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SPIE Professional January 2013

The Greening of Photonics West

Annual event is 2–7 February in San Francisco

By Karen Thomas

Logo for Photonics West

Innovative research in photonics for green energy sources, efficient lighting, laser-assisted manufacturing, and computing will be showcased at SPIE Photonics West, 2-7 February at the Moscone Center in San Francisco (USA).

SPIE Photonics West 2013 will also present the latest in light-driven technologies from biomedical diagnostics to developments in efficient high-power lasers. More than 20,000 attendees are expected at this international event, which will feature some 4500 papers and presentations on photonics, laser, microfluidics, and biomedical optics research and technology.

The SPIE Photonics West Exhibition and BiOS Expo will host nearly 1300 companies displaying the latest products, applications, and innovations.

Industry panel on sustainability

Two special events at Photonics West 2013 highlight green photonics — the use of photonics in environmental and energy-related applications.

logo for SPIE Green Photonics symposiumThe SPIE Green Photonics Virtual Symposium, chaired by SPIE Fellow Stephen Eglash of the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford University (USA), includes more than 65 papers in renewable energy, lighting, displays, manufacturing, and communications. These papers will be presented throughout the conference, and awards will be given to the best.

Eglash will also lead a panel discussion, “Emerging Growth Opportunities in Sustainable Technology,” with five leading industry executives discussing new technologies that could potentially reduce energy consumption and offer alternative energy sources within the next five to 10 years.

“When we say, ‘green photonics,’ we’re really talking about sustainability,” Eglash says. “We’re talking about industries that relate to a more efficient use of natural resources and energy and all the technologies that help us to use energy and resources more efficiently in our businesses and in our daily lives.

“It’s about helping the planet,” he says, “but also about creating profitable and sustainable businesses in the long run.”

Green and clean technologies

Panel members represent a diverse group of individuals with experience in research and development of sustainable technologies.

Patricia Glaza of Arsenal Venture Partners (USA) works closely with government agencies, multinational corporations, and startups to identify and promote technology solutions in energy, water, and overall sustainability.

“The shine of being ‘green’ has lost some luster as economic concerns have slowed environmental and sustainability momentum,” Glaza says. “My goal is that panel participants walk away from this session understanding that these objectives are not mutually exclusive. The reduction of energy consumption translates directly to increased competitiveness.”

As an example of how green, efficient solutions can offer a competitive advantage, Glaza notes that one data center can consume the energy of a medium-sized city. However, “green photonics can reduce this growing load both directly and indirectly,” she says, with switches, cables, and data storage as well as lights and power used to run the facility.

Panelist Lesley Silverthorn, CEO of Angaza Design (USA), will talk about how her company combines technology innovation with a novel business model to bring LED lights, solar panels, and batteries to some of the poorest people on the planet.

“A variety of new clean-tech solutions are being developed that are targeted at the quarter of the world’s population that does not have access to a reliable source of power,” says Silverthorn, whose background blends human-centered design with mechanical engineering skills.

“However, it takes innovation on the delivery and financing of these solutions to ensure they are effectively adopted,” she says. “I plan to discuss effective, scalable clean-tech payment models that enable these customers to purchase alternative energy in small amounts as they use it.”

Green photonics graphicEric Crosson, CTO of Picarro (USA) will discuss how spectroscopic instruments for environmental monitoring are allowing all parts of society to become involved with green energy practices.

“Where unwanted emissions are concerned, hide and seek is over,” Crosson says. “New developments in green photonics are enabling regulators, politicians, service firms, NGOs, city managers, sustainability officers, and even citizens to visualize and quantify emissions as never before possible.

“This is a huge paradigm shift for companies which are, to date, unconcerned with their emissions because of the unwritten ‘don’t-ask, don’t-tell policies’ of today. With the advent of green photonics, everyone will know,” he says.

Other panelists discussing growth opportunities in photovoltaics, solid-state lighting and displays, laser-assisted manufacturing, micro- and nanofabrication, and renewable-energy generation are:

  • Thomas Baer, executive director of the Photonics Research Center at Stanford University (USA). Baer is considered a pioneer in biotechnology, laser development, and laser applications and has been extensively involved with startup companies such as Auxogyn, Arcturus Bioscience, Biometric Imaging, and Spectra-Physics.
  • Jyoti Bhardwaj, head of technology R&D at Philips Lighting Lumileds (USA). He has held senior management positions at JDSU (USA), a provider of test and measurement solutions for the communications industry, and was CEO of Scion Photonics (USA), an optical-chip startup.

logo for BiOSBiOS, the world’s largest and most influential biomedical optics and biophotonics symposium, kicks off Photonics West on Saturday, 2 February. BiOS conferences cover such topics as photonic therapeutics and diagnostics; tissue optics, laser-tissue interaction, tissue engineering; biomedical spectroscopy, microscopy, imaging, and nano/biophotonics.

New conferences in optogenetics, hybrid-optical control of cells, and terahertz and ultrashort electromagnetic pulses for biomedical applications reflect advances and growing interest in personalized medicine.

