About SPIE

SPIE is a not-for-profit international professional society for optics and photonics technology, founded in 1955. It organizes technical conferences, trade exhibitions, and continuing education programs for researchers and developers in the light-based fields of physics, including, but not limited to: optics, photonics, and related sciences and engineering. 

Our chapter consists of a diverse group of both undergraduate and graduate students. We welcome all students from all levels of development or background, from first-year undergraduates to upper-level PhD graduates. We have students from many disciplines, as well. From chemistry to mechanical engineering and everywhere in between, all you need is an interest in optics and photonics!

Meetings & Events

Our chapter holds meetings monthly. Typically, we have a colloquium followed by a meeting to discuss chapter business or events. Speakers may include local business representatives from area optics and photonics companies, student talks on research or topics of interest, and more. Refreshments are always served! This semester we will be doing pizza. 

In addition to our monthly meetings, we also host events each month. Typical events may include invited guest speakers, participating in area science outreach (such as the Science Olympiad for middle schoolers), and local company tours. In addition, we also are listing OpTec Colloquiums, which may interest members who would like to learn more about current optics and photonics research happening around the world. These colloquium speakers are invited by MSU faculty and speak on the research they do. These are catered events, as well. 

Fall 2019 Schedule

Upcoming Events

  • Monday, November 25th, 2019, 6:00-9:00 PM
    • What: STEM Fun Night (Science Olympiad)
    • Where: Museum of the Rockies
    • About: Volunteer at this event to share optics with Science Olympiad participants! Run a booth with optics-related demonstrations and share your interest in optics with middle school and high school students. 
    • If interested, contact us directly and we will organize a schedule for volunteers. The main event runs from 6 to 9 PM, with setup and teardown before and after this time.
  • Monday, November 26th, 2019, 8:30-12:30 PM
    • What: Science Olympiad (Circuits Lab)
    • Where: 6th Floor Cobleigh Hall
    • About: This year the SPIE Chapter is captaining the Circuits Lab event for middle school students from across Montana. Volunteers are needed to help proctor the written and hands-on tests for circuits. Volunteers will also get free lunch from Avogadro's.
    • If interested, sign up to volunteer for the Science Olympiad here, select Circuits Lab (Div B) and email the SPIE secretary that you have done so.

Past Events

  • Wednesday, Novbember 13th, 2019, 4:45-6:30 PM
    • What: Company Tour
    • Where: Bridger Photonics, 2310 University Way, Bozeman (People will meet in the Barnard Hall Lobby at 4:45 pm and travel there. The tour starts at 5 pm.) 
    • About: Bridger Photonics is a local Bozeman company founded in 2006 by three MSU alumni. They design and build lidar systems for practical applications, namely precision industrial metrology and gas mapping. They do very exceptional and creative work using optics and photonics and have some cool and interesting stories, so we're excited to tour their facility and hear a little more from them. See the Bridger Photonics website here.
    • Due to limited space, please RSVP to the Bridger Photonics tour here if you plan to attend.
  • Thursday, November 7th, 2019, 5:10-6:00 PM
    • What: Meeting
    • Where: Montana Room (Norm Asbjornson Hall 359)
    • About: This meeting will be the last regular meeting of the semester. We will discuss the upcoming company tour at Bridger Photonics, continued cooperation with the Montana Science Center, and volunteering oportunities for the Science Olympiad.
  • Thursday, October 10th, 2019, 5:10-6:00 PM
    • What: Meeting
    • Where: Montana Room (Norm Asbjornson Hall 359)
    • Speaker: Natalia Kolnik, Director of Education, Montana Science Center
    • About: Kolnik will discuss volunteering, outreach, and programs at the Montana Science Center. In addition, we will briefly discuss other upcoming outreach events, networking opportunities, and company tour during this semester.
  • Thursday, September 26th, 2019, 5:00-6:00 PM
    • What:  Colloquium
    • Where:  Inspiration Hall, Norm Asbjornson Hall
    • Speaker: Prof. James C. Wyant, University of Arizona 
    • Title: From Professor to Inventor to Entrepreneur: The Excitement of High-Tech Innovation
    • Abstract: This talk will describe some experiences gained in starting and growing two optical companies, WYKO Corporation (1984-1997) and 4D Technology (2002-2018). Both companies designed, manufactured, and sold computerized interferometric systems for the measurement of surface shape and surface roughness.  Founding, growing, and cashing out of WYKO was an unbelievable experience that was more fun than I ever dreamed anything could be.  It was so much fun I felt I had to do it again.  Both the fun parts and the not so fun parts for both WYKO and 4D will be discussed.  The biggest surprises experienced and what I think are the most important factors in growing a successful high-tech company will be described.  The technology for the products of both companies will be briefly presented.
  • Wednesday, September 11th, 2019, 5:10-6:00 PM
    • What: Meeting
    • Where: 210 Roberts Hall
    • Topic: At this meeting we will discuss this semester's upcoming events, including an upcoming guest lecture, company tours, and community science research opportunities. The officers will also demo some of the chapter's outreach setups.
  • Thrusday, August 22nd and Friday, August 23rd, 2019, 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
    • What:  Catapalooza
    • Where:  MSU Campus, South of Wilson Hall
    • About:  Visit the SPIE booth at Catapalooza to learn about the student chapter at MSU. Chapter officers and members will showcase various demos and an email sign up sheet will be available.
Last updated: 11/21/2019