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SPIE plans green photonics congress, journal

21 May 2010

A new European event and an online journal are the latest initiatives by SPIE in the area of photonics for environmental applications.

Photonics for clean energy generation, ecologically friendly manufacturing processes, energy-efficient lighting, pollution control and environmental monitoring will be advanced through a new SPIE technical congress in Strasbourg in April 2011. The Eurodistrict Photonics Consortium comprising Region Alsace, Land Baden-W├╝rttemberg, City of Offenburg, City of Strasbourg, CNOP and Rhenaphotonics is collaborating in the congress.

Photonics, recognized as one of five "key enabling technologies" by the European Commission, plays a leading role in the development of the green economy with a proven track record in providing energy and energy reduction technologies. Examples are in solar energy systems, LED lighting and optical communications. Lasers, photonic processes and sensors facilitate cleaner manufacturing through monitoring and control systems to reduce waste and environmentally harmful emissions using economically viable solutions.

The announcement of the new event was made at the SPIE Photonics Europe congress in Brussels in April.

"Photonics engineering is increasingly important for environmental science, for example, using remote sensors to detect and monitor pollution and air quality, and using laser technology to enable the manufacture of lighter-weight automobiles for better fuel efficiency," said Prof. Patrick Meyrueis, University of Strasbourg. Meyrueis and Prof. Dan Curticapean, Offenburg University of Applied Sciences, are co-chairs of the congress.

"Green photonics is expected to have significant impact in reducing global warming, but at the same time it offers as yet unexploited opportunities for economic growth in Europe," notes the recently released Photonics21 strategic research agenda report in photonics, Lighting the Way Ahead.

The Strasbourg congress will focus not only on applications of photonics in green technology but will also address the need to re-educate the workforce for a green future. It will also serve to more broadly bring attention to the new paradigm of incorporating environmentally friendly products and processes into everyday life and to the role photonics plays in this.

The congress extends SPIE's commitment to advancing green technologies through its technical forums and publications, notes Dr Andrew Brown, SPIE's senior director of global development.

"SPIE is dedicated to advancing research in these vitally important fields," Brown says. "Photonics technologies offer the most promising sustainable solutions for industrialized nations dealing with the challenges of protecting environmental quality and providing jobs for growing populations, and for countries that are rebuilding their economies and infrastructures."

The new event supports SPIE's launch of the new Journal of Photonics for Energy in autumn 2010. The new peer-reviewed online publication will provide a focal point for photonics and optics research in and development of sustainable energy sources, energy-efficient technologies, environmental sensing and other applications for the environment.

Zakya Kafafi, director of the Division of Materials Research of the US National Science Foundation, is editor-in-chief of the new journal. She will be joined by a distinguished editorial board with members from around the world who have defined a unique scope that will make JPE a valuable resource for researchers, policy-makers, industry and students.

The new journal will be published electronically in the SPIE Digital Library, the world's largest collection of optics and photonics literature. JPE authors may take advantage of capabilities of the SPIE Digital Library such as multimedia and extensive linking to other web-based content.

Information about the journal along with submission information for authors is available online.

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