University of Rochester Professor Julie Bentley elected into SPIE presidential chain

The Society’s next vice president is also the president of Bentley Optical Design
22 August 2023
SPIE 2023 Election Results: Top row, from left to right: Julie Bentley, Jim McNally, Samuel Achilefu. Bottom row, from left to right: Agnes Huebscher, Daewook Kim, Michelle Stock.
Top row, from left to right: Julie Bentley, Jim McNally, Samuel Achilefu. Bottom row, from left to right: Agnes Huebscher, Daewook Kim, Michelle Stock.

BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA — Julie Bentley, of the University of Rochester, has been elected to serve as the 2024 vice president of SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics. With her election, Bentley joins the SPIE presidential chain. She will serve as president-elect in 2025, and as the Society's president in 2026.

The 2023 SPIE President Bernard Kress, director of XR hardware at Google, made the announcement along with other SPIE election results at this year's Annual General Meeting of the Society on 22 August, during SPIE Optics + Photonics. Terms begin on 1 January 2024.

Bentley, a professor at the University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics, who began her academic career in optics as a student at the university, is a recognized expert in designing lenses and optical systems, as well as a much-lauded instructor. She is the 2022 recipient of the university’s Edmund A. Hajim Outstanding Faculty Award, as well as a 2014 recipient of the university’s Goergen Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award. In 2019, she received the RRPC Education Award from the Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster. She is also a private consultant and holds four patents in optical design and engineering.

An SPIE Fellow Member since 2012, Bentley has had extensive involvement with the Society. Aside from her popular SPIE courses — including those in lens design, geometrical optics, and optical system design — she served on the SPIE Board of Directors 2014-17; has served on the Scholarship, IT, Education, Awards, and Publications Committees; has chaired the Joseph W. Goodman Book Writing Award, and has co-authored two books for SPIE Press, Field Guide to Lens Design and Designing Optics Using CODE V. In 2010, she was featured in the SPIE Women in Optics planner, and, in 2022, Bentley received the SPIE Directors’ Award, one of the Society’s highest honors.

"I am very excited to have been chosen to serve as the next vice president of SPIE," said Bentley. "I have always enjoyed my work with the Society’s Board of Directors and various committees, and can’t wait to jump back in. The last few years have been challenging to navigate for us all: the pandemic changed how we work, learn, and interact. As a professor with a new semester just weeks away, I find myself searching for the best way to balance previous methods of teaching with the rapidly developed technological advancements that have significantly improved our ability to deliver course content to students. In a similar fashion, I am looking forward to working with the incredible team at SPIE to find the best ways to embrace recent changes, using them to grow the Society while maintaining the community-focused aspects we all love about SPIE."

Alongside Bentley, Jennifer Barton, director of the BIO5 Institute at the University of Arizona, will serve as the 2024 SPIE President while Zygo’s Peter De Groot will serve as President-Elect.

Jim McNally, CEO of StratTHNK Associates, was elected to serve as the 2024 SPIE Secretary/Treasurer.

The following newly elected Society Directors will serve three-year terms from 2024-2026:

  • Samuel Achilefu, professor and chair of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center’s department of biomedical engineering.
  • Agnes Huebscher, Edmund Optics’ senior director of global strategic marketing.
  • Daewook Kim, associate professor at the University of Arizona’s Wyant College of Optical Sciences.
  • Michelle Stock, TracInnovations’ director of business development and sales, North America.

The SPIE nominating committee accepts recommendations for the election slate on an ongoing basis. Directors, who serve a three-year term, are expected to attend and participate in three board meetings each year. To make a recommendation, or for more information, email

About SPIE

SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, brings engineers, scientists, students, and business professionals together to advance light-based science and technology. The Society, founded in 1955, connects and engages with our global constituency through industry-leading conferences and exhibitions; publications of conference proceedings, books, and journals in the SPIE Digital Library; and career-building opportunities. 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.


Daneet Steffens
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