Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2019

Taking a Deep Dive into the World of Biophotonics

SPIE Student Member Gavrielle Untracht is pursuing her PhD at The University of Western Australia. She had the chance to participate in the 9th International Graduate Summer School in Biophotonics this past June on the island of Ven between Sweden and Denmark.

At the school, sponsored by SPIE, invited experts from around the globe gave extended presentations on topics like tissue optics, strategies for cancer treatment using lasers, and entrepreneurship in photonics. Attendees also had the opportunity to present their current research projects, results, or ideas. Gavrielle shares her experiences of the summer school with this community in the following guest blog post.


I recently returned from a week of great discussions and beautiful weather at the 9th Biophotonics Summer School on the Isle of Ven, Sweden. This experience, made possible (in part) by SPIE, was an invaluable opportunity for networking and a deep dive into the world of biophotonics that I would highly recommend to any…

An International Inspiration: Attending the International Day of Light 2019 Celebration in Trieste

Perla Marlene Viera González, an SPIE Early Career Professional Member working at the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon, represented the SPIE Student and ECP Membership at the International Day of Light 2019 celebration in Trieste, 16 May. She shares with this community her experiences at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) and the impact of taking part in this annual day of recognizing light.

The International Day of Light brings together culture and science.
 — SPIE John Dudley, Steering Committee Chair of IDL
This phrase was part of the message given by John Dudley during the introduction to the International Day of Light 2019 at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, Italy. And it reflects the importance of bringing together the science, technology, culture, and art that involves light in this emblematic celebration.

This year, the IDL celebration was about “Illuminating Education,” and for the event participants, we enjoyed talks …

Optics Does That? With Dr. Ashleigh Haruda, Zooarchaeologist.

Dr. Ashleigh Haruda is a zooarchaeologist.

She examines animal bones found at archaeological sites to investigate the relationship between animals and ancient human societies. These bones reveal information about ancient societies including diet, trade, migration, and market forces. For her doctoral research, she studied pastoralists living in the Central Asian steppe in the Late and Final Bronze Age (1500-800 B.C.E.). These were people who did not practice agriculture, but lived off of their animals, including sheep. “Primarily these people are experiencing their world and their landscape through their animals,” said Haruda. “So, if they fail to move their animals in the right way, or they fail to understand how the weather is going to be that year, they could all die because there was no safety net for them.”

By measuring the bones of sheep found in the steppe from the Final Bronze Age, she was able to determine that these pastoralists did not migrate extensively or trade animals wi…

#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…

A Partnership Forged in Light: SPIE and IDL Illuminate Optics and Photonics

Optical fiber networks, the inner workings of smartphones, light painting, and Laser Pink Floyd: there are myriad ways in which light impacts our lives, and on 16 May, UNESCO’s second International Day of Light (IDL) will celebrate them all. This year’s flagship event in Trieste will showcase just some of the areas – science, sustainable development, health, art, and communications – in which light creates and enables critical benefits.

The overall program, Illuminating Education, will include a presentation by University of Auckland’s Cather Simpson (“Using Physics to Feed the Planet”); the National Optical Astronomy Observatory’s Stephen Pompea showcasing the fruits of public engagement within his field; and Imperial College London’s Jess Wade describing her next-generation, OLED research as well as her efforts to address gender imbalance in science.

“The International Day of Light is an awesome opportunity to celebrate the science of light and scientists who work with optics and p…

International Day of Light in Action: University of Southampton and Stellenbosch University

As we have heard from countless members of the optics and photonics community, raising awareness of optics among the public and sparking interest in students at a young age are crucial to the future of light-based technology.

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, tying directly to the cross-global festivities held on the 16th of that month. You can learn more about our Micro Grant program here.

With less than two weeks until the 2019 IDL, we are revisiting some of the 2018 IDL SPIE Micro Grant winners from around the world, showcasing their celebrations of light and its impact. The University of Southampton in England and Stellenbosch University in South Africa both took the approach of "good things come in threes!" for their Micro Grant activities. Read on to see what they accom…

#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 …

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!


1…