The president of SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, joined CREOL for its celebration on Thursday and presented Saleh with a plaque recognizing CREOL’s success.

“SPIE and CREOL have enjoyed a long-standing and mutually beneficial relationship,” SPIE president Eustace Dereniak said during an awards banquet. “CREOL has supported the growth of our Defense, Security, and Sensing symposium for many years, and has been home to an SPIE student chapter for over 15 years.”

Dereniak also recognized M.J. Soileau, one of CREOL’s founding directors, who served as a SPIE president and received the society’s highest award, the Gold Medal. Today, Soileau is vice president for UCF’s Office of Research and Commercialization.

CREOL celebrated its anniversary with a two-day symposium that included talks by two Nobel laureates and several SPIE fellows. The event also drew more than 300 people from the industry including laser pioneer Charles Townes who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1964 for his work in the development of the laser. CREOL’s laser institute is named in Townes’ honor. For a video about CREOL’s future click here.

CREOL is a leader in laser and optics research. Several SPIE fellows including Leonid Glebov, James Harvey, Guifang Li, Winston Schoenfeld, Eric Van Stryland, Shin-Tson Wu, Larry Andrews and Cynthia Young work at UCF. James Pearson, a former SPIE  executive director also works with CREOL as a special consultant. They were all recognized Thursday.

CREOL was organized as a  center of excellence in optics and lasers in research and education, and to act as an intellectual, scientific and technical resource to the optics and photonics industry. Since then, CREOL has formed strong bonds with industry, has become a major force in Florida’s laser and photonics community, and is a prime source of highly educated talent in the optics and photonics field.

SPIE was founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. Serving more than 225,600 constituents from 150 countries, the society advances emerging technologies through interdisciplinary information exchange, continuing education, publications, patent precedent and career and professional growth. SPIE annually organizes and sponsors about 25 major technical forums, exhibitions and education programs in North America, Europe, Asia and the South Pacific.  SPIE provided more than $2.5 million in support of education and outreach programs in 2011.