The 2021 SPIE Women in Optics Planner

The 2021 SPIE Women in Optics Planner is now available to order and to download for free.
16 November 2020
by Daneet Steffens
The 2021 SPIE Women in Optics Planner

An annual offering from SPIE since 2005 – and a well-respected linchpin of the organization’s Women in Optics program – the SPIE Women in Optics planner was created to inspire and educate young girls and women, inviting them to consider careers in optics, photonics, and other STEM areas. Showcasing a vibrant cohort of women scientists, engineers, researchers, and industry leaders, the engaging and informative SPIE Women in Optics planner is available at no cost to science teachers, educators, career counselors, community clubs, students, and the general public.

Sign in to download the complete 2021 Women in Optics planner in either our 8.5"x11" format or A4 format, designed to be printed on your home printer. Or place your order for your free physical copy here.

 


 

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Each profile includes insight into the professionals’ career trajectories, their challenges and successes. Every person included in the SPIE planner offers a dynamic role model for other women and girls interested in STEM fields; together they serve as exciting examples of the myriad opportunities available in science and science-related professions.

“I have always had a curiosity about the world around me, such as rainbows, or oil patterns on the road,” notes Fatima Gunning, a senior staff researcher and head of graduate studies and co-founder of the Photonics Systems Group at University College Cork’s Tyndall National Institute. “I always wished to become an engineer,” says Amna Riaz, an engineering science PhD student at the University of Oxford. “I heard a lot about how interesting engineering life was and how engineering skills could transform you into an independent risk-taker.”

Whether they’ve been inspired into their varied careers by the inner workings of mechanical household devices, a picture of the first person in space, science-fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke, or simply by a “curiosity to know the unknown,” these women are among 24 scientists, industry CEOs, product and sales engineers, research scientists, and technologists whose work and words are featured in Women Making A Difference in the Fields of Science, Optics, and Engineering, the 2021 Women in Optics calendar from SPIE.

Together they represent a rich range of global organizations and institutions, from the Institute of Applied Sciences and Intelligent Systems at Italy’s National Research Council, NASA, and the California Institute of Technology, to businesses such as Mentor Graphics and Energetiq Technology, and an extensive spectrum of international universities. The women’s profiles cover aspects of their innovative work as well as a plethora of professional interests which include facilitating the interface of academics and industry, a focus on science communications, and an emphasis on the support of peers, colleagues and mentees.

Or, as Jess Wade, research fellow at Imperial College London and advocate extraordinaire says in her introduction, “This planner highlights some of the women who are making the world a better place. Women who are at the forefront of their disciplines, women who are making extraordinary discoveries, women who are using their platforms to elevate others.”

Meet the participants

Humeyra Caglayan

"A career in STEM may be challenging in many ways, but it is also rewarding. You will have the opportunity to interact with excellent scientists, engage in wonderful discoveries, and provide solutions to global challenges. To young women considering this career, I say, go for your dreams. Never give up on exploring more. The opportunities will appear as you pursue your dream."

– SPIE Member Humeyra Caglayan
Associate Professor in Physics and Photonics at Tampere University in Finland
See her full profile

Stefania Campopiano

"I wish I had been told at an earlier age to select the most ambitious goals in any research activity I was involved in. And now I would tell other young women that in STEM, the scientific method can in part mitigate gender prejudice. Scientific evidence is a tool that can avoid the prejudices that lead to an artificial ranking among ideas of men and women."

Stefania Campopiano
Full Professor in the Department of Engineering at the University of Naples Parthenope in Italy
See her full profile

Jacqueline Davis

"A STEM career is an exciting and rewarding field. There is a rush that comes with being on the front lines of technology and combining your creativity and imagination with your capacity to analyze hard data. Plus, the more young women who enter the field each generation, the more women populate the STEM workforce, and injecting more women into a predominately male field creates synergy and energizes the workforce."

Jacqueline Davis
Research Astrophysics Technologist at NASA's High-Energy Astrophysics Division in the US
See her full profile

Sara Diegoli

"We are all constantly learning, and we should never be afraid to admit that we do not have all of the answers. Successful people are not those who know everything and never make mistakes; they are those that have the humility to ask both the stupid and the difficult questions, and that have the courage of sharing with others what they have learned from their mistakes."

