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David Andrews elected to SPIE presidential chain

24 Aug 2018

University of East Anglia professor and nanophotonics expert will serve as SPIE president in 2021.

David Andrews, a professor of chemistry at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the UK, has been elected to SPIE’s presidential chain, and will serve as the optics and photonics society’s president in 2021.

SPIE’s current president, Maryellen Giger, announced the result during the organization’s annual general meeting, which took place earlier this week alongside the SPIE Optics + Photonics symposium in San Diego, California. SPIE is also the publisher of optics.org.

Leader of the nanophotonics and quantum electrodynamics research group at UEA, Andrews is a familiar face at SPIE conferences, and was elected as an SPIE Fellow back in 2006.

His research group works on a variety of topics with particular expertise in molecular energy transfer and light harvesting, nonlinear optics and photonics, structured light and optical vortices, and laser-induced optical binding and inter-particle forces. The group enjoys strong international links, particularly with groups in Canada, Italy, Lithuania, New Zealand and the US.

Andrews has also served on numerous SPIE committees, including a stint as chair of the society’s symposia committee - and is currently chair of its publications committee. He was an elected member of the SPIE board of directors from 2016-2018.

As SPIE president, he will succeed Jim Oschmann, the recently retired VP and general manager of the civil space division at Ball Aerospace, and University of Arizona professor John Greivenkamp. Oschmann will serve as president in 2019, followed by Greivenkamp in 2020.

Meanwhile Jason Mulliner, currently CFO at optical filters and coatings firm Alluxa, will serve as SPIE’s secretary/treasurer in 2019. The newly elected SPIE directors, who will each serve three-year terms between 2019 and 2021, are Julia Craven from Sandia National Laboratories, Peter de Groot from Zygo Corporation, Marta de la Fuente from Indra Sistemas, and Judy Ann Fennelly from the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

Annual awards
Also at the San Diego symposium and AGM, SPIE presented various annual awards. This year’s winners included Eugene Arthurs – the society’s long-serving CEO who retired earlier this year – who picked up the SPIE President’s award from Giger.

“During his tenure as CEO, Eugene successfully led SPIE as it advanced emerging technologies of optics and photonics through interdisciplinary information exchange, continuing education, publications, patent precedent, and career and professional growth,” said Giger. “His dedication and visionary role within SPIE touched multiple growth areas. Consistently throughout the field of optics and photonics, Eugene remained a soft-spoken leader - a gentleman and a scholar to whom everyone listened.”

With Arthurs at the helm, SPIE's annual contribution to philanthropic outreach and altruism rose from around $200,000 in 1999, to approximately $4 million last year.

Also picking up awards in San Diego were University of Ottawa professor and attosecond science pioneer Paul Corkum, who won this year’s SPIE Gold Medal, and Kishan Dholakia from the University of St Andrews, UK, who won the Dennis Gabor Award for his work in optical-beam shaping using dynamic and static diffractive optics.

In addition, Meadowlark Optics founder Tom Baur landed the G. G. Stokes Award for his efforts to commercialize liquid-crystal variable retarders – critical components in a variety of applications across biology and solar physics – while retired AFRL researcher James Grote picked up the SPIE Directors' Award for his extensive efforts on numerous SPIE committees down the years.

Last but not least, Ding Ping Tsai from National Taiwan University was honored with the inaugural Mozi Award, in recognition of his work to develop optical metadevices. Established last year and endowed by the Taiwan Information Storage Association, the Mozi Award is named for the contributions that the ancient Chinese philosopher and engineer made to optics – including the optics of pinhole imaging and camera obscuras.

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