End of IYL Outreach Activity


Check out this outreach event hosted by the OSA Student Chapter! Contact Raymond Lopez-Rios for more information.

The UR OSA student chapter is planning to have an outreach event on Thursday Dec 3 from 3 pm to 8 pm in Wilson Commons’ Hirst Lounge, and we are in need of people to set-up, explain, and pack up optics demonstrations!

The main goal of this event is to close off the International Year of Light and bring more optics awareness to the entire undergraduate student body. This will also help us to recruit more members for next semester for both SPIE and OSA.

Some of the demos we will have include the IR camera, transmission holography, Schlieren imaging, Pepper’s ghost illusion, etc.

There is a sign up sheet for times here, as well as a link to the Google drive file with more information. We will really appreciate any help we can get!

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2015 Holiday Party Baking Contest


While you’re probably day dreaming of delicious Thanksgiving plates and desserts, don’t forget to brainstorm some ideas for the SPIE Holiday Party Baking Contest!!

Here’s the details:
1) Every member is welcome to bring a dessert to share! It doesn’t need to be a “cookie,” per se. Any dessert will do, as long as it’s homemade!
2) Each dessert is given a number, and every attendee is allowed to vote for their favorite one!

First Place: $50 Amazon gift card
Second Place: $25 Starbucks gift card
Third Place: $25 Starbucks gift card

We’re looking forward to all sorts of wonderful desserts!  Don’t forget to RSVP!

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Important Communication: vote to change the chapter constitution


Hello chapter members,

on December 4th, during the Christmas party, you will be called to vote on a change of few articles of the Chapter’s Constitution and Bylaws proposed by the executive board of the Chapter.

The changes have been proposed so to add a new officer position in the executive board. This position will be called ‘Communication Officer’. This officer will be responsible for: all communications between the executive board with the Chapter members and with third parties; maintaining an up-to-date electronic mailing list; promoting and advertising the chapter’s events and initiatives.

The addition of the communication officer will allow the “Web master” officer to focus on the development of the web site and blog.

The proposed amendment to the Chapter’s Constitutions and Bylaws can be found here.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions or concerns.



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Invited Speaker Poll Results

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 3.20.16 PM


thanks to the 43 members who took the time to express their preference.

We are going to start contacting prospective speakers in the following order:

  1. Hartmut Neven
  2. Jennifer C. Ricklin
  3. Steohen A. Boppart
  4. Jean-Luc Doumont
  5. Kevin Harding
  6. Brian Culshaw

We will keep you posted.


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Help us decide which speaker to invite: Part II

It is time to choose the speaker to invite. I would like to thank the members who took some time to suggest the names (thank you Joe, Anthony, Haomin, and Fernando).

You can vote for the person you would like for us to invite here. (Please vote only once)

We will close the vote on Monday November 2nd.


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At lunch with Eugene Arthurs (CEO, SPIE)



Last Tuesday (Oct 13th), day after the busiest Industrial Associate event I recall in my four years at the Institute, we (me, Ashley, Joe, Katelynn, and Daniel) had a pleasant lunch with dr. Eugene Arthurs.

We choose to have Korean food (no, it was actually me and Dan, not Joe, who proposed that) and invited him to join us at Sodam Restaurant.

As you might imagine, we did not give dr. Arthurs the chance to enjoy his meal in quiet, but we asked him a lot of questions and ended up having a conversation spanning the most diverse topics, from career advices to food, from how to lobby congress to the status of education in the United States. He was very nice and answered carefully and in length to everything, and to my great surprise at the end of the meal (almost two hours later) he was still willing to take questions.

We would like to share with you the things that resonated most with us:

Political insights

  • SPIE, to fulfill his role of advocate for Optics and Photonics, needs to have a continuous presence in Congress. The way it achieves that is by hiring “lobbying companies”, which maintain Optics and Photonics in the radar of congressmen/congresswomen.
  • Scientists and engineers are generally bad in dealing with politicians, and also in being politicians. Most likely that is because scientists are very fact based and hesitant to make firm declarations. Also scientists are sometimes seen as arrogant. Therefore, it is going to be important for scientists to learn how to be humble and try to understand the audience they are talking to and definitely to improve soft skills, such as public speaking. No good is going to come if there is a big divide between scientists and policymakers.

