OSA Election for 2016 Offices

Byoung Yoon Kim

Byoung Yoon KimProfile
Byoung Yoon Kim received a B. S. degree from Seoul National University, a M. S. degree from KAIST, both in Physics, and a Ph. D. degree in Applied Physics from Stanford University (1985). He was a member of research staff at a national laboratory in Seoul (KIST, 1979-82), an acting assistant professor at Stanford (Ginzton Lab, 1986-89) and has been a professor in the Physics Department at KAIST since 1990. Professor Kim has served as Physics Department Chair (1995-97), Vice President for Research (2013-15) and the founding Director of the Institute of Entrepreneurship (2014-present). He is on a number of government committees as well as the board of a national laboratory (KOPTI) in Korea. He served as President of the Optical Society of Korea (OSK,2010).  His research interest has been in optical fiber devices with their applications to sensors and communications. The topics include gyroscopes, few-mode fiber devices, lasers and amplifiers, acousto-optic modulators, and fiber gratings.
He founded three startup companies based on his inventions: FiberPro (1995-present, Korea, test and measurement instrument), Novera Optics (1999-08, San Jose, CA, optical networking elements and subsystems, acquired by Ericson-LG) and KS Photonics (2012-present, Korea, fiber components for mode control). He has played various roles in the companies including CEO, CTO, and Chairman of the Board. He has initiated a number of programs to help entrepreneurial students, researchers and professors to commercialize research results on and off campus. Professor Kim has been actively involved with OSA for the last 34 years since he wrote the first paper published in Optics Letters from Korea in 1981. He has served on many organizing and technical program committees for OSA conferences, including OFC, CLEO and CLEO/PR and as a Topical Editor of Optics Letters (1997-99). More recently, he served as an elected member of the OSA Board of Directors (2012-14) and the Awards Committee. He has published more than 150 international journal papers and an equivalent number of conference papers. He has written four book chapters in fiber optic sensors and communication fields. He has produced more than 50 Ph.D.’s from Stanford University and KAIST and has held about 50 US patents.
Professor Kim is currently a Fellow of OSA, IEEE, OSK, and a member of the Korean Academy of Science and Technology. Other professional roles include Board of Governors of IEEE Photonics Society (2002-04), Vice President of International Commission for Optics (2002-08), Korea Territorial Committee Chair of the ICO (2002-present), General Chair (1999) and International Steering Committee for Optical Fiber Sensors Conference (1990-04), International Advisory Committee for OECC (2002-present) and Micro Optics Conference (1995- present). He was a Co-Guest Editor of IEICE Transactions on Electronics (2000, Japan) and was on the Editorial Board for Measurement Science and Technology, for International Journal of Optoelectronics and for Optical Review.

As the leading professional society in optics, OSA has provided a forum for the dissemination of the most exciting discoveries, through journals, conferences and various other activities. These activities are critical in helping OSA members advance their professional careers, and also in nurturing future leaders in optics. In addition, OSA has played an important role in promoting and advocating the importance of optics and photonics technologies, producing results such as the National Photonics Initiative and the United Nations–designated 2015 International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies. OSA has also successfully responded to rapid changes in the publishing industry by producing open-access online journals, including Optics Express and the high-impact journal Optica.
Nevertheless, a few other areas deserve more attention to better serve OSA members:

  • Extending member services. While recognition for optics and photonics may have improved in recent years, the job market and career opportunities have become more difficult, in part due to the rapidly changing global economic and industrial environment. To help its members cope better with challenges in their career development, OSA should provide more support and guidance as a professional home for its members. OSA can establish more platforms where optics professionals and students can network and exchange information with institutions and companies for their professional development. 
  • Globalization and diversity. OSA should strengthen its effort to improve regional and gender diversity in the OSA leadership, as well as among its active volunteers and members. More than half of the membership and contributed papers are now from outside of the United States. This trend will continue with the rapid economic development of emerging regions and the deep penetration of Internet infrastructures. It is therefore important for OSA to strengthen its global presence through collaboration with professional societies in other countries. The quality of the collaboration can be elevated through better understanding of different cultures, and through improved communication.
  • Supporting industry and promoting entrepreneurship. OSA should also continue to strengthen its support for the optics industry by providing efficient connections between academic research and industrial innovations. The healthy growth of the optics industry is vital to the continuing success of OSA and to the successful career development of its members. It is also important to help members to commercialize their research results as a means to create new jobs and also nurture new industries for future generations. Expanding the channels for academia and industry to closely interact with each other would be a very useful service that OSA could provide to its members.

