Dominic Siriani is an electrical engineer with a focus on lasers, photonics, and optics. He has been an IEEE member since 2007 .
👨💻 How and when did you start volunteering for IEEE?
My volunteering journey began in earnest for the IEEE Photonics Society in 2017 when I took on the role of Associate Vice President for Communications. Prior to that, I had been engaged with IEEE by serving as a reviewer for some of the journals and participating as a member of the Semiconductor Lasers Committee for the IEEE Photonics Conference. My involvement was made possible through the encouragement and facilitation provided to me by my former Ph.D. adviser, Kent Choquette, and my former manager at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Paul Juodawlkis.
🧍♂️ Why do you volunteer for IEEE?
I volunteer for IEEE primarily to enhance my involvement in the photonics research community and to give back to the people who comprise it. Being a volunteer keeps me connected with existing colleagues and provides me with opportunities to establish new relationships. At the same time, volunteering allows me to be a provider of support, advice, and career enrichment, rather than just being a recipient of those benefits. All of this makes being a volunteer both very beneficial to my career and extremely rewarding.
🙌 What have you done as an IEEE volunteer that you’re most proud of?
I can’t say that a single volunteering activity makes me the proudest. Rather, a collection of small contributions make me feel like I’ve accomplished something meaningful. These primarily include working on some segments for our newsletter and providing micro-mentoring to some of our younger members. Being able to provide some direction and encouragement to the next generation of photonics researchers is hands-down the most rewarding part of my volunteering experience.
🤜 What advice would you give to new volunteers?
Be persistent; Volunteering can be very rewarding, but it might take time to see your impact. In many cases, the effort you put in takes time to grow into larger changes. A lot of people are incredibly enthusiastic at the start and have lots of new ideas, but they can grow discouraged when they find that change happens slowly. Be patient and persistent with your passion – making small contributions over an extended time makes for a large, lasting impact.
🤩 How would you describe IEEE in 3 words??
Innovative & Supportive Community
✌️ What impact have IEEE and volunteering had on your career?
For my career, IEEE and volunteering have broadened my professional network and have kept me up-to-date on the latest breakthroughs in photonics research. These assist me in finding innovative solutions for my work and provide me with the opportunity to share my insights with and solicit feedback from the rest of the community.
👫 What do you think the future of volunteering looks like?
The trend that I see becoming bigger is “micro-volunteering,” and I have to credit the IEEE Photonics Society staff who I work with for introducing me to this concept. In essence, many small contributions from a large group of people amounts to enormous impact. And in the process, the work is shifted from the individual to the collective, which relieves overload, increases diversity, broadens opportunity, and much more. In a sense, my volunteering began with “micro-volunteering” as a blogger for some photonics conferences, and this blossomed into a much richer and fuller volunteering career. I think more such opportunities will arise for volunteers in the future.
💪 IEEE-wise, what are your goals for the future?
I am simply looking forward to continuing being a part of the IEEE community and having the opportunity to shape its future. My hope is that I’m able to give back to the community that already has given so much, particularly helping the next generation of members feel connected to each other and their life’s work.
👨💻 Career-wise, what are your goals for the future?
Much like my IEEE goals, I primarily want to have an impact. My feelings are summed up well by a quote by Margaret Mead that I have hanging up at my desk: “I was brought up to believe that the only thing worth doing was to add to the sum of accurate information in the world.“
📨 Connect with Dominic: LinkedIn