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Optics and Photonics for Sensing the Environment

11 July 2022 – 15 July 2022 Hyatt Regency Vancouver, Vancouver, British Columbia, British Columbia Canada

Optics and Photonics for Sensing the Environment (ES) focuses on using optical sensing to monitor all aspects of the environment, from point sources to global scales. Topics range from the development of novel technologies and their first field demonstration to long term applications in monitoring networks.


  1. Novel techniques for environmental sensing
    • frequency comb spectroscopy
    • recent developments in Fourier Transform Spectroscopy
    • supercontinuum light sources and their applications
    • integrated photonic sensors
    • stable isotopes and radiocarbon
    • fibre-based spectroscopic sensors
    • low-cost optical sensors and their networks
    • new technologies for remote observations
  2. Observations for environmental and climate research
    • in-situ measurements of air pollutants and greenhouse gases
    • ground-based remote sensing techniques, e.g. LIDAR, DOAS and FTIR
    • satellite and airborne observations
    • large-scale observation networks
    • aerosols and aerosol cloud interactions
    • measurements in the aqueous and marine environment
    • optical methods for the cryosphere, e.g. ice sheet, sea ice, permafrost
    • monitoring of the urban environment
  3. Industrial and agricultural applications
    • applications in wastewater treatment, oil and gas, waste incineration, renewable and petrogenic energy production, transportation, etc.
    • industrial process and quality control
    • safety applications
    • optical techniques for smart agriculture
    • fenceline monitoring
    • stand-off and extractive detection of plumes, leaks and fugitive emissions



  • Anuradha Agarwal, Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyUnited States
    Integrated Photonic Sensors in the Mid-Infrared Wavelength Range
  • Kevin Cossel, NIST BoulderUnited States
    Studying the Emissions from Oil and Gas and Agriculture and Links to Air Quality using Dual-comb Spectroscopy
  • Minghui Diao, San Jose State UniversityUnited States
    Airborne and Ground-based Observations of Water Vapor, Clouds and Aerosols, and Applications in Climate Research
  • Wei Jin, The Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHong Kong
    High Sensitivity Optical Fiber Spectroscopic Gas Sensors Based on Phase Detection
  • Benjamin Mills, University of SouthamptonUnited Kingdom
    Deep Learning for Particulate Matter Sensing
  • Grisa Mocnik, University of Nova GoricaSlovenia
    Measuring the Aerosol Light Absorption Coefficient - A Not-So-Easy Task with Relevance for the Global and Regional Climate
  • Joachim Mohn, EMPASwitzerland
    Clumped Isotope Laser Spectroscopy
  • Matthew Mowlem, National Oceanography CentreUnited Kingdom
    In situ Spectrophotometric Lab on Chip Sensors for Precision Metrology of Aqueous Chemistry in Extreme Environments
  • Sile Nic Chormaic, Okinawa Inst of Science & TechnologyJapan
    Near-Field Optics for Trapping and Manipulating Micro- and Nanoparticles
  • Adam Piotrowski, Vigo System S.A.Poland
    Mid infrared Photonic Integrated Circuits - A Path to Sensing Revolution
  • Lukasz Sterczewski, Politechnika WroclawskaPoland
    Chip-Based Mid-Infrared Vernier Spectroscopy
  • Ken-Ichi Suzuki, Trimatiz LimitedJapan
    Development of Underwater LiDAR and its Visualization Applications
  • Witek Tatkiewicz, University of ExeterUnited Kingdom
    CAPASOS Project: pCO2 Measurements on Autonomous Platform
  • Qiang Wang, Changchun Inst of Optic, Fine Mech & PhyChina
    Broadband Photothermal Spectroscopy for Gas Sensing with Two Frequency Combs



  • JanaJágerská, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Norway, General Chair
  • LukasEmmenegger, Empa, Switzerland, General Chair
  • JonasWestberg, Neo Monitors, Norway, Program Chair
  • GenevievePlant, University of Michigan, USA, Program Chair
  • IanCoddington, NIST, USA
  • LeiDong, Shanxi University, China
  • MikeHardesty, Natl Oceanic and Atmospheric Admin, USA
  • JaneHodgkinson, Cranfield University, UK
  • NazaninHoghooghi, University of Colorado Boulder, USA
  • ShokenIshii, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Japan
  • RandIsmaeel, University of Southampton, UK
  • DennisKillinger, University of South Florida, USA
  • CarolineKistner, Nanoplus, Germany
  • JohannesKunsch, Laser Components, Germany
  • RobertMenzies, JPL, retired, USA
  • WeiRen, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, China
  • MarkusSigrist, ETHZ, retired, Switzerland
  • JuhaToivonen, Tampere University, Finland
  • BelaTuzson, EMPA, Switzerland
  • EricZhang, IBM Research, USA


Plenary Session

Juliet Gopinath

University of Colorado Boulder

From water filtration to autonomous navigation: Using photonics to enable new sensing modalities

Light can be used for exquisite sensors that can measure rotation, materials, range, chemical composition, and even the workings of the brain.   Recent advances have enabled new modalities of ranging and detection of membrane fouling.

