SOURCE: SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering

September 22, 2006 12:28 ET

SPIE Optics East Brings the Latest Optics & Photonics Research to Boston

Science and Industry Leaders Meet at Multidisciplinary Event Beginning October 1

BELLINGHAM, WA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- September 22, 2006 -- The SPIE Optics East symposium, the largest optics and photonics event on the East Coast, returns to Boston October 1 through 4 at the Hynes Convention Center. Optics East is a multidisciplinary symposium and exhibition including 30 technical conferences on sensors, life sciences, advanced telecommunications, and core technologies such as optoelectronics, optomechatronics, photonic crystals, terahertz, and nanotechnology.

Running from October 1-4, Optics East will feature the most promising new findings in optical and photonic technologies. This year's event will include three technical symposia, relevant plenary presentations, technical group meetings, an industry perspectives session, and an array of career development courses. A free industry exhibition will take place October 3-4 involving over 100 companies displaying optics and photonics-based devices, components, and systems.

Nearly 1000 technical papers will be presented by scientists and engineers from across the world. This type of information sharing and networking helps propel innovative concepts and technical breakthroughs to the marketplace, which can greatly change industry, medicine and consumer products.

For example, optical communication and computing is on the verge of tremendous change as Intel works to "siliconize" photonics in a way that will disrupt the mass market by using light to transport information within computers, instead of electricity. The leader of that R&D team, Dr. Mario Paniccia, Director of Intel's Photonics Technology Lab, will present an Optics East plenary on Monday called "Prospects of Silicon Photonics for future VLSI Interconnects" from 10:40 to 11:20 a.m. Dr. Paniccia will discuss opto-electrical solutions for applications ranging from telecommunications down to chip-to-chip interconnects. Paniccia made global headlines this month, announcing that Intel has built the world's first electrically powered hybrid silicon laser using standard silicon manufacturing processes.

Other luminaries presenting at this year's Optics East include Dr. Zhong Lin Wang, Distinguished Professor and Director at Georgia Tech's Center for Nanostructure Characterization and Fabrication. Speaking from 1:30 to 3:40 p.m on Sunday, Dr. Wang will present the keynote, "Synthesis, Organization, and Incorporation of Nano-Structures I." He has authored and co-authored four books and over 440 peer reviewed journal articles, 55 review papers and book chapters, edited and co-edited 14 volumes of books on nanotechnology, and holds 20 patents and provisional patents. Dr. Wang ranks among the world's top 25 most cited authors in nanotechnology. (ISI, Science Watch,1992-2002).

"Optics East provides a venue where optics and photonics technology leaders from industry, academia and government come together to share ideas and move innovation into the marketplace," said Janice Walker, Director of Events, SPIE. "The Hynes Convention Center is a terrific location for the conferences, courses and exhibition that comprise Optics East. The response has exceeded our expectations."

Kicking off Monday's plenary sessions will be Murali Nair, Program Director with the National Science Foundation's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program. His 9:30 a.m. talk will offer information that is invaluable for businesses pursing development and commercialization of electro-optics, photonics, MEMS, instrumentation and sensor technologies. There is great enthusiasm in the R&D community about the commercial potential of mid-infrared sensor technologies. For example, NSF recently announced funding of nearly $3 million for the first year of the MIRTHE program (Mid-Infrared Technologies for Health and the Environment), for optical trace gas sensing systems using new technologies such as quantum cascade lasers or quartz-enhanced photo-acoustic spectroscopy to detect minute amounts of chemicals found in the environment or atmosphere, emitted from spills, combustion, or exhaled in human breath.

Claire Gmachl, Director of MIRTHE (NSF-ERC) and Associate Professor, Princeton University, said that with increasing research in this field comes a greater need to publish and present at conferences. "A prime example is the upcoming conference on Infrared, Mid-IR, and THz Technologies for Health and the Environment at SPIE Optics East, which brings together an interdisciplinary group of researchers, presenting recent results in fields as varied as mid-infrared materials and devices, and medical and environmental optical sensing applications," she said.

One of the many sessions driving innovation to the marketplace is Tuesday's 1:30 to 3:10 p.m. conference, "Photonics in Automotive and Transportation," where R&D breakthroughs leading to greater efficiency and reduced pollution are discussed. This session is chaired by Christopher Baldwin of Systems Planning and Analysis, Inc. and Alex Kazemi from The Boeing Company. Baldwin will present new methods to detect particulates in turbine exhaust using laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy, and Kazemi will discuss the latest in fiber sensor systems for hydrogen leak detection.

One of Wednesday's highly anticipated sessions in life sciences will be "Towards In-Vivo Diagnostics" from 8:20 to 10:00 a.m., chaired by Olusola Soyemi of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and Bill Colston, Jr. of Lawrence Livermore National Lab. Papers in the session will present new findings in the development of molecular signatures for identifying known and unknown viruses.

"Optics East is shaping up to be a great venue to discuss current and future developments in the life sciences," said J. Paul Robinson, SVM Professor of Cytomics, Professor of Immunopharmacology & Biomedical Engineering Director, Purdue University Cytometry Laboratories and chair of the Optics East Life Sciences Symposium. "With the advent of new and revolutionary imaging, sensing and diagnostic technologies and applications, the life sciences are entering new and uncharted territories. The integration of mature optical tools is creating new capabilities in biological detection, while state-of-art tools bring new opportunities."

An Industry Perspectives session, which is free and open to the public, begins Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. Dr. Michael O'Connell, Director of Life Science Solutions at Insightful Corporation will discuss "Visual Data Analysis in the Life Sciences." In a Sensor Technology session, David Bannon, COO, Headwall Photonics will present "Hyperspectral Imaging for Industrial Applications." Kevin Liddane, Director, Daylight Solutions will discuss "Compact, Room-Temperature, Tunable, Mid-IR Lasers." William Yang, President and CEO, BaySpec will present "Pervasive Spectral Sensing: The Miniaturized Dream Beam." Dr. Dawn Gifford, Senior Optical Engineer, Luna Technologies, will review "Sensors for Fiberoptic Intrusion, Temperature and Strain." After that, Steve Anderson, Editor-in-Chief, Laser Focus World will present "Laser Markets and Top Technology Trends." The Industry Perspectives session concludes with a talk titled "Tech Commercialization: Seven Things You Must Know about Intellectual Property Protection" by Rick Lilly, Intellectual Property Analyst, Nerac.

Rounding out Optics East in Boston is the largest optics exhibition in the Northeast. Running October 3-4, and starting at 10:00 a.m., this free exhibition includes over 100 top suppliers displaying a full spectrum of optics and photonics-based devices, components and systems. The Optics East Exhibition provides a unique opportunity to research vendors, establish new contacts, see new products and services, and network with colleagues within the optics and photonics industry.

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