SPIE Optics + Photonics 2014

Preview of 17-21 August event in San Diego, CA (USA)

01 July 2014
Karen Thomas

Talks on the future of wearable optics, fusion energy, and the search for habitable worlds in space will kick off the plenary sessions at SPIE Optics + Photonics 2014.

Logo for SPIE Optics + PhotonicsThe annual event, 17-21 August, in San Diego, CA (USA), opens with three symposium-wide plenary talks updating the progress of revolutionary, photonics-enabled projects, including in outer and virtual space.

In the outer space category, Robert T. Pappalardo of the Jet Propulsion Lab at California Institute of Technology (USA), will discuss the proposed Europa Clipper mission.

NASA is considering placing a spacecraft in orbit around Jupiter’s moon Europa to investigate whether it has liquid water or other signs of habitability. The possible payload of scientific instruments includes radar, infrared spectrometers, topographic cameras, mass spectrometers, and other imaging devices.

Babak Parviz of Amazon (USA), who was one of the leaders behind the Google X project and Google Glass while employed by Google, will cover new opportunities that may arise in the market for wearable optics and other wearable devices.

SPIE member Mike Dunne of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (USA) will give a third plenary talk on Sunday, 17 August. Dunne will update attendees on the National Ignition Facility’s (NIF) goal of bringing star power to Earth, including the results of a NIF experiment this year that resulted in fusion energy output more than double the laser energy input.

Fourteen more plenary presentations throughout the week will include talks on nanoscale engineering, photovoltaic technology, image processing, organic bio-devices, and optical imaging.

Attendees to Optics + Photonics 2014 will have access to 3,100 papers covered by four symposia: NanoScience + Engineering, Solar Energy + Technology, Organic Photonics + Electronics, and Optical Engineering + Applications.


word mark for SPIE Nanoscience + EngineeringThe NanoScience + Engineering symposium, created in 2007 to recognize the impact of nanotechnology in optics and photonics, is one of world’s largest and most active nano meetings.

“Optics and photonics are at the heart of nano applications ranging from cancer therapy to self-cleaning windows,” says symposium co-chair David Andrews of University of East Anglia Norwich (UK). Andrews, an SPIE Fellow and member of the SPIE Board of Directors, says this year’s symposium “promises to give a shop window to a wider range than ever of cutting-edge research and development.”

Three plenary sessions will cover developments in the world of nanophotonics.

Speaking on carbon nanotubes and interdisciplinary work in photonics, chemistry, materials, processing, SPIE Senior Member Eva M. Campo of Bangor University (UK) and University of Texas at San Antonio (USA) will provide insights into bonding in nanocomposites, offering information about the synthesis-structure-property paradigm.

Covering non-solar uses of silicon, SPIE Fellow Philippe M. Fauchet of Vanderbilt University (USA) will present the history and most recent developments of nanoscale silicon as an optical material, placing a special emphasis on active and biosensing structures.

SPIE Fellow Shaya Fainman of University of California, San Diego (USA) will discuss the passive and active nano devices recently demonstrated by his Ultrafast and Nanoscale Optics Group. Applications for these devices include photonic switching fabric and networks; 3D holography storage; and 3D imaging and displays.


Special events include a session on technical illumination covering the substantial growth and future of solar energy production and a roundtable discussion highlighting the SPIE 2014 Optics & Photonics Global Salary Report (see more on the Salary Report in this issue of SPIE Professional).

There will be a workshop on the care and cleaning of optics; student activities and poster sessions; a job fair; and the SPIE Annual General Meeting.

SPIE is also starting the International Year of Light (IYL) 2015 festivities early with a “First Light” presentation at the welcome reception Monday, 18 August. Throughout the week, an IYL booth will also offer information on getting involved in the initiative and details on the International Year of Light Photo Contest.


Several conferences within the Optical Engineering + Applications symposium will explore the educational, historical, and business aspects of optical engineering.

SPIE Fellow Rongguang Liang will chair the conference, “The Nature of Light: Light in Nature” covering aspects of light in the natural world and the practical and experimental aspects of optics in nature, which create fascinating effects such as polarization and coloration phenomena.

A two-day conference will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Optical Sciences Center (OSC), now known as the College of Optical Sciences at University of Arizona (UA).

The center was founded by Aden Meinel, professor emeritus of optical sciences at UA in 1964. SPIE Fellow and past SPIE President James Wyant, who became the founding dean when the center became a college in 2005, will give the keynote presentation on what is now one of the world’s leading institutions for research and education in optical science and engineering.

Conference chairs are SPIE member Harrison H. Barrett, SPIE Fellow and Board Member John Greivenkamp, and SPIE Past President Eustace Dereniak.

In the Photonic Innovations and Solutions for Complex Environments and Systems (PISCES) conference, SPIE Fellow Akhlesh Lakhtakia and Judith A. Todd, both of Pennsylvania State University (USA), will moderate a panel discussion on how research agendas are being set in light of government policies and actions, whether universities and research institutes have the right frameworks to partner with industry and government, and related issues. The discussion will be held Sunday, 17 August.

The Optics Education and Outreach conference, chaired by SPIE Fellow G. Groot Gregory of Synopsys (USA), focuses on engaging young people who will be the future of optics and photonics. Four sessions on enhancing optics curriculum with technology and promoting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education will be held on Wednesday.


word mark for SPIE Women in OpticsThe SPIE Women in Optics presentation and reception on Monday 18 August will feature Ana Maria Cetto of the Instituto de Física, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México speaking on her experiences with the establishment and updating of a Museum of Light. Opened in 1996 in a colonial church building in Mexico City, the Museum of Light is now updating many of its exhibits and moving into a new facility.

Cetto, who was on the team of optics and photonics leaders who proposed the IYL to the United Nations and UNESCO, will also discuss the IYL initiative.

“Light matters to all of us,” Cetto says. “It is thanks to light that we know our place in the Universe and that there is life on Earth. The IYL will create a forum for scientists, engineers, artists, poets, and all others inspired by light to interact both with each other and with the public so as to learn more about the nature of light, its many applications, and its role in history and culture.”

SPIE is a founding sponsor of IYL2015 and is organizing many activities for the celebration, including a photo contest.


The SPIE Student Chapter Leadership Workshop 16 August will feature a full-day program on effective career and chapter development practices along with presentations on career skills, optics entrepreneurship, and publishing.

The workshop is a way for attendees to also learn about all the benefits of SPIE student membership such as Student Chapter funding, scholarships, travel grants, and visiting lecturers.

Workshop leaders include SPIE Student Services staff, Student Chapter alumni, and professional development instructor Jean-luc Doumont of Principiae (Belgium).

Other student events during SPIE Optics + Photonics 2014 include the Optics Outreach Games on Sunday, with prizes for the Student Chapters with the best optics outreach demonstrations, chapter exhibits, a lunch with the experts, and a social mixer from 3:30-5 pm Tuesday in the exhibition hall.

For more information, email students@spie.org.


The SPIE Optics + Photonics Exhibition, 19-21 August, will include the SPIE Career Center Job Fair 19-20 August.

The 2014 SPIE Annual General Meeting will be held at 6 pm Tuesday 19 August..

SPIE member-only events at SPIE Optics + Photonics on 19 August include an SPIE Fellows lunch and the members’ reception.

All SPIE Senior Members are invited to a buffet breakfast at 8 am Wednesday, 20 August.

NOTE: Updated July 16

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