Society Spotlight: IEEE Photonics Society

Several new projects are under way

21 August 2013

Not only is the IEEE Photonics Society working to raise awareness about the field through participation in the National Photonics Initiative (NPI), it also launched several programs this year to increase its membership and keep its current members engaged. The projects include establishing a chapter in Delhi, India, as well as holding a new workshop there aimed at young researchers, showcasing its top female members in various IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE) venues, and beefing up its promotional activities. Its publications are also making strides.

“This year IPS is focusing on member engagement and industry relevance more than ever,” says Richard Linke, executive director of the society. “We see our members as IEEE’s eyes and ears out in the community, advocates who are representing our organization and society across the world.”  


The society is establishing its new chapter at the Indian Institute of Technology and is also holding the Workshop on Recent Advances in Photonics, on 17 and 18 December, at the university. The event is intended to attract the school’s graduate students and young researchers to the field. Experts will be presenting their most recent advances to motivate research and photonics-based innovation.

“We hope this biennial event will help significantly toward incorporating the spirit of innovation about photonics in young Indian researchers,” Linke says.


IEEE Fellow Dalma Novak, the society’s president-elect, and Carmen Menoni, editor in chief of the IEEE Photonics Journal, are collaborating with WIE to inspire and encourage more women to pursue careers in the field of photonics. Novak will be featured in an upcoming issue of the IEEE WIE Magazine, where she will discuss her work in the industry and her vision for the society in 2014. Both Novak and Menoni will be participating in WIE Online Chats later this year. These talks are housed on the WIE Facebook page, which has a following of more than 50 000 people. The society is also working to strengthen ties among its leading chapters with WIE chapters located in the same geographical areas.  


The society has increased its social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. It also launched a new online newspaper, called IEEE Photonics Daily, which includes updates on the society’s activities and news about the photonics industry culled from these various social media sites.

To help volunteers in charge of recruiting and educating new members, the society launched a monthly e-newsletter called Tools You Can Use. The society also streamlined its membership application and other outreach materials.


The society publishes four journals: the monthly, online-only, open-access IEEE Photonics Journal, the semimonthly IEEE Photonics Technology Letters, the monthly Journal of Quantum Electronics (JQE), and the bimonthly Journal of Selected Topics of Quantum Electronics (JSTQE).  It also cosponsors the Journal of Lightwave Technology, the Journal of Optical Communications and Networking, and the Journal of Display Technology.

The Photonics Journal has the distinction of being IEEE’s first open-access journal. It now has the fastest time to publication among all IEEE’s journals: seven weeks. It covers such cutting-edge topics as optical science, biophotonics, nanophotonics, and novel laser sources. Articles include supplemental content such as videos and interactive presentations.

JSTQE recently garnered an impact factor of 4.1, the highest number of citations per article for any journal in the society’s history and for its competitors. The journal includes articles about breakthroughs in such areas as nanophotonics, biophotonics, silicon photonics, fiber lasers, optical detectors, and solid-state lasers.

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