Saturday night, BiOS attendees can hear more on the very latest biomedical advances in the popular BiOS Hot Topics session facilitated by SPIE member Sergio Fantini of Tufts University (USA). Speakers and topics include:

  • Ernst Bamberg of Max Planck Institute für Biophysik (Germany), “Optogenetics and Hybrid-Optical Control of Cells”
  • Ben Potsaid of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA), “MEMs Tunable VCSEL Technology for Ultrahigh-Speed OCT”
  • Dan Oron of Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel), “Patterned Multiphoton Photoactivation in Scattering Tissue by Temporal Focusing”
  • Jonathan Sorger of Intuitive Surgical (USA), “Clinical Requirements for Optical Imaging in Medical Robotics”
  • SPIE member Bernard Choi of Beckman Laser Institute (USA), “Camera-Based Functional Imaging of Tissue Hemodynamics”
  • Mathias Fink of Institute ESPCI, CNRS (France), “Multiwave Approach to Elasticity Imaging for Cancer Detection”
  • Joe Culver of Washington University in St. Louis (USA), “Functional Optical Imaging of the Brain”
  • SPIE member Vladimir Zharov of University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (USA), “Photoacoustic Flow Cytometry: Journey in the Blood”

SPIE Fellows and long-time BiOS chairs James Fujimoto of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA) and R. Rox Anderson, director of the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (USA), once again chair this symposium.

Attend LASE“Energy-efficient processes are becoming increasingly important for industrial production,” says SPIE Fellow and LASE symposium chair Andreas Tünnermann of Fraunhofer-IOF (Germany).

Because laser technology has already proven necessary in enabling green manufacturing processes, LASE conferences will cover the latest developments in high-power lasers and advanced laser-material processing. LASE conferences will also feature fiber, disk, and ultrafast lasers plus the world’s largest concentration of semiconductor laser/LED content.

SPIE Fellow and consultant Bo Gu (China) will also serve as symposium chair. Co-chairs are SPIE member Friedhelm Dorsch of TRUMPF (Germany) and SPIE Fellow Alberto Piqué of the U.S Naval Research Lab (USA).

LASE Plenary speakers are:

  • Wim Leemans from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (USA), “Laser-Based Particle Acceleration and the Path to TeV Physics and Compact X-ray and Gamma Ray Sources”
  • Martin Wegener of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany), “Three-Dimensional Metamaterials Made by Direct Laser Writing”
  • Geert Verhaeghe of Faurecia Autositze (Germany), “Remote Laser Welding for Automotive Seat Production.”

Attendees of OPTO will see the latest advances in silicon photonics, photonic crystals, optoelectronics, semiconductor lasers, quantum dots, and nanophotonics research.

“The OPTO symposium continues to grow in size and impact, and this year’s meeting is shaping up to be particularly exciting,” says SPIE Fellow and OPTO chair David L. Andrews of University of East Anglia Norwich (UK). “Conferences in six tracks will cover the latest developments in optical materials and devices, as well as research innovations where the interplay of experiment with theory and simulation is especially rich.

“Some of the most eagerly anticipated news will be on the latest advances in quantum applications, including quantum memories, quantum optomechanics, and quantum optical vortices,” Andrews says.

OPTO symposium co-chairs are SPIE Fellow Alexei L. Glebov of OptiGrate Corp. (USA) and SPIE member Klaus P. Streubel of OSRAM AG (Germany).

OPTO plenary speakers are:

  • Markus Aspelmeyer of the Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology, University of Vienna, “Quantum Optomechanics”
  • Richard Soref of University of Massachusetts-Boston, “Group IV Photonics for the Mid Infrared”
  • SPIE Fellow Miles J. Padgett of University of Glasgow, “Light in a Twist: Optical Angular Momentum”

Seven MOEMS-MEMS conferences focusing on R&D topics in micro- and nanofabrication, devices, reliability and emerging applications will give a comprehensive overview of MOEMS-MEMS current topics of interest.

“This symposium, in combination with the SPIE Photonics West trade show, is probably the best opportunity worldwide to discuss and learn about novel trends in fabrication, device design, characterization, and innovative applications of MOEMS-MEMS devices,” says SPIE member and symposium chair Harald Schenk of Fraunhofer-Institut für Photonische Mikrosysteme (Germany). “Experts from around the world have the opportunity to learn about the latest developments in these fields and network with colleagues.”

MOEMS-MEMS plenary speakers are:

  • Bozena Kaminska of Simon Fraser University (Canada), “Towards Future Systems with Nano-Optics Contributions”
  • Aaron Knobloch from the GE Global Research (USA), “Optical MEMS Pressure Sensors for Geothermal Well Monitoring”
  • Kaili Jiang of Tsinghua University (China), “Super-aligned Carbon Nanotubes: A Road toward Real Applications”
Startup Challenge for next-gen entrepreneurs

SPIE Startup Challenge logoThe SPIE Startup Challenge, with lead sponsorship from Jenoptik (Germany), is now in its third year and growing in popularity. This lively, interactive pitch competition invites young entrepreneurs to pitch their light-based technology business plan to a team of technology development experts and venture capitalists.

