EOS Annual Meeting (Review)
Aberdeen, UK, 25–28 September 2012
It was a stormy night on the Scottish coast when the first participants of the annual meeting of the European Optical Society arrived on September 24th. Heavy rain and hurricane-like storms made it difficult to reach the conference center with dry clothes and it made the adjacent hotel swinging (!). But the sky cleared off when the conference started and people enjoyed the better part of Scottish weather when they left the conference to visit the nearby “granite” city of Aberdeen within the following days.
Still, there was much to be seen at the EOSAM conference: three hundred and eight oral presentations and more than 100 posters were attended by about 450 visitors. A number of presentations were particularly worth noting: First, the opening talk from Ronan Burgess. He showed the latest political trends for photonics funding in Europe from his perspective as Deputy Head of the Photonics Unit of the European Commission.
What has been remarkable?
Also very noteworthy: The presidential talk from Liu Xu, Vice-President of the Chinese Optical Society (COS); on “The 3D light field display technique”. The presentation showed very well that China is not only the workbench of our consumer electronics but caught up with the state-of-the-art of consumer optics development. Their research, in particular in the mechanical engineering and software details, is up to date and very impressive.
Another very hot topic in current research came up in the “Grand Challenges” session. Andrea Ferrari from Cambridge University gave a talk on “Graphene for Photonics and Optoelectronics”. We learned about the tremendous potential of this new material in photonics as well as about the enormous challenges in particular when it comes to the generation of reliable samples. Nevertheless, these tiny carbon films show very nice optical effects and these effects will play a big role in the development of new optoelectronic devices.
Yet another of these hot topics – metamaterials – was presented by Nader Engheta, Univ. Pennsylvania in a plenary talk on “Light, Electrons, Metastructures, and Metasystems”. Engheta seems to be a very gifted teacher, he presented this complex topic with an intriguing didactic approach. Following his analogies of electrical and optical effects was a pleasure for the fascinated audience. Complementing the theory with experimental results is the elegant way to turn to applications of such a concept and the speaker showed very well how much we can expect in future from further development of metamaterial applications.
Another presentation was more related to macroscopic devices: Chris Edwards, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, spoke on Laser Fusion research programs in Europe and America. Although the technology has reached a very impressive level, laser scientists have to cope with the old problem of ‘conventional’ fusion research where the viable power production is constantly about 20 years away.
This is a short selection of a long list of remarkable presentations at EOSAM 2012. After several years in Paris the conference moved to Scotland and (except from some initial WiFi problems) the participants were very pleased with the new location. The next EOSAM is scheduled for 2014, the exact date and location have will be published at the society’s website www.myeos.org.
Photonics West (Preview)
San Francisco, 2–7 February 2013
If one asks for the biggest Optics and Lasers meeting in the world then Photonics West might be the first choice. With more than 20,000 visitors it is still smaller than the biannual Laser – World of Photonics in Munich. Yet the scientific conference in San Francisco enjoys more popularity among scientists and benefits from a better program structure. The four program tracks BIOS, LASE, OPTO and MOEMS-MEMS plus the more recent GREEN PHOTONICS are well structured and comprise a large number of sub-conferences on many different fields of current research and development in optical technologies. According to SPIE, Photonics West 2013 features not less than 4400 papers (200 more than last year), 18 plenary presentations, 40 technical events, 70 courses and two world-class exhibitions with 1300 exhibitors.
BIOS has evolved as the largest among the different program tracks with more than 1.800 presentations in 2012. As usual, it starts with the Hot Topics meeting on Saturday night. This is not only one of the biggest sessions of the whole conference, it is also a remarkable networking event where people meet and plan appointments for the next days.
Certainly the biggest attraction of Photonics West is the exhibition with more than 20.000 visitors. Starting on Tuesday 5th February it is the place to be for all dealing with lasers, technical cameras, various optical and fiber-optical components, detectors, metrology equipment, and whatever the 1.300 exhibitors can offer. Biophotonics has a separate BIOS exhibition, it grew to about 300 exhibitors and is held at the same place on the weekend before the conference (2, 3 February).
Beside the innumerable attractive events for scientists at the Photonics West congresses, SPIE has also organized several panel discussions. Usually, those panels are held in one of the exhibition halls. Speakers and topics at the panels are excellent, I would like to mention just a few:
Silicon Photonics and Photonic Integrated Circuits
5 February, 2:00 PM–3:00 PM
Panel Moderator: Peter Hallett, Director of Marketing and Industry Relations (SPIE)
Panel Members: Peter De Dobbelaere, VP Engineering (LUXTERA), Andy Weirich, VP Product Line Management (ONE CHIP PHOTONICS), Radha Nagarajan, Director of Engineering in the Photonic Integrated Circuits Group (INFINERA), Mario J. Paniccia, Intel Fellow, General Manager Silicon Photonics Operation (INTEL CORP.), Ashok Krishnamoorthy, Architect & Chief Technologist, Photonics (ORACLE).
Executive Perspectives on the World of Optics and Photonics
Date: Wednesday 6 February, 2:00 PM–3:00 PM
Panel Moderator: Stephen G. Anderson, Industry and Market Strategist (SPIE)
Panel Members: Linda Smith, President (CERES TECHNOLOGY ADVISORS, INC.), David Marks, CEO (QIOPTIQ PHOTONICS LTD.), Robert Edmund, CEO and Chairman of the Board (EDMUND OPTICS INC.), Christof Lehner, General Manager (TRUMPF INC.), Dirk Rothweiler, Executive Vice President (JENOPTIK OPTICAL SYSTEMS GmbH), Michael Cumbo, President (IDEX OPTICS & PHOTONICS), Dennis Werth, Vice-President (NEWPORT CORP.)
What else to see? SPIE holds a job fair every year, this time it is in the South Exhibition Hall on Tuesday 5 February and Wednesday 6 February from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. For those brave guys with the intention to create their own jobs, the Startup Challenge might be interesting: SPIE Startup Challenge, sponsored by JENOPTIK, will be held again at Photonics West, now with significant cash awards as well as sponsorship to attend the University of California-Davis Entrepreneurship Academies in the United States. Business idea submission deadline is 1 December, 2012.
For more information on the Photonics West 2013 you may refer to http://spie.org/pw.
©2012 by THOSS Media & De Gruyter Berlin Boston