16 - 21 June 2024
Yokohama, Japan

Chair and committee information for Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation

A guide to successful chair and committee participation
Chairs and committees at SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation

Thank you for your leadership

The responsibilities of being conference chair, program committee member, or session chair are crucial to the success of SPIE events, and it is you, our incredible volunteers, who are the true engine of the Society. On behalf of the Board of Directors and the entire staff of SPIE, thank you for volunteering your time and dedication—we truly could not do this without you.

Below you'll find links for event policies and information specific for each of these roles. All volunteer leadership roles with SPIE are tasked with furthering and promoting a culture of inclusion and pushing diversity of ideas. If you have any questions or concerns at any point along the way, please don't hesitate to contact your conference program coordinator.

Important dates

Abstracts due 15 November 2023
Registration opens March 2024
Authors notified and program posts online 28 February 2024
Submission system opens for manuscripts and poster PDFs* 15 April 2024
Poster PDFs due for spie.org preview and publication 22 May 2024
Manuscripts due 29 May 2024
Advance upload deadline for oral presentation slides** 14 June 2024

*The contact author or speaker must register prior to uploading
**After this date, slides must be uploaded on site at Speaker Check-in

Promote your conference


Twitter logo Facebook logo Instagram logo Youtube logo Linkedin logo

Download the #SPIEastro social media toolkit!
Use this toolkit and the included images when posting about your conference and the overall event on social media.

Four women researchers stand together at Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation

Important resources for conference chairs

Visit the resources page for SPIE conference chairs to find more information about the following responsibilities :

  • Conference volunteer responsibilities and best practices
  • Call for papers guidelines
  • Abstract solicitation and submission
  • Review of abstracts and manuscripts
  • Registration fees, sponsorships, student support
  • Submit a course proposal to SPIE
  • Submit your conference program
  • Final program information
  • Onsite responsibilities
  • Chairing a session

And reference this useful information to help clarify SPIE processes and procedures:

Program Committee responsibilities and expectations

The program committee is integral to building a diverse program and is formed by the conference chair(s). A well-structured program committee will have a range of expertise to span the subject areas, including acquaintance with well-established and recognized leaders in the field from academia, government, and industry. To remain on a conference program committee, one must be consistently engaged. Below is a list of tasks and responsibilities for the role of SPIE conference program committee:

  • Be available and responsive to conference chairs and SPIE staff, giving technical input as requested
  • Be aware of emerging trends in the field
  • Assist conference chairs in publicizing the conference, identifying key speakers, and soliciting submissions to the conference
  • Review assigned submissions
  • Maintain engagement with the conference throughout its cycle
  • Engage with the conference leadership to build a successful conference by contributing in the following ways:
    • Serve as session chair
    • Submit and present paper(s)
    • Ask questions during Q&As
    • Engage with other participants
    • Regularly publish work in the conference proceedings
  • Represent SPIE in a professional and ethical manner. Promote diversity in all aspects. Review and familiarize yourself with SPIE code of conduct and anti-harassment policy
  • Report unethical or inappropriate behavior: http://www.spie.ethicspoint.com

Program committee members who are essentially inactive will be rotated off after two or three successive occasions exhibiting negligible involvement, in the interests of efficiency, and to make space for new active committee members.

Session Chair responsibilities and expectations

A session chair plays a key role in ensuring the smooth-running of an SPIE conference. The session attendees will be more engaged if the session chair proactively leads and has done homework in advance about the speakers and their expertise. Below is a list of tasks and responsibilities for the role of an SPIE session chair:

  • Introduce the session topic, speakers, maintain the schedule, and be prepared for the unexpected
  • Ensure that the session starts on schedule and that each speaker stays within their allotted time limit for both the presentation and related questions and answers (Q&A)
  • Create a sense of coherence throughout the session with smooth transitions from one speaker and topic to the next
  • Introduce each speaker in a warm and welcoming manner, making an effort to pronounce their name clearly and correctly, mention which institution they are from, and perhaps their educational background and research interests
  • Manage the timing of the speakers and the session. If a speaker is running long with their presentation, respectfully interrupt to declare their time is up so the session can stay on time
  • If, in spite of efforts, the session is falls behind schedule, weigh the best options for getting it back on track; e.g., reduce Q&As, shorten introductions, or run into a scheduled break if that is an option
  • Manage the Q&A period by encouraging questions, mediating interactions, and keeping track of the time by announcing the number of minutes remaining
  • If a speaker fails to appear, fill the open time with a standby paper, specific discussion topics, question and answer session, or an open discussion
  • After the session, submit the session report via one of three ways:
    1. the SPIE Conferences mobile app
    2. emailing the Session Report Form PDF to  SessionReports@spie.org
    3. returning the printed Session Report Form to 1) Chair Services; or 2) Speaker Check-In; or 3) SPIE Registration desk.
  • Represent SPIE in a professional and ethical manner. Promote diversity in all aspects. Review and familiarize yourself with SPIE code of conduct and anti-harassment policy
  • Report unethical or inappropriate behavior: http://www.spie.ethicspoint.com

For more information on how to prepare for and chair a session see the guidelines on chairing a session. If you have questions or need more information, contact your Conference Program Coordinator.