My own career of more than 35 years in research, education and industrial application of optics technology certainly has benefited a great deal from OSA. It would be a great honor to now serve OSA, to help its members around the world get the same benefits that I am lucky to have received during my career in both North America and Asia.


Ian Walmsley

Ian WalmsleyProfile
Ian Walmsley is the Hooke Professor of Experimental Physics at the University of Oxford, UK, where he is also Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research. He leads a research group in the areas of quantum and ultrafast optics, and is the Director of the Networked Quantum Information Technologies Hub of the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme. He was previously the Head of the Sub-Department of Atomic and Laser Physics at the University of Oxford from 2002 - 2009, and was on the faculty of the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester from 1988 - 2001, serving as its Director in 2000 – 2001. He received a B.Sc. in Physics from Imperial College, London, UK in 1980 and a Ph.D. from the Institute of Optics, in 1986.
His research efforts have been directed toward quantum phenomena on ultrafast timescales, including the generation of nonclassical radiation and its application in quantum technologies, including sensing, communications and simulation, manipulation of matter using closed loop methods, and the development of methods for the measurement of ultrafast optical waveforms. He has supervised more than  forty doctoral and master’s theses and has published more than 240 research articles and review papers, and been granted 5 patents. In 1999, he received the Goergen Award for Undergraduate Teaching at the University of Rochester, as well as the Rochester Undergraduate Optical Society Teaching Award in 1996, and the School of Engineering and Applied Science Teaching Award in 1995.
Walmsley has been an active OSA volunteer for more than two decades, serving as Director-at-Large, as Chair of the Publications Long-Term Planning Group and of the Member and Education Services Committee. He has been a member of the Public Policy Committee and International Council, as well as Chair of the Quantum Electronics Division and the Ultrafast Technical Group. He was a Topical Editor for JOSA B, and served on the Optics Express implementation committee in 1997. More recently he chaired the Committee that established Optica, OSA’s new flagship journal. He is currently on the Editorial Boards of Science, the Journal of Modern Optics, the Journal of Physics B: Quantum and Semiclassical Optics. He has chaired national and international conferences in both the USA and in Europe, including several OSA topical meetings, QELS and the OSA Annual Meeting, as well as co-chairing the ILS-XV meeting.
Walmsley is a Fellow of the Royal Society, OSA, APS and the Institute of Physics (UK). He was awarded the Keithley Prize of the APS and the Young Medal of the Institute of Physics in 2011, the Innovationspreis of the Berthold Leibinger Stiftung in 2006, named an NSF Presidential Young Investigator in 1990, and is a former Scholar of Imperial College. He currently serves as International Councillor for the Institute of Molecular Spectrscopy, Japan, and as a member of the Advisory Board of the Max Planck Institut für Quantenoptik, Garching. He has been a member of the NRC Visiting Committee for JILA, the Beirat of the Max Born Institut, and the Triennial Committee of Visitors of the NSF Physics Division.

Optics has a long tradition of both providing basic phenomenology or enabling technology for advances in science, and turning scientific advances into new applications. This synergy gives the field a unique vitality that invigorates universities, research institutes and industry, contributing both to quality of life and to the global economy. A quick glance at this year’s OSA-sponsored conferences confirms the dynamic character of our field and the many others that it underpins and informs, from fundamental biosciences to medical diagnostics and broadband telecommunications. We must continue to develop OSA’s activities to support broad opportunities for the widest range of members and participants.
Perhaps the foremost element of OSA’s mission is as the leading communicator of knowledge in optics, pointing to the field’s impact on much of modern life. Offering new modes of delivering this mission, while at the same time attracting the leading high-impact optical science and technology, demand innovation and vision, and provide an exciting opportunity for OSA to maintain and grow its world-leading position in journal publishing.
This mission also encompasses a broad portfolio of meetings that provide a venue for disseminating, discussing and digesting the latest ideas and applications. The combination of specialized topical meetings with larger, comprehensive conferences is key to the continued health of the society, and allows scoping of new and emerging themes in the context of more mature and established areas. I believe that maintaining and growing OSA’s position as the leading provider of information about optics warrants the utmost attention, since it is this aspect that gives The Optical Society its reputation for quality and its distinctive global role.

