News from the Society

FiO+LS recap / Student Leadership / Treasurer’s Award / Officer elections / Optica Fellow stories / Optica Community / Strickland named Honorary Member / Diversity at FiO+LS / Read-and-publish agreements / 2022 Forman Team Award / Thank you, editors and volunteers

Meeting attendees

Clockwise from top left: Scott Acton; Science + Industry Showcase exhibit floor; Monika Ritsche-Marte; networking at the Optica Member Lounge.

A Multifaceted FiO+LS Meeting

The annual Frontiers in Optics + Laser Science (FiO+LS) meeting, co-sponsored by Optica and the American Physical Society, was held from 16 to 20 October as a vibrant live event in Rochester, NY, USA, as well as online. The conference attracted more than 1,500 registrants, with 780 contributed papers presented in over 50 technical sessions, along with poster presentations and special events.

Attendees absorbed plenary talks by Scott Acton of Ball Aerospace & Technologies, USA, who explained the alignment and phasing of the powerful James Webb Space Telescope (and described his own journey attempting to cycle around the world to promote the telescope’s wonders); and by Monika Ritsch-Marte, Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria, who spotlighted the use of spatial light modulators to expand the horizons of optical imaging and microscopy. Seven other Visionary Speakers offered provocative explorations of topics tied to the conference’s three guiding “workshop” themes: machine learning, quantum tech and virtual reality/augmented vision.

On the industry side, a highlight was the finals of the fifth Luminate NY accelerator, in which ten promising startups in optics, photonics and imaging competed for a share of US$2 million in funding (see OPN Newsroom article). And technical sessions on the conference exhibit floor looked at the state of the industry, emerging technologies and the next steps for the optics and photonics business.

Most of all, the five-day in-person event was a chance to re-establish important personal and professional ties. “For those who are either early or established in their careers, networking events at FiO+LS brought together and provided long-lasting, enduring professional connections,” said Colorado State University professor Randy Bartels, general chair of the Laser Science meeting.

Students at photo boothStudent members at the Optica Foundation’s photo booth.

Student Leadership Experience

Kicking off FiO+LS on 16 October 2022, Optica welcomed 100 students from 32 different countries as part of the society’s Student Leadership event—a program that unites student leaders from around the globe while immersing them in programming to help advance their academic and professional careers. In addition to networking with each other, the students engaged with a large number of Optica Ambassadors as well as guest speakers Christina C.C. Willis of ColdQuanta, Araceli Venegas-Gomez of Qureca, and Jenn Cable of Thorlabs.

Kawata, Apter and Strickland photo

Kari Apter (center) with Optica President Satoshi Kawata (left) and 2013 OSA President and Optica Honorary Member Donna Strickland (right).

Optica Treasurer’s Award

Optica congratulates its senior director for research and program development, Kari Apter, the winner of this year’s Optica Treasurer’s Award. Apter was selected for her “service as a selfless leader and respected ambassador to Optica’s most valuable resource, its global community of volunteers and members.”

Established in 2016, the Optica Treasurer’s Award recognizes an Optica staff member who contributes significantly to organizational excellence, promotes and enacts innovative solutions, and exemplifies inspirational leadership.

Optica officers

Left to right: James Kafka, Julie Sheridan Eng, Ulrike Fuchs and Aleksandra Boskovic

2023 Optica Officer Elections

Optica members have elected long-standing Optica member and Fellow James Kafka, chief technology officer at Spectra-Physics, USA, and MKS Fellow, as the society’s 2023 Vice President. Julie Sheridan Eng, chief technology officer at Coherent, Corp., USA, and Ulrike Fuchs, vice president for strategy and innovation, asphericon GmbH, Germany, were elected as directors-at-large for a 2023–2025 term. The Optica Board of Directors also appointed Aleksandra Boskovic, Corning, USA, as a director-at-large from 2023 to 2025. The election results were announced at the society’s annual business meeting, held on 18 October 2022 at FiO+LS in Rochester, NY, USA.

Ana Maria Rey photo

Ana Maria Rey. [John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation]

Highlighting the Optica Community

Optica’s new “Optica Community” campaign presents a series of extraordinary life stories celebrating Optica’s global diversity and the values its members share. The second story in the series, “The (Atomic) Clockmaker,” features Colombian theoretical physicist Ana Maria Rey at the University of Colorado at Boulder and JILA, USA.

Rey talks about following her passion for physics despite her parents’ wishes for her to find a “real job,” and about her work to develop the world’s most accurate atomic clocks. “I want to guide experiments on building synthetic quantum matter that can produce unprecedentedly accurate atomic sensors capable of unraveling the deepest secrets of our universe.” Read more at

VOlker Sorger photo

Volker Sorger.

Optica Fellow Stories

The unique work of 2022 Fellow Volker Sorger in both academia and industry has led him to a variety of roles and opportunities. He believes that young scientists should strive to be intrinsically motivated and intrigued by their research. Read more about Sorger and other Optica Fellows at

Donna Strickland photo

Donna Strickland. [University of Waterloo]

Donna Strickland Named Optica Honorary Member

Optica has named Nobel Laureate, Optica Fellow and 2013 President Donna Strickland—a legend in the field of pulsed lasers—as its latest Honorary Member.

