The 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. Next year we have the pleasure to
host the 17th Indium Phosphide and Related Materials Conference which
will be held in Glasgow in May 2005. Some of the Chapter committee are
involved in the organisation and we are looking forward to welcoming
attendees to Glasgow.
Further information on Scottish Chapter activities can be found on our