Member Programs

Join 432,000 other accomplished scientists, engineers, students, entrepreneurs and business leaders that make Optica their home.

Optica member programs provide you with opportunities to advance your scientific ambitions, expand your professional network and influence the future of optics and photonics worldwide. From cutting edge technical courses to professional development workshops for students through emeritus, membership has something for you at every step of your career. Join your business colleagues at Optica industry events and access quality information, unparalleled professional networking, and unique opportunities to grow your business.

Connect with colleagues and thought leaders while forging new collaborative partnerships. Optica structures meetings with live and on-demand technical content to accommodate your schedule.

5G Summit and Webinar Series 

Examine key critical 5G and beyond technologies that are becoming core business features.

Mid-Managers Summit
The is a professional development program designed for those in middle management positions.
Early Career Professionals 
The Society offers a variety of programs and resources for our Early Career Professional members.
Education Outreach
Check out our optical experiments to bring educational 
entertainment to the family while teaching them some physics!
Engineer Programs 
The Society connects you to a world of engineering research and a wealth of information at your fingertips. 
Executive Forum
The premier annual event for leaders in optical networking and communications
Industry Workshops
A unique opportunity for speakers and the audience to strengthen collaborations across the ecosystem and build a more effective business.
Sponsored Webinars 

Reach your target market and generate new business leads.

Student Programs
Get access to career building networking opportunities, industry defining conferences and events, and to cutting edge research.
Technology Showcases
Looking for new products for your organization and information about the latest technology? Get an in-depth look as Optica corporate members present and explain their cutting-edge technologies. 
How to become a Senior Member

16 February 2022, 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Join us for this informational session on the qualifications to become a Senior Member. Learn about the application process, reference letters, personal statements and more. Nominate yourself or a colleague today!

Register Now

How to become a Senior Member

26 January 2022, 8:30 PM - 9:30 PM

Join us for this informational session on the qualifications to become a Senior Member. Learn about the application process, reference letters, personal statements and more. Nominate yourself or a colleague today!

How to become a Senior Member

07 December 2021, 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Join us for this informational session on the qualifications to become a Senior Member. Learn about the application process, reference letters, personal statements and more. Nominate yourself or a colleague today!

Understanding Ethics in Publishing

On Demand

02 December 2021, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

The pressures for scientists to publish large numbers of papers in high-impact journals has led to growing concerns about the reliability and accuracy of the scientific literature. Dr. Burns will provide insight on the ethical obligations of all participants in the publishing process, summarizing some of the types of misconduct encountered by journal editors, as well as how these are dealt with to ensure the reliability of the scientific record. Dr. Taylor and Ms. Cohen will share some case studies for participants to discuss in breakout groups.

Mobile optical pluggables (MOPA) – solutions, technologies and standardization of optics for 5G

On Demand

11 November 2021, 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM

This talk will outline the recent work by 5 leading companies (Ericsson, Nokia, Sumitomo, Lumentum, II-VI) in the initiative called mobile optical pluggables (MOPA). The MOPA initiative has produced a 55-page technical paper outlining all relevant optical solutions for 5G networks. These solutions, called optical blueprints, cover all parts of the 5G network: the low-layer split (aka fronthual), high-layer split, and backhaul, for all relevant distances (2-80 km), and technologies (grey optics, WDM optics, packet multiplexing, PON). Finally, an outlook into future needs and technologies will be made.

Managing (and Leading) a Project Team

On Demand

09 November 2021, 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Principles for more effective technical leadership. As we scientists and engineers advance in our careers, many of us move on to roles where we manage a project, a team, or even an entire business unit. To be effective, we find we must learn many new skills that were not part of our technical training. Effective leaders often find that some habits and patterns of thinking they developed during their technical training don’t work so well when leading a group to achieve challenging goals. We also find that understanding how to manage a team is not the same as ‘leading’ a team to accomplish great things. In this webinar we will review some important principles that address some of the toughest questions that technical managers face: What’s most important for keeping a project on schedule? How do good leaders make hard decisions? What do you do when there’s no good answer? Is the maxim ‘Ask for forgiveness, not permission’ actually good advice? If you are a manager, or if you aspire to become one, this webinar will give you insight that will help you be more effective.

[CANCELLED] From 5G to 6G: Challenges and Opportunities

21 October 2021, 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

In this presentation, I will highlight major research and innovation challenges for emerging 6G system. I will examine key performance parameters (KPIs), and likely applications which require such stringent KPIs. I will also introduce technology enablers which will underpin 6G systems.

