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Biomedical Optics & Medical Imaging

SPIE leaders congratulate Imperial College London on optics centenary

SPIE Newsroom
08 September 2017

SPIE leaders on Friday joined in congratulating Imperial College London (ICL) on its 100th anniversary of optics research and education.

SPIE Past President Emery Moore, SPIE Fellow Chris Dainty, SPIE Senior Member Tina Kidger, and SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs attended the optics centenary event, which included lectures, demonstrations, and displays of Imperial College's long history of vibrant optics-based research and its world impact on the science of light. SPIE was a cosponsor of the event.

Alice Gast, Imperial College London president, welcomed about 400 celebrants to a full day of lectures by distinguished optical scientists.

Alice Gast (above, center), Imperial College London president, welcomed about 400 celebrants to a full day of lectures by distinguished optical scientists.

ICL's optics program was established as the Department of Technical Optics 1917 to address the shortage of optical engineers needed during the Industrial Revolution. A.E. Conrady, an eminent optical designer for whom an SPIE annual award is named, taught the first courses in optical design.

In 1931, the department name was changed to the Technical Optics Section and the optics program continued to grow over the years, adding laser, photonics, applied optics, and other research groups over the years. It was recently renamed the Photon Science Section.