SPIE, the International Society for Optics and Photonics, Launches New Membership Magazine Photonics Focus

The bimonthly membership magazine will focus on photonics applications, career development, and the photonics industry

SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, launched Photonics Focus, its new membership magazine, on January 1st. The print publication will be distributed to the Society’s nearly 20,000 members on a bimonthly basis. Photonics Focus replaces SPIE Professional, the quarterly SPIE membership magazine, which had been in print since 2006.

SPIE Professional was initially intended to highlight entrepreneurs in the photonics industry, but, over the years, the scope shifted to focus on photonics technology highlights and the events and services of the Society.

Gwen Weerts, the managing editor of Photonics Focus, took on management of SPIE Professional in mid-2018, surveying readers on the type of content they wanted from the publication. “I learned that the title and scope of SPIE Professional were no longer aligned with what SPIE members and advertisers wanted from the magazine,” says Weerts. “We considered a reboot of SPIE Professional to better meet our readers’ needs, but ultimately decided to start anew.”

Photonics Focus was conceived to meet the interests of people working in and studying optics and photonics. New recurring sections – Field of View, Sources, Bandwidth, Luminaries, and SPIE Community News – are intended to address readers’ expressed desire for information about the photonics industry, recent notable publications, professional development opportunities, technology histories, and updates on the Society’s mission and achievements.

Weerts has recruited award-winning science journalists, professional engineers, physicists, and researchers to write immersive feature articles about photonics-enabled technology that are delivered in a modern and visually driven layout.

“Print media is experiencing a comeback, especially in niche publications,” says Weerts. “We want Photonics Focus to be the magazine you grab before boarding a flight to a scientific conference or heading for the subway on your way to work.”

The majority of Photonics Focus articles are available online for free. The full print version is included in SPIE memberships and distributed at major SPIE meetings, including SPIE Photonics West and SPIE Optics + Photonics. In the near future, SPIE plans to make the magazine available for purchase as an individual subscription to non-members as well.


The first issue of Photonics Focus showcases laser technology and applications, 60 years after the laser’s invention. It includes feature articles about the ZEUS high-power laser, a portable lending library of light-sheet microscopes, and astrophysical bodies that emit their own natural lasers.

About SPIE

SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, an educational not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based science, engineering, and technology. The Society serves more than 255,000 constituents from 183 countries, offering conferences and their published proceedings, continuing education, books, journals, and the SPIE Digital Library. In 2019, SPIE provided more than $5 million in community support including scholarships and awards, outreach and advocacy programs, travel grants, public policy, and educational resources. http://www.spie.org

Daneet Steffens 
Public Relations Manager 
[email protected] 
+1 360 685 5478 

The inaugural issue of Photonics Focus, the new membership magazine from SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

The inaugural issue of Photonics Focus, the new membership magazine from SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics