Skip to main content

August recess brings Congress home for US photonics industry

One of the best chances of the year for the US photonics industry to capture the ear of Congress is scheduled to begin Friday: the August recess.

Do you wish that your Congressional representative or senator understood why your photonics business or research is important to the economy?

Do you wish that your representative knew how photonics helps -- to give just a few examples -- ensure community safety, cure diseases such as cancer, enable mobile phone communications and the internet, power 3D printing of airplane parts -- and create new industry and jobs?

To help tell the photonics story, researchers
including Naomi Halas of Rice University
(above) tell in an SPIE.tv video how they use
optics and photonics to kill cancer, treat brain
disorders, make computers run faster, convert
mobile phones into sophisticated wireless
diagnostic devices, identify concealed explosives,
and more. (Video:1:38)
And do you wish that Congress realized that the nations that are most successful at being leaders in these technologies are the nations whose leaders have established photonics-related goals to be in first place?

If so, take advantage of Congress’ customary August recess to visit Members’ local offices and have your say.

Your job is made easier by several tools including some prepared by industry experts participating in the National Photonics Initiative (NPI) sponsored by five engineering and scientific societies including SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics. The NPI was among recommendations specified in last year’s National Academies’ report “Optics and Photonics, Essential Technologies for our Nation.”
Among the tools are:


Reach out. Speak up. Give your representative and senators a face and a name to connect with -- yours! -- when he or she is back in session and voting on polices that will ( or might not…) serve to advance photonics. Share your story and your aspirations for using photonics to improve your world.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

#FacesofPhotonics: Rising Researcher Alina Zare

SPIE's #FacesofPhotonics is sharing the story of Alina Zare, Associate Professor at the The Machine Learning and Sensing Lab at the University of Florida. Dr. Zare was recognized as a 2018 Rising Researcher for her work in Electronic Imaging & Signal Processing, at the SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing conference.

This program recognizes early career professionals who conduct outstanding research in the defense, commercial, and scientific sensing, imaging, optics, or related fields. If you want to learn more about the program, the details are here.

Enjoy the interview with Alina!

1. Tell us about when you first became interested in optics and photonics. In my senior year of  undergraduate studies in computer science, I was taking an Image Processing elective.  I really enjoyed the course, and the professor for the class, Dr. Gerhard Ritter, encouraged me to do some undergraduate research.  
So I joined Dr. Paul Gader's research lab as a undergraduate researcher where I he…

#FacesofPhotonics: Photovoltaics PhD Student Arfa Karani

Meet this week's SPIE Faces of Photonics feature, Arfa Karani. Arfa is a physics PhD student at the University of Cambridge, studying the physics of solar cells. She is originally from India, but has lived outside her home country for many years while pursuing her education. 

Arfa was also President of the SPIE Student Chapter at the University of Cambridge in 2017-18, and continues to remain involved with the chapter when she's not hard at work in the university's Cavendish Lab.


Enjoy her interview!




1. How did you become interested in the optics and photonics field? Was there a person who inspired you?

My physics teacher at school inspired me. I got interested in studying optics because my curiosity was satisfied by this teacher, who was extremely enthusiastic about what they did. When you ask too many questions as a child, people try to divert your attention once they are tired of answering. Not this teacher.

I know it’s a bit cliché, but I was amazed by how one could cre…

#FacesofPhotonics: Optimax Director of Technology and Strategy, Jessica DeGroote Nelson

SPIE Senior Member Jessica DeGroote Nelson works as the director of technology and strategy at Optimax Systems in Ontario, New York. She also teaches as an adjunct assistant professor at The Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester (UR), and is a Conference Chair for SPIE Optifab 2019. 
This year at SPIE Optics + Photonics in San Diego, Nelson will be teaching Optical Materials, Fabrication, and Testing for the Optical Engineer. This course is geared toward optical engineers who are hoping to learn the basics about how optics are made, and ways in which to help reduce the cost of the optics they are designing. 
"Optical tolerancing and the cost to fabricate an optic can be a point of tension or confusion between optical designers and optical fabricators," Nelson says. "I teach this course to help give optical designers who are new to the field a few tools in their toolbelt as they navigate tolerancing and purchasing some of their first designs. One of the thi…