Parent Organization: The Graduate School

Mission Statement:

SPIE and Photonics student club is funded by two agencies; The Graduate School (TGS) at Northwestern University under a community building grant, and The Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Our mission is to is to increase the awareness and knowledge of the Northwestern and Evanston community about photonics by engaging them in educational events, social activities and volunteering. Inline with our mission we utilize on and off-campus events, and we follow a four-pronged approach to fulfill-our goals: 1. The student speaker series: PhD and postdoctoral students get the opportunity to present their work on photonics-optics and/or cutting edge research to their peers. Speakers benefit from these talks by getting feedback from their peers, whereas the audience get the chance to gain insight about the most recent research being done in their field of interest. 2. The professional development speaker series: are utilized to enhance the "soft-skills" which are needed as a preparation to professional life in this very tight job market. 3. Elementary school outreach program at Evanston district: Our club established a long-term relationship with Evanston's school district by teaching fifth-graders the properties of light. A team of 3 to 5 NU graduate volunteers will visit a different school on a monthly basis and our mission is to expose the students to science at a young age. New volunteers are trained in a briefing for an hour before each outing. The 2.5-hour session consists of a show-and-tell on interesting light-related demonstrations followed by a group activity. The activity divides the class into groups of 3 whereby the students are given the objective to 'hit-the-target'; a laser beam will reflect off of two sets of mirrors before hitting the 'bulls-eye'. The students receive a taste of what engineering is: science and mathematics intertwined with team-work. 4. Social events: merely serves as an engagement of social relation between our members. We organize a night-out event quarterly and meet at local venues to have a bite of food and joy.

Advisor Name:

Bruce Lindvall

Advisor Email:


Address 2145 Sheridan Rd K345
Department of Chemistry
Evanston, IL 60208
Phone Number P:(616) 648-0132