Archive for the ‘Conferences’ category

Global Women of Light Symposium at the 2016 Frontiers in Optics Conference, OSA’s 100th Annual Meeting

September 29, 2016

To celebrate the OSA’s 100th anniversary, WiSTEE Connect (Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Entrepreneurship) is collaborating with the OSA Foundation to organize an international symposium “Global Women of Light” at the 2016 Frontiers in Optics on 17 October, 2016 in Rochester, NY, US. The program will be hosted at the Hyatt Regency Rochester from 11:00-17:00.

The overall goal of the “Global Women of Light” symposium is to shine light upon women’s careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and entrepreneurship, recruit women across career ranks and disciplines, and build a sustainable community of women in both academia and industry from which career growth, mobility, and leadership opportunities.

Speakers at this extraordinary event:

  • Christine Whitman, Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees of Rochester Institute of Technology.
  • Carmiña Londoño: Program Director for the NSF Engineering Research Centers Program.
  • Elizabeth Rogan: Chief Executive Officer of OSA, The Optical Society.
  • Gisele Benett: Associate Vice President for Research, Faculty Interaction and a Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech.
  • Janet S. Fender: Chief Scientist and Scientific Advisor to the Commander, Air Combat Command USAF.  Past President of OSA, The Optical Society.

WiSTEE Connect ( is an organization which serves to connect female students, faculty members, scientists, and engineers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Entrepreneurship (STEE) from universities, government labs, and private companies. The vision of WiSTEE Connect is to promote women leadership in STEE and assist women involved in these areas to gain regional and/or global connections and recognition. This organization, started in upstate New York, helps to bridge the gap between science and entrepreneurship while providing a forum though which women in these fields may learn, connect, and lead.

>>Registration is Here<<

RIT Professor to Co-Chair Ultrafast Optics UFO X International Conference in China

August 17, 2015

Rochester Institute of Technology professor Jie Qiao is the general co-chair of the international conference on Ultrafast Optics UFO X taking place in Beijing, China, from Aug. 16 to 21.


Ultrafast optics uses short optical pulses that can provide higher intensity than a continuous wave of light. High-energy lasers can weld, cut and polish glass and other materials. The technology enables integrated photonics and integrated optoelectronics—that combine or bond different materials. Ultrafast optics holds the potential to advance additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, and free-form optics that go beyond traditional spherical shapes.

“Optics is the enabling technology right now for cutting-edge research in telecommunication, energy, environmental sensing and optical displays,” said Qiao, associate professor in RIT’s Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science. “Ultrafast lasers can transform the way optical components are being manufactured, leading to a cost-effective, efficient and environmentally friendly solution for fabricating integrated photonics, freeform optics, micro-optics and optoelectronic packaging.”

Global interest in ultrafast optics has increased participation in the 10th international Ultrafast Optics conference that Qiao helped organized. The biennial event is expected to draw 200 scientists from 20 countries. This year marks the first time the conference has been held in China, which has a growing presence in optics research and development.

Qiao’s leadership role in the international conference and her presentation, “Ultrafast polishing of silicon-based materials”—co-authored with RIT imaging science Ph.D. student Lauren Taylor—help put RIT on the map for ultrafast optics research and associated technologies.

Qiao’s Advanced Optical Fabrication, Instrumentation and Metrology Laboratory at RIT’s Center for Imaging Science produces fundamental research on theoretical modeling and experimental demonstrations of ultrafast lasers and materials interaction. Her other lines of research include an optical differentiation wavefront sensor for freeform metrology and phase imaging, and coherent phasing of segmented large-scale gratings for next-generation telescopes or laser systems.

Qiao gained her reputation in the field of ultrafast optics in 2007 with landmark research at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics at the University of Rochester, where she developed an efficient optical system that produced high-energy, picosecond pulses. Qiao used three half-meter segmented gratings—optical components that control the travel path of different wavelengths of light—to compress high-intensity lasers pulses in a segmented optical system that works like a 1.5-meter, continuous system. Her research appeared in the high-impact journals Optics Letters and Optics Express. Qiao’s solution is now standard technology in high-energy laser optics.

ABVI invites developers, manufacturers to talk new tech for visually impaired

May 31, 2014

The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired is calling on local firms interested in developing the next generation of assistive technologies for the blind and low vision community.

ABVIResearchers and representatives from engineering services firms and manufacturers interested in developing and commercializing these technologies are invited to ABVI’s Low Vision Technology Industry Day on June 12.  Attendees will tour ABVI’s Rehabilitation Center and other facilities, and hear from Dr. Katherine White, OD, ABVI Managing Director of Low Vision Services, about current low-vision technologies and the unmet needs of the more than 25 million Americans who are blind or visually impaired.  The association’s Employment and Adaptive Technology Specialist Chris Frank will also be on hand.

