SPIE Optics + Photonics 2016

Preview of 28 August - 1 September symposium.

01 July 2016

LOGO for SPIE Optics and PhotonicsProgress in developing artificial photosynthesis technologies, engineering bio-inspired robotics, and designing flexible electronic materials, along with the latest findings from the Mars Rovers and the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), are just a few topics to be featured at SPIE Optics + Photonics in August.

More than 3000 presentations on research and applications development are on the program for the weeklong event 28 August through 1 September at the San Diego Convention Center (USA).

SPIE Optics + Photonics will have 65 technical conferences on everything from solar energy to nanotechnology, optical design to systems engineering, and optics education outreach to photonic devices and applications. It also offers a three-day exhibition, two-day job fair, industry sessions on patents and other topics, professional development courses in fundamental and advanced technologies, SPIE membership events, and numerous networking opportunities.

New conferences among the four symposia, Nanoscience + Engineering, Optics + Photonics for Sustainable Energy, Organic Photonics + Electronics, and Optical Engineering + Applications, include one covering CubeSats and other miniaturized satellites for remote sensing and another reporting on UV and higher energy photonic sources and materials.

Membership events include the SPIE Student Chapter Leadership Workshop Saturday, 27 August; the SPIE Fellows lunch, members-only reception, and SPIE annual general meeting on Tuesday; and a SPIE Senior Member breakfast on Wednesday. Results of the SPIE election will be announced at the annual meeting.

Other special events throughout the week include poster sessions Monday and Wednesday; the Optics Outreach Games on Sunday; the welcome reception Monday where volunteers from the San Diego Astronomy Club will set up a variety of telescopes to view the wonders of the night sky; the lens design event on Tuesday; and the Wednesday night awards banquet.

SPIE President Robert Lieberman will present the Gold Medal and several other SPIE annual awards at the banquet. (See awards information elsewhere in this issue.)


SPIE 2016 Gold Medal recipient Paras Prasad of University at Buffalo (USA) will give the first of three talks in a symposium-wide plenary session Sunday evening. Prasad will tell how applications from brain research to solar-energy conversion to security encoding can be advanced via photon management through in situ photon conversion with optical nanotransformers.

Mars Curiosity Rover scientist Melissa Rice of Western Washington University (USA) will provide updates on the latest images from Curiosity as well as the Opportunity Rover. She will also discuss instrumentation in use now and plans for future imaging science in the next Rover, to be launched in 2020.

In the third all-plenary talk, Michael Tolley of University of California, San Diego (USA) will describe work in the university’s Bioinspired Robotics and Design Lab, including soft robots and systems that self-assemble. These systems hold potential to address problems in healthcare, manufacturing, and disaster relief.

Other plenary speakers are:

SPIE Vice President Maryellen Giger of University of Chicago (USA)• SPIE Vice President Maryellen Giger of University of Chicago (USA), will describe how the role of computerized image analysis for breast cancer is expanding beyond screening into risk assessment, diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy monitoring.

Daniel Sigg, California Institute of Technology (USA) and LIGO Hanford Observatory (USA)• Daniel Sigg of the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) and the LIGO facility in Hanford, WA (USA), will detail the main features of the detectors that last September launched the era of gravitational-wave astronomy, with the observation of a transient gravitational wave signal. (See page 20.)

 Zhenan BaoZhenan Bao of Stanford University• SPIE Fellow Zhenan Bao of Stanford University (USA) will discuss stretchable electronic materials for skin-inspired devices.

Ifor D. W. Samuel, University of St. Andrews (United Kingdom) • SPIE Fellow Ifor Samuel of the University of St. Andrews (UK) will give a talk on organic semiconductors for communications such as Li-Fi, sensing, and medical therapies.

Alexandra Boltasseva, Purdue University• SPIE Senior Member Alexandra Boltasseva of Purdue University (USA) will discuss emerging materials for nanophotonics and plasmonics that are helping to drive consumer-level applications in sensing, spectroscopy, communication, and energy.