Sara Diegoli
Strategic Projects Manager at the College of Science and Engineering and QuantIC Programme Manager at the University of Glasgow in the UK
See her full profile

Maria Antonietta Ferrara

"I would also advise young women to not be afraid of obstacles in their career, always believe in themselves. Try to work in a united group, where everyone helps each other, but also find time to have fun. Take time to share scientific activities among young people; you could inspire a new generation of scientists."

Maria Antonietta Ferrara
Researcher at the Institute of Applied Sciences and Intelligent Systems at the National Research Council (CNR) in Italy
See her full profile

Fatima Gunning

"Be strong and persistent, engage with mentors (connect with those who you have common values, even if via social media!) and follow your passion. There will always be barriers, and a good mentor would always support you in breaking these barriers. STEM is fun and exciting. STEM research has shaped the world we live in today."

Fatima Gunning
Senior Staff Researcher and Head of Graduate Studies in the Photonic Systems Group at Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork in Ireland
See her full profile

Jacqueline Gunther

"Young women interested in science, you are smart enough for STEM! There will be times when you will think, 'They picked the wrong person for this work,' or 'I don’t think I’m qualified for this project,' but it’s not true! I suggest finding other women in STEM to connect with so that you can help support each other."

Jacqueline Gunther
Postdoctoral Researcher in Biophotonics at Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork in Ireland
See her full profile

Ruchi Gupta

"I wish I had been told that the more you learn, the more you realize how much is left to learn. But I would tell young women now, who are interested in a career in science, don’t be afraid to tinker with things and try out your ideas."

– SPIE Member Ruchi Gupta
Senior Lecturer at the School of Chemistry at the University of Birmingham in the UK
See her full profile

Debbie Gustafson

"Don’t be afraid to let people know your goals and aspirations. I LOVE my job! Technology is constantly changing, and this makes the job challenging and exciting. A career in STEM allows you a career of learning and this ensures that you won’t be bored with your job. It is ok (even fun) to be the trailblazer and make the path easier for the next generation of women!"

– SPIE Senior Member Debbie Gustafson
CEO of Energetiq Technology in the US
See her full profile

Keri Hoadley

"Identify role models in your field – others that you can identify with on a personal level, and especially those who encourage women and minorities to take on leadership roles in STEM.

STEM absolutely needs you and your talents - you are a creative, curious thinker who will bring endless possibilities, new discoveries, and revolutionary ideas to your field of study. I cannot wait to learn all about them!"

– SPIE Early Career Member Keri Hoadley
David and Ellen Lee Postdoctoral Fellow in Experimental Physics at California Institute of Technology in the US
See her full profile

Preeti Jagadev

"I want girls to know that the only permanent thing in life is your identity, so please work towards building that. Follow your dreams, and don’t rest until you achieve them. Do not get scared of challenges; remember the diamond is a piece of coal that could handle stress exceptionally well."

– SPIE Student Member Preeti Jagadev
PhD Student in Electronics and Communication Engineering at the National Institute of Technology Goa in India
See her full profile

Karina Jiménez García

"Work hard, but also take care of your well-being. By this I mean: work hard, study a lot, eat well, exercise, sleep well, have some free time, be efficient! Great, innovative ideas come suddenly when one is relaxed doing what one enjoys (pre-requisite: be prepared, study a lot). This advice applies to any person looking for a career in STEM, since in the context of science, men and women are equally capable."

Karina Jiménez García
Leader of the Laboratory for Quantum Technology at CINVESTAV Querétaro in México
See her full profile

Jiawen Li

"Looking back, I wish that I had been advised on how to face my fears and grow with them. The more opportunities I get, the more uncertainties and fears I encounter. I used to think that successful people never experience fear and they were born brave. Yet the truth is they face fears, acknowledge fears, grow with fears, and keep pushing through."

Jiawen Li
National Heart Foundation Research Fellow at The University of Adelaide in Australia
See her full profile

Yu-Jung Lu

"Although some people might argue it’s hard to find work-life balance when you have kids. I’m a scientist and I’m also a mother. I would say female scientists are very productive in many ways: we could give birth not only to a baby, but also to research! In my point of view, we have our own special power which makes us unique in STEM."

