SPIE Photonics West 2016

Annual event to highlight applications of light in life.

01 January 2016

Light-based technologies are constantly being developed and improved to enable and enhance life, and SPIE Photonics West 2016, 13-18 February in San Francisco, will feature the latest applications enabled by light in such areas as biomedical diagnostics and therapies, nanophotonics, optical communications, and laser manufacturing.

Technical conferences will cover biomedical optics, optoelectronics, and laser research under the well-established symposia BiOS, OPTO, and LASE. Three virtual symposia will allow attendees to track presentations in green photonics, translational research, and 3D printing.

Plenary sessions will include prominent speakers, including SPIE Fellow Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop of University of Queensland (Australia) in the nano/biophotonics plenary. She will discuss laser micromanipulation and trapping with optical tweezers in a talk entitled “Light Moves Life.”

SPIE Photonics West 2016 will also feature two free exhibitions at the Moscone Center:

  • The BiOS Expo, 13-14 February, features biomedical optics and photonics technologies such as spectroscopic/microscopic imaging, therapeutic lasers, biosensors, molecular imaging, and nano/biophotonic instrumentation.
  • The Photonics West Exhibition, 16-18 February, will have more than 1250 companies showing devices, components, lasers, and systems for many applications including photonics manufacturing.

BiOS, the world’s largest international biomedical optics symposium, features the popular Hot Topics session on 13 February facilitated by SPIE member Sergio Fantini. Experts from across the spectrum of biophotonics give short updates about exciting advances in their specialty research areas.

Symposium chairs are SPIE Fellows James Fujimoto of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA) and R. Rox Anderson of the Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and Harvard School of Medicine (USA).

photo of David BoasThe Hot Topics session will open with SPIE President Robert Lieberman of Lumoptix (USA) presenting the 2016 SPIE Britton Chance Biomedical Optics Award to David Boas of MGH and Harvard Medical School. Boas, editor-in-chief of the SPIE journal Neurophotonics, was mentored by the late Britton Chance as a graduate student and will give a short talk describing research “From Chance to neurophotonics.”

BiOS Hot Topics speakers and their topics are:

  • Aaron Aguirre, MGH, Harvard (USA), “New Microscopy Techniques for Assessing the Beating Heart”
  • Paul Beard, University College London (UK), “Photoacoustic Imaging: From Light to Sound and Back”
  • Heather Franklin, Blaze BioScience (USA), “Targeted Fluorescence-Image-Guided Surgery”
  • Jennifer Hunter, University of Rochester (USA), “Adaptive Optics Retinal Imaging”
  • SPIE member Eric Potma, University of California, Irvine (USA), “Stimulated Nonlinear Optical Microscopy: Imaging with a Boost”
  • SPIE Fellow David Sampson, University of Western Australia, “Addressing Biophotonics Challenges: Deep Penetration with Needles and Alternate Contrast with Micro-elastography”
  • SPIE member Melissa Skala, Vanderbilt University (USA), “Imaging Cellular Heterogeneity in Cancer”

A new conference in BiOS will cover biophysics, biology and biophotonics. Another will cover high-speed biomedical imaging and spectroscopy.


image for OPTO at Photonics WestThe OPTO symposium includes program tracks on photonic integration, MOEMS-MEMS, holography, displays, semiconductor lasers and LEDs, and quantum applications, and it includes presentations that will be highlighted in the Green Photonics and 3D Printing virtual symposia.

The OPTO plenary session Monday morning will begin with SPIE Fellow Xiang Zhang of University of California, Berkeley (USA) speaking on parity-time (PT) symmetry in optical systems. Zhang will discuss novel lasing schemes such as single-mode lasing in PT-symmetric, periodically modulated ring lasers.

Next, SPIE Fellow Robert W. Boyd of University of Ottawa (Canada) and University of Rochester (USA), will discuss the development of nonlinear optics, particularly how this field has become a crucial tool for quantum technologies.

The final OPTO plenary speaker will be Michael Liehr, CEO of the recently established American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics), a consortium designed to advance the state of the art in the design, manufacture, testing, assembly, and packaging of integrated photonic devices. Liehr, executive vice president of innovation, technology, and research at State University of New York (SUNY) Polytechnic Institute (USA), will describe AIM Photonics’ technical goals and opportunities, operational framework, and near-term milestones.

