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SPIE Adds to Presidential Chain at Optics and Photonics Digital Forum

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Organization elects Bernard Kress to serve as vice president in 2021 as announcement, plenary from Ursula Keller highlight forum’s opening day

BELLINGHAM, Wash., Aug. 25, 2020 — SPIE on Monday announced that Bernard Kress, a partner optical architect on the HoloLens Team at Microsoft and former principal optical architect at Google X, has been elected to serve as the organization’s vice president for 2021. With his election, Kress will serve as SPIE’s president-elect in 2022 and as president in 2023.

Elected terms begin on Jan. 1, 2021.

SPIE President John Greivenkamp, of the University of Arizona’s James C. Wyant College of Optical Sciences, made the announcement at this year’s annual general meeting of the society on the first day of the SPIE Optics and Photonics Digital Forum. Prior to the annual meeting, Ursula Keller delivered the forum’s opening plenary, launching a week of virtually accessible conferences and exhibitions.

Interactive talks, courses, events, and exhibitions highlight the event, covering topics such as optical engineering and applications, nanotechnology, quantum science, and organic photonics.

Kress has served on numerous SPIE committees and was an elected member of the SPIE board of directors from 2017-2019. A longtime SPIE course instructor, he has chaired many conferences and is the founding chair of the popular SPIE AR/VR/MR Symposium held concurrently with SPIE Photonics West. He received his Habilitation to Direct Research from the University of Haute-Alsace, Mulhouse; his doctorate in photonic systems from the University of Strasbourg in conjunction with University of California, San Diego; and his “Grande Ecole d’Ingénieur” degree in physics from the École Nationale Supérieure de Physique de Strasbourg.

“The society stands today at a crossroad with unprecedented challenges but also unprecedented opportunities,” Kress said. “My goal is to help steer the society’s message and services to fully take advantage of the opportunities to better serve a very diverse optics and photonics community in all professional levels and geographical sectors.”

Interactive presentations and exhibition take (virtual) center stage
In her plenary, Keller provided an overview of recent progress to single- and dual-comb generation from diode-pumped, solid-state, and vertical-emitting semiconducting lasers. Keller outlined how fully stabilized optical frequency combs provide frequencies for a precise ruler in optical frequency metrology.

A mode-locked, integrated, external-cavity surface-emitting laser (MIXSEL) integrates both the gain and the saturable absorber layer within the same semiconductor wafer, simplifying the laser geometry to a linear straight cavity with excellent noise performance. In dual-comb operation, the initially unpolarized beam is split with an intracavity birefringent crystal. A dual-comb MIXSEL has been used for molecular spectroscopy without the need of any additional stabilization. Novel concepts solved the Q-switching problem for gigahertz femtosecond solid-state lasers, also enabling stable dual-comb generation.

A plenary session in nanoscience and engineering followed on Monday, with the annual general meeting of SPIE Corp. Day two sessions include plenaries in organic photonics and electronics; signal, image, and data processing; and optical engineering.

In addition to plenary speakers, the online-only event features on-demand technical talks, virtual networking opportunities, and special events.

The forum offers three tracks: nanoscience and engineering applications, organic photonics and electronics, and optical engineering and applications. Virtual attendees can view specialized topics within each track, with presentations on the latest research.

The nanoscience and engineering applications track covers advances in metamaterials, nanophotonic materials, plasmonics, quantum materials and devices, optical trapping, spintronics, nanostructured devices, nanoengineering, nanoimaging, nanospectroscopy, low-dimensional materials, and artificial intelligence.

In the organic photonics and electronics track, sessions span organic-based materials and devices that advance renewable energy sources and other commercial applications and include OLEDs, OFETS, OHPCs, perovskite PVs, organic and hybrid sensors, bioelectronics, liquid crystals, and molecular machines.

The optical engineering and applications track explores developments in optical design; optical alignment; testing and fabrication; photonic devices; x-ray, gamma ray, and particle technologies; image and signal processing; optics and photonics for sustainable energy; artificial photosynthesis; and remote sensing and atmospheric propagation.

The event also includes a digital forum and exhibition, designed to replicate the experience of walking the exhibition floor. Guests can virtually attend prerecorded product demonstrations and submit questions. Featured technologies include test and measurement equipment, optical components, lenses, detectors, sensors, cameras and imaging systems, lasers and laser systems, fiber optics, chemicals, optical coatings and thin films, nanoprecision products, products for sustainable energy research, and LED and OLED technology.

Technical events, including a workshop on x-ray optics, allow interested parties to meet and discuss issues related to the design, analysis, cooling, fabrication, and metrology of x-ray optics. In a live event Thursday, Aug. 27, Rich Pfisterer of Photon Engineering will host a lens design technical session to discuss design, materials, techniques, software, and problems, as well as current technical and commercial trends within the marketplace.

An Optical Believe It or Not, with John W Briggs, FOAH Observatory and The Astronomical Lyceum, and Michael Mideke, Magdalena Astronomical Society, and a presentation by Robert Fugate, is also on the schedule, live on Wednesday, Aug. 26. The first presentation will cover unusual items created by some of the country’s greatest early optical artists. Fugate will discuss the development of laser guide star adaptive optics at a remote Air Force facility in the New Mexico desert in the 1980s, reviewing the breakthrough’s first experiment and subsequent milestones and lessons.

Alongside Kress, SPIE on Monday announced newly elected society directors, each of whom will serve three-year terms from 2021-2023: Ruth Houbertz, CEO and managing director, Multiphoton Optics GmbH; Elizabeth Krupinski, professor and vice chair of research, Emory University School of Medicine; Kyle Myers, director, Division of Imaging, Diagnostics, and Software Reliability, Office of Science and Engineering Laboratories, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, U.S. Food and Drug Administration; and M. Cather Simpson, chief science officer, Engender Technologies Ltd. and professor of physics and chemical sciences, University of Auckland, New Zealand.

David Andrews, a professor at the University of East Anglia, will serve as the organization’s president in 2021. Jason Mulliner, chief financial officer at Alluxa Inc., was elected to serve as the 2021 SPIE secretary/treasurer.

For more information; on-demand access to conference papers, posters, and video presentations; or information about this year’s presidential chain announcement, visit
Aug 2020
SPIEpeopleUrsula Kellerannual meetingdigital forumRobert FugateelectionBernard KressARVRGreivenkampAR/VRDavid AndrewsJason MullinerBusinessopticsEvents

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