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SPIE logo, June 2014.png
Founded July 1, 1955
Type Professional Organization
Focus Optics and photonics related technologies
  • Bellingham, Washington USA
Origins Formerly: Society of Photographic Instrumentation Engineers; later, the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers
Area served
Method Conferences, Publications, Trade Shows
Key people

2017 President: Glenn Boreman

CEO: Eugene Arthurs
Slogan Connecting Minds. Advancing Light.
Website spie.org

SPIE is an American not-for-profit professional society for optics and photonics technology,[1] founded in 1955. It organizes technical conferences, trade exhibitions, and continuing education programs for researchers and developers in the light-based fields of physics, including: optics, photonics, and imaging engineering. SPIE is most known for Photonics West, held in San Francisco.

The society publishes peer-reviewed scientific journals, conference proceedings, monographs, tutorial texts, field guides, and reference volumes in print and online. In 2015, the society provided more than $5.2 million in support of optics education and outreach programs around the world.

Former names[edit]

On July 1, 1955 SPIE was founded as the Society of Photographic Instrumentation Engineers in California to specialize in the application of photographic instrumentation. In 1964 the society changed its name to the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.

In 1977 SPIE moved its headquarters to Bellingham, Washington, and in 1981 the Society began doing business as (DBA) SPIE—The International Society for Optical Engineering to reflect a changing membership. In 2007, the society ended its DBA and is now referred to simply as "SPIE."


The mission of SPIE is to serve scientists and engineers in industry, academia, and government working in a wide variety of fields that utilize some aspect of optics and photonics, the science and application of light.

Individuals involved with the society conduct research and apply new techniques to the design and development of technologies such as semiconductor manufacturing, robotics, medical imaging, next-generation displays, battlefield technologies, entertainment, biometric security, image processing, communications, astronomy, and much more. SPIE has members from around the world, including North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia, with central offices in North America and Europe.

Conferences and exhibitions[edit]

Photonics West is one of the major SPIE conferences.

SPIE Conferences and Exhibitions connect optical science and the optics industry. The society is affiliated with over 140 meetings and events each year.


The society's first publication, SPIE Newsletter, was launched in 1957. In 1959, the society published its first book, SPIE Photographic Instrumentation Catalog. The newsletter morphed into the society’s first journal, now known as Optical Engineering, SPIE’s flagship monthly journal. Throughout the years, SPIE has created many publications including journals, magazines, newspapers, websites, and books.

SPIE publishes:

  • Ten scientific online journals (Open Access materials available)
  • SPIE Technical Paper Proceedings (see Proceedings of SPIE)
  • At least 25 original technical books per year via SPIE Press

Scientific journals[edit]

All SPIE journals are peer-reviewed.

  • Journal of Applied Remote Sensing (JARS), is an online-only, quarterly published journal on remote sensing.
  • Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems (JATIS) is published quarterly and covers development, testing, and application of telescopes, instrumentation, techniques, and systems for ground- and space-based astronomy.
  • Journal of Biomedical Optics (JBO), is published monthly with the latest on optical technology in health care and research.
  • Journal of Electronic Imaging (JEI), co-published bi-monthly with the Society for Imaging Science and Technology, publishes papers on electronic imaging science and technology.
  • Journal of Medical Imaging (JMI) is published quarterly and covers fundamental and translational research and applications focused on photonics in medical imaging, which continue to yield physical and biomedical advancements in early detection, diagnostics, and therapy of disease as well as in the understanding of normal.
  • Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS (JM3), is published quarterly and contains papers on technologies for the needs of the electronics, micro-opto-electro-mechanical systems, and photonics industries.
  • Journal of Nanophotonics (JNP), is an online-only, quarterly published journal on fabrication and application of nanostructures that generate or manipulate light from the infrared to the ultraviolet regimes.
  • Journal of Photonics for Energy (JPE) is an e-journal published quarterly that covers fundamental and applied research applications of photonics for renewable energy harvesting, conversion, storage, distribution, monitoring, consumption, and efficient usage.
  • Neurophotonics, published quarterly, is at the interface of optics and neuroscience covering advances in optical technology applicable to study of the brain and their impact on the basic and clinical neuroscience applications.
  • Optical Engineering (OE), the flagship monthly journal of the society, with papers on research and development in all areas of optics, photonics, and imaging science and engineering.

