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SPIE Fact Sheet

OPTO Plenary at SPIE Photonics West

SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, is a not-for-profit educational society organized to advance emerging light-based technologies through interdisciplinary information exchange, continuing education, publications, career development, and advocacy.

  • Founded in 1955 as the Society of Photographic Instrumentation Engineers under Section 501(c)(3) of the US Internal Revenue Code
  • International office in Bellingham, Washington, USA
  • SPIE Europe office in Cardiff, Wales, UK
  • Serves more than 255,000 constituents from 183 countries

SPIE advances education in the global community, including with on-going programs that provide free access to the SPIE Digital Library to high schools and institutions in disadvantaged countries. These SPIE programs are aligned with the not-for-profit society's mission to ensure affordable access to its publications to the greatest number of researchers possible. Access to information improves education, economic opportunities, and social welfare.

  • SPIE provides free or low-cost distribution of articles published in the SPIE Digital Library to scientists at institutions in least-developed or low-income countries through Research4Life and SHARE programs
  • SPIE makes the complete SPIE Digital Library available to high schools for free and to two-year colleges at a subsidized price.

Conferences and Exhibitions

SPIE presents approximately 25 major technical forums, exhibitions, and education programs each year in venues in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and South America. Among the events are:

  • Advanced Lithography
  • AR | MR | VR
  • Asia-Pacific Remote Sensing
  • Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation
  • Defense + Commercial Sensing
  • Digital Optical Technologies
  • European Conferences on Biomedical Optics (with OSA)
  • Laser Damage
  • Medical Imaging
  • Microtechnologies
  • NanoPhotonics Australasia
  • Optical Metrology
  • Optical Systems Design
  • Optics + Optoelectronics
  • Optics + Photonics
  • Optifab
  • Pacific Rim Laser Damage (with SIOM)
  • Photomask Technology + Extreme UV Lithography
  • Photonex + Vacuum Technologies
  • Photonics Asia (with COS)
  • Photonics Europe
  • Photonics West
    • BiOS: Biomedical Optics
    • LASE: Laser Technology and Industrial Applications
    • OPTO: Optoelectronics and Photonic Materials, and Devices
    • QWEST: Quantum West
  • Sensors + Imaging
    • Remote Sensing
    • Security + Defence
  • Smart Structures + Nondestructive Evaluation
  • Space, Satellites, + Sustainability
  • Technologies and Applications of Structured Light
  • Translational Biophotonics


  • SPIE Digital Library, the world's largest collection of optics and photonics research
  • More than 530,000 research papers and more than 400 ebooks from SPIE Press
  • Approximately 18,000 new articles and 25 ebooks added each year, including the Spotlights ebooks series
  • Proceedings of SPIE
  • Peer-reviewed scholarly journals, with open access publication options
    • Advanced Photonics
    • Advanced Photonics Nexus
    • Optical Engineering
    • Journal of Electronic Imaging (with IS&T)
    • Journal of Biomedical Optics
    • Journal of Optical Microsystems
    • Journal of Micro/Nanopatterning, Materials, and Metrology
    • Journal of Applied Remote Sensing
    • Journal of Nanophotonics
    • Journal of Photonics for Energy
    • Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems
    • Journal of Medical Imaging
    • Neurophotonics
    • Photonics Insights
  • Print monographs, tutorial texts, Field Guides, and reference books from SPIE Press
  • SPIE News
    • 5,000+ expert-authored technical articles
    • SPIE.tv, including more than 500 video interviews and features
  • Photonics Focus bimonthly membership magazine, with industry reports, technology overviews, career and education advice, and entrepreneurial profiles
  • Optipedia -- encyclopedic articles on optics and photonics

Professional Development

  • Professional development courses at SPIE conferences on basic optics principles and advanced photonics and microelectronics technologies
  • On-demand web-streamed courses 
  • In-company training

Industry Relations


No-cost, online programming is developed to ensure collaborations between researchers, educators, and commercial institutions continue to thrive, especially when in-person gatherings are not possilbe. Emerging technologies, engineering breakthroughs, and real-life insights are meant to be shared, presented, discussed, and published. 

Community Support and Outreach

Over the past five years, SPIE has contributed more than $22 million to the international optics community through our advocacy and support, including scholarships, educational resources, travel grants, endowed gifts, and public-policy development.

  • The SPIE Endowment Matching Program was established in 2019 to increase international capacity in the teaching and research of optics and photonics, and to date has provided nearly $4 million in matching gifts, resulting in more than $10 million in dedicated funds.
  • $298,000 in education and travel scholarships awarded to 78 recipients in 2021
  • Free or low-cost access to the SPIE Digital Library in developing nations via Research4Life and SHARE programs
  • Support for the UNESCO Active Learning in Optics and Photonics program, a hands-on learning program to train teachers in developing countries
  • Partner in funding programs at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics providing students from developing nations with access to seminars from top researchers
  • Women in Optics Prgrams, promoting professional growth through community building, networking, and encouraging young women to choose optics as a career
  • Arthur H. Guenther Congressional Fellowship (with OSA)
  • Free educational posters and resources


Approximately 19,000 Members, with targeted services for each level:

  • Individual
  • Student
  • Early Career Professional
  • Life
  • Corporate
  • Senior Member -- honored for their professional experience, active involvement, and significant performance
  • Fellow -- Members of distinction who have made considerable technical and scientific contributions in optics, photonics, optoelectronics, and imaging


The SPIE awards program recognizes outstanding contributions from individuals throughout the scientific community.

  • A.E. Conrady Award in Optical Engineering
  • Aden and Marjorie Meinel Technology Achievement Award
  • Biophotonics Technology Innovator Award
  • Britton Chance Biomedical Optics Award
  • Chandra S. Vikram Award in Optical Metrology
  • Dennis Gabor Award in Diffractive Optics
  • Directors' Award
  • Diversity Outreach Award
  • Early Career Achievement Award - Academic
  • Early Career Achievement Award - Industry/Government
  • Frits Zernike Award for Microlithography
  • G.G. Stokes Award in Optical Polarization
  • George W. Goddard Award in Space and Airborne Optics
  • Gold Medal of the Society
  • Harold E. Edgerton Award in High-Speed Optics
  • Harrison H. Barrett Award in Medical Imaging
  • Joseph W. Goodman Book Writing Award
  • Maria Goeppert-Mayer Award in Photonics
  • Maria J. Yzuel Educator Award
  • Mozi Award
  • President's Award
  • Rudolf and Hilda Kingslake Medal and Prize
  • Visionary Award

Executive Committee of the Board of Directors

  • President Anita Mahadevan-Jansen, Vanderbilt University
  • Immediate Past President David Andrews, University of East Anglia
  • President-Elect Bernard Kress, Google
  • Vice President Jennifer Barton, University of Arizona
  • Secretary/Treasurer Jason Mulliner, Alluxa
  • CEO Kent Rochford, SPIE
Anita Mahadevan-Jansen

David Andrews

Bernard Kress

Jennifer Barton

Jason Mulliner

Kent Rochford


Non-Discrimination Policy

SPIE does not discriminate in hiring, access to programs, or eligibility of services based on race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, political affiliation, union membership, or veteran status other than as allowed by law.


Media Contact:
Daneet Steffens, Public Relations Manager
+1 360 685 5478