SPIE members met for the 2008 Annual General Meeting of the Society on 12 August at the SPIE Optics+Photonics Symposium in San Diego, CA. Included here are summaries of the president's, treasurer's, and executive director's reports.
SPIE 2008 President Kevin Harding, GE Global Research Center, presented an overview of his experiences as 2008 SPIE President. He traveled, on behalf of SPIE, in both Europe and Asia and also made several visits in the U.S.
His travels started with SPIE Photonics West, and continued with attendance at SPIE's Defense+Security Symposium in Orlando, FL, and SPIE Europe Photonics Europe in Strasbourg, France. During DSS, he presented several Society awards including the SPIE Gold Medal to M.J. Soileau from the University of Central Florida. On his trip to SPIE Europe Photonics Europe, Harding was impressed with the Photonics Innovation Village competition. He and the Deputy Mayor of Strasbourg, Ms. Nawel Rafik Elmrini, cut the ribbon to open the exhibition and welcome attendees. While in Europe, he visited a number of companies, including PI, Trumpf, Schott, and Leica Cameras.
Harding's Asia visit included a tour of East China Normal University where university representatives were holding graduation ceremonies. He also went to Singapore and provided an invited talk at the International Symposium on Laser Metrology. While in Singapore, Harding also attended the SPIE Women in Optics presentation and met with Rachel Pei Chin Won of Japan, the new editor of Nature Photonics. Industry visits included stops at Qioptiq and II-VI. He intends to visit Japan in early November.
SPIE Secretary/Treasurer Brian Lula reported on the financial health of the Society, and he indicates that there was a significant growth in assets from 2006-2007. Net assets have more than doubled between 2000 and 2007. However, Lula would like to see this grow.
The total revenue and expense summary has a healthy slope upward, but it has gone down in the last two years. Lula reported that the Society changed its investment manager from Morgan Stanley to Merrill Lynch. The overall financial picture of the Society is very healthy, with the 2007 year-end cash and investments totaling $47 million, an 18% increase over the 2006 balance of $40 million.
Executive Director's Report
SPIE Executive Director Eugene Arthurs opened his report with the sad news of the loss of two stalwarts of the Society, Warren Smith and Bob Wagner. Marjorie Meinel and Jean Bennett were also remembered fondly.
Arthurs went on to discuss the transition from the Society sponsoring regional chapters to launching a new outreach program. He mentioned that there was great debate about the change but it was a change the Board of Directors ultimately decided to pursue. One of the better outcomes has been the formation of the Photonics Society of Poland. SPIE looks forward to working with them.
In 2007 SPIE spent a fair amount of time launching its new Web site. Although Arthurs said there was mixed reaction to the change, he noted that Web sites are only new for a certain amount of time. He encouraged people to visit the SPIE Newsroom, noting that the breadth of interests to SPIE members couldn't be covered in the SPIE Professional magazine alone. He asked that members let us know if there were topics not covered in the Newsroom that would be of interest to the members.
Arthurs said that the first SPIE Field Guide has been translated into Japanese, and the Society expects the Field Guides to be translated into other languages as well.
SPIE Scholarships increased $30,000 in 2007 from 2006. Arthurs said that SPIE plays a major role in ALOP, and the program could possibly fail without our support. SPIE is now providing low or no-cost SPIE Digital Library service through ICTP to developing countries. SPIE also provides free educational posters in a number of different languages and has distributed more than 10,000 so far. SPIE continues to print the Optics Education Directory jointly with the OSA. Arthurs also mentioned support of the Women in Optics, noting that the goal is that one day this would be "redundant."
Speaking about China, Arthurs said that although not-for-profits have no legal standing in China, we have gained a foothold because of our long history there, and have been recognized as a society.
Arthurs said that the SPIE headquarters in Bellingham had recently installed solar panels on its building, and we are leading by example.
He closed by mentioning the staff retirements of Curtis Roberts, Sue Davis, and Janice Walker. All three of which will be a great loss to the Society.
Request Full Minutes
Members can request a copy of the full minutes of the meeting by contacting Bobbie Lively, director of executive and administrative services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next meeting of the corporation will be held at SPIE Optics+Photonics 2009.
Also at SPIE Optics+Photonics
In addition to being the site of the SPIE Annual General Meeting, SPIE Optics+Photonics drew nearly 5000 attendees in August, and 2800 conference proceedings papers from 72 conferences on nanoscience, solar energy, photonic devices, optical engineering, and other subjects are being published, as approved, in the SPIE Digital Library.
Event Manager Marilyn Gorsuch observed that the week-long symposium drew a truly "intellectually curious" crowd. "Not everyone is working in solar or nanotechnology or solid-state lighting, but they turned up at the plenary sessions just to learn more about what is going on," she said.
Gorsuch also noted the interdisciplinary character of the meeting. "The solar plenary speaker talked about nanotechnology, the nano plenary speaker talked about applications for solar, and so on," she said. "These links cropped up everywhere throughout the week."
At an awards banquet later in the week, 16 scientists, innovators, and/or educators were formally promoted to the rank of SPIE Fellow and recognized for making significant technical and scientific contributions in optics and photonics.