The New England Section of the Optical Society of America (NES/OSA) is a regional optical society affiliated with the Optical Society of America.  Its membership is composed of technical professionals interested in the advancement of optics and related fields, and is drawn from industries, universities, medical facilities and other groups involved in the design, manufacture and use of optical products, and in research on optical topics.  The aim of the society is to disseminate knowledge of optics and to promote the mutual interest of workers, researchers, teachers and students in the field.  It also promotes social interchange between workers in the field through its monthly dinner meetings.  Affiliation with the Optical Society of America opens additional channels for information flow, and gives access to national speakers.


Meetings are generally held on the third Thursday evening of each month from September through May, excluding December.  The meeting consists of a social hour and dinner, for which there is a nominal fee, and a technical presentation, which may be attended free of charge.  At least one of the meetings is held jointly with other local or national technical societies.  At least once every other year, one meeting, usually in April or May, is expanded into a mini-symposium on a special topic.  This "Conversazione" starts after lunch and features a series of invited local and national speakers culminating with a banquet and product exhibit.

The regular monthly meetings are usually held at the Best Western TLC Hotel on Totten Pond Road in Waltham, Massachusetts.  The location of the Conversazione varies from year to year.  We occasionally organize plant tours in place of the usual speaker, and we occasionally hold our meetings away from the Boston metropolitan area.

In addition to meetings, the NES/OSA provides grants to local high school science teachers each year for the purpose of funding optics projects in the classroom.  This program is intended to promote education in the field of optics as well as to support our local high schools.  This is a part of our effort to promote interest in optics among high school and college students in New England.  We also maintain an optics demonstration kit which is available for use in presentations by members to local high school and elementary school science groups.  We encourage members to participate in this program as a means of making students aware of optics at a younger age.

Elected Officials

The NES/OSA is governed by an executive council consisting of a President, President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, Immediate Past President, and four councilors.  New members of the executive council are elected each May to serve the following year.  By tradition, our chief officer is elected a full year in advance, serving in successive years as President-Elect, President, and Immediate Past President to insure continuity.

The NES/OSA executive council meets frequently, usually on the first Thursday of the month to review current programs and to explore other ways of promoting optics.  We welcome suggestions from members for changes or additions to currently planned activities.

Other officers of the society are appointed by the president and approved by the executive council.  These include members of the program committee, membership committee, scholarship committee, Conversazione committee, and nomination committee.

Membership Dues

The NES/OSA has four levels of membership: Corporate Sponsors, Professional Sponsors, Individual Members, and Student Members.  The current annual membership dues for these membership categories are given below:

 Corporate Sponsors  $250.00
 Professional Sponsor     50.00
 Individual Member  
   Regular  15.00
   Full-time student  free

Current members are billed each fall.  New members are billed upon joining the society.  New members joining in the last three months of the membership year may be billed at a reduced rate, at the discretion of the executive council.

Dues paid by members go to pay mailing costs for the monthly notices, to subsidize dinners for members, to support the lecture kit, and to defray costs associated with the speakers and equipment for each meeting.  Our science teacher grants are funded by corporate and professional sponsorships.


Article I: Name

The name of this Society shall be the Optical Society of America, New England Section.

Article II: Aim and Purpose

It is the aim and purpose of the Society to increase and disseminate the knowledge of optics and closely allied sciences, to promote the mutual interests of investigators, teachers, and students in these fields, and of designers, manufacturers and users of optical instruments and other scientific apparatus as well as those who have optics as a hobby, and to encourage cooperation and establish acquaintanceship among these people.

Article III: Officers

The Executive Council of this Society shall consist of the president, the president-elect, the secretary, the treasurer, the retiring president of the society, and the elected councilors.

Article IV: Membership

 The Society shall be composed of individual members.

Article V: Sponsors

The Society will welcome support by corporations and others interested in the advancement of optics.

Article VI: Amendments

Amendments to the Constitution or Bylaws must be effected by carrying out each of the following steps:

  1. Recommendation by majority of the Executive Council or by written petition to that council by twenty active members
  2. Distribution of the proposed amendments(s) by mail to each member at least fifteen days before a vote is taken – this vote to be taken at the next regular meeting, and
  3. Adoption by the full membership, a two-thirds vote of all members voting thereon being needed for adoption.

By Laws

I: Membership

Section 1. Eligibility.  Any person interested in the advancement of optics and/or closely allied sciences and in the welfare of this Society shall be eligible for membership.

Section 2. Application for Membership.  Application for membership in this Society must state the candidate’s name, position and interests in optics.

Section 3. Election to Membership.  Applicants shall be admitted to membership in the Society when admission is favored by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Council voting thereon.  Each newly elected member shall receive a copy of the Constitution and By-Laws of the Society.

Section 4. Duties and Privileges.  All members shall have the right to vote, hold office (if of legal age), and to attend meetings of the Society.

Section 5. Termination of Membership.  Membership in the Society shall be terminated by:

(A)       Request of the member

Or        (B)       A two-thirds vote of the Executive Council, for due cause

Or        (C)       Non-payment of dues by the later of 1 February or 30 days after a second reminder for dues has been sent

Or        (D)       Determination that mail is not reaching the member at the listed address, and the new address cannot be located.

Members terminated by methods (B) or (C) shall be so notified in writing.

II: Sponsors

Section 1. Eligibility

(A)     Corporate Sponsor

Any corporation interested in the advancement of optics and/or any closely allied sciences and in the welfare of this Society shall be eligible to become a corporate sponsor.

(B)     Professional Sponsor

Any person or small organization interested in the advancement of optics and/or any closely allied sciences and in the welfare of this Society shall be eligible to become a professional sponsor.

