News from the Society

Laser Congress / Optica Fellow stories / Optica community / Resource for journal authors / Johnson named Advocate of Optics / GEMM Asia summit / Remembering Arvind Marathay / Optica at ANZCOP / NAI inductees / Thank you, editors and volunteers

Meeting in Barcelona

Top: The congress was set in the historic city of Barcelona. Bottom: A poster session.

Optica Laser Congress and Exhibition

From 11 to 15 December, Optica held its Laser Congress and Exhibition in Barcelona, Spain. The conference offered a comprehensive view of the latest advances in solid-state lasers and laser applications.

Among the topics covered were high-order nonlinear effects—made possible by the development of ultra-high-brightness and high-power radiation sources—as well as applications for free-space and quantum communications, lidar for autonomous vehicles, beam steering, materials modification and brittle-material processing.

A panel of CEOs highlighted key challenges and opportunities likely to underpin future growth in the laser business. An end-user workshop on photonics technology offered attendees solution-oriented suggestions to manufacturing challenges. And WiSTEE (Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Entrepreneurship) created space for participants to meet, connect, and discuss pathways for success.

Chiman Kwan photoChiman Kwan.

Optica Fellow Stories

Optica Fellow Chiman Kwan believes in pushing the meaning of “state of the art” to allow for more discoveries and further research in new abstract ideas. Read more about Kwan and other Optica Fellows at

Setsuko Ishii photoSetsuko Ishii. [Sam Barker Photography (2021)]

Highlighting the Optica Community

The new “Optica Community” series celebrates extraordinary life stories that exemplify Optica’s global diversity and the values its members share. The fourth story in the series, “Magician of Light,” features holographic artist Setsuko Ishii.

Ishii studied applied physics in college but always felt a pull toward art and painting—which made her wonder if she was meant to be a painter, not a scientist. Later, an encounter with a hologram on a Tokyo street would show her how to combine art and physics. By merging two fields she loved, Ishii became one of the world’s most prolific holographic artists. Read her story, and those of other members of Optica’s community, at

Researchers and computer[Getty Images]

A “One-Stop Shop” for Optica Journal Authors

At a time when the issues surrounding scientific publishing seem ever more complex, the Optica Publishing Group’s Author Resource Center ( can provide a welcome set of guideposts toward getting your research before the right audience. The site offers a step-by-step guide to journal selection, manuscript writing, submission, peer review, post-acceptance processes, reference lists and more. There’s also an overview of the different types of open-access publishing available and Optica’s own open-access, licensing and other policies—and, of course, a “Submit Your Paper” button when everything’s ready.

The Author Resource Center also has a wealth of information on issues beyond the nuts and bolts of submitting and publishing papers—including ethical and conflict-of-interest guidelines, data-availability standards, and a video presentation on publication ethics by Optica Fellow Stephen A. Burns.

Eddie Bernice Johnson photoEddie Bernice Johnson.

Eddie Bernice Johnson Named Advocate of Optics

Optica is pleased to announce Eddie Bernice Johnson, former US House of Representatives member, as an “Advocate of Optics.” In her nearly 30 years in the US Congress, Johnson consistently supported legislation to move science and optics forward. She has served as the chair of the Science, Space and Technology Committee in the US House of Representatives, supporting the passage of the National Quantum Initiative Act and the Combating Sexual Harassment in Science Act, among other legislation advancing science in the United States.

The Optica Advocate of Optics global recognition is presented to a public official who demonstrates leadership in support of the advancement of light science. Johnson was nominated for this recognition in 2020, but due to the pandemic her award presentation was postponed until 2022.

GEMM attendeesGEMM Asia attracted representatives from Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, China (virtual), the Philippines, India and Singapore.

GEMM Asia Summit

From 5 to 6 December, lawyers, economists, government officials, climate scientists and technologists from all over Asia gathered for GEMM Asia, a summit organized by the Global Environmental Measurement and Monitoring (GEMM) Initiative and hosted at the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law. The GEMM Initiative, a partnership between Optica and the American Geophysical Union, is working to build an international network focused on regional solutions to climate and environmental issues.


The first-of-its-kind GEMM Asia summit provided a critical platform to discuss the urgent crises facing mega-cities in Asia. “The GEMM Initiative continues to move closer to its goal of being a truly global network of institutions working toward a common mission of mitigating environmental harm on local levels,” said Optica Fellow Tom Baer, GEMM committee chair and a member of the organizing committee. “We are hopeful that the discussions at this summit continue to open up new avenues for GEMM to build partnerships with institutions across Asia.”