– SPIE Early Career Member Yu-Jung Lu
Assistant Professor at the Research Center for Applied Sciences in the Academia Sinica/National Taiwan University in Taiwan
See her full profile

Areti Mourka

"A career in STEM is a very worthwhile profession, where the results can be incredibly satisfying. Women are more likely to receive negative criticism in science: take it seriously, but not personally! If there is truth or merit, try to learn from it. Otherwise, let it roll right off you."

Areti Mourka
Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser at the Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas in Greece
See her full profile

Nasrin Razmjooei

"I would tell young girls or women who are considering a career in STEM that they need to have perseverance. And they need to be intrigued by their work: I am very motivated by the field of optics and photonics and I look for ways to gain more experience, like reviewing articles. And finally, it is important that they do not give up!"

– SPIE Student Member Nasrin Razmjooei
Graduate Research Assistant in Electrical Engineering at University of Texas at Arlington in the US
See her full profile

Amna Riaz

"Pursue the careers you want in STEM and pursue your dreams despite what anyone else says or thinks; be an inspiration. My advice is don’t give up. You need to believe that your dreams are realistic and possible. Only compare yourself to you last week, or last month, or last year. If you are learning and getting better, celebrate."

Amna Riaz
PhD Student in Engineering Science at the University of Oxford in the UK
See her full profile

Mirwat Shamshad

"No one is more and no one is less. Work hard, break the shell and come out, organize yourself, do things daily in smaller chunks that you find hard and want to be good at. It will soon become your habit and you will sail through them smoothly and swiftly."

Mirwat Shamshad
Physics Educator and Science Communicator at Educational Services Limited, Beaconhouse System in Pakistan
See her full profile

Yi Sun

"Good communication and presentation skills are necessary in an industrial environment. Pick up a book on business management. Regardless of your career goals, it helps to understand the role you play, recognize your colleagues’ personalities, and achieve harmonious working relationships.

There needs to be improvement encouraging women engineers to find their voice. As a matter of fact, you aren’t always awarded what you deserve automatically; a lot of time you have to negotiate to win what you deserve. It might help to pick up a book on negotiation skills also!"

– SPIE Member Yi Sun
Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at OFS Fitel LLC in the US
See her full profile

Anna Szkulmowska

"If you are considering a career, choose the one that calls you the most. Do not be afraid. Find your own path and remember that you are not a project - you area process. STEM strengthens women, and the world needs women in STEM."

Anna Szkulmowska
Co-Founder and CEO of AM2M at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Poland
See her full profile

Kristina Tamane

"You might still find that the world of STEM is largely male due to historical reasons. But what will catapult us ahead and bring awesome innovation into our lives is the coming mix of boys and girls from all kinds of backgrounds working together unlike ever before. And whilst we are transitioning into this new STEM world, help other girls and women around you if you see them struggle. We can achieve so much more if we approach problems together, as humans."

Kristina Tamane
Space Business Development Executive in the School of GeoSciences at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland
See her full profile

Edita Tejnil

"To young women interested in science I highly recommend a career in STEM because your work will always be interesting and will evolve with the advancement of technology. In practical terms, I would advise these three things: work on projects that have impact, voice your opinions, and always advocate for yourself."

– SPIE Member Edita Tejnil
Principal Product Engineer at Mentor Graphics in the US
See her full profile

Gracie Vargas

"So bring your full talents to the table and don’t worry if they don’t exactly match those you see in those around you. If you have a genuine interest in a STEM career, then you bring your unique background to the field - a diversity in experiences and backgrounds only benefits the field. Your spin may be the one needed to make a substantial difference."

– SPIE Member Gracie Vargas
Professor in the Department of Neuroscience Cell Biology and Anatomy at the Biomedical Engineering and Imaging Sciences Group, The University of Texas Medical Branch in the US
See her full profile

Hui Zhou

"I would tell young women and girls who are curious about a career in STEM to follow your interest. The difficulties you might face are no less challenging for your male colleagues: we can deal with them as well as they do."

Hui Zhou
Sales Engineer at eagleyard Photonics GmbH in Germany
See her full profile

 

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