Section 2. Election to Sponsorship.  Potential sponsors shall be accepted as sponsors of the Society when favored by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Council voting thereon.  Each newly accepted sponsor shall receive a copy of the Constitution and By-Laws of the Society.

Section 3. Privileges.  Corporate and Professional sponsors shall enjoy membership privileges without payment of additional dues.  Sponsor privileges and the number of individual memberships accompanying sponsorship shall be determined by the Executive Council.

Section 4. Termination of Sponsorship.   Sponsorship of the Society shall be terminated by:

(A)              request of the sponsor

Or    (B)         a two-thirds vote of the Executive Council, for due cause.

Sponsors terminated by method (B) shall be so notified in writing.

III: Collections and Disbursements

Section 1. Dues and Contributions.  Members and sponsors shall annually contribute to the Society in a manner and amounts as determined by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Council such that the Society shall operate for neither profit nor loss.  Notices of dues and contributions shall be mailed prior to the last day of October for members and prior to the last day of January for sponsors.

Section 2. Disbursements.  Disbursements shall be made by the treasurer or (in the event of his unavailability) by the president or secretary.  Disbursements shall be within a budget that has received a two-thirds vote of the Executive Council.  No officer nor any member of the Society shall receive any remuneration from the treasury of the Society for services to the Society unless specifically approved by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Council.

Section 3. Ownership of Society Property.  The Society shall not be operated for profit.  Its entire properties and facilities shall be devoted to the purposes for which it is organized as set forth in the Constitution, By-Laws, and Amendments.  No member shall have right to or any share in any of the property or assets of the Society.

Section 4. Fiscal Year.  The fiscal year of the Society shall commence on 1 June.

IV: Officers

Section 1. Regular Officers  The duties of the president, president-elect, secretary and treasurer of the Society shall be the usual ones pertaining to such offices.  The president shall act as Chairperson of the Executive Council and shall be an Ex-officio member of all committees except the nominating committee.  The secretary and treasurer shall make formal reports to the Society at least once a year.  The treasurer’s reports shall be audited by at least one member of the Society appointed by the president by March for that purpose.  The officers shall perform such duties as are prescribed in these By-Laws or assigned by the Society or by the Executive Council.

Section 2. Executive Council  The Executive Council shall direct all affairs and activities of the Society not otherwise provided for by the Constitution and By-Laws as well as perform those duties specifically assigned to it by the Constitution, By-Laws, or by vote of the Society.

Section 3. Committees

(A)           With the approval of the Executive Council and prior to the first regular meeting of the Society in each fiscal year, the president shall appoint such committees as are necessary for the continuing operation of the Society.

(B)           A program chairman for the following year shall be appointed by the president-elect and approved by the Council within five weeks following the annual business meeting of the Society.

V: Election of Officers

Section 1. Eligibility  Officers shall be elected from the membership of the Society.  The president of the Society shall be ineligible for election to a second successive elective term as president.

Section 2. Time of Election  Officers shall be elected at the annual business meeting of the Society.  Written announcement of and ballots for that election shall be mailed or emailed to each member at least 15 days before said meeting.

Section 3. Nominations  By the first week in February the president shall propose a nominating committee.  This committee shall be composed of five members of the Society and shall be elected by the Executive Council.  This committee shall include the president-elect, two members of the Executive Council, and two members not on the Executive Council.  The president-elect shall vote on nominations only in the event of a tie.  If the current president-elect cannot assume the presidency, then the committee shall nominate at least one candidate for president-elect.  The balance of the committee’s slate shall include at least one nominee each for president-elect, secretary and treasurer, and at least eight for councilor.  All nominating committee nominees for contested offices (president-elect and, only as needed, president) shall also be nominees for councilor.  The secretary shall mail a call for suggested nominations to each member in February.  The proposed slate shall be presented to the Executive Council no later than the first week in April.  The slate of candidates shall nominally be presented to the membership at the April society meeting.  Nominations for any office may be made from the floor at the April Society meeting.

Section 4. Voting  Voting shall be by secret ballot, to be tallied and announced at the annual business meeting of the Society.  Election procedures established by the Executive Council shall apply and be binding.

Section 5. Ties 

(A)          Ties for Councilor shall be resolved by expanding the Council to include the smallest number of councilors in excess of four as can be determined by the vote.

(B)          Ties for president, president-elect, secretary, or treasurer shall be resolved by majority vote of the Executive Council in place prior to the election.

(C)           Candidates elected to more than one office or to both office and councilor shall assume the higher post and shall be considered as ineligible as candidates for the lower post.

Section 6. Vacancies  If the presidency is vacant, the president-elect shall so serve the Society.  Other vacant offices shall be filled by a majority vote of the Executive Council.

VI: Meetings

Section 1.  Society Meetings  Meetings of the Society shall be held as determined by the Executive Council.  The annual business meeting of the Society shall be held in May of each year.

Section 2.  Executive Council Meetings  Meetings of the Executive Council shall be held at least there times each year at convenient times decided by the president.  Their first meeting is traditionally held within five weeks of the annual business meeting, but must be held no less than ten days before the first regular meeting of the Society in each fiscal year.  The secretary shall keep minutes of, and a record of attendance at, the Council Meetings.

Section 3.  Quorum  A quorum necessary for the transaction of business at a meeting of the Society shall be one-eighth of the membership of the Society.  Ballots received by the secretary before the meeting shall be included in the count for the quorum.  A quorum for the Executive Council shall be five members of the Council.

(Typed 8/00, by lcb. Bylaws as amended in 1981.  Bylaws further amended 2001.)