The IEEE Photonics Society
by Robin Hegg
The IEEE Photonics Society is made up of scientists and engineers in the fields of lasers, optoelectronics, and photonics from around the world. The society helps its members to learn and grow in their professions, publish and transmit research, collaborate through conferences and local chapters, recognize excellence in its field, and supports student activities.
The IEEE Photonics Society’s publications include the open access IEEE Photonics Journal, the Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, the Journal of Photovoltaics, and the IEEE/OSA Journal of Lightwave Technology.
IEEE Photonics Society conferences include IPC: IEEE Photonics Conference; OFC: Optical Fiber Communication Conference; CLEO: Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics; AVFOP: Avionics and Vehicle Fiber-Optics and Photonics Conference.
The IEEE Photonics Society also has Women in Photonics, Young Professionals, and Multicultural Outreach programs in order to engage and inspire the next generation of women, students, and diverse populations to pursue light-based science education and professions.
The IEEE Photonics Society was recently a founding partner of the UNESCO International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015 (IYL 2015), a global initiative developed by the United Nations to bring attention to the importance of photonic technologies and their role in providing solutions to challenges in energy, education, agriculture, communications, and healthcare.
Throughout the year, the IYL 2015 included thousands of events around the world to help promote the importance of light. The IEEE Photonics Society contributed by raising awareness about how light improves the quality of life for all around the world. 2015 was also of particular historical significance to the Society as it commemorated its 50th Anniversary.
Photonics Society volunteers and chapters around the world played a key role in IYL 2015, through:
– Educational Initiatives: Summer Schools, Young Scientist Workshops, and Student Outreach Ambassador programs to encourage careers in photonics and introduce young minds to the light sciences.
– Community Outreach: Chapter Challenges, Luminary Speaker Series and Women in Photonics events to improve public and consumer awareness and address issues of gender balance in STEM.
– Humanitarian Activities: Collaborations with Solar Aid and a US DoE Solar Decathlon team to bring critical lighting resources to the developing world and increase demand for intelligent, sustainable environments.