SPIE Optics+Photonics

Celebrating optics, photonics, and the IYL in August 2015.

01 July 2015

The celebration for the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL) continues at SPIE Optics+Photonics 9-13 August in San Diego, CA (USA). IYL-related presentations and workshops will be available along with a display of the 32 images vying for the People’s Choice Award in the SPIE IYL Photo Contest.

Logo for SPIE Optics + PhotonicsMore than 4300 attendees are expected at this annual event featuring 3300 papers on the latest research in emerging optics and photonics technologies. Also on the program: numerous technical and networking events, a three-day industry exhibition, job fair, and professional development activities for students.

The Women in Optics presentation 10 August will feature reports on IYL activities from around the world. Panelists include SPIE student members Laura Tobin of University College Dublin (Ireland), who was a judge in the photo contest; Anne-Sophie Poulin-Girard of Université Laval (Canada); and Sona Hosseini of University of California, Davis (USA).

A workshop for optics educators will demonstrate how to introduce light and optics to young students with the Light Blox kit, the official educational kit for the IYL.

There also will be several award presentations at SPIE Optics+Photonics, including the 2015 Early Career Achievement Award, SPIE Educator Award, and the SPIE Gold Medal.


SPIE Optics+Photonics will open with two symposium-wide plenary speakers contributing their insights into comet chasing and optical wave sculpting.

O+P 2015 Plenary Speaker Arthur B. Chmielewski of NASA JPLThe Rosetta Mission, the third cornerstone mission of the European Space Agency’s comprehensive Horizon 2000 plan, made history 12 November 2014 when the lander module Philae soft-landed on a comet. US Rosetta project manager Artur B. Chmielewski of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab (USA) will review the landing and tell how Philae became a comet chaser, lander, and hopper in the same mission.

“At the time of this conference, a planned dive into the comet plume may have already yielded important results,” Chmielewski notes.

O+P 2015 Plenary Speaker Nader Engheta of University of Pennsylvania (USA)SPIE Fellow and 2015 SPIE Gold Medal Award recipient Nader Engheta of University of Pennsylvania (USA) will discuss some of the technologies made possible by controlling photons and optical waves.

“Materials control waves, and they can tailor, manipulate, redirect, and scatter electromagnetic waves and photons at will,” Engheta says. “Recent developments in condensed matter physics, nanoscience, and nanotechnology have made it possible to tailor materials with unusual parameters and extreme characteristics, providing fertile ground for innovation and discovery.”

Five more plenary sessions will have experts discussing topics covered by the four symposia: NanoScience+Engineering; Optics+Photonics for Sustainable Energy; Organic Photonics+Electronics; and Optical Engineering+Applications.

Open to all technical attendees, these sessions address breakthroughs in nano-bio-optomechanics, solar-cell technologies, organic electronics, signal processing, and wearable technologies.

Plenary speakers include:

  • SPIE member Keisuke Goda of University of Tokyo (Japan), “Extreme Imaging and Beyond”
  • SPIE member Reuven Gordon of University of Victoria (Canada), “Nano-Bio-Optomechanics: Nanoaperture Tweezers Probe Single Nanoparticles, Proteins, and their Interactions”
  • SPIE Fellow Mark Brongersma of Geballe Laboratory for Advanced Materials (GLAM) (USA), “Device Applications of Semiconductor Nanoantennas and Metafilms”
  • Wyatt Metzger of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (USA), “Status and Challenges of CdTe Photovoltaics”
  • Timothy Schmidt of University of New South Wales (Australia), “Photochemical Upconversion of Light for Renewable Energy and More”
  • Rebecca Jones-Albertus of the US Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office (USA), “The Importance of Reliability to the SunShot Initiative”
  • Liejin Guo of Xi’an Jiaotong University (China), “Solar Hydrogen: Harvesting Light and Heat from the Sun”
  • SPIE member Chihaya Adachi of Kyushu University (Japan), “Current Status of High Efficiency OLEDs Based on Delayed Fluorescence”
  • George G. Malliaras of Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Saint-Étienne (France), “Interfacing with the Brain using Organic Electronics”
  • Takao Someya from University of Tokyo (Japan), “Ultraflexible Organic Thin-Film Devices for Wearable and Implantable Electronics”
  • SPIE Fellow Yang Yang of University of California, Los Angeles (USA), “Recent Progress on Hybrid Organic-Inorganic and Perovskite-based Solar Cells”
  • SPIE Fellow Thrasyvoulos N. Pappas from Northwestern University (USA), “Visual Signal Analysis: Focus on Texture Similarity”
  • SPIE Fellow Aydogan Ozcan of University of California, Los Angeles (USA) and California NanoSystems Institute (USA), “Democratization of Next-Generation Imaging, Sensing, and Diagnostics Tools Through Computational Photonics”
  • SPIE Fellow Bernard C. Kress of Google (USA), “Restocking the Optical Designer’s Toolbox for Next-Generation Wearable Displays”