Concepts of Optical Communication Systems

On Demand

13 October 2021, 10:00 AM - 2:30 PM

Optical communication systems have provided ever-increasing data transmission capacities, and there is a set of core concepts that are fundamental to understanding many of the crucial technical areas. The intent of this course is to provide key background information to enable participants to facilitate an understanding of more advanced topics in this area.

Innovation in Optics: A Zemax Perspective

On Demand

07 October 2021, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Join Zemax CTO Sanjay Gangadhara as he reviews recent innovations in the optics and photonics industry and discusses how these innovations are being driven by key technologies such as diffractive optics and computational imaging. Dr. Gangadhara will also describe how simulation of these technologies enables rapid advancements in applications from data communications to LIDAR, medical imaging to mixed reality.

Coherent optical communication for B5G and 6G fronthaul

On Demand

25 August 2021, 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Coherent optical communication has made great progress in the past decade, enabling a large capacity increase for long-haul and metro optical networks. As the cost and power consumption of coherent transceiver continuously decreases, its application in mobile fronthaul network is receiving increasing attentions. This webinar will introduce various aspects of coherent technologies in the scenario of B5G and 6G fronthaul, including high speed modulation, energy-efficient implementation of digital signal processing, point-to-multipoint architecture, resource allocation, and so forth.

Resilience: Career Growth and Insights

On Demand

19 August 2021, 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Sometimes we get lost in the throws of life- work, family, school, children, deadlines, deliverables, milestones, pregnancies, death, life. And while “life” is happening, we somehow believe we are “in-control”. In an instant, this sense of control can be shaken to its core by a death, tragedy, job loss or other life “shift”. March 2020 marked a shift in the way we lived and did business. While countries gave it various names- Shelter-in-place, Lockdown, Quarantine - the world saw a change in the way we lived our daily lives. People went from going to work every day to work-at-home, or in many cases, job shifts, furloughs or job loss. There are many items that are important in times like these – health and wellness (in all aspects of your being), safety, security, shelter, clothing, nourishment (to name a few). It can certainly feel like the carpet has been ripped from under you when circumstances change. Whether you are feeling the impact of COVID-19, a change at work or home, or you are getting ready to make a change, this workshop is designed to help you understand that you were made for such a time as this. This session will provide you with frameworks to use as you continue in your current role, and/or transition to your next opportunity and/or move to the next phase in your life. Each person’s transition is different, and we will provide you with tools to assist you in this moment in time, as well as reference material to assist you during your transition. Ultimately, you will walk away understanding that there is a purpose behind your path, and guidelines as to how to maximize it.

Laser Systems Engineering

17 August 2021, 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM

While there are a number of courses on laser design, this course emphasizes a systems‐level overview of the design and engineering of optical systems which incorporate these unique sources of light. Starting with a review of Gaussian beam characteristics and propagation, we then look at laser system optics, beam control and scanning, detectors specific to laser systems, and the integration of these topics for developing a complete laser-based optical system. The emphasis is on real‐world design problems, as well as the commercial off-the‐shelf (COTS) components used to solve them.

Can a Scientist Find a Rewarding Career in Industry?

On Demand

15 July 2021, 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

When considering a career in industry, many scientists face real challenges. We know that the private sector is a great place for engineers, but what about those of us with science training? Can we find a rewarding career path? Will we enjoy working in industry? In the last ten years I have interviewed dozens of scientists who have built successful careers in industry, seeking to learn what they enjoy about their careers and what strengths made them so successful. This webinar is a compilation of what I’ve learned from those interviews, as well as from my own private sector career, to answer that critical question posed in the title.

Power over Fiber in support of 5G and IoT

On Demand

23 June 2021, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

This webinar will introduce the concept of Power over Fiber (PoF) and potential applications envisioned of that technology in support of 5G networks with optical fronthauling using different types of optical fibers from SMF to MCF with SDM capabilities. It will cover dedicated and shared scenarios showing different tests on ARoF transmission for different modulation formats compliant with 5G New Radio (NR) standard. All as part of works in H2020 BlueSPACE ( and TEFLON ( Some proposals in the IoT environment will also be shown. It will be an open forum to discuss about the potential of PoF fostering the pending energy efficiency strategy in 5G networks and beyond.

