It is an exciting time in the world of light and light-based technologies, and some of the brightest young researchers are joining the photonics forces, bringing with them zeal and ambition. Every August we talk with some of these people — the world’s best, most promising early-career researchers and engineers — to showcase their passion and their innovative work. Ranging in age from 15 to 32, this talented bunch is garnering international recognition with their work in imaging, spectroscopy, nanophotonics, and more, and earning young investigator awards from PicoQuant Photonics, JenLab and Ocean Optics. We’re also taking a look at the industry through the eyes of some more seasoned researchers, scientists and engineers already on the photonics front lines. They’re sharing what inspires them and what their futures hold, and even offering a bit of advice for recent graduates who are ready to enter the workforce. Also in this issue: • Contributing editor Hank Hogan examines how technological advances are pushing better performing IR imagers, and what this means for the future of UAVs, defense and security, and more, beginning on page 48; • Dr. Jason Smith, of the University of Oxford, provides insight on quantum information technologies and their future in communication security and computing capabilities, beginning on page 52; and, • Necsel IP shows us how evolving laser and imaging technologies are redefining the cinema experience, beginning on page 42. Neither experienced scientists nor industry newcomers ever stop learning, and with new, innovative and fascinating discoveries in photonics being made all the time, why would anyone want to? So sit back, read, learn and enjoy this issue.