News from the Society

Medical-device meeting / Fellow stories / Optica Open / Optica community / Foundation recognitions / Optica Ambassadors / Chang Pivoting Fellow / French Physical Society / Career Accelerator / Thank you, editors

Women in lab

[M. Rakusen / Getty Images]

Photonics for Medical Devices

On 17 January, Optica held an online industry meeting about photonics for medical devices that attracted more than 400 registrants, including medical doctors, systems integrators and photonics-technology developers. The session, hosted by Optica’s Chief Technology Officer Jose Pozo, covered topics such as wearables, DNA sequencers and breath analyzers.

The event kicked off with Pozo welcoming the participants and playing a short introductory video. Then, a number of speakers—including Kate Bechtel of Rockley Photonics, USA; Gloria Hoefler of PacBio, USA; Werner Mäntele of DiaMonTech, Germany; Adam Wax of Lumedica, USA; and Sven Jungmann of Halitus, Germany—offered presentations on aspects of biophotonic technology, followed by Q&A sessions.

Optica has made the public portion of the meeting available. To watch the recording, visit

Baris Erkmen photoBaris Erkmen [Courtesy of B. Erkmen].

Optica Fellow Stories

Throughout Fellow Baris Erkmen’s career, the ability to effectively communicate through the written and spoken word has helped him achieve career and networking success—and he encourages the next generation of scientists to continue developing these skills. Learn more about Erkmen and other Optica Fellows at


New: Optica Open

On 17 January, Optica Publishing Group launched Optica Open—a new preprint server dedicated to advancing optics and photonics around the globe. The platform is a one-stop source for preprints from both arXiv and Optica. It allows readers to see the latest discoveries in the field and empowers authors to share early research, work in progress, manuscripts under review for journal publication and industry white papers—across the full breadth of the optics and photonics community. Authors can conveniently transfer their Optica Open preprint submissions to an Optica Publishing Group journal and vice versa. Take a look at the latest research or submit a preprint to Optica Open at

Hatice Altug photoHatice Altug [A. Herzog (2019)]

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 fifth story in the series, “An Uncertain World,” features leading nanophotonics expert Hatice Altug, EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Altug grew up in a farming community in southwestern Turkey, where she witnessed the unpredictability of nature and its destructive impacts on local farmers’ crops. “This is why I turned to machines—to make systems I could design, predict and control,” she said. Altug went on to study physics, immersing herself in lab work and building the foundation for a successful career in nanophotonics. Read her story and the stories of other Optica members at

Hannah Tomio, Xiaohui Xu and Wenting YiFrom left to right: Hannah Tomio, Xiaohui Xu and Wenting Yi

Foundation Recognitions

At OFC 2023 in San Diego this month, the Optica Foundation and supporting partners will recognize several students and early-career professionals. Three young researchers will receive the Corning Women in Optical Communications Scholarship: Hannah Tomio, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA; Xiaohui Xu, Purdue University, USA; and Wenting Yi, University College London, UK. This merit-based prize includes a US$3,000 scholarship and up to US$2,000 in travel funds to attend OFC.

Benjamin Crockett and Tingye Li

Benjamin Crockett and Tingye Li

The Li Innovation Prize is presented to an early-career professional who has demonstrated innovative ideas in an accepted paper to OFC. The 2023 prize winner is Benjamin Crockett, INRS, Canada, for “Enhancing the Quantum Correlation of Biphotons via Coherent Energy Redistribution.” Established in 2013, this prize honors the global contribution of Tingye Li, 1995 President of OSA (now Optica), to laser science and optical fiber communications. The prize is endowed by Alliance Fiber Optic Products, Inc., AT&T, Optica, the IEEE Photonics Society, the IEEE Communications Society, Thorlabs Inc., the Li family and supporters of the Tingye Li Memorial Fund.

The Foundation also recognizes the Jane M. Simmons Memorial Speaker, endowed in 2021 by the Simmons family to honor the legacy of Jane M. Simmons and her contributions to optical network architecture, design and planning. The 2023 recipient is Hong Liu, Google, USA, recognized for her contributions to system architecture design for large-scale computing platforms—in particular for leading the world’s first large-scale production deployment of optical circuit switches for data center networking.  