Optical Networking an Enabler for 5G and Beyond

On Demand

26 May 2021, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Digital technologies have been identified as key in addressing fundamental challenges associated with societal and economic objectives, such as improved quality of living for citizens, sustainable development and economic growth. In this context, 5G infrastructures will play a fundamental role in bringing these technologies to society transforming their every day’s life in the way services are provided, and businesses are run. However, this transformation requires new service capabilities that network operators need to support including: i) connectivity for a growing number of very diverse devices, ii) ubiquitous access with varying degrees of mobility in heterogeneous environments and, iii) mission critical services, supporting highly variable performance attributes in a cost and energy-efficient manner. These demanding and diverse requirements bring the need of a paradigm shift migrating from closed purposely developed infrastructures into open elastic ecosystems able to support a variety of very diverse services and end-users. These ecosystems will rely on flexible architectural models adopting convergence and integration of a variety of network and compute technologies, network softwarisation, hardware programmability and disaggregation of compute/storage and network resources. In this context, the webinar will focus on describing the relevant ecosystem and the key role that advanced optical networking solutions can play in the 5G era and beyond. Performance evaluation results as well as relevant demonstration activities will be also discussed.

Access network evolution: convergence, virtualization and intelligent control for 5G and beyond

On Demand

24 May 2021, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

This talk will present some recent innovations in access networks architectures, protocols and technology to enhance support for 5G and beyond. It will explore how virtualisation and open networking have changed the research scene and boosted investigation of Machine learning and AI for development of intelligent control planes. It will also show evolution paths towards seamless integration of central office, edge cloud and wireless access.

5G and Manufacturing: Implementation Guideline for your Smart Factory

On Demand

03 May 2021, 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Imagine a world where intelligence is added to all elements of manufacturing. Picture a manufacturing floor where every single “thing” is able to produce, receive and analyze data (hence making every “thing“ a “smart thing“). Now, imagine that all “smart things“ are connected such that they can exchange data with each other, analyze the data, and make and execute decisions. When we move beyond the “thing“ being simply smart, to a place where we are: 1. Utilizing machine learning, artificial intelligence, and other forms of data science and analytics to improve manufacturing processes 2. Building digital threads and digital twins for cradle to grave track and traceability, and 3. Establishing connected communications within a digital supply chain then we are moving toward the true meaning of the smart factory. One can imagine the ease of tracking defects, the opportunity for new digital platforms and business models, and, most importantly, the change to the way we manufacture. This presentation will provide a "starter kit" for those on their road to smart factory implementation. Whether you are a novice or a veteran, this starter kit will teach/remind you of the key elements to keep in mind as you begin any implementation.

Optical Communication Technologies in the 5G Era

On Demand

29 April 2021, 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM

Optical communication networks are supporting a wide range of valuable communication services including residential services, enterprise services, and mobile services. The 5th-generation (5G) wireless brings to optical networks new requirements such as high bandwidth, low latency, accurate synchronization and the ability to perform network slicing and autonomous operation etc. In parallel, fixed broadband services are demanding higher speed, lower latency, wider coverage and better user experience. All these demands are driving the transformation of optical networks to a new generation as witnessed by 50G-PON, 400G-ZR, 800G long haul, FDMA-P2MP, superchannel-capable high-degree OXC, and beyond-C-band WDM. This OSA webinar aims to highlight the exciting technological advances in optical transport and access networks over the last few years and provide new perspectives on what to expect in the 5G era.

Optomechanical Systems Engineering

On Demand

28 April 2021, 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM

This course emphasizes a systems‐level overview of optomechanical engineering. Starting with the fundamentals of imaging, it reviews how optical system concepts flow down into optomechanical requirements on optical fabrication, alignment, structural design, mechanics of materials (metals, composites, and glasses), thermal management, and kinematic mirror mounts. The focus is on the fundamental principles underlying real‐world design problems, as well as the commercial off-the‐shelf (COTS) components used to solve them.

Tactical Technical Problem Resolution

On Demand

22 April 2021, 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM

All companies have things go wrong in their technical projects, from small things like a 2-week schedule delay to a large-scale product recall. How a development team handles these issues can make a big difference in their customer relationships, and therefore on their future business. No customer expects you to be perfect, but they do expect to be able to trust you when things go wrong, and they expect you to handle the issue in a professional manner. The Eight Discipline (8D) problem resolution process was developed for this purpose. In this webinar we will review the process and how to use it in an effective manner.

Influencing Others

21 April 2021, 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

The ability to influence others is an incredibly important skill, especially in situations where you lack authority. It allows you to handle situations better, be more emotionally skilled and can mitigate conflicts or difficult situations quickly. You will finish this program with powerful techniques suitable for a range of situations to positively impact others.

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