Strickland is recognized for her major contributions to the society and to the optics and photonics community through pioneering innovative research, exemplary leadership and exceptional service as a role model for young scientists and engineers. Optica President Satoshi Kawata characterized her as “an effective advocate for the importance of the field whether she was meeting with funders, world government leaders or policymakers,” adding “it is an honor to recognize such a dedicated and talented member of our community.”

Honorary Membership is the most distinguished of all Optica Member categories and is awarded by a unanimous vote of the Optica Board of Directors to individuals who have made seminal contributions to the field of optics.

Amplify attendees

Amplify Optics Immersion Program attendees, including 47 students from 11 countries.

Advancing Diversity and Inclusion at FiO+LS

From 15 to 18 October, alongside the FiO+LS meeting, Optica launched a new program aimed at amplifying Black voices in optics and photonics: the Amplify Optics Immersion Program. The program hosted 47 Black physics and engineering students from 11 countries to explore research and career opportunities. Participants attended dedicated programming, technical sessions, and professional and student development activities as part of FiO+LS.

Diversity winnersJuergen Czarske (left), his wife Claudia and Wilhelm Kaenders of TOPTICA Photonics AG at the welcome reception.

Also at FiO+LS, Optica announced the winners of the 2022 Optica Diversity and Inclusion Advocacy Recognition: Imrana Ashraf, Quaid-i-Azam University, Pakistan; Edmund Optics, USA; and Danuta Sampson, University College London, UK. This recognition acknowledges programs and accomplishments within the optics and photonics community that foster greater appreciation, advancement and celebration of diversity and inclusivity.


Paul F. Forman Team Award

The EnFocus Intraoperative Optical Coherence Tomography Development Team at Leica Microsystems, Germany, has received the 2022 Paul F. Forman Team Engineering Excellence Award. The team is recognized for “developing an optically brilliant, latency-free intrasurgical optical coherence tomography microscope that fully integrates into the ophthalmic surgical workflow, allowing a surgeon to see more and do more to preserve patient sight.”

The Forman award recognizes technical achievements such as product engineering, process, software and patent development, as well as contributions to society such as engineering education, publication and management, and public appreciation of optical engineering.

Optica journals

New Read-and-Publish Agreements

Optica Publishing Group is pleased to announce two new read-and-publish agreements, one with the Irish Research eLibrary and another with Jisc, the UK-based not-for-profit organization that provides digital services and solutions for the higher-education and skills sectors. The agreements allow authors at nine institutions in Ireland and 22 institutions in the United Kingdom to publish in Optica Publishing Group’s portfolio of high-quality optics and photonics journals.

Both agreements run through December 2024 and allow access to read Optica Publishing Group’s collection of the most-cited, peer-reviewed content in the field, and also cover the fees associated with publishing articles openly and immediately with a CC BY license.

Thank You, Editors

We are happy to announce that the following individuals were recently appointed as new editors: Applied OpticsKhan Iftekharuddin, Old Dominion University, USA. Biomedical Optics ExpressYang Liu, University of Pittsburgh, USA. JOSA A—Markus Testorf, Dartmouth College, USA (as Deputy Editor); Malgorzata Szczerska, Gdańsk University of Technology, Poland. JOSA B—Antonio Vidiella-Barranco, University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil; Gyula Polóny, University of Pécs, Hungary. Optica—Jens Biegert, ICFO – The Institute of Photonic Sciences, Spain. Optical Materials ExpressRai Kou, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Japan; Kaikai Xu, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (UESTC), China. Optics ExpressRadim Filip, Palacký University Olomouc, Czech Republic; Michael Rosenbluh, Bar-Ilan University, Israel; Rengmao Wu, Zhejiang University, China.

We would like to thank the following editors for agreeing to serve a second term: Applied OpticsMd Selim Habib, University of Central Florida, CREOL, USA; David Haefner, US Army Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate, USA; Christopher Stolz, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA. JOSA B—Jiefei Chen, Southern University of Science and Technology, China; Gustavo Wiederhecker, University of Campinas, Brazil. Optics ExpressPhilippe Ben-Abdallah, Institut d’Optique Graduate School, France; Pablo Bianucci, Concordia University, Canada; Jesse Frantz, US Naval Research Laboratory, USA.

We would like to thank the following editors, who have recently finished their terms, for their years of service: Applied OpticsThomas Seeger, University of Siegen, Germany. Optics ExpressSonja Franke-Arnold, University of Glasgow, UK; Ebrahim Karimi, University of Ottawa, Canada; Balaji Srinivasan, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India. Optical Materials ExpressStephen Foulger, Clemson University, USA; Sunao Kurimura, National Institute for Materials Science, Japan.

Thank You, Volunteers

Thank you to the hosts of the Optica Incubator on On-Chip High-Field Nanophotonics for their leadership in organizing an outstanding program: Giulio Vampa, National Research Council of Canada, Canada; Gennady Shvets, Cornell University, USA; John Petersen, Imec, Belgium; Esben Witting Larsen, Imec, Belgium.

Publish Date: 01 December 2022

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