Ambassadors Hold “Office Hours”

In honor of US National Mentoring Month in January, the 2022 Optica Ambassadors launched #OpticaOfficeHours—informal mentoring sessions for students and early-career professionals to get advice regarding their programs, academia, industry and more. To learn about the Optica Ambassador program or to reach out to current Ambassadors for advice, visit

Victor Ochoa-Gutierrez photoVictor Ochoa-Gutierrez.

Chang Pivoting Fellow

The Optica Foundation named Victor Ochoa-Gutierrez, University of Glasgow, UK, the 2022 Milton & Rosalind Chang Pivoting Fellow. The Foundation chose Ochoa-Gutierrez for his dedication to making oximetry more accessible to diverse populations and to support his transition from research to business. Ochoa-Gutierrez is forming a new company, mPulse-O2, focused on developing and distributing oximetry devices that use a multi-wavelength technique to allow for a wider range scan, overcoming the pigmentation in human skin.

The Chang Pivoting Fellowship provides US$50,000 of unrestricted funding to talented, early-career optical scientists and engineers whose expertise can improve society outside the lab.

SpeakersFrom left to right: Pierre Schiapetta, former vice president of Aix-Marseille University; Paul Indelicato, France Universite; Sylvain Chaty, vice president of Paris Cite University; Michel Guidal, deputy vice president of Paris-Saclay University; Guy Wormser, president of the French Physical Society.

French Physical Society Turns 150

In January, Optica Europe director Claus Roll attended the inaugural event celebrating the 150th anniversary of the French Physical Society (SFP), held in the prestigious “Grand Amphitheatre” at Sorbonne University in Paris, France. The opening lecture was given by Sylvie Retailleau, the French Minister of Higher Education and Research. Presentations and panel discussions covered both SFP’s rich history and future challenges for physics. French research institutions and physics societies from across the world provided their congratulations. More information on the ceremony, the SPF and its anniversary are at

Accelerator attendees

Foundation Accelerates Careers

From 22 to 26 January, the Optica Foundation held its Career Accelerator at Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo in River Ranch, FL, USA. Designed for students and early-career professionals who are interested in transitioning from academia to industry, the Career Accelerator aims to fill training and education gaps by illuminating possible career paths and outlining the professional and personal skills needed for success.

This year, 74 attendees from 26 countries spent four days immersed in topics such as project management, accounting and strategic planning, and explored career opportunities ranging from research and development to marketing and sales. One notable piece of advice came from Alé Mendoza, director of human resources at Optimax, who talked about navigating human resources. Mendoza said interviewees should learn as much as possible about the culture, team and motivations driving a company before accepting a job. “Take time to consciously evaluate the company and determine if their values align with yours.”

Thank You, Editors

We are happy to announce that the following individuals were recently appointed as new editors: Applied OpticsMark Spencer, Air Force Institute of Technology, USA. Biomedical Optics ExpressReza Rasti, University of Isfahan, Iran. JOSA A—Michela Lecca, Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Italy. Optical Materials ExpressGanapathi (Ganesh) Subramania, Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), USA. Optics ExpressSongnian Fu, Guandong University of Technology, China; Xiaoming Wei, South China University of Technology, China. Photonics ResearchYang Xu, Zhejiang University, China; Chao Zhou, Washington University in St. Louis, USA.

We thank the following editors for agreeing to serve a second term: OpticaThomas Krauss, University of York, UK (as Deputy Editor). Optical Materials ExpressGermano Montemezzani, University of Lorraine, France. Optics LettersCristian Antonelli, University of L’Aquila, Italy; Hanne Ludvigsen, Aalto University, Finland; William Shieh, Westlake University, China (as Deputy Editor). Photonics ResearchNunzio Cennamo, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Italy.

We thank the following editors, who have recently finished their terms, for their years of service: Applied OpticsSongnian Fu, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China; John Heebner, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA, Adriana Szeghalmi, Fraunhofer Institute of Applied Optics and Precision Engineering, Germany. Sanshui Xiao, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark. Chi Xiong, IBM TJ Watson, USA. JOCN—Antonio García-Zambrana, Universidad de Málaga, Spain. JOSA A—Alessandro Rizzi, Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy. OpticaKlaus Petermann, Technische Universität Berlin, Germany. Aleksei M. Zheltikov, Texas A&M University, USA, and M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia.

Publish Date: 01 March 2023

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