News from the Society

OFC recap / Brown named Institute of Optics Director / Standing with Ukraine / New Optica CTO builds industry ties / Optica Fellow stories / Amplify Scholarship / High-brightness Congress in Budapest / NSBP at Optica / Thank you, editors and volunteers

OFC attendeesLeft: OFC attendees at the San Diego Convention Center; top right: conversation with plenary speakers; bottom right: the Nagel Lounge.

OFC Returns as Hybrid Live–Virtual Event

From 6 to 10 March, the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exhibition (OFC) welcomed the global optical-communications community—in person in San Diego, CA, USA, and on screen for virtual participants. The result was an inclusive hybrid format for the premier global event for optical communications and networking.

The 2022 OFC attracted 8,000 attendees with 430 exhibiting companies. It also featured three standout plenary speakers: John Bowers of the Institute of Energy Efficiency, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA; James Green of NASA, USA; and Elise Neel of New Business Incubation, Verizon, USA.

“We had a great week here at OFC and are glad to have the industry back together in person,” said Eve Griliches, a senior product marketing staffer at Cisco. “It was clear the right customers were all here to see the innovation and new technologies that have come to market over the past few years.”

This year’s OFC also featured the Susan R. Nagel Lounge, named in honor of the first woman chair of OFC. Started in OFC 2018, the lounge has functioned as an inclusive networking space that offers attendees the opportunity to hear from leaders in the field, discuss technology and diversity trends, meet colleagues and explore new business opportunities.

In addition to hosting the conference and exhibit hall, OFC launched OFCnet, a live high-speed fiber path connecting the San Diego Convention Center with the San Diego facility of the operator of California’s research and education network, CENIC. With up to 34 Tb/s of bandwidth, OFCnet is designed to accelerate the development and deployment of cutting-edge networking technology. The facilitators of this collaborative network—which will be available for the next five years—include CENIC, Ciena, EXFO, Lumen, Smart City Networks, the University of California San Diego’s Qualcomm Institute and Supercomputer Center, and Viavi.

OFC is co-sponsored by the IEEE Communications Society, the IEEE Photonics Society and Optica, and managed by Optica. The 2023 meeting will take place from 5 to 9 March, once again at the San Diego Convention Center.

Thomas Brown photoThomas Brown. [J.A. Fenster/University of Rochester]

Brown Tapped as Institute of

Congratulation to Optica Fellow Thomas G. Brown for his appointment as the director of the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester, USA, having served as interim director since July 2021. His appointment extends until June 2024.

Brown has a distinguished history at the Institute, including his role as the founding director of the Robert E. Hopkins Center for Optical Design and Engineering. He has also led both the undergraduate and graduate committees there, and was recently named Mercer Brugler Professor in recognition of his outstanding teaching innovations.

During his career, Brown’s research has made major and foundational impacts in a wide range of fields, from silicon photonics to structured light (vector beams) to stress-engineered optics.

Ukrainian flag[Cavan Images/Getty Images]

Optica Stands with Ukraine

Optica strongly condemns the invasion of Ukraine ordered by the government of the Russian Federation, and calls for an immediate end to the atrocities committed against the Ukrainian people. Optica stands with all those who oppose this war, including those in the Russian scientific community who have bravely raised their voices despite great personal risk.

The society has undertaken several initiatives to maintain and strengthen ties with, and also aid, the Optica community in Ukraine and those who have been displaced or forced to emigrate. To read more about Optica’s response to the war and the action we have taken, please visit

Jose Pozo photoJose Pozo.

New Optica CTO Focuses on Industry Outreach

Optica welcomes Jose Pozo as the organization’s new Chief Technology Officer. Pozo will lead efforts to build relationships across the diverse community of optics and photonics companies around the globe.

“There has never been a better time than now for the world to invest in photonics, as it is finally a well-established term used by the main high-tech multinationals worldwide,” says Pozo. Elizabeth Rogan, CEO of Optica, adds, “Jose’s expertise in identifying emerging markets and end-user needs/opportunities across sectors will be a tremendous asset to our Optica corporate community.”

A key priority for Pozo, along with other members of the Optica Industry team, is active outreach to corporate members, responding to their requests for new business and networking opportunities—in keeping with Optica’s effort to understand where its corporate members are headed and what they need to get there. The efforts, Pozo says, have already been noticed, creating what he characterizes as “a new wave of membership requests” from firms ranging from large corporates like Nokia to innovative start-ups such as Quantune.

“Making connections is one of the best ways to accelerate innovation,” says Pozo, who welcomes ideas at

Diversity photo

Inaugural Class of Amplify Scholars

The Optica Foundation is pleased to announce the first-ever recipients of its Amplify Scholarship, which supports Black students and their passion for light science. The scholarship provides 10 Black undergraduate- or graduate-level students with US$7,500 scholarships, a complimentary Optica membership and a mentoring program. In response to this year’s outstanding pool of applicants, the Optica Foundation Board has awarded an additional five scholarships for a total of 15 newly named beneficiaries.

