Editor-in-Chief James Leger announces that the Energy Express section of Optics Express is being expanded to include environmental optics, and introduces its newest Deputy Editor Svetlana Boriskina.

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In April of 2010, Optics Express launched the first of a recurring supplement that highlighted the importance of optical technologies in the area of energy production and management. The supplement was entitled Energy Express and the founding editor was Bernard Kippelen. In Kippelen’s inaugural editorial, he pointed out that optical technologies were already playing key roles in energy production and that the future importance of optics was only expected to increase. Some of the areas Kippelen predicted would benefit from advances in optics were i) solid-state and organic LED lighting, ii) electric energy production from solar thermal, photovoltaic, and thermophotovoltaic technologies, and iii) environmental monitoring.

Almost 10 years later, many of the predictions put forward by Kippelen have come to pass. LED illumination is indeed revolutionizing the way we light our homes and communities, and the energy savings from this more efficient lighting technology is significantly reducing energy consumption. The operating efficiency and manufacturing methods of photovoltaic cells have improved to the point that many PV systems are economically competitive with fossil fuels. In addition, new technologies such as thermal energy management using metamaterials and new PV materials such as perovskites promise to revolutionize entirely new areas in energy research.

As we look forward to the next 10 years, it is a good time to reassess the role of the Energy Express dedicated section in Optics Express. The current editors of Optics Express and Energy Express strongly believe that energy research is a key technology that will dramatically affect our society. Its role in combating climate change, reducing pollution, and preserving our environment is without question. We also believe that the interaction between energy and the environment has never been more central than it is today. As this special section enters its second decade, we are taking this opportunity to expand its mission. The new dedicated section will be called Energy and Environmental Optics Express, and will highlight both energy and environmental research as well as the connection between them. The new section will be expanded to include detection technology related to environmental monitoring, remote observations of atmospheric and oceanic health, and optics applied to general environmental issues, along with the energy topics formerly contained in Energy Express. We encourage you to watch for upcoming feature issue announcements that will highlight this expanded scope. We fully expect that these changes will leverage the synergism between energy and environmental research, making Energy and Environmental Optics Express a key venue for publication of these important topics.

We are also planning to change the frequency of our augmented section. Whereas previously Energy Express was published with every fourth issue of Optics Express, Energy and Environmental Optics Express will be published as a special section with every issue. We believe that this new format will raise the profile of these submissions and make them more easily accessible to our readers.

As we implement these changes, we celebrate the changing of the guard in Energy Express leadership. Deputy Editor Christian Seassal of CNRS, École Centrale de Lyon is finishing his seventh year as a Deputy Editor. Our sincere thanks go out to him for his leadership and dedication to the journal. Christian has been instrumental in maintaining the health of the Energy Express section and charting new paths in an ever-changing publishing environment. His position as Deputy Editor will be passed to Svetlana Boriskina of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Boriskina is an expert in nanoscale devices and materials applied to light generation, biochemical sensing, thermal management, and solar energy harvesting. We would like to extend a hearty welcome to Svetlana.

As we enter our second decade of the Energy and Environmental Optics Express section, we look forward to serving the optics community as an essential venue for publication and information exchange. We encourage authors both old and new to consider publishing your best research in this newly formulated section and leverage the quality, fast time-to-publication, and impact that our Optics Express readers have come to expect.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

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