Chair and committee information for Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation

A guide to successful chair and committee participation
Chairs and committees at SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation

Thank you for your leadership

The responsibilities of being conference chair, program committee member, or session chair are crucial to the success of SPIE events, and it is you, our incredible volunteers, who are the true engine of the Society. On behalf of the Board of Directors and the entire staff of SPIE, thank you for volunteering your time and dedication — we truly could not do this without you.

Below you'll find information specific for each of these roles. All volunteer leadership roles with SPIE are tasked with furthering and promoting a culture of inclusion and pushing diversity of ideas. If you have any questions or concerns at any point along the way, please don't hesitate to contact your conference program coordinator.

Important dates

Abstracts due 15 November 2023
Registration opens February 2024
Authors notified and program posts online 26 February 2024
Submission system opens for manuscripts and poster PDFs* 14 April 2024
Poster PDFs due for preview and publication 22 May 2024
Manuscripts due 29 May 2024
Advance upload deadline for oral presentation slides** 13 June 2024

*The contact author or speaker must register prior to uploading
**After this date, slides must be uploaded on site at Speaker Check-in

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Important resources for conference chairs

Visit the resources page for SPIE conference chairs to find more information about the following responsibilities :

  • Conference volunteer responsibilities and best practices
  • Call for papers guidelines
  • Abstract solicitation and submission
  • Review of abstracts and manuscripts
  • Registration fees, sponsorships, student support
  • Submit a course proposal to SPIE
  • Submit your conference program
  • Final program information
  • Onsite responsibilities
  • Chairing a session

And reference this useful information to help clarify SPIE processes and procedures:

Program committee member responsibilities

  • Program committee members give technical input to the conference chairs as needed.
  • Committee members assist conference chairs in publicizing the conference and soliciting abstracts.
  • They suggest speakers to be invited.
  • When assigned by the conference chairs, committee members participate in the presentation abstract and manuscript review process. 
  • They introduce/organize specific conference sessions.
  • Committee members serve as session chair at the conference chair's request.

Program committee members who are essentially inactive will be rotated off after two or three successive occasions exhibiting negligible involvement, in the interests of efficiency and to make space for new committee members.

Session chair responsibilities

For information on how to prepare for and chair a session see the guidelines on chairing a session

  • Session chairs help to ensure that the conference runs smoothly.
  • Session chairs will introduce the session topic and speakers, maintain the schedule, and be prepared for the unexpected.
  • If a speaker fails to appear, the session chair will fill the open time with a standby paper, discussion topics, question and answer session, or an open discussion.
  • After the session, session chairs will submit the session report via the SPIE mobile app (or by emailing, or by returning the printed Session Report Form to Chair Services or Speaker Check-In.
  • Session chairs should represent SPIE in a professional and ethical manner and be familiar with the SPIE code of conduct and anti-harassment policy.
  • They should also report unethical or inappropriate behavior to

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact your conference program coordinator.