It’s hard to believe how fast this year is going by. Summer in the Northern Hemisphere is now behind us and the crispness of autumn is rolling into my locale in the northeastern U.S. With it comes the dawn of a new academic year, lots of fresh faces and opportunities, and the occasion of our flagship IEEE Photonics Conference.

In this issue of the Photonics Society Newsletter, you’ll find a cornucopia of exciting, educational, and fun information. The Research Highlight this month by Prof. Dr. Peter Banzer discusses the phenomenon and uses of structured light. It’s a great primer on the field and provides a perspective on how this field is pervasive in our technology and our lives. It’s a fascinating area of study of manipulating light in all its dimensions to suit our needs and desires – from the classical to the quantum, from the theoretical to the practical, and from our historical optics roots to our far-reaching photonic ambitions.

Also in this issue you’ll find some sage advice from several of our experienced members. Daniel Renner discusses the Heilmeier Catechism – the blueprint for writing a compelling and comprehensive proposal – in his Industry Engagement article. In addition, Patryk Urban interviews Prof. Peter Andrekson of Chalmers University about his life in academia and industry in the continuing WaveJobs series.

Coverage of several events of note within the Society are also contained in this issue. The Summer Topicals Meeting, which was held in July, is reviewed by conference chairs Michael Brodsky and Cristian Antonelli. Topics change from year to year, so read up on what was hot in 2021’s meeting. Also happening recently were the IEEE Pride in Photonics Initiative, which featured a talk by JanMell Dugenio in June, and the MiniModes Photonics School put together by the University of Warsaw’s Student Chapter. And check out an update on the Iluminando el Futuro STEM Initiative, which seeks to bridge the gap between the scientific community and general society.

Finally, please join me in congratulating all the recent award recipients of our community. Featured in this issue are Qin Wang for receiving a Naval Research Grant, Lukas Chrostowski for receiving the Photonics Society Technical Skills Educator Award, all the 2021 Photonics Society Award recipients, and the 2021 Graduate Student Scholarship recipients.

In closing, I’d as always like to thank you for being an IEEE Photonics Society Newsletter reader. Please reach out to us at with your feedback and contributions. We love to hear from you!