International Commission for Optics call for officer nominations: deadline 28 February 2017

The International Commission for Optics (ICO) is an umbrella body whose objective is to contribute to the progress and diffusion of knowledge in the field of optics, particularly through the organisation of scientific meetings. Through an annual subscription, the IOP is a member of ICO and acts as a liaison point between it and our members based in the UK and Ireland.

The ICO is currently in the process of seeking nominations for candidates to sit on its governing body, the ICO Bureau, which will be reconstituted at the ICO-24, Triennial Congress in Tokyo, 22-27 September 2017. The officers to be elected are president, secretary, associate secretary, treasurer and eight elected vice-presidents (two of whom must represent industry).

The ICO is requesting the IOP to submit nominations by 28 February 2017. Sitting on the ICO Bureau will allow IOP members based in the UK and Ireland to help influence the activities of the ICO to enlarge the presence of optics and photonics internationally, through activities that will support science and technology, education, the promotion of young researchers and entrepreneurship.

If you are an IOP member, and being nominated for one or more of the officer posts is something you would be interested in, please send Linsey Clark (International Officer, Institute of Physics) a short CV and/or biographical statement, which she will be able to submit to the ICO.

Attend the QEP Annual General Meeting on 7 September 2016

We notify our group members that the Annual General Meeting of the Quantum Electronics and Photonics Group will be held at 17:30 on Wednesday 7 September 2016 in the Roger Stevens Building in lecture hall LT17 (Level 7) at the University of Leeds, during Photon16 conference. See details on the venue.

Please note that participation in the conference is not required to attend the AGM.

The agenda of the AGM will include a short introduction to the group’s activities, how group funding is allocated, a brief on the group’s annual Doctoral Research Prize, and information on the group’s roadmapping by IOP. It will be an opportunity for enthusiastic members to express interest in joining the group committee and to learn more about the group.

We hope that you are able to attend and look forward to welcoming you in Leeds.


[Image Credit: Adam Simmons]

Leaving the EU – second call for evidence

Regarding the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee inquiry into the impact of leaving the EU on science, IOP are now looking to respond to their second call for evidence which focuses squarely on the risks and opportunities for doing so.

IOP have indicated that it would be extremely helpful if you are able to provide any input into their response to this second call. A pro-forma for response may be downloaded to help frame the response along the lines the Committee has requested.

In addition, if you have any additional evidence that you think would be helpful, IOP are still seeking evidence of more immediate effects of the Brexit vote on researchers, academics and industry to report to the House of Lords.

Please send any input and evidence to Daniel Lee – by 15 August. Thank you in advance.


[Image Credit: Niccolò Caranti]


Women in Optics industrial event @ Photon16

This year Photon16 conference at University of Leeds will be holding a special ‘Women in Optics: Working in Industry’ event to provide information and advice to academic researchers and PhD students on how to begin and advance a career in industry.

It will be an interactive Q&A session with three speakers (Dr Phillipa Timmins, Dr Susannah Heck & Dr Maria Serrate), with a diverse range of experiences, each giving a short summary of their career paths taking questions from the audience.

The event takes place on 7 September, 13:15 – 14:00 @ Photon16 at University of Leeds. Refreshments will be provided. Download more details.

Strong photonics presence among the IOP Awards 2016 winners

We congraulate all the IOP Award winners of 2016 who have now been announced. It is inspiring to see a large number of the recipients being recognised for their research and dedication to the field of optics and photonics, and related disciplines. Among those awarded are:

  • Professor Jenny Nelson (Imperial College London), recipient of the Faraday Medal and Prize, ‘for her pioneering advances in the science of nanostructured and molecular semiconductor materials.’
  • Dr Graeme Malcolm (M Squared Lasers), recipient of the Swan Medal and prize, ‘for his role in founding M Squared Lasers, and his contribution to the design and manufacture of transformative award-winning photonics products.’
  • Dr Alexandra Olaya-Castro (University College London), recipient of the Maxwell Medal and Prize, ‘for her contributions to the theory of quantum effects in biomolecular systems – in particular, to the understanding of exciton-vibration interactions and the emergence of nontrivial quantum behaviour in photosynthetic complexes.’
  • Dr Jacopo Bertolotti (University of Exeter), recipient of the Moseley Medal and Prize, ‘for his contributions to the understanding and exploitation of light scattering both in natural and in artificial materials.’
  • Professor Malte Gather (University of St Andrews), recipient of the Paterson Medal and Prize, ‘for inventing a way of generating laser light within live cells and pioneering the application of this concept for the life sciences, and for his work on organic LEDs, which find applications in the display industry and in biophotonics.’
  • Professor Martin Dawson (University of Strathclyde), recipient of the Gabor Medal and Prize, ‘for his vision and leadership in applied photonics, including pioneering contributions to optically pumped semiconductor lasers, diamond photonics and gallium nitride optical microsystems, and for fostering the international development and commercialisation of these technologies.’
  • Professor Sheila Rowan (University of Glasgow), recipient of the Hoyle Medal and Prize, ‘for having devised and implemented a range of refinements in precision laser interferometers, pioneering aspects of the technology of gravitational wave observatories.’
  • Professor Jeremy Hutson (University of Durham), recipient of the Thomson Medal and Prize, ‘for his pioneering work on the theory of ultracold molecules, which has provided fundamental insights into ultracold atomic and molecular collisions and which underpins recent experiments to create molecular quantum gases.’

The awardees will receive their prizes at a special award ceremony  and dinner hosted by the Institute later in the year.

EOS Early Career Awards

The European Optical Society (EOS) is actively supporting the career of young scientists by two awards, the EOS Early Career Award Women in Photonics and the EOS Early Career
Entrepreneur in Photonics.

The former is presented to honour a female scientist who has made outstanding contributions to photonics while the latter is presented to honour an individual who has made outstanding technical and/or innovative contributions to the photonics industry. Both awards are open to nominees born in 1979 or after and active in the field of photonics and consists of a diploma and an honorarium of €2500.

Details on the awards are available to download and online.

The application deadline is 15 July 2016.

Last chance to apply for IOP Innovation Awards 2016

Know a company that has created a successful innovation from physics? Ask them to enter the IOP Innovation Awards.

The IOP Innovation Awards are the only awards recognising companies in the UK and Ireland that have built success on the innovative application of physics.

Ask your network to apply and be recognised as being at the cutting edge of physics and business.

Winning companies will be given the opportunity to:

  • Attend a parliamentary event to showcase innovations
  • Engage with leaders in business, policy-making and academia
  • Receive an invite to the annual IOP Awards Ceremony
  • Receive media attention via IOP press activity and from local press

Entrants should be able to demonstrate business improvements or growth in terms of turnover or job creation; or substantive economic, societal and/or other impact.

IOP welcome applications from companies of all sizes. Previous winners have generated profit, secured jobs and improved efficiency in a wide range of sectors including oil and gas, medical technologies and high-tech manufacturing. You can read about their success here.

The closing date to submit an entry is 27 May 2016.

Please see the terms and conditions at or contact


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