Special Events

Throughout the year, OSA takes its issues directly to Capitol Hill through special events geared to raise awareness of the importance of science and engineering among legislators.

Past OSA Sponsored Events

2010 Caucus Briefing: Lasers: Advancing Security, Health and Justice

Congressional Visits Day took place in April 2010

2009 Caucus Briefing: LEDs: Cities Investing in a Greener Future

Congressional Visits at IONS-North America 2009

Capitol Hill Day 2009

2008 Congressional Caucus Briefing: How Solar Energy Can Help Meet America’s Growing Energy Needs

2008 Congressional Visits Day (CVD)

CNSF Fall Hill Visits Day 2007

2007 Congressional R&D Caucus: Strengthening National Defense with Laser Technology

Capitol Hill Day 2007

Congressional Visits Day 2006

2006 Senate S&T Caucus on Advancing Energy Efficiency

CNSF Fall Hill Visits Day 2006


2010 Caucus Briefing: Lasers: Advancing Security, Health and Justice

Tuesday, Nov. 30
12 – 1:30 p.m.
2325 Rayburn House Office Building

The Optical Society, in conjunction with the American Chemical Society (ACS), held a congressional briefing on new laser technologies related to a wide range of national goals, from food safety to explosives detection. The laser, which was first demonstrated fifty years ago, highlights the potential of the federal government and the private sector to work together to provide technologies that advance our national goals.

Over the last five decades, the laser has become an integral part of our everyday life and can be found everywhere from high-tech research applications to scanners at the grocery store.  Lasers are also used to take accurate measurements and characterize materials, and new technologies are being developed for first responders in the field, forensic measurements, and methods to identify pathogens in foods and other consumer products. 

The following experts discussed current and future technologies related to lasers. Their presentations are also available below.

Lasers for CBRNE Detection
Jose Almirall
International Forensic Research Institute, Florida International University

Lasers for Identifying/Characterizing Pathogens in Food/Beverages
Steve Rehse
 Wayne State University

Crime Lab as an "End-User" of Lasers for Forensics
Edward “Chip” Pollock
Sacramento County District Attorney Laboratory of Forensic Services

Lasers for First Responders
Richard Hark
Juniata College

Moderator:
Tom Baer
Stanford Photonics Research Center
2009 OSA President

Additional information including video of the briefing can be found on the American Chemical Society's website.

2009 Caucus Briefing: LEDs: Cities Investing in a Greener Future

Thursday, Nov. 12
12 - 1:30 p.m.
B340 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C.

The Optical Society (OSA), in conjunction with the House R&D Caucus, is hosting a Congressional briefing on how solid-state lighting, such as LEDs (light emitting diodes), offers an efficient and green lighting source. According to government reports, lighting accounts for 22 percent of electricity usage in the U.S. Solid-state lighting is expected to significantly reduce the amount of energy needed for general lighting, including residential, commercial and street lighting.

Continuing advances, with the support of federal funding for energy efficient technologies, can accelerate progress toward creating a U.S.-led market for high efficiency light sources that save more energy, reduce costs and have less environmental impact than conventional light sources.

The following experts will discuss current and future technologies related to LEDs, why municipalities across the United States are switching to them, the cost savings involved and the role of government in the research and development of LEDs:

Ann Arbor: An LED City
Andrew Brix
Energy Programs Manager
City of Ann Arbor, Michigan

Green Lighting, Inside and Out: LED Lighting Examples
Mathew Sommers
Segment Manager
GE Lumination

Solid-State Lighting Program Overview: Moving SSL from Lab to Market
James Brodrick
Solid-State Lighting Program Manager
U.S. Dept. of Energy

Moderator
Alex Fong
Senior Vice President, Life Sciences & Instrumentation
Optronic Laboratories
Chair, OSA Public Policy Committee

Past Caucus Briefings:

Capitol Hill Day 2009

June 3–4, 2009

OSA, along with OIDA, the American Physical Society and IEEE-USA, is again hosting Capitol Hill Day -- a unique opportunity for members of these societies to visit directly with their elected officials in Washington, DC and make their voices heard on important science issues like federal funding for scientific research and development. This year’s event coincides with CLEO/IQEC in Baltimore. More information is available on the Capitol Hill Day 2009 Website.

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How Solar Energy Can Help Meet America’s Growing Energy Needs

A Briefing in Conjunction with the US House Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus

Friday, July 11, 2008
10–11:30 a.m.
1334 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC

The Optical Society (OSA) and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) hosted a briefing centered on how solar energy can play a far greater role in meeting energy needs in the United States and abroad. Solar power is produced through two main technologies: photovoltaic (PV) cells, which convert sunlight directly into electricity, and concentrating solar power (CSP), a utility-scale technology that can be combined with thermal storage to provide electricity even when the sun is not shining.

