SPIE Senior Member nomination criteria

The SPIE Senior Members Committee is chartered by the SPIE Board of Directors to solicit, collect, evaluate, and recommend an annual class of SPIE Members for promotion to Senior Member. Based upon the recommendations of the Senior Members Committee, individuals are promoted to the rank of Senior Member by a majority vote of the Board of Directors.

The SPIE Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee provides these resources to avoid unconscious bias in your nominations. 

Nominate a Senior Member

Nomination Criteria

Senior Members must meet the following criteria:


According to the bylaws of SPIE, the Board of Directors may confer the grade of Senior Member on a Member who:

1) Is a voting Member (not a Student Member) of the Society for a cumulative period of a minimum of five years; this requirement of at least five years (60 months) of cumulative voting Membership must be reached no later than the posted date of the nomination deadline.

2) Has become distinguished through significant contributions in one or more of the following areas:

a. active involvement with the Society
b. service to the general optics and photonics community
c. technical contributions relevant to SPIE

Eligible Members include the rank of Life, Special Consideration, or Retired Member of the Society.

Nomination requirements

In order for the Society to fairly and accurately evaluate an individual's nomination to the grade of Senior Member of the Society, the nominator should provide the following:

The SPIE Senior Member Nomination Form that requests a detailed description of one or more of the following categories. No individual is expected to meet all of the criteria listed under each category.

Significant performance* that would serve to qualify an individual for elevation to Senior Member need not have occurred in the years immediately prior to the application. Thus, Life and Retired Members are eligible for elevation.

*Notes on significant performance: Many prospective applicants make the mistake of assuming that "significant performance" requires special awards, patents, or other extremely sophisticated technical accomplishments; such is not the case. Substantial job responsibilities such as team leader, task supervisor, person in charge of a program or project, engineer or scientist performing research with some measure of success (papers), or faculty developing, teaching courses with research and publications, all are indications of significant performance as well as the following:

  • Substantial responsibility or achievement in their respective field.
  • Publication of technical papers, books or inventions.
  • Technical direction or management of important scientific or engineering work with evidence of accomplishment.
  • Recognized contributions to the welfare of the scientific or engineering profession.
  • Development or furtherance of important scientific or engineering courses.

Contributions to SPIE

  • Service to SPIE by involvement in conferences — as speaker, poster presenter, session chair, program committee membership, conference chair, etc.
  • Participation and engagement in exhibits and related work.
  • Participation in SPIE editorial boards, SPIE committees, Society governance, or as an SPIE instructor.

Contributions to optics and photonics community

  • Service to the community through volunteer work in schools and science fairs.
  • Working as an educator.
  • Making contributions to the industrial community and or government agencies.
  • Contributions to the international cooperation or service to other societies in related fields.
  • Recognized contributions to the policy and welfare of the scientific or engineering profession.

Technical accomplishments

  • Evidence of significant technical accomplishments or responsibilities.
  • Publication of technical papers, books or inventions.
  • Technical direction or management of important scientific or engineering work.
  • Significant entrepreneurial or management activities in the optics and photonics industry.
  • Significant contributions as an educator in the field of optics and photonics.

Supporting documentation

1. A curriculum vitae or resume including (as available):

  • Educational history
  • Work experience
  • Publications
  • Awards
  • Honors
  • Patents

2. Nomination support and letters of recommendation

SPIE Members may nominate themselves or other individuals as candidates for SPIE Senior Member status. If a person nominates themselves, then two colleagues must second the nomination by providing letters of recommendation (at least one must be an SPIE Member). If another Member makes the nomination, then one colleague must second the nomination by providing a letter of recommendation. A nomination cover letter from the nominator may also serve as a support letter.

Additional information

The SPIE Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee provides these tips to avoid bias in nominations. 

The Senior Members Committee will notify all nominators, in writing, of their acceptance or other action being taken in regard to the individual nominee being considered.

All nomination materials must be submitted to SPIE by 15 March of the given year, allowing for the submission of nomination support materials until 1 April.

In the event that a nominee is not chosen as a Senior Member of the Society the first time he or she is nominated, the next two consecutive committees will automatically consider him or her for Senior Member. Nominators are encouraged to ask for feedback and update or add to the nomination materials, if appropriate, prior to the next year's deadline.

Nominate a Senior Member