Chairing the OPTO symposium are SPIE Fellow Shibin Jiang of AdValue Photonics (USA) and Jean Emmanuel Broquin of IMEP-LAHC (France). SPIE Fellows David L. Andrews of University of East Anglia (UK) and Alexei L. Glebov of OptiGrate (USA) are symposium cochairs.


logo for LASE at SPIE Photonics West LASE brings together researchers working on laser manufacturing, laser materials processing, micro-nano packaging, solid-state lasers, laser resonators, ultrafast, semiconductor lasers and LEDs, and 3D-fabrication technologies. A new conference, under Nonlinear Optics, will cover real-time measurements and rogue events.

Wednesday’s LASE plenary talks begin with Philip Russell of the Max-Planck Institute for the Science of Light (Germany) and University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (Germany) talking about the emerging applications using photonic crystal fibers (PCF), generation of stable bright deep UV supercontinuum light in PCF, and light-driven optoacoustic devices.

SPIE Fellow Satoshi Kawata of Osaka University (Japan) and RIKEN (Japan), will give a plenary talk on the method for 3D laser fabrication with two-photon polymerization, two-photon isomerization, and two-photon photo reduction.

Scott Keeney, cofounder of nLight (USA) will present the final plenary talk on how disruptive applications, such as high-power semiconductor lasers, can transform the laser industry.

Symposium chairs for LASE are SPIE Fellow Yongfeng Lu of University of Nebraska, Lincoln (USA) and Guido Hennig of Daetwyler Graphics (Switzerland). SPIE Fellows Reinhart Poprawe of Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik (Germany) and Koji Sugioka of RIKEN are LASE co-chairs.


Industry events at SPIE Photonics West provide valuable information and networking for everyone from junior engineers to CEOs. They include a job fair on Tuesday and Wednesday, a workshop on patents, and:

  • A panel on financing photonics businesses moderated by SPIE Senior Member Linda Smith, president of Ceres Technical Advisers (USA).
  • A panel discussion on 3D printing moderated by Stephen G. Anderson, SPIE industry and market strategist.
  • A workshop on so-called conflict minerals used in the electro-optics industry moderated by Rosemarie Szostak, senior analyst for Nerac (USA).
  • Startup Alley, where the entrepreneurs featured in the SPIE Startup Challenge (see sidebar) will exhibit their prototypes and pitches.

Rachel Thomas, a software developer and instructor at Hackbright Academy (USA), and Lina Nilsson, biomedical engineer and head of market development at Enlitic (USA), will present “Women in Tech: Evidence, Data, and Trends” at the SPIE Women in Optics session at 5 pm Monday, 15 February.

Thomas and Nilsson will dig into research on female participation in computer science, engineering, and throughout the tech sector. They point to studies that show only 20% of engineering degrees in the USA are awarded to women and 40% of those women end up leaving the field. In the tech industry, females make up a similarly low percentage of computer scientists.

They will address the underlying causes of this gender imbalance and show how university engineering departments and tech firms are developing new initiatives to improve these numbers.

The SPIE Women in Optics session includes refreshments and precedes the official Photonics West welcome reception at 7 pm.


PRISM AWARDS logoThe Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation will be presented Wednesday 17 February in San Francisco during SPIE Photonics West.

The best new products of 2015, selected by an independent panel of experts. They are sponsored by SPIE and Photonics Media.

Categories for eligible products, processes, systems, and technologies that are newly available on the open market include additive manufacturing, displays, detectors, sensors, lasers, metrology instrumentation, and biomedical instrumentation.

For tickets to the gala ceremony (required), email innovation@spie.org.

For a list of finalists, see the Prism website.


SPIE members attending Photonics West are invited to an after-dinner, members-only reception at 8 pm Tuesday, 16 February at Alexandra’s at the Westin St. Francis Hotel.

The SPIE Startup Challenge is a business pitch competition where new entrepreneurs have five minutes to propose their photonics idea to expert judges. The winner receives $10,000 in cash from founding partner JENOPTIK and $5,000 worth of products from Edmund Optics. Finalists will be selected 16 February, and the final round of pitches will be 17 February.

logo for SPIE StudentsStudents have several opportunities to extend their network, learn from experts in their fields, and start building a career. Events include two lunches with experts; the SPIE Student Chapter Leadership Workshop; and a “No Ties” student social.

The SPIE Job Fair takes place 16-17 February. Admission is free to those with technical conference or exhibition badges for Photonics West.

Of the nearly 70 courses and workshops during the week, new training and professional development courses include those covering ultrafast lasers and amplifiers; passive and active fiber optics; and passive and active fiber optics.

For more information on SPIE Photonics West 2016: spie.org/PW2016.

Recent News
Sign in to read the full article
Create a free SPIE account to get access to
premium articles and original research
Forgot your username?