We must also guarantee the future of these traditions of excellence by continuing to champion the value of education in engineering and science, and in optics in particular. We must remain relevant to young people entering the field, and encourage their participation in OSA’s activities. By engaging the future leaders of the field now, we can help keep the society’s activities at the forefront of advances across all of optics.
The broad range of nationalities among members and the remarkable growth of student chapters across the world also underscore OSA’s position as a truly international society. This role will become increasingly important, demanding broad representation in OSA’s governance. Collaboration with other national and regional professional and industry societies across the world will help ensure the success and diversity of OSA’s activity, enhancing the global impact of optics through cooperation and providing a broad platform for advocacy across governments and the public.
OSA has provided me with a professional home for over 30 years, from my earliest years as a graduate student to the present. I’ve contributed papers to its journals and conferences, made connections that have been significant in my career, and had my enthusiasm for light in its many facets renewed and reinforced. Now I hope to contribute to OSA’s continuing impact on the field and profession through its role as the go-to place for optics for students, researchers, professional scientists and engineers, industrialists, entrepreneurs and policy-makers.


Kishan Dholakia

Kishan DholakiaProfile
Kishan Dholakia received his PhD in 1994 at Imperial College London working on laser cooling of trapped ions. After a further short spell as a postdoctoral researcher there he went onto the University of St Andrews as a postdoctoral researcher and won a Royal Society of Edinburgh Fellowship that was a platform for him to setup an activity in cold atoms, optical tweezers and novel light beams.  Following his Royal Society of Edinburgh Fellowship (1997-2000) he continued the ethos of cross-fertilisation of concepts in optics and he extended this work into the area of biophotonics.  As a result, his interests over the last two decades have spanned a very wide range of pure and applied science. He has innovated in many disparate areas and shown the ability to generate scientific activity at the highest international level in various fields simultaneously. He has led an international group of around 25 people for over ten years. In 2000 he was made a permanent lecturer and became a full Professor in 2003.
Dholakia is distinguished for his innovative research using shaped optical fields. These include studies in particle manipulation, namely optical sorting, optical binding, and the rotation of micro-particles. His seminal contributions to the understanding and use of shaped and complex light fields, including propagation-invariant Airy and Bessel modes, have led to these being deployed in optical manipulation, cell nanosurgery and  light sheet imaging. His research has inspired many international groups to enter these fields. He has authored over 270 refereed journal publications, has accrued in excess of 16,000 citations and has an h-index of 68 (Google Scholar).
Dholakia has received a number of awards including the European Optics Prize in 2003 and a Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award in 2008 and a Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior fellowship for 2015-2016.  In 2005, the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council named him as a "Researcher of the Decade". He was elected Fellow of OSA in 2008. His group's work on a spinning microparticle in vacuum has been cited in the 2015 Guinness Book of World Records as the world's "fastest man-made rotation". In addition, he is passionate about broader awareness of optics and has raised over $1M to undertake outreach activities in optics for the wider public.
With a UK company Elliot Scientific he commercialised the World's first portable compact optical tweezers. This product won the Photonics Circle of Excellence Award (Jan 2005) in the USA. The product range now spans a number of multiple trapping systems. He has recently secured a major license deal for his patent portfolio with M Squared Lasers. 
Kishan Dholakia has been an active OSA volunteer. He regularly referees for all OSA journals and was voted an OSA "Exceptional Reviewer" in 2012 and a Nature journal outstanding reviewer for each year from 2011-2014. He has served on both the OSA International Council and the OSA Fellows Committee, and was chair of that committee in 2012. He presently serves on the OSA Member & Education Services Council.

