News from the European Optical Society EOS

From the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015 (IYL2015) to the International Day of Light

Last year was celebrated as the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015 (IYL 2015) under the leadership of UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization). It was proclaimed in the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in December 2013.

The IYL 215 Opening Ceremony took place on 19–20 January 2015 at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. Speakers included five Nobel Laureates.

The IYL 2015 involved a total of 13 168 activities reaching over 100 million people in 147 countries on all continents including Antarctica. The European Optical Society (EOS) sponsored the IYL 2015 as the Gold Associate level.

The European Commission through the Photonics21 Public Private Partnership (PPP) invested €2.85 million in three outreach projects: GoPhoton!, LIGHT2015 (, and Photonics4ALL. Besides EOS the LIGHT2015 partners were the European Physical Society Association (EPS; Coordinator), Fundacio Institut de Ciencies Fotoniques (ICFO), National University Ireland, Galway (NUI GALWAY), Politechnico di Milano (POLIMI), Excite Youth for Engineering, Science and Technology (EYESTvzw), and Universiteit Leiden. Over 150 activities were organized in 29 European countries reaching out to over 5 million people with over 34,000 participating directly in project activities, such as

  • LIGHTTalks: a series of inspirational events to students, entrepreneurs and members of the industry
  • ISPEX-EU campaign: the first pan-European citizen science campaign to carry out optical measurements of the sky using smartphones to yield information related to air pollution in 11 European countries
  • Photonics Explorer kit to aid teachers and inspire students
  • Production of two videos depicting the endless power of photonics, which are freely available for use in 24 official EU languages. Special thanks to several national optical societies and individuals in Europe for contributing their valuable help and time in the translations
  • New LIGHT2015 Awards to highlight early-career women researchers and entrepreneurs in photonics

The IYL Closing Ceremony took place on 4–6 February 2016 in Mérida, Mexico. Speakers included two Nobel Laureates. The message from the Secretary General of the United Nations stressed how ‘the IYL 2015 has shown how the science of light, photonics, and related technologies can promote sustainable development in many fields’.

The Final Report of the IYL 2015 was delivered to UNESCO in Paris during a half-day meeting on 3 October 2016. John Dudley, Chair of the IYL 2015 Steering Committee said: ‘I feel personally that a major contributor to the success of IYL 2015 has been the fact that the IYL 2015 partners reached out beyond their traditional memberships and audiences to engage more broadly and to make new connections’.

Following the highly successful IYL 2015, the Executive Board of UNESCO endorsed a proposal for an enduring follow-up in the form of an annual International Day of Light to be celebrated on 16 May every year from 2018 following its official Proclamation at the General Conference of UNESCO in November 2017.

The purpose of the International Day of Light will be to provide an annual focal point for the continued appreciation of the central role that light plays in the lives of the citizens of the world in areas of science, culture, education, sustainable development, and in fields as diverse as medicine, communications and energy.


The Aurora Borealis by the Finnish Light Artist Kari Kola decorating the UNESCO Fontenoy building.

Citation: Advanced Optical Technologies 5, 5-6; 10.1515/aot-2016-0060

EOS Annual Meeting 2016

The EOS Annual Meeting (EOSAM) was held on 26–30 September 2016 in the convention center of Adlershof, Berlin. The full week included optics and photonics presentations in eight topical Meetings, a Grand Challenges of Photonics Session, EU Project Results Dissemination session, workshops, tutorials and summer schools, as well as networking and social events – over 270 presentations and 50 posters. The EOSAM 2016 was attended by over 360 people. The keynote speech was given by Dr. Eric Berzig, Nobel Laureate 2014. The 25-year-old EOS was celebrated as Anna Consortini took the attendees on a journey through the history of the EOS.

EOS wants to congratulate its newly elected EOS fellows (cohorts 2015/2016):

  • Roel Baets, Ghent University
  • Wolfgang Osten, Universität Stuttgart
  • Carlos Ferreira, University of Valencia
  • Jürgen Czarske, Technische Universität Dresden
  • Anne Debarre, University Paris Sud and University Paris-Saclay

and EOS Prize winners Michael Auinger, Petra Ebbinghaus, Adrian Blümich and Andreas Erbe for the publication in JEOS RP 9, 14004 (2014): ‘Effect of surface roughness on optical heating of metals’.

The award for the 2016 Early Career Women in Photonics went to Camille-Sophie Brès, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) for her outstanding research and work on fiber and waveguide optics. Special recognition was given to two other outstanding applications: Ripalta (Patty) Stabile, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven and Isabelle Staude, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena.

At EOSAM 2016 the best student oral and poster presentations were awarded, sponsored by Carl ZEISS. The award for the best oral presentation went to Arko Graf, Institute for Physical Chemistry, University Heidelberg, for his presentation on ‘Strong coupling in single-walled carbon nanotube microcavities: Exciton-polaritons in the near-infrared’. The award for the best poster presentation went to Matthias Strauch, TU Delft (NL) for his poster on ‘Surface harmonics on liquid lenses’.

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Jahns, Fern Universität in Hagen, Germany continues as the President of EOS; and the new President-Elect is Prof. Dr. Humberto Michinel from Optical Lab, University of Vigo, Spain.

EOS and its office wish the joy of work for everyone!

Best regards,

Jyrki Saarinen

EOS Executive Director

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Journal + Issues

Advanced Optical Technologies is a strictly peer-reviewed scientific journal. The major aim of Advanced Optical Technologies is to publish recent progress in the fields of optical design, optical engineering, and optical manufacturing. Advanced Optical Technologies has a main focus on applied research and addresses scientists as well as experts in industrial research and development.


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    The Aurora Borealis by the Finnish Light Artist Kari Kola decorating the UNESCO Fontenoy building.