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December 2022

The 2022 annual conference of the Society, the IEEE Photonics Conference (IPC), was held in Vancouver, Canada, from the 13th to the 17th of November. The number of registrants was promising, exceeding the pre-pandemic level. IPC covers all aspects of photonics, including biophotonics, sensing, materials, fabrication, integrated devices, nanophotonics, plasmonics, microwave photonics, computational photonics, optical interconnect, lasers, communication, systems, networks, spectroscopy, imaging, and quantum photonics. There was a noteworthy increase in the technical contributions on quantum photonics this year. I had the honor to present Society Awards to many distinguished members, honorees, authors, and Chapter Chairs and leaders. I particularly enjoyed the convivial atmosphere of the conference that enabled meeting and discussing with researchers from diverse fields. It was a great opportunity to meet and converse with students who had limited opportunities to meet other members of the photonics field during the pandemic. More information on IPC can be found on the website

For the last column of 2022, it is worthwhile to look back at some activities and accomplishments for the year. One important objective for 2022 was to assess our publications portfolio and evaluate if our journals adequately cover the different photonics fields and meet the needs of our members, as well as the photonics community in general. Two orientations emerged so far. The first is a need to better serve our members working in an industrial environment and members wanting to expand their expertise in photonics by developing didactical material to facilitate the expansion of knowledge in a new photonics field and by providing guidelines on how to perform basic measurements. A second orientation relates to making state-of-the-art research results in photonics quickly available to the photonics community and in a form understandable by the wide audience of the Society. We are currently conducting an internal study and are in the process of commissioning an external study by scientific publication professionals with the goal of improving the value of our publication portfolio, for both the authors and readers.

The evolution towards open access of scientific and technical publications continued this year with the U.S. government putting forth a more pressing plan towards free access of publications funded by federal agencies. In a similar spirit of ease of access, there has been a major effort behind the scenes in 2022 to redesign the Society website to provide new and more easily accessible content, and even a podcast series. More will be shared on this in early 2023, as the website is set to launch in the coming months.

Another area where there has been significant activity in 2022 is with globalization. The Society is primarily structured by functional areas but local representation through chapters and regional entities is critical to develop communities and academic exchange. A significant growth in regional entities, such as in Latin America, Africa, and in the Middle East, has been championed by the Society’s Globalization Committee. The parent-IEEE is also working to reconfigure its geographic regions with discussions underway about dividing and merging regions to ensure there is equitable representation across its global membership. In the New Year, a formal plan will be presented to the MGA Board, which our Society believes will help improve our member activities in underserved regions, as well as further our expansion and reach.

Our presence in the community allows us to support student growth. Examples of this over the past year include, funding the International School of Laser Materials Science (SLIMS) in Venice, Italy and Uganda Section Hands-on Fiber Optic Technology Training. At SLIMS, thirty-eight Ph.D. received training in the principles of laser-surface interactions with bioprinting and 3D materials and state-of-the-art laser materials processing and additive manufacturing. In Uganda, the Fiber Optic Technology Training reached 140 undergraduate students at ISBAT University. The training taught the fundamentals and technical application of optical fiber connectors, measurements on fiber misalignments, cable preparation for termination, etc. Keynotes from local industry partners, like Liquid Telecom, and mini competitions were also held. Such engagement activities reach new audiences, prospective members, and innovators of tomorrow early in their engineering and photonics journeys.

The Society welcomes its new 2023 President-Elect, Perry Shum Ping. Perry has long been a dedicated volunteer, serving in multiple roles from founding chapters in both Singapore and China to serving as chair of a number of technical conferences, Associate Vice President of Chapter Relations, Global Strategy, and Vice President of Conferences for the Society. Perry is a Professor of the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering of the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China. Stephen Ralph, of Georgia Tech, United States, has also been appointed into the role of Treasurer for the Society in 2023, as Dan Marom, of Hebrew University, Israel, had completed his tenure. In addition, we are welcoming Juan Hernández-Cordero, Professor of Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), as our new Vice-President of Membership. Fatima Garcia-Gunning, of Tyndall National Institute, Ireland, has completed an abundant 3-year term, filled with new initiatives and broad outreach to the membership. Thank you Dan and Fatima for your dedication and service to the Society!

With regret, the Society’s leadership and staff share the very sad news of the passing of Cheryl Scott, Senior Conference Administrator for the IEEE Photonics Society. Cheryl served as an IEEE employee for over 22 years and was a dedicated friend, colleague, and mother. Many of us have fond memories of working with Cheryl through the Society’s Conference Council and seeing her smiling face welcome us at conference registration over the years. Cheryl will be deeply missed, and as Doug Razzano, Executive Director, has expressed, staff and volunteers alike will emulate Cheryl’s kindness, celebrate her life, and hold her in our memories as we continue the invaluable work she loved to do.

For many Society members around the world, the yearend is a period of reflection. As one year ends and another begins, the IEEE Photonics Society would like to thank you for your unwavering support, time, and dedication to the photonics community. Your contributions not only transform innovation, but the lives of many.

With much gratitude, we wish you a great year ahead with tremendous success and joy.

René-Jean Essiambre
President, (2022–2023) IEEE Photonics Society