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Vrije Universiteit Brussel Shines the Light

Guest blogger: Sidney Goossens is a PhD student and past president of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel SPIE Student Chapter in 2017.
Last year was an eventful one for the SPIE student chapter of Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) as BA, MA and PhD candidates celebrated its 10th anniversary with a special edition of Light Night, a yearly photonics event showcasing an international range of speakers from across academia and industry. The early years The chapter was founded in 2007 by former chapter President J├╝rgen Van Erps, Vice President Nathalie Vermeulen and advisor professor Hugo Thienpont. From 2008 onward, networking activities and job-related events were frequently organized with the support of the SPIE invited-lecturer program, offering students various opportunities to discover the industry’s world of photonics. As the popularity of the events grew and attendance increased, many events were combined into the annual Light Night, which launched officially in 2014.
The chapter also e…
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Why Light? Eugene Arthurs, SPIE CEO answers

We talk to SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs in the second installment of our 'Why Light?' series. The series is leading up to the first International Day of Light, where we asked members of the SPIE community to explain why they feel light is so important.

The inaugural International Day of Light – IDL – will take place 16 May 2018. IDL is a global initiative that provides an annual focal point for the continued appreciation of light. This day recognizes light and the vital role it plays in science, culture and art, education, and sustainable development.

On 16 May, join SPIE and communities worldwide by participating in activities that illustrate how the science and art of light improves all our lives. For more information and to plan your own event, visit spie.org/IDL.



Meet SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs,
Steering Committee Member of IDL 2018
What about light inspires you? There are multiple aspects to my delight in light. I am using words deliberately to highlight the positive visceral conn…

Why Light? John Dudley, IDL 2018 Steering Commitee Chair answers

In preparation for the first International Day of Light, we asked members of the SPIE community to explain why they feel light is so important. We will feature their answers throughout the coming months as we get ready to celebrate the first IDL.

The inaugural International Day of Light – IDL – will take place 16 May 2018. IDL is a global initiative that provides an annual focal point for the continued appreciation of light. This day recognizes light and the vital role it plays in science, culture and art, education, and sustainable development.

On 16 May, join SPIE and communities worldwide by participating in activities that illustrate how the science and art of light improves all our lives. For more information and to plan your own event, visit spie.org/IDL.



Meet SPIE Member John Dudley,
Steering Committee Chair of IDL 2018
What about light inspires you? I am fascinated by the properties of light and how it is so central to all areas of science. Space and time in the universe are c…

Celebrate the first International Day of Light with resources available from SPIE

Organized by UNESCO, the International Day of Light (IDL) is a global initiative for the continued appreciation of light and the role it plays in science, culture and art, education, and sustainable development. Light enables a vast amount of our modern technology, in fields as diverse as medicine, communications, and energy. IDL will be held on 16 May each year, the anniversary of the first successful operation of a laser in 1960. The laser is a perfect example of how a photonics discovery can yield revolutionary benefits to society.
The broad theme of light will allow many different sectors of society worldwide to participate in activities that demonstrate how the science, technology, and artistic expression of light can help achieve the goals of UNESCO — education, equality and peace. SPIE enthusiastically supports these goals and this annual celebration of lifesaving, life-enhancing light.

The inaugural celebration of the International Day of Light will take place in May at the H…

Glass ceiling, sticky floor: countering unconscious bias in photonics

Who knew … until last year: Three African-American women working — in obscurity — for NASA as mathematicians played a vital role in the mission that sent astronaut John Glenn into orbit around Earth and brought him back again, in 1962.
Publication of Margot Lee Shetterly's book Hidden Figures and the subsequent release of the acclaimed 2016 film brought the story of the important roles played by Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson to light for the first time for many.
While their story may have been little known for decades, struggles for opportunity and inclusion are familiar to many women and to members of under-represented minorities or other groups working to make a career in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) field.
Findings on gender equity from the latest SPIE Optics and Photonics Global Salary report indicate that women in the field lag behind men in salary and in representation in management and senior academic positions.
The cost…

Changing life as we know it: the Internet of Things and cyber-physical sensing

More than 20 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices are expected to be deployed within the next few years; by 2025, this number may reach as much as 1 trillion connected devices. Driven by growth in cloud computing, mobile communications, networks of data-gathering actuators and sensors, and artificial intelligence with machine learning, this trend will change how we live our lives.
Already we live among connected devices in our homes.

Increasingly, we will also wear them, drive them, and monitor our health via the IoT. More businesses will build, ship, and design products and manage inventory with connected devices. In our cities, transportation, communications, and security infrastructure, and services such as water distribution and energy management will employ IoT applications. Farmers will find many uses, from insuring the health of livestock to increasing crop productivity.
Several conferences scheduled for SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing 2018 (15 through 19 April in Orland…

Hyperspectral imaging: defense technology transfers into commercial applications

Hyperspectral imaging, like many other of today's technologies, is moving into numerous commercial markets after developing and maturing in the defense sector. While still having a strong presence in defense applications, the technology is now used in chemical detection, food quality assurance and inspection, vegetation monitoring, and plant phenotyping, among others.
For more than 20 years, advances in spectral imaging have been on display at SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing (DCS). The applications and capabilities of the technology have grown along with the conferences and exhibition at SPIE DCS.
The ability to see more than what is visible to the human eye has always been one of the goals of optical engineers. With hyperspectral imaging they have been able to achieve just that. By accessing the entire electromagnetic spectrum, the sensors are able to image a specific wavelength range, or spectral band, and combine images of multiple bands into one 3D scene.
Through analysis,…