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#FacesofPhotonics: Applied Optics Master's Student Christiane Ebongue

Bonjour! Meet Christiane Ebongue, graduate student at Delaware State University (DSU). Christiane is working on a master's degree in applied optics with a goal of achieving a PhD in Physics. When she is not spending time in the lab —something she says she loves so much, she would even want to be there on her birthday! — she enjoys her role as president of her university's SPIE Student Chapter.

Ebongue moved to the United States from Cameroon for college, although she only spoke French at the time. Learning to speak a new language while learning a new field of science was intimidating, she says, but this feat just speaks to how tenacious of a person Ebongue is.

Another example of this steadfast dedication and passion lies in her photonics advocacy work. After defending her thesis in the morning, Ebongue hopped in her car and drove from Delaware to Washington D.C., to participate in Congressional Visits Day, without missing a beat!

"It was awesome, I don't regret it at …
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Why Light? SPIE Fellow David Sampson answers

David Sampson is a Fellow Member of SPIE, on the Board of Directors, and Vice-Provost of Research and Innovation at the University of Surrey. He is also the next community member to answer our 'Why Light?' series. The series is leading up to the second annual International Day of Light this 16 May, and asks members of the SPIE community to explain why they feel light is so important.

David has nearly thirty years’ research experience in photonics, optics, and microscopy, and applications in communications and biomedicine. He is an authority in optical coherence tomography, with several main interests including the microscope-in-a-needle. As a Board Member he serves on several committees for SPIE, including the Strategic Planning Committee and the Conference Program Committee, and regularly contributes to SPIE's conferences and journals. He took time out of his very busy schedule to answer for us what light means to him and to the greater global community.


What about light i…

#FacesofPhotonics: Biomedical Engineering PhD Student Christopher Pacia

Why haven't we found a cure for cancer yet? This is the question that motivates Christopher Pacia when he's doing research in the Chen Ultrasound Lab at Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL). Pacia is a PhD student in biomedical engineering, and his research focuses on ultrasound imaging and therapy that can impact cancer patient care. "With a greater understanding of the brain, treatments can be more patient-specific," says Pacia. "In that way, they will also be more effective in improving the lives of those affected by the seemingly boundless complexity of neurological disorders."

Pacia is the current Vice President of the SPIE Student Chapter at his university, under the supervision of 2019 SPIE Britton Chance Award winner, Dr. Samuel Achilefu. The chapter is involved in a variety of local outreach activities which, according to Pacia, is one of the most rewarding parts of being a researcher.

Enjoy SPIE's Faces of Photonics interview with Chris!


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#FacesofPhotonics: CEO of Datalytica Dr. Misty Blowers

From the US Air Force Research Lab to Vice President of Cybersecurity at ICF to CEO of her own defense consulting company, SPIE Member Dr. Misty Blowers continues to make waves in the defense security world. She has always been unwavering in her dedication to this community, citing her drive toward positive change: "I hope to make a technical contribution that can make the world a better place."

Many would say she's already accomplished this. In 2018, Dr. Blowers was awarded the SPIE Early Career Achievement Award for her dedication to advancing applied machine-learning solutions to help solve real-world problems. Her commitment to the field also shines through in her multiple years serving on SPIE conference committees at SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing (DCS), and her 2016 publication of Evolution of Cyber Operations and Technologies to 2035 (Springer) which she discusses in the interview below.

Enjoy the interview!

1. Describe a memorable moment from an SPIE conferen…

International Day of Light in Action: Sumner Middle School and HoloCenter

We are less than two months away from the 2019 International Day of Light (IDL). In preparation for this annual event, we will be revisiting our 2018 IDL SPIE Micro Grant winners from around the world, showcasing celebrations of IDL in their communities.

Each year, SPIE provides IDL Micro Grants to SPIE Members who want to celebrate the importance of light and share that knowledge with their community. These activities must take place during the month of May and tie directly to the cross-global festivities held on the 16th of that month. You can learn more here.

This week we travel the United States coast-to-coast, visiting HoloCenter in New York City and Sumner Middle School in Sumner, Washington.

HoloCenter: Center for the Holographic Arts Despite cold, rainy weather in May and June of 2018, over 2000 people made the ferry boat ride from Manhattan and Brooklyn out to Governor's Island in New York City to attend "Artist Photonics," a five week exhibition held at Hol…

Why Light? SPIE Student Member Gilles Freddy Feutmba answers

Gilles Freddy Feutmba is a Student Member of SPIE and the next community member to answer our 'Why Light?' series. The series is leading up to the second annual International Day of Light this 16 May, and asks members of the SPIE community to explain why they feel light is so important.

Gilles is PhD Candidate at Ghent University working on the dense integration of ferro-electric Lead Zirconate Titanate (PZT) based silicon phase modulators for diverse applications ranging from LiDAR to displays. He is also Vice President of the university's SPIE Student Chapter. He is an active Member of SPIE, serving on the Membership and Communities Committee, as well as the Student Chapter Subcommittee and the Student and Early Career Professionals ad hoc Committee. He answers for us what light means to him and to the greater global community.


What about light inspires you? Everything about light fascinates me, from the fundamental physics to the beauty of rainbows and colors. To me, lig…

International Day of Light in Action: Institut National Polytechnique Félix Houphouët-Boigny and Quaid-i-Azam University

As we get closer to the 2019 International Day of Light, we will be re-visiting our 2018 IDL Micro Grant winners from around the world, and showcasing their celebration of this annual event in their communities. This week we visit Yamoussoukro, Côte d'Ivoire, and Islamabad, Pakistan to meet the innovative organizations who celebrated IDL 2018 with the help of an SPIE Micro Grant.

Each year, SPIE provides International Day of Light (IDL) Micro Grants to SPIE Members who want to celebrate the importance of light and share that knowledge with their community. These activities must take place during the month of May and tie directly to the cross-global festivities held on the 16th of that month.
Institut National Polytechnique Félix Houphouët-Boigny
On the 31st of May last year, over 320 high school, undergraduate, and graduate students, as well as their teachers, joined the general public for a celebration of light on the campus of the Institut National Polytechnique Felix Houphouet-…