The low-vision community represents a $30 billion marketplace, ABVI estimates, which could be helped by technologies including readers, scanners, magnifiers, video enhancers, audio assistants, sensors and apps. Current assistive technologies are often inadequate, expensive and have limited market penetration.

The Low Vision Technology Industry Day will take place from 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. June 12 at ABVI, 422 Clinton Ave. S.  Lunch will be provided.  Attendance is free of charge but limited.

Register online at



New York Photonics Companies Represented 6% of Exhibitors at Photonics West 2014

February 12, 2014

SPIE’s Photonics West, arguably the largest photonics conference in the world at 21,000 attendees this year, had representation among its exhibitors of  roughly 18% of the world’s optic and photonics market.

That market, estimated at roughly $480 Billion by SPIE, is the foundation for technological advances in manufacturing, metrology, nanotechnology, semiconductors, biomedical instruments, consumer electronics, military / defense, lasers, research, automotive, mapping, geospatial imaging, entertainment, unmanned systems and every other industry of the 21st century.PW2014

New York State companies numbered 76 out of the 1,246 exhibitors this year, or 6% of exhibitors from over a dozen nations.

Independent research by University of Rochester’s CEIS says that in New York’s Finger Lakes Region the industry accounts for 75 Companies, 17,000 employees and over $3 Billion in annual sales.  SME’s in the regional OPI industry have enjoyed 5% – 7% annual growth since 2011 and currently employ ~2600 people.

1 in 14 households are supported by wage earners in the region’s OPI industry.

On Wednesday, January 29th, Vice President Joe Biden spoke at MCC and focused on Rochester’s tremendous future in Optics and Photonics.  The next day, Mike Mandina, founder and President of Optimax Systems (Ontario County) joined Biden in Washington DC to discuss the National Skills Coalition with President Barack Obama.

Optimax Systems’ Plympton on Executive Perspectives Panel at Photonics West

February 5, 2014

Top executives, representing different aspects of the marketplace, shared their insight and hard-fought lessons regarding trends and opportunities in optics and photonics.

Optimax CEO, Rick Plympton shared 2013 experiences, including strong orders from laser systems, particularly HPL’s, and significant medical and semiconductor business. Plympton shared optimism about what he sees as necessary pruning (sequestration) of government business, which he anticipates will result in new growth in other government program opportunities.

Weathering the last few years has required extraordinary skills and experience to successfully reset goals and allocate resources. The discussion helped attendees understand the current environment better and offered perspectives not often shared in the OPI spotlight.


RRPC / New York Photonics Annual Meeting

September 11, 2013

240 stakeholders converged at the Rochester Museum and Science Center’s Riedman Gallery on September 10 to interact with industry experts and thought leaders in a conversation about the National Photonics Initiative.npi-horiz-logo

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, representative 25th district, New York cohosted the meeting. Slaughter’s opening remarks emphasized Rochester’s leading role in optics, photonics and imaging for over a century, and the importance of photonics in medicine, energy research, defense and other industries. Slaughter also highlighted that in an industry so important to the 21st century, budget sequestration and threats to research dollars do little to bolster America’s competitive position internationally, but in fact destabilize research projects and the confidence of researchers in critical industries.audience

Steve Anderson, industry and market strategist for SPIE and Tom Hauskin, senior advisor, engineering and applications for the optical Society of America shared information with the full house about state of America’s National Photonics Initiative.

Anderson highlighted the high level and sustained level of government engagement with the photonics industry in nations like Taiwan, Korea, and the European Union, using Photonics 21, the European Union’s multinational strategic photonics roadmap as a perfect example of what America is up against competitively.

The National Photonics Initiative has identified five technical focus areas as critical to America’s competitive position:

  • advanced manufacturing
  • communications and IT
  • defense and national security
  • energy
  • health and medicine

Hauskins presentation focused on a fragmented Photonics ecosystem, highlighting sources and locations of corporate R&D investment. One noteworthy revelation was that only 1 – 3% of corporate revenues go for research and development of novel products while as much as 7% goes to R&D for upgrading and mature products.

With boom era venture-capital financing on the wane and US government R&D spending flat, the president’s Council of advisors on science and technology (PCAST)issued a report in 2011 recommending the increase in R&D budgets for some national agencies, the strengthening of STEM education, and expanding the number of skilled foreign workers that may be employed by US companies.crowd1

The report suggested that America needs a coherent innovation policy.  PCAST also highlighted that next generation optoelectronics, nanoscale carbon materials and nanotechnology enabled medical diagnostics, all photonics enabled technologies, were examples of promising technologies that face potential market failures in the US.

