SPIE Student Member awards

Recognizing outstanding SPIE Student Members

The SPIE Student Awards program focuses on rewarding students who demonstrate excellence in the optics and photonics community. View our current award below, and check back for more awards slated to come in the future.

Student and advisor receive their SPIE Student Chapter Award

SPIE Presidential Award for Outstanding Student Chapter

Established in 2022, this annual award is a way to show the Society's appreciation for our student chapters and their critical contributions to the optics and photonics community.

The recipient will be an SPIE Student Chapter that demonstrates an exceptional level of participation; enthusiasm; program quality; professionalism; and involvement in their institution, the local community, and the larger SPIE community. Further emphasis is placed on robust outreach to undergraduate students, community service, increased technical education efforts, and developing an engaged — and engaging — chapter community.

As the recipient chapter, five members of the student chapter and their faculty advisor will be invited to attend SPIE Optics + Photonics in their recipient year, where they will represent their chapter at the annual Society Awards banquet. Travel and hotel costs will be provided for these five representatives (up to $2,000 per person).



To be considered for this award, SPIE Student Chapters must:

  • Submit their annual report by the 1 December deadline of the previous year
  • Have a minimum of 10 members
  • Have an SPIE Member as a faculty advisor
  • Have undertaken innovative and impactful activities, programs, and engagements through community involvement; developing technical knowledge via opportunities such as company visits, invited speakers, and attending/offering training courses; retaining and growing membership; and participation at SPIE events.
    • Community involvement — can include activities such as outreach to undergraduate students with a focus on increasing awareness about the fields of optics and photonics, community service engaging undergraduate students on campus, and community service with the local community or with SPIE.
    • Technical dissemination — technical activities such as company visits, research programs, symposiums, technical presentations, speaker series, and training courses.
    • Engaging, retaining, and growing membership — programs such as awards, alumni engagement, welcome activities for new members, and volunteer recognition; initiatives to grow the student chapter; and initiatives to support the student-to-professional conversion.
    • Operations and planning — development of annual goals, strategies to engage current members, communications, and promotional campaigns, etc.
    • Participation and enthusiasm — high participation of membership at events on or off campus, high attendance at SPIE events or conferences (in-person or virtual), and innovative activities to further passion for optics and photonics.



Congratulations to the SPIE Student Chapter at Mexico's Instituto Nacional de Astrofisica, Óptica y Electrónica (INAOE) for earning the first-ever Presidential Award for Outstanding Student Chapter in 2022.