The United States has the potential to greatly expand the use of this clean and abundant source of energy, while also creating jobs and strengthening energy security. Demonstrating this potential is Germany, whose policies have allowed it to become the world leader in solar energy production in spite of relatively low solar resources (comparable to Alaska’s).

Click the links below to view the presentations.

Audio Recording of the Briefing Presentations (mp3)
Audio Recording of the Q&A Session (mp3)

Other event materials:

Alex Fong

OSA member Alex Fong welcomes attendees to the briefing.

Chuck Kutscher

NREL’s Chuck Kutscher describes the “other solar technology” known as concentrating solar power.

Panel

(L to R): Doug Hall, Chuck Kutscher, Fred Sissine and Rhone Resch answer audience questions after the briefing.

Doug Hall

Doug Hall of Corning explains how photovoltaic technology works.

Rhone Resch

SEIA President Rhone Resch covers how policy decisions affect the solar industry.

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CNSF Fall Hill Visits Day 2007

September 2007

On Sept. 17 and 18 three OSA members traveled to Washington, DC to voice their support of increased US federal funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF). Shawn Casey of DeVry University in North Brunswick, NJ, Danny Rogers of the University of Maryland in College Park, MD, and Brian Weinberg of Special Optics in Wharton, NJ took part in the Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) Fall Hill Visits Day. OSA was one of approximately 25 CNSF member organizations that participated and Casey, Rogers and Weinberg were among 40 scientists and engineers from 11 states who visited a total of 65 congressional offices.

The participants gathered in DC on Sept. 17 to meet and discuss strategies for their congressional visits the following day. That evening, a reception for the participants was held on the Hill. Reps. Vernon Ehlers (R-MI) and Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) were in attendance and made remarks.

On Sept. 18, the participants visited the offices of their elected officials, bringing with them the message of the importance of the National Science Foundation to innovation and to US competitiveness.

For more information on NSF, click the following links:

NSF FY 2008 Budget Information

NSF Award Summary by State

FY 2008 Leave-Behind Statement

To learn more about the importance of increased federal funding for science and technology and to contact your legislators directly about this issue, visit OSA’s Legislative Action Center. We encourage OSA members visiting the Washington, DC area to contact the OSA government relations team to make appointments to visit your senators and Congressional representative. Contact Lyndsay Basista, +1 202.416.1930 or lbasista@osa.org for more information.

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Strengthening National Defense with Laser Technology

A Congressional R&D Caucus Briefing

Sept. 6, 2007

On Sept. 6, OSA hosted a Congressional R&D Caucus briefing on Capitol Hill highlighting the ways laser technology is contributing to US national defense. A panel comprised of researchers working in the field of optics will discuss laser-based research being done by the federal government, universities and industry that will transform and improve military operations in the future.

More than 80 staffers and government relations professionals attended the luncheon event to hear about the latest capabilities in laser detection and ranging, laser reconnaissance, laser communication, laser weapon systems and more. Photos and presentations are available below.

Speakers included:

Moderator
Duncan Moore, PhD
Professor of Optical and Biomedical Engineering
Institute of Optics, University of Rochester

Targeting and Reconnaissance with Lasers
Robert Pack, PhD
Director
USTAR Directed Energy Sensors Technology Group
Utah State University
Presentation: Part 1 (PDF), Part 2 (PDF)

Lasers for Security
Douglas P. Crawford, PhD
Director
Solid State Laser Weapon Systems Directed Energy Systems
Northrop Grumman
Presentation (PDF)

Laser Communication in Space
Don Boroson, PhD
Leader, Optical Communications Group
Communications and Information Technology Division
MIT Lincoln Laboratory

Dr. Robert Pack speaking
Dr. Robert Pack of Utah State University discusses how lasers are used in targeting and reconnaissance missions.
Dr. Douglas Crawford
Northrop Grumman's Dr. Douglas Crawford presents information on high-power laser systems.
Dr. Don Boroson
Dr. Don Boroson, MIT Lincoln Lab, shares information on the latest laser communication technologies.
Briefing
More than 80 Congressional staffers and government relations professionals attended the briefing.

Click here to view the event invitation.

Click here to view the "Dear Colleague" letter from Rep. Rush Holt (NJ).

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Capitol Hill Day 2007

May 9–10, 2007

OSA, along with co-sponsors OIDA, APS and IEEE-LEOS, hosted a Capitol Hill Day event in conjunction with CLEO/QELS 2007 in Baltimore. Nearly 30 participants visited the offices of their senators and representatives to advocate for increased funding for scientific R&D and STEM education programs. More information and photos can be found at the Capitol Hill Day 2007 Archives.

