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Senior Membership

To qualify for the Senior Member distinction, individuals should have a ten 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 5 years of cumulative professional membership (Student membership not included).  Applications for the 2021 Class are now closed.


The following criteria is considered when evaluating Senior Member requests:

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

To be eligible for application or nomination, candidates must possess significant professional experience and/or service performance to include, but is not restricted to:

  • Publication of research paper/s as lead author in projects
  • Patents resulting from the research of the applicant
  • Books (co) authored by the applicant
  • Books (co) edited by the applicant
  • Awards and honors the applicant has won in recognition for technical contributions to optics related discipline
  • Teaching and education-related awards including optics
  • Development of new products/technology
  • Technical editing, patent prosecution or patent law, provided these contributions serve to advance progress substantially in Optics related fields

Some examples of service performance include:

  • Leading a project in optics/optics related field/technology in your business
  • Supervision of research team(s) or doctoral students
  • Science outreach and/or developing and delivering teaching modules in optics and related fields in university and/or community college/high school/K-12
  • Knowledge transfer to business

Some examples of active involvement within OSA include:

  • Reviewing articles for OSA journals and conference
  • Participation in OSA conferences and technical meetings
  • Participation in OSA technical groups
  • Active engagement with OSA local sections and student chapters
  • Volunteering at OSA meetings and on OSA committees/council
  • Education outreach efforts with Optics Suitcase and other OSA provided materials

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. 

  • An employer reference for candidate (optional).

 Submit Your Senior Member Request

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).