BELLINGHAM, Wash., Sept. 20, 2012 — With the addition of 13 new student chapters at SPIE’s Optics and Photonics symposium last month, the society now has 207 chapters representing 40 countries.
The new chapters, accepted by SPIE’s board of directors, are from colleges, universities and research institutes in Poland, Canada, Portugal, South Korea, Turkey, the Netherlands, Ukraine, West Africa and the US. The 207 SPIE student chapters and clubs account for 3700 members, or more than 65 percent of SPIE’s total of 5700 student members.
"I'm excited to see the tremendous growth in both numbers and diversity of the program over the years," said Dirk Fabian, SPIE’s Student Services Lead. "Student chapters bring the next generation of optics professionals in touch with the opportunities provided by the society, and this pool of talented students means that both the society and the optics community as a whole will be healthy for years to come."
The student chapter program encourages optics and photonics students to engage in a variety of career development opportunities. It offers funding for officer travel to SPIE meetings, student leadership workshops, a visiting lecturer program and activities that promote participation in the optics and photonics community.
Nearly 200 student chapter members from 31 countries participated in the leadership workshop at the symposium, where they heard speakers on topics such as publishing, successful communication styles and entrepreneurship.
Outreach projects are an important component of SPIE student chapter and club activities. Last year, students reached more than 8000 K-12 students and community members with programs that teach about optics and photonics, using kits and materials provided by SPIE to teach topics such as laser targeting and telescope building.
Other opportunities include an annual Optics Outreach Olympics, a Photonics Start-up Challenge and networking events.
CREOL, the College of Optics and Photonics at the University of Central Florida, was the first chapter to join the program, which began in 1997.
The new chapters include:
• African Spectral Imaging Network, West Africa
• Alcorn State University, US
• Aston University, United Kingdom
• Clemson University, US
• Columbia University, US
• Delft University of Technology, Netherlands
• Kazan National Research Technical University, Ukraine
• Middle Eastern Technical University, Turkey
• University of British Columbia, Canada
• University of Michigan, US
• University of Porto, Portugal
• University of Warsaw, Poland
• Yonsei University, South Korea.
For more information, visit: www.spie.org