SMPTE Board Creates SMPTE U.K., Appoints Bruce Devlin Governor

SMPTE U.K. Region Is Home to New SMPTE Student Chapter at Southampton Solent University
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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. and LONDON — The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers announced that the Board of Governors formally approved the creation of the SMPTE U.K. Region and appointed Bruce Devlin, chief media scientist at Dalet, to serve as its first governor. (Devlin is pictured at right.)

The SMPTE U.K. section’s growth from 83 members in 2012 to more than 500 members in 2015. Any section reaching the 500 member milestone is eligible to petition the board for creation of a region, which will provide that section with formal representation on the board.

“The widespread support for the SMPTE U.K. section and its work, evident in rapidly increasing attendance at meetings across the U.K., reflects the growth occurring across the Society as a whole,” said Bill Miller, SMPTE membership vice president. “SMPTE now has more than 6,400 members worldwide, and students represent the fastest-growing group of members. As we move into the Society’s centennial year, it is exciting to see that our work is relevant and important to the newest members of our industry.”

Devlin had previously been elected by the membership to serve as 2016-17 governor for the Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Central, and South America Region. The board has now appointed Siegfried Foessel, head of the department of Moving Picture Technologies at Fraunhofer IIS, to assume that role while Devlin will represent the SMPTE U.K. Region on the board.

“The growth and influence of the SMPTE U.K. Section are due solely to the dedicated involvement of our members, who have helped us to expand our activities across the country to meet the demands of the broader U.K. media communities,” said Peter Weitzel, SMPTE membership director and secretary/treasurer for the SMPTE U.K. Section.

Re-established in 2012 and chaired by Chris Johns, chief engineer of broadcast strategy at Sky, the SMPTE U.K. Section has seen a high degree of interest and support from individuals and companies across the creative, manufacturing, broadcasting, and service organizations. The Section holds regular meetings across the U.K. and each month in London, providing ample refreshments and giving members time to network and the opportunity to explore a wide range of topics with industry experts. The Section also holds an annual one-day seminar in London and Salford.

Members of the SMPTE U.K. Section have a strong history of supporting students, new graduates, and new members of the industry, and the SMPTE U.K. Region already boasts its first student chapter. The inaugural meeting for the newly approved SMPTE Student Chapter at Southampton Solent University was held in November when the university celebrated the installation of Dolby Atmos in its 3D cinema. During the event, Richard Welsh, CEO at Sundog Media Toolkit and the current SMPTE Governor for the Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Central, and South America Region, presented university student Louis Arrigoni with the award for Best Use of Creative Virtual Reality Technology in Storytelling. The award recognizes Arrigoni’s short film “PhaseShift,” presented at the SMPTE-HPA Student Film Festival during the SMPTE 2015 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition.

“SMPTE has seen a surge in student membership, thanks to the charitable work of members led by Bill Miller, who has donated funds to allow students to join SMPTE for free in their first year,” Welsh said while speaking at his alma mater. “The SMPTE Student Membership Challenge is one of the most important initiatives in the Society, as these young people are the future of our industry and, of course, SMPTE itself.”

The efforts of Johns, Weitzel, Welsh, Miller, Devlin, and their colleagues continue to bolster the success of SMPTE in the U.K. The Section program schedule is available now at SMPTE.org/UK.