SPIE leaders and members remain focused on the Society's mission, providing support of optics education and outreach programs in 2010 and strong leadership at numerous international events and programs that advance an interdisciplinary approach to the science and application of light.
SPIE officers reported on the financial status of SPIE at the SPIE Annual General Meeting 23 August, as well as on the 2011 SPIE 2011 election and a number of activities for 2010 and 2011. The meeting was held in San Diego in conjunction with SPIE Optics + Photonics.
SPIE president's activities
2011 SPIE President Katarina Svanberg presented an overview of her presidential year thus far, focusing on her attendance on behalf of the Society at:
• The Winter College on Optics in Imaging Science and the Trieste System Optical Science and Application Advisory group meeting in Italy
• SPIE Microtechnologies and SPIE Optics + Optoelectronics symposia in Prague, Czech Republic
• The 22nd General Congress of the International Commission for Optics (ICO-22) in Puebla, Mexico, with its theme, Light for the Development of the World
• The Applications of Optics and Photonics conference, held in May in Braga, Portugal
Svanberg explained that the aim of the Winter College at the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) is to gather students from the developing world to interact with and learn from each other and instructors. This year, 75 students from 35 countries attended. SPIE is a co-sponsor of the annual Winter College on Optics.
Svanberg also visited the SPIE-supported ICTP lab in Italy and presented the SPIE 2011 Educator Award to members of the Active Learning in Optics and Photonics team.
Svanberg praised the quality of speakers at the co-located SPIE Microtechnologies and SPIE Optics + Optoelectronics in Prague, including Christopher Barty, CTO of the National Ignition Facility in the United States.
The week prior to SPIE Optics + Photonics, Svanberg attended ICO-22, which had over 500 delegates from 46 countries. She and SPIE Fellow Joseph Goodman were among 23 invited speakers for the congress. SPIE Fellow Fernando Mendoza Santoyo served as general conference chair.
Svanberg presented the opening address at Applications of Optics and Photonics in Braga, a meeting organized by the recently established Portuguese Society for Optics and Photonics.
The proceedings for the Portuguese conference and the ICO Congress, as well as all SPIE conferences, are available in the SPIE Digital Library.
SPIE treasurer's report
SPIE Secretary/Treasurer Brian Lula reported that a continued positive financial trend for SPIE has been pushed by investment growth and revenue generation from symposia, publications, outreach and other operations.
The biggest increase from 2009 to 2010 could be found in SPIE's investments, which rose from $44.9 million to $53.9 million. "While SPIE's investments have increased significantly from 2008 to 2011, considerable surplus has been generated by operations," Lula added.
Lula gave a presentation on the Society's 2010 total assets, total liabilities, and net assets, which were $70 million, $18.4 million, and $51.7 million, respectively. Within SPIE's 2010 investments, 58.9% are in the operating reserve fund, 20.6% in the education fund, 13.1% in the publications reserve, 4.9% in the building fund, 2.1% in the strategic initiatives fund, and 0.4% in restricted funds.
A large amount of SPIE's investments are secure due to conservative investment management, Lula reported.
SPIE's total revenue for 2010, including investments, was $38.3 million, which generated a surplus of $8.2 million. Operating revenue and surplus were $33.3 million and $3.4 million, respectively.
Lula said the trend of a healthy surplus is encouraging. The amount is indicative of a very mission-oriented organization, he noted, adding that he was pleased with the $2.3 million SPIE provided in support of education and outreach programs in 2010.
Lula also reported that at the end of 2010, SPIE had 15.4 months of liquid reserves, an amount that is well on the way to the Board-mandated goal of an 18-month reserve.
SPIE executive's report
SPIE Executive Director Eugene Arthurs reviewed altruistic activities and spending in 2010, calling special attention to the ICTP lab, the Active Learning in Optics and Photonics Program, and the Society's activities marking the 50th anniversary of the laser in 2010.
For the laser anniversary, not only did SPIE create its own Advancing the Laser event to commemorate this anniversary, it also partnered with other societies to sponsor LaserFest. Through the efforts of both programs, more attention was brought to photonics in 2010 than anyone thought was possible, Arthurs said. The SPIE Advancing the Laser campaign won a Gold EXCEL Award from Association Media & Publishing
Arthurs' presentation also included highlights from several recent SPIE events, including the annual Student Leadership Workshop and the SPIE Optics Outreach Olympics at SPIE Optics + Photonics as well as statistics on undergraduate education in science and engineering.
SPIE is currently working with several other organizations to support an update to the U.S. National Academies' 1998 study known as Harnessing Light. When completed, the study will do much to advance research, innovation, and the photonics industry as a whole in the United States, Arthurs said.
Arthurs also reviewed SPIE's membership statistics, noting the continued trend of an increase in the number of student members.
The majority of SPIE's non-student members still come from industry, he said, and despite a previous trend of this percentage decreasing, it is once again on the rise.
Among SPIE student members, 43.9% are from North America, 27.4% from Europe, 23.6% from Asia, and the remaining 5.1% from elsewhere. SPIE had 164 Student Chapters/Clubs in 2010 and has since gained 10 more in 2011.
"We help sustain active student groups that affirm their members and participate in outreach to students from kindergarten to undergraduate," Arthurs said.
The number of SPIE members in the Early Career Professionals category is around 700 members.
Arthurs noted the impressive growth trends in social media groups and websites affiliated with SPIE, such as those on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, which operate as community-building tools.
The SPIE Digital Library remains the most cited resource in optics- and photonics-related patents in the world, Arthurs reported. Despite a 10% price rollback enacted in 2010, total publications sales were up slightly from the previous year.
Arthurs noted that SPIE Digital Library prices were frozen for 2011 and that just a few weeks before the meeting, another 5% price rollback for 2012 was announced to help the research library community contain costs.
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