About the Speaker

Juliet Gopinath is the Alfred T. and Betty E. Look Professor of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering and Physics at the University of Colorado Boulder. She received her B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Minnesota and her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at MIT. She was a member of the technical staff at MIT Lincoln Laboratory from 2005 to 2009. Since then, she has led a research group at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her current research interests include ultrafast lasers, nonlinear optics, mid-infrared materials, spectroscopy, orbital angular momentum and adaptive optical devices. She has published 70 peer-reviewed journal articles and over 90 conference presentations. She is the recipient of an R&D 100 Award (2012) and is an Optica Fellow. She served as an Associate Editor for the IEEE Photonics Society Journal (2011-2017), the Associate Director for Cubit (2019), and currently is an Associate Editor for Optica.

Joseph Shaw

Montana State University, USA

Optical Exploration of the Natural World

I will describe lidars and passive sensors I have developed to explore the natural world. Examples range from lidars for mapping insects in the air or fish in lakes to radiometric and polarimetric imaging for measuring atmospheric radiation.

About the Speaker

Joseph Shaw is the Director of the Optical Technology Center, Distinguished Professor of Optics and Photonics, and Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana, USA. Dr. Shaw develops optical remote sensing instruments for applications ranging from laser detection of fish from airplanes to measuring clouds for climate science. He also is a passionate photographer and loves to use his pictures to teach about optics in nature. He is the author of the 2017 book, Optics in the Air, which shows and explains numerous photographs of beautiful optical phenomena that can be seen in nature. Recognition for Dr. Shaw's contributions to optics research and education include the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the Vaisala Award from the World Meteorological Organization, and the Award for Excellence in Talent Development from the University Economic Development Association. He received the 2019 G. G. Stokes Award from SPIE for outstanding contributions to optical polarization. Dr. Shaw is a Fellow of both the Optica (formerly OSA) and the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE).


Special Events

Optical and Photonic Technologies Addressing the COVID-19 Pandemic Needs (Joint AIS and Sensors)

Monday, 11 July 10:30 – 12:30

The photonics community has made a tremendous impact in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. These powerful optical and photonic technologies include everything from the development of rapid diagnostic tools to address the testing crisis to wide-spread population immunity screening sensors, from imaging and analytical tools used in fundamental virology research to vaccine and drug development, and from intensive-care patient monitoring sensors to decontamination and sterilization devices.  A joint session between Optical Biological and Chemical Sensors and Applied Industrial Spectroscopy will bring leading researchers from industry, government, and academia to highlight the most recent technological developments that not only address current challenges of COVID-19, but also better prepare our communities for the future healthcare crises.  This special session encourages abstracts that focus on current and evolving technologies that may result in sensitive, rapid, low-cost diagnostic tests, analytical platforms enabling new drug and vaccine discovery, sensors that monitor patients and guide therapies, and more. 

Derek Guenther, Ocean Insight, USA
Valerio Pruneri, ICFO, Spain
Small form factor flow virometer for SARS-CoV-2
Holger Schmidt, University of California Santa Cruz, USA
Optofluidic sensors for single SARS-CoV-2 biomarker analysis

Agri-Photonics Panel Discussion

Monday, 11 July 16:30 – 18:30

Continuation of discussion from Agri-Photonics I and Agri-Photonics II sessions.

Aparajita Bandyopadhyay, Indian Institute of Technology DelhiIndia
Alexsandar Rakic, University of QueenslandAustralia
Bassam Saadany, Si-Ware SystemsEgypt

Quantum Sensing Discussion

Tuesday, 12 July 11:00 – 12:30

This special session will provide an overview of the fundamentals of quantum sensors using atoms, ions, and solid-state defects and their state-of-the-art performances and applications. The overview will be followed by an audience Q&A and a panel discussion with quantum researchers on various topics, including optics-related challenges in quantum sensing and career paths in quantum.

Jennifer Choy, University of Wisconsin - MadisonUSA
Sara Mouradian, University of Washington, USA

From Student to Career: A Look Inside Different Career Paths

Tuesday, 12 July 14:00 – 16:00

Students can ask questions and hear from professionals in different fields about the steps they took in choosing their career paths, what it takes to be successful in their field, and what a typical work day is like and how it differs from graduate school.

Scott Davis, Vescent Photonics, USA
Mark Zondlo, Princeton University, USA
Jaakko Lehtinen, Gasera, Finland
Michelle Bailey, NIST, USA
Derek Guenther, Ocean Insight, USA

Recent Advances in Free-Space Optical Communications

Wednesday, 13 July 09:30 – 11:00

Join the Laser Systems Technical group for a special talk led by Szymon Gladysz followed by a networking reception. With several major companies like SpaceX, Facebook, Google, and hundreds of smaller companies pursuing several concepts involving laser communications technology, Gladysz will discuss the recent advances in free-space laser communications in atmospheric and underwater environments. Please use this link to RSVP:

Szymon Gladysz, Head of the Adaptive Optics Group, Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation, Germany


Image for keeping the session alive