reception at the Little Creatures Brewery on the waterfront in Fremantle after the first day of the conference.

    At right, SPIE Member Benjamin Eggleton, director of the Centre for Ultrahigh bandwidth Devices for Optics Systems (CUDOS) at the University of Sydney, displays his membership card. Eggleton presented a tutorial early in the week on "Frontiers of guided wave nonlinear optics."

    David Sampson, Bruce Tromberg, Philip Stahl

    Philip Stahl with Colin Sheppard of the Italian Institute of Technology

    Ken Baldwin, Philip Bucksbaum

    Ken Baldwin (ANU, RSPSE) and Philip Bucksbaum (University of Stanford)

    Piper, David Sampson

    Jim Piper (Macquarie University) and David Sampson (University of Western Australia)


    In addition to attending ANZCOP, SPIE leaders met with leaders of the Australian Optical Society, whose annual meeting was held along with ANZCOP. Discussions included brainstorming for how to leverage the International Year of Light in 2015 to raise awareness of photonics. At the meeting were, from left, AOS Honorary Treasurer Simon Fleming, AOS Vice President Stephen Collins, John Harvey, Dragomir Neshev, Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop, Peter Veitch, AOS President Ann Roberts, AOS Honorary Secretary John Holdsworth, Ken Baldwin, SPIE President Elect Philip Stahl, AOS Past President Judith Dawes, Ben Eggleton, and SPIE Senior Director Andrew Brown. Harvey, Neshev, Rubinsztein-Dunlop, Veitch, Baldwin, and Eggleton serve as AOS Councillors.

    AOS-SPIE leadership



    SPIE leaders visited several universities for a first-hand look at a variety of advanced research projects.


    Philip Stahl, Andrew WoodStahl and Brown visited the new Hub for Immersive Visualisation and eResearch (HIVE) at Curtin University, directed by SPIE Fellow Andrew Wood (with Stahl, at left). HIVE serves research needs for visualization, virtualization, and simulation capabilities for universities across the region. The facility features four large-scale visualisation systems, each with unique characteristics: the Tiled Display, for very high-resolution images; the Cylinder, for immersive stereoscopic panoramas, virtual environments and performance art; the Wedge, supporting stereoscopic 3D content; and the Dome, used to explore 360-degree ultra-realistic panoramas, omnidirectional video and virtual worlds.


    Paul Luckas, Philip Stahl At the UWA's School of Physics, Stahl and Brown were hosted by Head of School Ian McArthur for a tour of the facility and laboratories. Paul Luckas from the UWA Centre for Learning Technology (at right, with Stahl) provided a tour of the SPICE Physics ICRAR Internet Telescope Project (SPIRIT) which is supported by ICRAR (the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research) and the UWA School of Physics. The SPIRIT installation allows students at secondary schools access to the same tools used by researchers and astronomers. They also met with David Blair of the Australian International Gravitational Research Centre.


    Andrew Brown at Macquarie UniversityBrown toured the MQ Photonics Research Centre at Macquarie University in Sydney, directed by SPIE Member Mick (Michael) Withford. The center undertakes fundamental and applied research in several areas in lasers and photonics. A highlight of Brown's tour, hosted by Simon Gross, was seeing a torch from the 2000 Olympic Games (held by Brown, at left) that was manufactured using technology developed by the institute.