In an additional IESNA annual conference day, the society sponsored an education summit planned by Dr. Ronald Gibbons, IESNA vice president of educational activities. Organized in response to the society's 2006-2010 strategic plan, which identified profession development and lighting education as one of five strategic goals, approximately 60 invited guests participated in the summit representing all segments of the lighting industry: academia, lighting design, consulting engineering, utilities, government, and manufacturing.
Working groups identified pressing issues related to collegiate and university programs, professional development and continuing education, outreach to allied professionals, and educating the general public about the importance of quality lighting. Research and Teaching were identified under the broader heading of Learning, and it was proposed by participants to unite these activities in order to take advantage of their natural synergies and to make the best use of financial resources.
A conceptual model was suggested that, if successfully implemented, would link many of the society's research and educational objectives. The first stage of this model resides within the membership through the existing committee structure, whereby IESNA committees would identify outstanding research questions that are important to their topic area. An oversight committee would organize the research proposals from the more than 50 IESNA committees and communicate their priorities to the IESNA Board of Directors, which would issue requests for proposals. Per this model's format, research would be performed at universities and include student involvement, thereby increasing the intellectual capital of the society's future members, while addressing important research questions as defined, vetted, and prioritized by the society. Research results would then be disseminated through IESNA channels such as the journal LEUKOS, the annual conference, and incorporated into society publications. The new knowledge and discovery that stems from research would also serve as the impetus for updating IESNA publications and would create a demand for continuing education. Like the Annual Conference itself, it was clear that the Education Summit was organized by the society as a forum for input from the membership with the long-term goal of increasing the value and relevance of the IESNA to lighting professionals.
Dr. Houser is an associate professor and founding faculty member of the architectural engineering program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He teaches undergraduate courses on the fundamentals of illuminating engineering and lighting design and graduate courses in daylighting, light sources, and color science. His research has been recognized with the Taylor Technical Talent Award from IESNA and the Leon Gaster Award from the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE).