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SPIE Professional April 2013

Marketplace of optics and photonics ideas

SPIE President's Letter

By William Arnold

2013 SPIE President William Arnold

Every year in San Francisco, SPIE holds its biggest event: Photonics West. This year the dates were 2-8 February. Four symposia, BiOS, LASE, MEMS-MOEMS, and OPTO, as well as the Green Photonics virtual symposium, are held, and the exhibits fill the north and south halls of the gigantic Moscone Center.

The scale of this event is mind-boggling to someone in optics: more than 20,000 registered attendees and more than 1230 exhibiting companies from countries around the world, among which the United States, China, Germany, and Canada have the highest representation. It takes hours to walk the aisles but the exhibition is a lot of fun. The air is electric (photonic?) in this marketplace of optics products and ideas. We hope every exhibitor had a successful show and visitors found what they were looking for.

The technical conferences are also strong. BiOS attracted more than 2000 papers this year, with an impressive growth curve. The Hot Topics session, which was held Saturday night so that doctors and others in the medical community can perform their normal responsibilities during the work week, highlighted fascinating advances in robotic surgery and optogenetics in which neurons can be turned off or on in response to photons.

Innovators rewarded

I had the pleasure of awarding the Britton Chance Biomedical Optics Award to James Fujimoto of MIT and the SPIE 2012 Directors’ Award to Rox Anderson of Massachusetts General Hospital. These two organized the Hot Topics session. Also, a new award, the Biophotonics Technology Innovator Award, which targets achievements across disciplines and may include elements of basic research, technology development, and clinical translation, was presented to Aydogan Ozcan from UCLA.

At Photonics West, we take the opportunity to recognize many of the innovators in our field at the fabulous Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation (sponsored jointly with Photonics Media).

Innovation sometimes starts with a drawing on the back of an envelope or a cocktail napkin, or one or two people brainstorming, but if the conditions are right, it can soon spark the start of a business and creation of a team to design and realize a product.

The Prism Awards honor teams who create great products in categories such as biomedicine, green photonics, and laser manufacturing. This year saw 10 winners at this exciting event.

Also at Photonics West, we recognized 29 new Fellows of the Society (of 69 elected for 2013). I hope if you know a strong candidate for this top technical achievement you will send in a nomination (due by 15 September to fellows@spie.org).

See the list of new fellows.

I also hosted the BiOS Student Lunch with the Experts at which we honored several SPIE scholarship winners. In 2012, SPIE awarded over $353,000 in scholarships to 140 outstanding students. It is such a pleasure to meet the newest generation of scientists and engineers who are entering our community, and I hope those of you I met will continue to be active in the Society and stick with us in the future!

It is a great honor for me to represent the Society at such an extraordinary event which showcases the wonders of our field in both exhibits and in technical symposia. I was happy to see some of you at my personal favorite event, SPIE Advanced Lithography, in February, and I look forward to meeting you at SPIE Optics and Optoelectronics in Prague in April.

Please come and introduce yourself and let me know your ideas for making SPIE a better home for all of us.


See you at SPIE Optics + Optoelectronics?

SPIE Optics + Optoelectronics, 15-18 April in Prague, will be the setting for 17 conferences to address new metamaterials, quantum optics, high-power lasers, and related topics.

Providers of the latest laser systems and a broad range of optics and optoelectronic devices will be in the exhibition hall at the Clarion Congress Hotel 16-17 April.

On 18 April, the U.S. National Science Foundation will host a workshop on “U.S.—Czech Frontiers in Photonics.”

American, Czech, and European leaders in photonics R&D will present the current state of the art in photonics, identify emerging areas and corresponding research needs, and establish new international collaborations.

Workshop topics will include non-linear optics, EUV - soft x-rays, optical manipulators, metamaterials, microstructured and specialty fibers, optical sensors, and THz and mid IR photonics.

The International Commission for Optics has endorsed the meeting and will officially award its 2011 Galileo Galilei Award to Jan Peřina of the Czech Republic, honorary chairman of SPIE Optics + Optoelectronics since 2007, on Tuesday, 16 April. The ICO recognized Per˘ina for his research results in quantum optics and coherence related to non-classical states that were “obtained under difficult circumstances.”

DOI: 10.1117/2.4201304.01

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