Andrea Alù, The University of Texas at Austin • SPIE Senior Member Andrea Alù of the University of Texas at Austin (USA) will discuss metamaterials and plasmonics.

California Institute of Technology (USA)
• SPIE member Harry Atwater of CalTech will discuss the challenges of and progress in designing efficient, non-biological, molecular-level, energy-conversion “machines” that generate fuels directly from sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide.

Eli Yablonovitch, Univ. of California, Berkeley (USA) • Eli Yablonovitch of the University of California, Berkeley (USA) will give a talk on the potential of optoelectronics in development of power sources for electric cars, aerial vehicles, spacecraft, homes, and stationary power plants.

Magnus Berggren, Linköping University (Sweden) • Magnus Berggren, director of the Laboratory for Organic Electronics at Linköping University (Sweden), will explore artificial nervous systems and electronic plants in his talk.

Peter Bermel, Purdue University (United States) • SPIE member Peter Bermel of Purdue University (USA) will discuss the potential and limits of thermophotovoltaics in sustainable energy-harvesting applications.

Harald Giessen, University Stuttgart (Germany)
• Harald Giessen, chair of ultrafast nano-optics at University of Stuttgart (Germany), will talk about deep-subwavelength spatial and subfemtosecond time resolution and other new avenues in plasmonics

Elvira M. C. Fortunato, Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal) • Elvira M. C. Fortunato, a professor at the New University (Portugal), will discuss sustainable consumer electronics.

Christopher Flueckiger, Underwriters Labs. (USA)• Christopher Flueckiger, principal engineer for renewable energy at Underwriters Labs (USA), will give an overview of the work the organization does to develop reliability and durability requirements for PV modules, components, and systems.


A two-day Optics Education and Outreach conference will be chaired by SPIE Fellow G. Groot Gregory, LightTools product manager at Synopsys (USA) and have two sessions dedicated to presentations on education and outreach activities during last year’s International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies.

Other conference topics will include the role of simulations in optics education, collaborations among educational and government institutions, and photonics workforce development. SPIE member Joseph Niemela, codirector of the Active Learning in Optics and Photonics (ALOP) program, will give an invited paper on ALOP on Wednesday. (Read more about the ALOP program.)

SPIE Student Services will also host the 7th iteration of the Optics Outreach Games Sunday, 28 August. The event is a friendly competition among members of SPIE Student Chapters who demonstrate the programs they have developed to help young people and the general public learn about the role of optics and photonics in everyday life.

The SPIE Women in Optics reception will be held at 5 pm Monday, 29 August. A panel of experts on inclusion will discuss how to increase diversity in science and engineering.


SPIE organizes numerous other events during the week for career and professional development.

Nearly 20 industry-leading companies such as L-3 Communications and KLA-Tencor will be interviewing potential new employees at the job fair on Tuesday and Wednesday, and hiring managers from optics companies will also be at a “getting hired” panel discussion on Tuesday.

In addition to nearly 10 free workshops and panel discussions covering everything from resumes to writing effective scientific papers and funding proposals, student attendees can enjoy a casual networking lunch Monday with experts willing to share their experience and wisdom on a career path in optics and photonics.


The SPIE annual general meeting will be held at 6 pm Tuesday, 30 August at the Marriott Hotel and Marina in San Diego, CA (USA).

SPIE officers will report on activities during the year and results of the SPIE election, and there will be opportunity for members to ask questions about the Society’s business.


Some 250 members of SPIE Student Chapters throughout the world will arrive early to SPIE Optics + Photonics to attend the annual SPIE Student Chapter Leadership Workshop on Saturday, 27 August.

The all-day workshop will be facilitated by Jean-luc Doumont, an engineer and professional development consultant who conducts scientific, technical, and business communication trainings.

All SPIE Student Chapter members are welcome but must register by 12 August to attend.

Email students@spie.org for more information on the workshop.

—More information on SPIE Optics + Photonics 2016.

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