SPIE Optics and Photonics agenda announced

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Sustainable-energy applications, technology prompted by discoveries in nanoscience, and developments in photonics devices and optoelectronics will draw 8,000 researchers and innovators from around the world to SPIE Optics and Photonics at the San Diego Convention Centre on 10-14 August 2008.


Solar energy technologies and applications are the focus of one of four symposia, and highlighted in an all-conference plenary presentation by Richard King, director of the US Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon. Three other symposia are organised on nanoscience and engineering, photonic devices, and optical engineering.


Conferences on metallic nanostructures, plasmonics: nanoimaging and nanofabrication, optical trapping and micromanipulation, photonic fiber and crystal devices, and digital image processing are expected to draw particularly high interest. More than 2,800 papers will be presented in 72 conferences, including conferences on 11 topics new to the event. Papers will be published online in the SPIE Digital Library beginning immediately as approved after the meeting.


An exhibition presenting 280 exhibiting companies from approximately 20 countries will include optical fabricators, lens designers, software makers, optical fiber makers, optical test and measurement equipment builders, optical materials and substrates producers, and optical detector manufacturers. The exhibition also will feature displays from many of SPIE’s international student chapters, and the SPIEWorks Career Fair.


Fifty-eight professional education courses and workshops will be offered in 17 technical tracks and in professional development topics. New courses are on fundamental topics including optical layout, lens design, and radiometry, as well as emerging techniques in photovoltaic module design and photon transfer. New professional development workshop topics include two sessions on improving conference presentations and a primer on succeeding as an optical engineering consultant.

King’s all-conference plenary will provide highlights of the biennial solar decathlon competition, where a ‘solar village’ of 20 zero-energy homes built by university teams from North American and European schools of architecture and engineering is assembled on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Other special technical sessions will include:

  • Topical plenary presentations by 16 international experts
  • A special session on nonlinear optical polymers, in recognition of the contributions to the field made by Larry Dalton, University of Washington, in nonlinear optic polymer electro-optic modulator materials and devices
  • A panel discussion on ‘Life in the Cosmos’
  • Presentations from a new conference on ‘Optical Believe It or Not.’ 

SPIE President Kevin G. Harding, GE Global Research, will preside over the 2008 Awards Banquet featuring a presentation by 2008 Gold Medal winner and SPIE Past President M.J. Soileau of the College of Optics and Photonics, University of Central Florida.

A highlight among numerous activities for students is the Student Chapter Leadership Workshop, which brings together student leaders in optics from 126 chapters on 5 continents. Activities help develop professional skills and enable connections in the international optics and photonics community.

Science writer and commentator Margaret Wertheim will speak on ‘Who Is Science Writing For?’ at the SPIE Women in Optics reception, and receptions for early career professionals and members and other events will offer more networking opportunities.

Symposium chairs are David L. Andrews, University of East Anglia Norwich; James G. Grote,
Air Force Research Lab; and
Kevin J. Liddane, Oerlikon Optics.