International OSA Network of Students Celebrates 10 Years of Bringing Young Professionals Together

7 June 2017

International OSA Network of Students Celebrates 10 Years
of Bringing Young Professionals Together

WASHINGTON – For the past decade, The Optical Society (OSA) has supported and sponsored the International Network of Students Program (IONS), which encourages student chapters to organize meetings and fosters leadership and collaboration among optics and photonics students. Since the first meeting in 2007, IONS conferences have provided excellent peer-to-mentor and peer-to-peer networking opportunities, skill-building technical sessions and created lifelong friendships.

“These technical conferences, which are hosted and managed by students and designed for students, help to foster the next generation of optics and photonics leaders in industry and academia with supportive programming that serves the unique needs of students,” said Antigone Marino, 2016 OSA Ambassador. Marino attended the first IONS meeting in Barcelona, Spain and is a past member of the steering committee.  

One key aspect the IONS meetings is that at least one of the students organizing the event must have previously attended an IONS meeting. This helps organizers get a better idea of how the program is put together and provides valuable experience when putting together their own meeting. Organizers of IONS meetings benefit from getting hands-on experience in planning an event, which generally involve three to four days of technical presentations by students, a keynote presentation from a distinguished speaker and other networking opportunities that allow attendees to experience the host city.

The concept of the IONS meeting was first introduced at the 2006 OSA Frontiers in Optics Laser Science APS/DLS meeting. Since the first IONS meeting in 2007, there have been 55 meetings held on nearly every continent. This year, OSA is proud to sponsor eight IONS conferences around the world, with an additional ten IONS meetings already planned for 2018. The list of 2017 conferences includes:  
2017 IONS Conferences:
OSA supports IONS conferences with two guaranteed speakers from its Traveling Lecturer Program and a grant of up to $7,000 USD for student travel grant funding, professional development programming, conference promotion and youth education outreach. In addition, OSA provides each IONS meeting with a conference website as well as staff to help market the events.
About The Optical Society
 Founded in 1916, The Optical Society (OSA) is the leading professional organization for scientists, engineers, students and business leaders who fuel discoveries, shape real-life applications and accelerate achievements in the science of light. Through world-renowned publications, meetings and membership initiatives, OSA provides quality research, inspired interactions and dedicated resources for its extensive global network of optics and photonics experts. For more information, visit
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