SPIE's president reveals future plans

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SPIE’s newly elected president, Maria Yzuel, has outlined her future plans for the society, with an emphasis on education and support for the optics community.

But the new president will not be making any radical changes during her tenure and instead will use her academic experiences to maintain and expand the status quo, as she told http://www.electrooptics.com/: ‘First, I will continue with emphasis on current activities, because I think that SPIE is moving in very good directions. As a professor of optics at the Department of Physics of the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona in Spain, I can apply my experience in teaching and doing research at a European university. I will participate in SPIE student programmes and work with the SPIE Student Chapters as well as advising on Education Outreach programmes.’

This emphasis on education will include trying to get more students studying science as she added: ‘I would like to collaborate with other scientific societies in education programmes so that we can attract more students to science and engineering. There is a significant need for this around the world, and I think that scientific societies have a great deal of experience and expertise that can help with this.’

‘Scientific societies can also apply our familiarity and connections with research funding agencies to communicate with them about the importance of optical science and applications in research, development, and innovation in the coming years,’ Yzuel added.

Yzuel also intends to continue actively supporting Women in Optics, through the society’s existing programme, and SPIE has also recently developed a new membership category for ‘Early Career Professionals’ to help those individuals get establishing in their careers.

SPIE 2008 president, Kevin Harding, announced the recent election results at the Annual General Meeting of the Society, held on 12 August, in San Diego, California. The terms will begin on 1 January 2009.