Arvind Marathay photoArvind Marathay.

In Memoriam: Arvind Marathay

Optica mourns the loss of Optica Fellow Arvind Marathay, who passed away on 3 December 2022 at the age of 88.

A native of Bombay (now Mumbai), India, Marathay became interested in physics and lenses at an early age, eventually pursuing graduate study at Imperial College London, UK, and Boston University, USA. After working in industry for several years, he joined the faculty of the University of Arizona Optica Sciences Center (now the Wyant College of Optical Sciences), USA, in 1969, making him one of the college’s earliest faculty members.

Marathay was known for his research in optical coherence, and is also remembered as a dedicated mentor, supporting students from India and their interest in optics. After retiring from the university in 2002, Marathay established the Marathay Family Endowed Undergraduate Scholarship in Optical Sciences to support students at the beginning of their academic careers.

To learn more about his career, visit

Meeting attendeesTop: Optica 2013 President Donna Strickland gives a plenary talk. Bottom: Student Fiona Wei, Optica Fellows Sergio Leon-Saval and Judith Dawes, and Optica staffer Kari Apter at ANZCOP.

Optica at ANZCOP

The Australian and New Zealand Conference on Optics and Photonics (ANZCOP), which ran as an online meeting in late 2021, made a triumphant return to an in-person format in December 2022. The event was held in Adelaide, Australia, in co-location with the 24th Congress of the Australian Institute of Physics and other conferences. With more than a thousand attendees, it served as an enthusiastic reunion for the community.

Leading the Optica delegation to ANZCOP was Gerd Leuchs, the society’s 2022 Vice President. Optica served as a silver sponsor of the conference, where the society’s representatives enjoyed the opportunity to connect in person with numerous members from Australia and New Zealand.

Optica also sponsored two student best paper prizes at ANZCOP. One was awarded to Mark Watson, University of of Queensland, Australia; the other went to Simon White, University of Technology Sydney, Australia.

Optica journals

Congratulations to the NAI Inductees

Congratulations to the ten Optica members who were elected to the 2022 Fellows class of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI): Gonzalo Arce, Brett Bouma, Alan Bovik, Ray Chen, Marc Christensen, Mool Gupta, Elizabeth Hillman, Benjamin Miller, Douglas Werner and Peter J. Winzer. NAI Fellows are recognized for inventions that have had an impact on “the quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.” The induction ceremony will be held at NAI’s 12th annual meeting in June 2023 in Washington, DC, USA.

Thank You, Editors

We are happy to announce that the following individuals were recently appointed as new editors: Biomedical Optics ExpressAmy Oldenburg, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA; Manojit Pramanik, Iowa State University, USA. JOCN—Alejandra L Beghelli, UCL, UK. OpticaSylvain Gigan, Sorbonne Université, France. Optics ExpressMaria Antonietta Vincenti, University of Brescia, Italy; Lin Wu, Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore.

We would like to thank the following editors for agreeing to serve a second term: Photonics ResearchChun-Hua Dong, University of Science and Technology of China, China; Kebin Shi, Peking University, China.

We would like to thank the following editors, who have recently finished their terms, for their years of service: Applied OpticsYuriy A. Garbovskiy, Central Connecticut State University, USA; Lidai Wang, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong. Optical Materials ExpressNicolae Panoiu, UCL, UK. Optics ExpressChristos Argyropoulos, University of Nebraska Lincoln, USA; Paul Barclay, University of Calgary, Canada; Kenneth Kin-Yip Wong, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong. Optics LettersHou-Tong Chen, Los Alamos National Laboratory, USA; Norihiko Nishizawa, Nagoya University, Japan.

Thank You, Volunteers

Thank you to Optica Meetings Council member Stephen Foulger, Clemson University, USA, whose term concluded in December 2022. Takunori Taira, Institute for Molecular Science, Japan, will join the Meetings Council as a new member.

Continuing members include Sterling J. Backus, Thorlabs Laser Division Boulder, USA; Jens Biegert, ICFO–The Institute of Photonic Sciences, Spain (Chair); Liangcai Cao, Tsinghua University, China; Rama Chellappa, Johns Hopkins University, USA; Steve T. Cundiff, University of Michigan, USA (Past Chair); Na Ji, University of California Berkeley, USA; Gabrielle M. Thomas, Menlo Systems GmbH, Germany; Abbie T. Watnik, US Naval Research Laboratory, USA.


Publish Date: 01 February 2023

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