SPIE (formerly the Society of Photographic Instrumentation Engineers, later the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers) is an international not-for-profit professional society for optics and photonics technology, 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.

FoundedJuly 1, 1955
TypeProfessional organization
FocusOptics and photonics related technologies
  • Bellingham, Washington USA
OriginsFormerly: Society of Photographic Instrumentation Engineers; later, the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers
Area served
Key people
2019 President: Jim Oschmann CEO: Kent Rochford[1]

The society publishes peer-reviewed scientific journals, conference proceedings, monographs, tutorial texts, field guides, and reference volumes in print and online. In 2018, the society provided more than $4 million in support of optics education and outreach programs around the world.

Former names

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 international society for optics and photonics.

Conferences and exhibitions

SPIE Conferences and Exhibitions connect optical science and the optics retail 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:

  • Eleven 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

All SPIE journals are peer-reviewed.

  • Advanced Photonics Co-published by SPIE and Chinese Laser Press, Advanced Photonics is a highly selective, open access, international journal publishing innovative research in all areas of optics and photonics, including fundamental and applied research.[2]
  • 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 retail 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) is 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

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

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 500,000 articles [3], with more than 18,000 new research papers added annually.

SPIE Professional

SPIE Professional was the Society's quarterly magazine that covered optics industry insights, technology overviews, career trends, and provided informational articles for optics and photonics professionals. It ran from 2006 through 2019.

SPIE Newsroom

The SPIE Newsroom[4] is a technical news website launched in March 2006. The SPIE Newsroom covers technical developments in optics and photonics. SPIE Newsroom articles are based around 13 technical communities. The communities are Astronomy, Biomedical Optics & Medical Imaging, Defense & Security, Electronic Imaging & Signal Processing, Illumination & Displays, Lasers & Sources, Micro/Nano Lithography, Nanotechnology, Optical Design & Engineering, Optoelectronics & Communications, Remote Sensing, Sensing & Measurement, Solar & Alternative Energy.

SPIE Open Access

SPIE started an open access program in January 2013 to promote knowledge of technology and retail industry developments in optics and photonics. All articles published in SPIE journals for which authors pay voluntary page charges are freely accessible.


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)[5]
  • Harold E. Edgerton Award (since 1989)[6]
  • Dennis Gabor Award (since 1983)
  • George W. Goddard Award (since 1961)
  • Rudolf Kingslake Medal and Prize (since 1974)
  • G. G. Stokes Award (since 2004)[7]
  • Chandra S. Vikram Award in Optical Metrology (since 2009)[8]
  • Frits Zernike Award for Microlithography (since 2004)[9]
  • Early Career Achievement Award (since 2008)[10]
  • SPIE Educator Award (since 2003)[11]
  • SPIE Technology Achievement Award (since 1979)[12]
  • President's Award (since 1966)[13]
  • Director's Award (since 1963)[14]
  • Joseph W. Goodman Book Writing Award (since 2006)[15]
  • Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation (since 2008)[16]
  • SPIE-Franz Hillenkamp Postdoctoral Fellowship Award (since 2018)[17]

See also


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