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Congressional Visits Day 2006

March 28–29, 2006

Congressional Visits Day is an annual event sponsored by the Science-Engineering-Technology Work Group, a group with which OSA collaborates. This year more than 300 scientists spoke with their senators and representatives to stress the importance of research and science funding.

In 2006 OSA and SPIE joined forces to visit members of Congress during this event on March 28 and 29. Peter Delfyett (FL), Alex Fong (FL), Scott McCain (NC), Robert Breault (AZ), Jim McNally (NM), John Gonglewski (NM), Steve Pompea (AZ), Wayne Knox (NY), Carolyn Russell (NY), Frank Duarte (NY), Ralph James (NY), Silvia Mioc (CO), Keri Then (CA), Barbara Darnell (MA), Philip Stahl (AL), and Paul McManamon (OH) joined with more than 300 scientists, engineers and business leaders who made visits on Capitol Hill to express to Congress the need for increased federal investment in basic research and development, reiterating that federally funded research is critical to America's future competitiveness.

<%-- --%>
OSA and SPIE 2006 CVD Participants
Ralph James, Wayne Knox and Carolyn Russell
(L to R) OSA member Peter Delfyett, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), OSA member Alex Fong
(L to R): OSA member Alex Fong, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), OSA members Scott McCain and Peter Delfyett
(L to R) OSA member Alex Fong, Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Fla.), OSA member Peter Delfyett
 
Click images to enlarge

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Advancing Energy Efficiency: Solid State Lighting Innovations with Optics

A Senate S&T Caucus Briefing

On June 29, 2006, OSA hosted a briefing on advancing energy efficiency through solid state lighting as part of the Senate S&T Caucus. Leading professionals in the optics industry presented information about cutting-edge technologies being used to save energy. More than 70 staffers, media and government relations professionals attended the event to hear details on current solid state lighting programs in the US, research efforts and commercial products.
 
Speakers included:

Moderator
Alex Fong
Vice President of Sales and Marketing Optronic Laboratories, Inc.

The Government’s Role
Jerry Simmons

Deputy Director for Energy Sciences
Center for Physical, Chemical & Nano Sciences
Sandia National Laboratories

Tutorial and Overview of Solid State Lighting
Ghassan E. Jabbour
Director of Research and Development
Optoelectronic Materials and Systems
Arizona State University  

Industry Applications
John Ekis
Director of Sales
Lamina Ceramics

   
caucus

Jerry Simmons of Sandia National Laboratories focused his talk on the government’s role in advancing lighting technology and its ability to increase energy efficiency.

 
 
caucus

Ghassan Jabbour of Arizona State University presented information on LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) and the importance of nanoscience R&D to further this highly efficient technology.

 
 
caucus

John Ekis of Lamina Ceramics presented the industrial perspective of solid state lighting markets, today’s uses for the technology and tomorrow’s commercial potential.

 
 
caucus

To conclude the presentation, Simmons discussed current programs by the US government supporting solid state lighting research and development.

 
 

For more information on the event, contact OSA’s public policy department at +1 202.416.1499.

View the entire event presentation

See the event invitation

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CNSF Fall Hill Visits Day

September 2006

CNSF
CNSF
 

On Sept. 12 and 13, two OSA members traveled to Washington, DC to voice their support of increased US federal funding for the National Science Foundation. Professor Prem Kumar of Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, and Mike Millard of ITT Industries in Rochester, NY, took part in the Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) Fall Hill Visits Day. OSA was one of 27 CNSF member organizations that participated and Kumar and Millard were among 80 scientists and engineers from 25 states who visited a total of 101 congressional offices.  

The participants gathered in DC on Sept. 12 to meet and discuss strategies for their congressional visits the following day.  That evening, a reception for the participants was held on the Hill.  Reps. Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), Bart Gordon (D-TN), Vernon Ehlers (R-MI) and Rush Holt (D-NJ) were in attendance and made remarks.

On Sept. 13, the participants visited the offices of their elected officials, bringing with them the message of the importance of the National Science Foundation to innovation and to US competitiveness.

For more information on NSF, click the following links:

FY 2007 CNSF Leave Behind Statement

NSF FY 2007 Budget Comparisons

Chart on NSF Budgets FY2000-FY2007

Chart on NSF Budget and Authorization FY2000-FY2007

To learn more about the importance of increased federal funding for science and technology and to contact your legislators directly about this issue, visit OSA’s Legislative Action Center. We encourage OSA members visiting the Washington, DC area to contact the OSA government relations team to make appointments to visit your senators and Congressional representative. Contact Lyndsay Basista, +1 202.416.1930 or lbasista@osa.org for more information.