SPIE and the University of Rochester Announce $1 Million Optics Graduate Fellowship

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The SPIE Graduate Fellowship will support PhD students in optics and photonics at the university’s Institute of Optics

BELLINGHAM, Wash., January 25, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, and the University of Rochester have announced the establishment of the SPIE Graduate Fellowship in Optical Sciences and Engineering. The $500,000 gift from the SPIE Endowment Matching Program will be matched 100% by the University of Rochester. The new endowment was announced today during SPIE Photonics West in San Francisco. This is the tenth major SPIE gift to universities and institutes as part of the Society’s ongoing program to support the expansion of optical engineering teaching and research.

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University of Rochester's Institute of Optics (Photo: Business Wire)

The SPIE Graduate Fellowship in Optical Sciences and Engineering will provide financial assistance to selected University of Rochester graduate students at the Institute of Optics working towards their PhDs.

"We are so grateful to SPIE for making this kind of investment in graduate education in optics," says Interim Director at the Institute of Optics Thomas Brown. "Our alumni have had important leadership roles in SPIE through the years – this will be a huge help in preparing the next generation of leaders in the optics community. One of the fun things about gifts like this is that it allows us to ‘invest in the best,’ to continue to search for future Nobel laureates, entrepreneurs, and engineers from all over the world to come to Rochester and be part of our growing family."

"The SPIE Graduate Fellowship in Optical Sciences and Engineering will create transformative opportunities for PhD candidates at Rochester’s Institute of Optics," says SPIE President Anita Mahadevan-Jansen. "Rochester has a long history of successful optics education and many of today’s leading optics researchers have emerged from its Institute of Optics. This endowed fund is a critical partnership between SPIE and the University of Rochester, one that will help ensure that pipeline of leaders continues for generations to come."

The SPIE Endowment Matching Program was established in 2019 to increase international capacity in the teaching and research of optics and photonics, and, with this latest gift, has provided nearly $4 million in matching gifts, resulting in more than $10 million in dedicated funds. The SPIE Endowment Matching Program supports optics and photonics education and the future of the industry by contributing a match of up to $500,000 per award to college, institute, and university programs with optics and photonics degrees, or with other disciplines allied to the SPIE mission.

About SPIE

SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, brings engineers, scientists, students, and business professionals together to advance light-based science and technology. The Society, founded in 1955, connects and engages with our global constituency through industry-leading conferences and exhibitions; publications of conference proceedings, books, and journals in the SPIE Digital Library; and career-building opportunities. Over the past five years, SPIE has contributed more than $22 million to the international optics community through our advocacy and support, including scholarships, educational resources, travel grants, endowed gifts, and public-policy development. www.spie.org.

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