“The pool of candidates from over 20 countries was impressive,” said a member of the review committee, George Okyere Dwapanyin, University of St. Andrews, UK. “It was inspiring to review these researchers’ applications, learning more about their passion for optics, science and engineering. I am looking forward to following the careers of these exceptional young minds.”

To read more about this new scholarship, visit

Brian Vohnsen photoBrian Vohnsen.

Optica Fellow Stories

2021 Fellow Brian Vohnsen follows his curiosity every chance he gets, which has led him to a wide range of research areas and experiences. He shares an important piece of advice: “Try to find yourself first.” Learn more about Brian and other Optica Fellows at

Group at ELI facility tourA group photo from the ELI facility tour.

High-Brightness Sources and Light-Driven Interactions Congress

From 22 to 25 March, 2022 High-brightness Sources and Light-driven Interactions Congress was held live in Budapest, Hungary, and online for virtual attendees. Composed of three topical meetings, the congress covers the latest advances in high-brightness sources, attosecond science, light-driven interactions and mid-IR laser technologies. This year’s plenary speakers included Sakura Pascarelli, European XFEL, Germany; Optica Fellow Scott Diddams, National Institute of Standards & Technology, USA; and Optica Fellow Chang Hee Nam, Gwangju Institute of Science & Technology, Republic of Korea.

Other talks’ topics ranged from mid-IR solitons to high-brightness-source facilities. There were also exhibits from industry participants and poster sessions from researchers, accompanied by an e-poster session.

On Thursday evening, in-person attendees had an opportunity for a river cruise down the Danube. Aboard MS Primus, attendees enjoyed the nighttime view of Budapest. At the end of the congress, participants also visited the Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) facility in Szeged, two hours south of Budapest. The facility director, Gábor Szabó, and other ELI staff offered an extensive tour of the site, including the lasers and the user bays.

Four NSBP coworkersFrom left: NSBP President-Elect Hakeem Oluseyi, Past President Willie Rockward, Treasurer Elaine Lalanne and Treasurer-Elect Bryan Kent Wallace.

NSBP at Optica HQ

Optica Global Headquarters in Washington, DC, USA, recently welcomed the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) as the building’s newest users. Founded in 1977, NSBP works toward a mission of promoting the professional well-being of African American physicists and physics students within the international scientific community and society at large.

This volunteer-run organization has a rich history of partnering with Optica and others professional physics societies. In preparation for hiring staff members in the DC area, NSBP sought office space for staff and hosting volunteer meetings. Optica is pleased provide that space, along with equipment and general consulting, as the NSBP expands.

Thank You, Editors

We are happy to announce that the following individuals were recently appointed as new editors: Applied OpticsOriol Arteaga, University of Barcelona, Spain; Joyce Farrell, Stanford University, USA; Wen Qiao, Soochow University, China. Biomedical Optics ExpressAdrien E. Desjardins, University College London, UK; Peng Li, Zhejiang University, China. Optical Materials ExpressLin Chen, Wuhan National Laboratory for Optoelectronics, China. Optics ExpressVivian Ferry, University of Minnesota, USA; Nicolas Fontaine, Nokia Bell Labs, USA; Ravi Hegde, IIT Gandhinagar, India; Lingling Huang, Beijing Institute of Technology, China; Ivan Moreno, Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas, Mexico; Kuang Zhang, Harbin Institute of Technology, China.

We would like to thank the following editors for agreeing to serve a second term: Applied OpticsAlexander Goncharov, National University of Ireland, Galway. JOSA B—Sergey Sergeyev, Aston University, UK. Photonics ResearchJinyang Liang, Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS), Université du Québec, Canada; Zhiwen Liu, Pennsylvania State University, USA.

We would like to thank the following editors, who have recently finished their terms, for their years of service: Applied OpticsNeil Bruce, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico. OpticaChris Schaffer, Cornell University, USA. Optical Materials ExpressMaria Farsari, Foundation for Research and Technology–Hellas, Greece. Optics Express Shutian Liu, Harbin Institute of Technology, China.

Thank You, Volunteers

Thank you, Optica Representatives to CLEO and OFC Steering:

Optica Representatives to CLEO Steering: Sterling J. Backus, Thorlabs Laser Division Boulder, USA; Steven T. Cundiff, University of Michigan, USA; Michael M. Mielke, Headwall Photonics Inc., USA; Kaoru Minoshima, University of Electro-Communications, Japan; Irina Novikova, College of William & Mary, USA.

Optica Representatives to OFC Steering: Robert M. Jopson, Nokia Bell Labs, USA; Stevan Ervin Plote, BTI Systems, USA; Laurent Schares, IBM TJ Watson Research Center, USA; Jun Shan Wey, Verizon Communications Inc., USA.

Publish Date: 01 May 2022

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