SPIE 2015 Global Salary Survey for Optics and PhotonicsAccording to the 2015 SPIE Optics & Photonics Global Salary Report, included with mailed copies of this magazine, women’s salaries continue to lag behind men’s in most areas of the world. Women in the optics workplace will be one of the topics covered in a panel discussion sponsored by the SPIE Career Center.

Women scientists and engineers on the panel will share their perspectives and experiences along with insights from the salary survey.

Photonics industry events include:

  • Kerry Scarlott and Ian Moss, attorneys for Goulston and Storrs, will lead a discussion on best legal practices for navigating ITAR and other international trade regulations.
  • SPIE industry and market strategist Stephen Anderson will profile the global optics and photonics industry at the SPIE Optics+Photonics exhibitor breakfast.
  • A panel of professionals in the optics and photonics sector will discuss industry careers outside of academia and cover the process of getting hired at technology-based companies and non-academic facilities.
  • A panel of experts in finding and vetting new technology ventures will offer advice on corporate investment programs, crowdfunding, nontraditional venture capital, and other new options for funding that are becoming popular.


The SPIE Student Chapter Leadership Workshop 8 August is a full-day program on effective career and chapter development practices along with presentations on career skills, optics entrepreneurship, and publishing.

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

Doumont will also lead a workshop on how to persuade others using tactics such as personal/organizational power and social influences.

New to this year’s schedule is the Student Chapter Bootcamp. Open to members of SPIE student chapters formed within the last year, this session offers tips on chapter benefits and management.

Other student events include:

  • The Optics Outreach Games
  • Lunch with the Experts
  • A career choices panel discussion
  • A professional skills development workshop
  • Student chapter poster exhibits


SPIE member Jake Jacobsen of Synopsys (USA) will chair a technical event on solar energy production 10 August.

“Since we last discussed this topic five years ago, solar energy production in the US has seen substantial growth,” Jacobsen notes. This technical session on illumination will cover the current state of solar energy production and insights into the future of this expanding technology.

SPIE Fellow H. Philip Stahl of NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Moving further out into the cosmos, 2014 SPIE President H. Philip Stahl of NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and Heidi Hammel of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) will co-chair a presentation on the future of UV/optical/near-IR (UVOIR) space astronomy.

They will discuss information gathered from an AURA-commissioned report on future space-based options for UV and optical astronomy that significantly advance our understanding of the origin and evolution of the cosmos and the life within it.

SPIE Fellow Richard B. Hoover of Athens State University (USA) and the Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology (UK)In the continuing search for life on other planets, SPIE Fellow Richard B. Hoover, an astrobiologist at Athens State University (USA) and the Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology (UK), has led scientific expeditions to search for microbial extremophiles, organisms that can live in extreme conditions. Hoover will lead the 2015 SPIE Life in the Cosmos Panel in a review of recent discoveries in astronomy, microbiology, and astrobiology and discuss their implications.

SPIE Fellow Chandrasekhar Roychoudhuri of University of ConnecticutTo cover aspects of light in the natural world and ongoing research involving practical and experimental aspects of optics in nature, SPIE Fellow Chandrasekhar Roychoudhuri will chair a conference on light in nature.

Other technical events include poster sessions, a workshop on x-ray optics, and a discussion on lens design.

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