Career Advices

  • Everyone has different needs. Somebody would prefer more job security, some others would be more motivated by going “all in” and starting their own company. The important thing is to “not put up with a job you do not like”. If you feel unhappy about your job, you really should change it.
  • Work for a company with a management that really puts people at the first place. It is not always easy to find this information, as companies always claim that. You will need to ask around.
  • In general publicly traded companies tends to implement short-term plans to boost their quarterly reports, in order not to damage their stock price. Sometimes this is implemented by closing business units (in other words by laying off people). Privately held companies are able to plan more in the long term. However, there are also plenty of well-managed publicly traded companies.
  • CEO wants to hire people that are independent and do not need to be micromanaged. So, at an interview it is going to be important to show that you are one of these people.
  • For those who want to change career path and maybe move to finance, or entrepreneurship, it is recommended to start reading specialized magazines in those topics, such as Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, Bloomberg. If you find the articles boring and hard to read, chances are those fields will not make you happy.
  • For future business people and entrepreneurs, it is going to be fundamental to look outside and reach out to people, colleagues, potential customers, friends, or even people you never met before. A great place to do that is during conferences. The advice is to not be scared to ask, because most of the people will actually be happy to help. Doing so can give valuable insights for improvement and can provide feedback for real-world, commercial implementations of your ideas.

As a last note, during the whole conversation we all felt his genuine support of students. So, we do know that at SPIE students are at the first place.


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International Year of Light Panels at ROC airport


On Friday October 9th volunteers from our student chapter (+ 3 guests for St. Petersburg ‘schapter) coordinated by Thomas Battley, Executive Director at New York Photonics, installed and organized several panels displaying pictures capturing the beauty of Optics.

If you are coming to Rochester via plane or picking someone up at the airport make sure to check those out! They are located at the Arrivals close to the information desk.

As a thank you, the volunteers were treated to a nice lunch at the Distillery by Tom and received free passes for the  SPIE OPTIFAB2015 exhibition. Not bad.

(Thanks to Mariia, Gustavo, Xing, Sam, Aizhong, Evgenii and Leonid for volunteering their time)


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“Projections” International Year of Light Exhibit at Art and Music Library

Check out this awesome International Year of Light exhibit at the U of R’s Art and Music Library!  Optics undergraduate Nick Kochan ’17 was the mastermind behind this piece.  Come out and support his creative work!

Projections White Letter Size

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IA Meeting: lab tour + SPIE CEO visit to campus


Eugene Arthurs, the CEO of SPIE, has registered to attend this fall IA meeting. If you see him around the hallway or in the elevator or during one of the networking events, you can use thUnknownis occasion to introduce your self.

This year, we would like to organize lab tours hosted by SPIE members.

We believe this would give students a better chance to interact with the company representatives.

Tours will be scheduled on Monday October 12th from 5.30pm to 6.30pm. Each lab visit will last 15 minutes.
We would like to offer as many choices of tours as possible to the company representatives.

If you are interested in giving a tour of the lab you work in, please contact us by Friday Oct 2nd at urspie@gmail.com.

Once we have a list of tour guides, I will send out more details.



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Help us decide which speaker to invite: Part I

We want to hear from you who to invite as guest visiting lecturer.

In fact, every year we can request SPIE fundings to invite a domestic or international visiting lecturer.

We believe all the members should be involved in the decision.

We will organize the process in two parts:

PART I: every member is entitled to suggest up to two names. He/she will do so in the comment section of this page.

The only requisite for the candidate is to be a SPIE member (you can easily check that at this link).

If you do not have anybody in mind, you can check the following page on SPIE website for suggestions. This is a list containing the names of SPIE members willing to give talks together with their topics of expertise.

We will accept nominations until October 9th 2015.

PART II: We will prepare a list of 5 candidates to be voted among all the members through a poll.

We will then invite the candidates in order of the preferences received.

Let us know if you have questions or comments at urspie@gmail.com



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