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IEEE LEOS Scottish Chapter

IEEE Lasers & Electro-Optics Society


The Lasers and Electro-Optics Society is a professional society of the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers

The field of interest of the society covers lasers, optical devices, optical fibres, and associated lightwave technology, and their applications in systems and subsystems in which quantum electronic devices are key elements. The society is concerned with the research, development, design, manufacture, and applications of materials, devices and systems and with the various scientific and technological activities which contribute to the useful expansion of the field of quantum electronics and applications.

LEOS Scottish Chapter

The LEOS Scottish Chapter was formed in February 1996. It has been a very active Chapter since its formation and was voted ‘Chapter-of-the-Year’ in 1997, 1998 and 2000, Most Innovative Chapter in 1999, 2001 and 2003, and received IEEE/LEOS UKRI Section Awards in 2000 and 2001

The Chapter fulfils a valuable local role in Scotland by providing a much-needed forum for interaction between our large laser and optoelectronics research population in different universities and industry which other societies either do not provide or are London-based with significant travel cost implications to meetings for our graduate students. The committee work to maintain the Chapter as a vibrant professional group in Scotland and to promote membership.

The goals of the Chapter are mainly based on nurturing the graduate students studying in Scotland. We aim to supplement the training base of graduate students via talks by internationally renowned researchers. To achieve this we host a wide range of outstanding speakers, who make dedicated trips to Scotland to participate in our meetings. The speakers include IEEE/LEOS Distinguished Lecturers and many other leading international figures. We make strenuous efforts to broaden the scope of our meetings, to cover as wide a range of community interests as possible. In the last year, in addition to meetings based around the IEEE/LEOS Distinguished Lecturers, we have organised dedicated meetings covering Photonic Bandgaps and Holey Fibres, Novel Light Sources and Displays, Quantum Cascade Lasers, and Ultrafast Photonics.

The “best practice” for the Scottish Chapter, we believe, is our unique format of Chapter meetings. Most of our events, rather than being stand-alone colloquia, are dedicated half-day meetings involving several invited speakers culminating in a keynote presentation. The keynote speaker is often, though not always, one of the IEEE/LEOS Distinguished Lecturers for the year, and we try to organise a “themed” meeting around each keynote speaker. Our Chapter meetings attract commercial sponsorship. In return, companies contribute an exclusive tabletop exhibition of their products during our afternoon/evening Chapter meetings and are granted publicity via our Web pages (including links to company pages). Sponsorship money has been used to supplement the LEOS subsidy in providing expenses for visiting speakers and refreshments, (coffees, cheese and wine). The meetings attract attendance from across the 10 Scottish universities (within an 80mile diameter) active in lasers and optoelectronics and related industry. The venue for these meetings is rotated between several of the main Central Belt universities in Scotland. A guest organiser from the host university is normally designated to help co-ordinate the event and, with help from Committee members, to put the programme together. The variation in venue, theme and organiser is the most important factor in keeping current members actively involved, and in attracting new members. The form of our Chapter meetings helps us meet our goal of contributing to the professional development of graduate students; they are given the opportunity to gain experience of presenting talks and posters at technical meetings. The meetings also provide a forum for graduate students to meet students in similar fields from other universities.

In addition to our dedicated Chapter meetings we organise meetings in collaboration with other organisations These include the Institute of Physics (IOP), the Scottish Optoelectronics Association (SOA), Scottish Enterprise, and the Scottish Universities Summer Schools in Physics.

A Scottish Enterprise/LEOS Entrepreneurship Club has been established to introduce graduate students and post-docs to entrepreneurship opportunities. The club has mentors who are key entrepreneurs, and also advisors, who offer advice on the possibility of establishing start-up companies on an informal basis. Several special club workshops are held each year and this year we have the theme of bio-photonics for these workshops. In October there was a joint meeting with the Institute of Physics on Bio-Photonics in Biotechnology and Medicine with international speakers from both industry and universities. There are 3 further meetings on this theme planned for the coming year.

The Chapter also participates in the organization of international conferences. In particular, we were very pleased to be the hosts of the 15th Annual Meeting of IEEE/LEOS in November 2002, especially as this was the first time the meeting had been held outside of the US and Dependent Territories. We were equally pleased to play a role in the local co-ordination and programme committee. Everyone involved believed the meeting to have been a great success. An initiative by Scottish Enterprise, following a suggestion from the Chapter Committee, created a special fund that allowed many more Scottish University graduate students to attend than would otherwise have been the case. In May 2005 we had the pleasure to host the 17th Indium Phosphide and Related Materials Conference which was held in Glasgow.



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