Optics and Photonics Society of Singapore

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Anand Asundi, Optics and Photonics Society of Singapore (OPSS)

The Optics and Photonics Society of Singapore (OPSS) evolved from the SPIE Singapore Chapter that originally formed in 1994. In 2008, OPSS reorganized. Since then it has aimed to promote optics and photonics to industries, academia, and students through interaction and networking, both locally and globally. Recently, OPSS established offices in China and India, initiated the formation of ACOP (the ASEAN Commission on Optics and Photonics), and formed alliances with the Chinese Society of Optical Engineering, the Taiwan Photonics Society, and the Optical Society of Japan. In addition to offering yearly workshops, courses, and conferences in Singapore, OPSS also supports regional conferences and provides student travel grants to some of these events.

OPSS and SPIE Singapore Student Chapter members on the International Day of Light, May 16. Behind them is a ‘super tree’ at the Gardens by the Bay, which has a nightly light show centered around the trees.

OPSS and SPIE Singapore Student Chapter members on the International Day of Light, May 16. Behind them is a ‘super tree’ at the Gardens by the Bay, which has a nightly light show centered around the trees.

Growing membership

Over the years, OPSS membership has included multinational companies, such as Coherent and Edmund Optics; local companies, including Wavelength Opto-Electronic (Singapore) and JM Vistec; and even startups, such as d’Optron. Because of the dearth of optical engineering programs in Singapore, OPSS has provided workshops and courses for the local industry. Also, OPSS provides an avenue for companies to recruit new talent into their organization, and participates in exhibitions in the Asian region to promote our industries and capabilities.

Individual members of OPSS include people from corporations, the defense industry, and academia who are keen to keep abreast of developments in optics and photonics. Toward this end, since 2011, OPSS has organized its flagship icOPEN (International Conference on Optical and Photonic Engineering) conference series. Originally, the conference was held every two years in Singapore, but because of its popularity it became an annual event that alternated between China and Singapore. Now, with the formation of ACOP, this year’s icOPEN will be held in Phuket, Thailand. As a result of this new alliance, OPSS members get discounted registration rates at conferences and courses in the region and beyond.

Student benefits

Student members of OPSS are given free membership if they belong to any other optical society, such as SPIE, OSA, or IEEE, all of which have student chapters in Singapore. Our student members are the first to receive information on job openings in local companies and organizations. OPSS also offers travel grants to students for OPSS-supported conferences and events. It also co-sponsors student events, such as the inaugural SPIE FOCUS workshop (2012), which was organized by the SPIE Singapore Student Chapter.

In cooperation with d’Optron, OPSS has developed an OpticsKit, with the goal of bringing optics to nonoptics communities. Optics communities have been growing rapidly since optics has begun to replace electronics as an enabling technology. The OpticsKit offers novel optics-based systems that high school and university students can easily use to experiment with in their particular area of interest. As a matter of fact, at the icOPEN 2018 in Shanghai, the student competition was based on an application from one of the items in the kit. Projects were submitted by people in diverse fields spanning from biomedicine to robotics to virtual reality.

In the coming years, OPSS plans to organize ETOP 2021 alongside icOPEN 2021, and plans to hold the next ICO Congress in 2023.

Meet the author

Anand Asundi is the founding chair of the Optics and Photonics Society of Singapore (OPSS). He was a professor and director at the Centre for Optical and Laser Engineering at Nanyang Technological University. He is currently managing director at d’Optron Pte. Ltd.

Published: July 2019
OPSSSingaporeOptics and Photonics Society of SingaporeChinese Society of Optical EngineeringTaiwan Photonics SocietyOptical Society of JapanACOPAssociation of Optics and PhotonicsASEANOptics Special Section

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