Skip to Content

Affiliated Commission of

Affiliated Member of

ICO Awards

Maria L. Calvo (2008-2011)

ICO President (term 2008-2011), María L. Calvo, Head of Optics Department, Facultad de Ciencias Físicas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

ICO, the Place where the World of Optics meets

Dear colleagues,

It is a great honor to address this message to all of you who work, investigate and develop academic activities in the field of optics and photonics. I take the task of ICO President after the strong leadership of Ari T. Friberg.

During the last years we all have been concerned with the fast evolution of events in the world of science and also with the economical facts occurring in parallel. It is undeniable that the global economy influences all the aspects of our activities. The elusive strong link between technology and global economy is determining the growth index and essential indicators in the different regions all over the world. Economical indices reflect the emerging technological areas of influence in comparison with undesirable gaps that need be overcome. These general considerations are only a part of a general overview. ICO is an international body, associate to the International Council of Science (ICSU) and to the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP). International scientific bodies nowadays are particularly compromised to enhance the presence of science in our society. In this connection ICO has to reinforce activities in the areas of optics and photonics, in multiple and diversified issues inside academy, scientific institutions, industry and in general in all activities addressed to the education and training of young researchers and colleagues all over the world.

This task cannot be afforded by the sole action of members of our community involved in the ICO Bureau. The key is that all ICO Territorial Committees (51 at present) and Bureau Members be alive and dynamic offering collaborative initiatives to the rest of our community. Indeed, in the last General Assembly held in Sydney, Australia, July 9, 2008, two new Territorial Committees were admitted: Tunisia, whose admittance was already approved by the ICO Bureau in 2006, and Sudan. Thus, ICO is formed by a total of 49 Territorial Committees and 2 Associate Members, Ecuador and Morocco.

We shall meet challenges and difficulties to overcome in search for optimized and efficient ways of working under high coordination. And being consequent, I shall be in a position to assume my personal duties and to work closely with all Territorial Committees and Bureau Members. This will also be extensive to all those who in one way or another are also concerned about the expansion of optics and photonics in the world. The participation of International Societies with appointed Vice-Presidents at the ICO Bureau is an important join venture. Thus, EOS, IEEE/LEOS, LAM, OSA, OWLS and SPIE are participating with insights and relevant activities which do have a great value. ICO is also having a traditional connection with the "Abdus Salam" International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste (Italy). ICTP is an outstanding institution addressing very complete programs in many areas of science for training students and researchers, with a particular emphasis on developing countries and under the support of the UN. This is a very clear example of what ICO understands by international cooperation, having in mind the enormous difficulties that many of our colleagues are facing in some regions of the world to develop their careers and to achieve merited progress.

At the last General Assembly held in Sydney, Australia, July 9, 2008, a new Bureau was elected. With the renewal of the Bureau it is time to deeply thank the old Bureau members who are leaving, since they have completed 1 or 2 three-years term: René Dändliker, Past-President and Chair of the Nominating Committee, Alexander Sawchuk, Treasurer, Serguei N. Bagayev, elected Vice-President, Guofan Jin, elected Vice-President, Byoung Y. Kim Vice-President elected from industry and Chair of the ICO Prize Committee, Malgorzata Kujawinska, elected Vice-President and Chair of the Education Committee, John Love, elected Vice-President and Chair of ICO-21 General Congress, Glenn Sincerbox, Vice-President appointed by OSA and Past-Treasurer, Joseph Braat, Vice-President appointed by EOS, Ichirou Yamaguchi, elected Vice-President and Chair of the Galileo Galilei Award Committee, Pierre Chavel, senior advisor "ad personam", Past-Secretary and factor of the ICSU links, Yves Petroff, IUPAP representative. My deepest thanks to all of them for their tireless efforts in favor of ICO international projection.

It is also time to have in our memories those who unfortunately left us during the past three years: Arthur H. Guenther, ICO Past-President for the term 2002-2005, Gallieno Denardo, responsible at ICTP of the optics and photonics programs and local organizer of the annual Winter College, Roger Lessard, President of the Canadian Territorial Committee. They are leaving behind an enormous legacy helping us to pursue in our daily work.

The area of optics and photonics is certainly a suitable one for designing international activities towards the dissemination of new results and of emerging technologies, from which all societies and communities might benefit without restrictions.

The activities in optics and photonics in industrialized countries are very intense and have high international projection. However, these activities are fractioned and not well known in certain regions of the world. We all then require a decided support, in which the local academic and research institutions be also involved. Photonics is identified as a horizontal and key technology of the 21st Century, while some new fields involving micro and nano-technologies are in their early infancy. I do hope that we all could see in a not far future this emerging horizon, from which new generations could benefit to improve their quality of life and bring their hopes into being.

I am at your service for this three years term October 1, 2008- September 30, 2011.

Maria L. Calvo
ICO President