SPIE Press[edit]

SPIE Press, the only independent, not-for-profit book publisher specializing in optics and photonics technologies, produces print monographs, handbooks, tutorial texts, and field guides, as well as electronic books and apps for mobile devices. Its origins date back to 1989 with the publication of The New Physical Optics Notebook.

Digital Library[edit]

The SPIE Digital Library publishes online technical papers from SPIE Journals and Conference Proceedings from 1962 to the present, as well as eBooks published by SPIE Press. There are more than 450,000 articles with more than 18,000 new research papers added annually.

SPIE Professional[edit]

SPIE Professional is a quarterly magazine that covers optics industry insights, technology overviews, career trends, and provides informational articles for optics and photonics professionals.

SPIE Newsroom[edit]

The SPIE Newsroom includes industry news and technical articles organized by topic:

  • astronomy
  • biomedical optics and medical imaging
  • defense and security
  • electronic imaging and signal processing
  • illumination and displays
  • lasers and sources
  • micro/nano lithography
  • nanotechnology
  • optical design and engineering
  • optoelectronics and communications
  • remote sensing
  • sensing and measurement
  • solar and alternative energy

The type of content includes: technical articles related to optics and photonics news, SPIE.TV, SPIE Announcements, member news, and product updates. RSS Feeds are available on different topics.

SPIE Open Access[edit]

SPIE started a new Open Access program January 2013 to promote knowledge transfer, education, and awareness of technology and industry developments in optics and photonics. All new articles published in SPIE journals for which authors pay voluntary page charges are freely accessible to anyone.


SPIE Career Center[edit]

The SPIE Career Center is a recruitment resource for companies and professionals in the optics and photonics community. Candidates can post their CV/resume online, search the job board, and access additional resources for career advancement. Employers and recruiters can post their jobs online and conduct targeted resume searches.


SPIE provides more than 1,100 educational courses and workshops in various formats including at SPIE conferences, online, via DVDs and videos, and in-company training courses. SPIE has been approved as an accredited provider of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) by IACET, The International Association for Continuing Education and Training.


The society's membership includes more than 18,500 professionals, students, and organizations. Membership provides conference, course, and publication rate reductions, a complimentary online journal, a quarterly subscription to SPIE Professional, 10 SPIE Digital Library downloads, voting rights, the opportunity for students to form Student Chapters for additional benefits, and much more.

Those "distinguished through outstanding contributions in the relevant technologies"[2] are eligible for election as SPIE Fellows. Since the society began in 1955, more than 1,200 members have been elected as Fellows. In 2017, SPIE promoted 71 members as new Fellows.[3]


The society issues several awards:

  • Gold Medal of the Society Award (since 1977)
  • Britton Chance Biomedical Optics Award (since 2012)
  • Biophotonics Technology Innovator Award (since 2013)
  • A.E. Conrady Award (since 1990)[4]
  • Harold E. Edgerton Award (since 1989)[5]
  • Dennis Gabor Award (since 1983)
  • George W. Goddard Award (since 1961)
  • Rudolf Kingslake Medal and Prize (since 1974)
  • G. G. Stokes Award (since 2004)[6]
  • Chandra S. Vikram Award in Optical Metrology (since 2009)[7]
  • Frits Zernike Award for Microlithography (since 2004)[8]
  • Early Career Achievement Award (since 2008)[9]
  • SPIE Educator Award (since 2003)[10]
  • SPIE Technology Achievement Award (since 1979)[11]
  • President's Award (since 1966)[12]
  • Director's Award (since 1963)[13]
  • Joseph W. Goodman Book Writing Award (since 2006)[14]
  • SPIE Prism Awards (since 2008)[15]

See also[edit]


  1. Member Guide 2003, Bellingham, WA: Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers, p. 24.
  2. "SPIE launches two new e-journals", Bellingham, WA: SPIE, SPIE Professional January 2007, p. 27.
  3. "New grant funds student collaboration", Bellingham, WA: SPIE, SPIE Professional January 2007, p. 30.
  4. "Top notch research", Bellingham, WA: SPIE, SPIE Professional April 2007, p. 26.
  5. "Chapters reach out to communities", Bellingham, WA: SPIE, SPIE Professional April 2007, p. 35.

External links[edit]