Jennifer Clark’s presentation focused upon policies that bolster economic resilience. She emphasized that the U.S. has no coherent innovation policy, the very least needed to compete with Industrial policies in other countries that have created stiff competition in markets that the U.S. once dominated.

According to Clark, America’s science, technology, and innovation (STI) policy and economic development strategies are spatially disconnected.  Our STI is associated with national-scale agency funding, but economic development is at the state and local scale.  This creates a large role for existing industry stakeholders — established industries, but not emerging industries.

Clark’s policy recommendations vis-a-vis the National Photonics Initiative:

  • Connect national policy-making to regional specializations.
  • Get serious about supporting SMEs.  Invest capital in new products, not just new firms.
  • Construct a distributed national network of innovation & development centers.
  • Include process technologies (testing, certification, standards) Provide information.
  • Invest in a specialized, skilled labor markets

See also RRPC / New York Photonics 2013 Annual Awards and RRPC Election Results

RRPC 2013 Annual Meeting and Golf Tournament

August 6, 2013

The National Photonics Initiative:
What Is Rochester’s Role?

Louise smallCo-hosted with Congresswoman Louise Slaughter
Representative, 25th District, New York

RRPC Annual Meeting

Thursday September 5, 2013
Rochester Museum & Science Center
3:30 – 6:30 PM (3:00 PM registration)
$45 per person
click here to register

Following the release last year of Optics & Photonics: Essential Technologies for Our Nation, the report sponsors and key stakeholders from around the nation convened in Washington DC to highlight the findings of the report with their Washington delegations.

What is emerging is the National Photonics Initiative (NPI).  What will the NPI look like and what are the impacts of such an initiative on you and your business?  On Rochester’s Optics, Photonics & Imaging (OPI) Industry?  For the nation?5headshotsedit

We’ve invited speakers close to the evolution of the NPI,  with access to data and perspectives that will spark interest across a range of constituencies.  We need you there and we want to hear your opinions as well.

Panel and Speakers:

  • Steve Anderson, Industry and Market Strategist for SPIE; former Editor-In-Chief, Laser Focus World.
  • Tom Hausken, Senior Advisor, Engineering and Applications, Optical Society of America; former Director, Strategies Unlimites
  • Jennifer Clark, Associate Professor at the School of Public Policy and Director of the Center for Urban Innovation in the Ivan Allen College at the Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Steve Fantone, Founder and CEO of Optikos Corporation, holds over 60 US Patents in the optics and photonics
  • Duncan Moore, Vice Provost for Entrepreneurship and Professor of Optics, University of Rochester

RRPC Annual Golf Tournament

Friday, September 6, 2013
Ravenwood Golf Center
929 Lynaugh Rd, Victor, NY 14564
click here to register

9:00 AM registration (range opens)
10:00 AM Shotgun Start
Lunch & Cocktail reception
$175 per person / $700 Foursome


On February 21st Senator Chuck Schumer held a news conference at Eastman Business Park in Rochester, NY to promote legislation he is advancing that will create 15 Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation across the US.

Schumer, along with University of Rochester president Joel Seligman and Rochester Institute of Technology president William Dessler,  fervently asserted that one of those hubs needs be optics, photonics and imaging and ought to be in Rochester.

Schumer sees Rochester as a natural hub for advanced development of photonics and optics. “‘Photonics and optics is one of those new, cutting edge areas,’ he said before a phalanx of media, university and optics industry representatives while standing in Eastman Business Park’s Building 319, “and given the Rochester region’s academic expertise and business history in optics,’ Schumer said, ‘We have a real advantage.’”

Representatives of government and the photonics industry convened in Washington, DC on 28 February for a day-long event intended to raise awareness of the role of photonics and plan for its future in the U.S. economy and everyday life.

The event was a followup to the groundbreaking National Academy of Sciences report “Optics & Photonics: Essential Technologies for Our Nation,” released in August 2012 and unveiled in Rochester at last year’s RRPC Annual Meeting in September.

Organized by SPIE in partnership with four other technical organizations, the meeting consisted of two segments: a morning overview of work done by subcommittees and industry sharing their future needs, and afternoon breakout sessions covering the five key optics and photonics sectors — communication, defense, health and medicine, manufacturing, and energy. The event was held to collect input and identify focus areas for a National Photonics Initiative (NPI), a key recommendation of the Optics & Photonics report.

Sponsorships for these events are available!

Click here for PDF