The National Fiber Optic Engineering Conference (NFOEC) has changed dramatically since its inception in 1984 as a technical training meeting for Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOC) personnel. Attendance has steadily increased over the past 18 years as more technical papers and tracks have been added and suppliers were invited to participate and demonstrate some of their products. NFOEC has evolved into a premier event in the fiber optics industry, offering a forum for sharing information, experiences and cutting-edge developments. NFOEC 2002 – to be held Sept. 15-19 in Dallas – will feature more than 400 fiber optic exhibitors, including industry market researchers and fiber optic industry trade journal. Exhibit hours have been expanded to accommodate both the increase in number of exhibitors and to allow for more time to walk the exhibit floor. The 4 ½-day event will include: A program of half-day and full-day short courses on Sunday, provided by SPIE Our traditional Sunday afternoon workshop and evening welcome reception A Monday morning plenary session Three days of technical sessions in six parallel tracks, comprising over 270 papers Two new poster sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday Plenary speakers on Sept. 16 will include Sean Maloney, executive vice president and general manager at Intel Communications Group; Tim Sullivan, president, Optical Networking, at Lucent Technologies; and a speaker representing the network operator's point of view. Welcome Reception The Sunday evening welcome reception will be held at NFOEC's headquarters hotel, the Hyatt Regency at Reunion. The Hyatt is a ten-minute walk, or one stop on the DART transit line, from the Convention Center. The Hyatt Regency is in the heart of downtown's historic West End District, adjacent to the vintage 1915 Union Station. The reception provides ample opportunity for NFOEC attendees to mingle and network with colleagues, exhibitors and speakers. The reception is complimentary with full conference registrations. (Additional tickets are $50 each and may be purchased in advance or at the Convention Center on Sunday or the Hyatt on Sunday evening.