Winners of past competitions have offered business plans for new methods for drug delivery, cancer detection, and macular-pigment measurement.

This year’s event has expanded to offer $10,000 for the winning pitch, $5,000 for second place and $2,500 for third place. Each of 10 participants to make the final round will be sponsored to attend the entrepreneurship academy at the University of California, Davis (USA).

“I think it’s a very valuable experience,” says SPIE Fellow Adam Wax of Duke University (USA) who served as a judge at the 2012 SPIE Startup Challenge. “There’s a very different priority placed on commercialism as compared to academic research. As academics, we almost think it’s bad to say ‘we want to make money.’ But this is the first thing venture capitalists want to hear. How you position your work is essential if you’re going to make that kind of connection.”

Wax adds, “The Startup Challenge helps set up our next generation of entrepreneurs.”

Networking events and special forums

SPIE Photonics West always includes networking opportunities and sessions featuring entrepreneurs and innovation.

Silicon photonics technology may soon revolutionize computing with smaller, cheaper optical interconnects. This year’s panel on “Silicon Photonics and Photonic Integrated Circuits” will feature industry experts exploring the latest R&D progress and providing insights on how to leverage this ground-breaking technology.

“The year-to-year popularity of this panel at Photonics West reflects the growing demand for greater speed in the next generation of computing as well as recognition on the part of industry of the need to be in front of the pack in meeting that demand,” says SPIE’s Peter Hallett, who will moderate the discussion.

Stephen G. Anderson, SPIE industry and market strategist, will lead a panel of top executives discussing their perspectives on the world of optics and photonics. Panel members will share insights learned while weathering the economic setbacks of 2011 and 2012.

SPIE member Michelle Xu of University of California, Berkeley (USA) will serve as moderator for the SPIE Women in Optics panel discussion, “What Works for You: A Mentoring Panel for Women in Science and Technology.”

Open to all conference attendees, this discussion features women who have pursued diverse paths to balance career and family. Round-table sessions with one panelist per table leading the discussion will follow an introductory panel discussion.

SPIE Women in Optics seeks to build mentoring relationships for female graduate students and recent graduates in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through interaction with those already establishing their careers.

Events at Photonics West 2013 for SPIE members only
  • SPIE member reception, 8 pm, 5 February. Cityscape Room, top of the Hilton San Francisco Union Square Hotel.
  • SPIE Fellows luncheon, 12 pm, 4 February. Joshua Silver of the Centre for Vision in the Developing World (UK) discusses, “How to Deliver Vision Correction to the World: A Disruptive Approach.” RSVP required. Contact Brent Johnson at brent@spie.org.
  • SPIE Senior Member breakfast, 8 am, 5 February. RSVP required. Contact Brent Johnson at brent@spie.org.
Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation at Photonics West

The 2013 Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation will be presented by SPIE and Photonics Media on 6 February at SPIE Photonics West at a banquet and ceremony recognizing innovative products, processes, devices, systems, instruments, and technologies that are newly available on the open market.

Finalists for each category were announced in November 2012.

Job seeking?

Whether you’re looking for your first job, re-entering the workforce, or looking for a better workplace, plan to attend a professional development event and/or the Job Fair at Photonics West in San Francisco 5-6 February 2013.

Admission to the SPIE Job Fair is free to those with technical conference or exhibition badges for Photonics West, and all services through the SPIE Career Center are free to individuals seeking employment.

Recruiters from top optics and photonics companies will be available to discuss current and future job openings onsite at the Moscone Center.

A professional development speakers’ series will be held on Sunday 3 February. This series is designed for students and early career professionals, but all are welcome to attend and explore topics in innovations and entrepreneurship.

Can’t make it to Photonics West Job Fair in person? Go online to post your resume at spie.org/careercenter

Connect @PhotonicsWest in San Francisco

Follow events at SPIE Photonics West on Twitter, Facebook, and your smartphone. Network with colleagues and experts:

  • Tweet with us with @PhotonicsWest and @SPIETweets
  • Follow daily news updates or get the new “show daily” publication which will be distributed to all exhibition attendees Tuesday through Thursday.
  • Share comments and photos on Facebook
  • Create your daily schedule of conferences, courses, and special events with the SPIE conference app for mobile devices
  • Register for SPIE Photonics West here
New courses at Photonics West

Photonics West onsite courses offer an engaging experience for those who prefer face-to-face instruction by some of the best instructors in the industry. Course discounts of up to 50% are offered to SPIE student members.

The 70 technical courses and professional development workshops offered at SPIE Photonics West provide essential background on fundamental topics and emerging technologies that can extend the breadth of your technical knowledge.

New courses have been added, including those covering nanobioengineering and nanomedicine, fiber Bragg gratings, and hands-on multiphoton tomography.

Program tracks include biomedical spectroscopy, microscopy, and imaging; photonic integration; metrology and standards; displays and holography; and laser applications.


DOI: 10.1117/2.4201301.23

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