To qualify for the Senior Member distinction, individuals should have 10 years or greater record of cumulative professional experience (since completion of first degree) in optics and/or optics related field and be an active member with a minimum of five years of cumulative professional membership (Student membership not included).  Applications for the 2022 Class will open 1 October.

Senior Member Distinction Criteria

The following criteria is considered when evaluating Senior Member requests:

  • Technical contributions and achievements relevant to the optics and photonics field 
  • Active involvement with Optica
  • Service to the general optics and photonics community
  • Awards and/or honors within the field
  • Publications and patents
Application Process

Applicants and nominators are encouraged to provide the following information through the online Member Designation & Program Application System each year by 28 February (12:00 EST/17:00 GMT):

  • A curriculum vitae or resume including (as available):  academic history, professional experience, service accomplishments, awards and/or honors, publications and patents.

  • A one-page narrative/personal statement providing significant professional and/or service performance. 

  • Two letters of recommendation from current Members.   Requestors will provide the names of their references through the application portal and reference will upload directly to the application. A student member cannot serve as a reference.

  • An employer reference for candidate (optional).
Applications will open 1 October.


For assistance, please contact the Membership Department (email:; Tel.: +1 202.416.1907). The office is open Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (U.S. East Coast Time).