I have been a member of OSA for over twenty years. I have enjoyed and benefited tremendously from its leadership in all aspects of optics, including conferences, publications, committees and the student chapters—and, importantly, in setting the benchmark for excellence in our field.
I feel privileged to have the career I have, and I believe that one of the most important legacies anyone in my position leaves is nurturing the next generation to pursue a career in optics. I often feel that my most important achievement to date is the very high number of my group members who have, over the last decade, secured permanent academic positions and prestigious industry and outreach posts worldwide. As we enter a phase of global recovery, albeit precarious, I am very enthused and excited about how OSA can assist more young people to fulfilling careers in optics. Key areas where I would like to focus my attention are:

  • OSA initiatives such as student chapters, the International OSA Network of Students (IONS), and the Young Professionals program offer welcome support and empowerment to young people, nurturing them at the right time to inspire them in their scientific endeavors. We need to reflect upon these vital activities and explore how they may be embellished and enhanced to enable more young people to fulfill their goals for both academic and industrial careers. 
  • Every day I witness the wonderful harmony and excitement young people gain from working in my group with colleagues from all parts of the world. I firmly believe that OSA should extend its reach to develop stronger global connections at all levels within the society, including enhancing connections with, and representation from, those in the developing nations.
  • OSA delivers the highest standard of service through its various routes of dissemination, including publications and conferences. I am keen to see how we may enhance our service to all our members, particularly for our world-renowned journals, so that OSA remains synonymous with the most exciting and ground-breaking optics in years to come.

Turan Erdogan 

Turan ErodganProfile
Turan Erdogan has been studying, teaching, and practicing optics for 30 years.  He is currently the Site Leader of Melles Griot in Rochester, New York, a leading provider of high-performance lens assemblies and optical modules for biological imaging, semiconductor metrology, and other applications.  He has also served since 2011 as the CTO and VP of Business Development for the IDEX Optics & Photonics platform.
In 2000, Dr. Erdogan co-founded Semrock, Inc., which was then acquired by IDEX in 2008.  Semrock revolutionized the manufacturing of high-performance thin-film optical filters for fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy applications.  Prior to Semrock, he was a tenured professor at the The Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester, where he joined in 1994.  There he conducted research primarily on fiber and waveguide devices and holographic optical materials.  He taught courses offered to freshmen through advanced graduate students, and supervised both undergraduate and graduate research associates, graduating a number of Ph.D. students who have gone on to make their own marks in the world of optics.  He also consulted with numerous companies around the world on problems relating to Wavelength Division Multiplexed (WDM) fiber-optic communications components and devices.
From 1992 to 1994 Dr. Erdogan was a post-doctoral researcher at Bell Laboratories, then part of AT&T.  There he conducted research on the physics of ultraviolet photosensitivity in germanium-doped silica optical fibers, planar waveguides, and bulk glasses, and developed numerous applications of fiber Bragg grating technology for precise wavelength control in WDM communications systems.  He has a Ph.D. from The Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester, and B.S. Degrees in Electrical Engineering and in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He has authored or co-authored over 50 peer-reviewed scientific publications and over 50 major conference talks, and holds more than 30 issued patents, with about half of these covering optical devices in mass production today.
Dr. Erdogan has served as Program and General Chair of major OSA conferences, including the Optical Fiber Communications (OFC) Conference and the Bragg Gratings, Photosensitivity, and Poling in Glass Waveguides Topical Meeting.  He has also served on a number of other conference organizing committees, and has been active in the Rochester Section of the OSA.
He was awarded the Adolph Lomb Medal of The Optical Society a, an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in Physics, and a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award.  In addition, he was named a Fellow of The Optical Society in 1999.  He lives in Rochester, New York with his wife and four children.

Why do I value OSA? In my mind, there are three legs to the OSA stool. The first leg is technology, including both optical science and engineering. If I want to know where the biggest breakthroughs in optics are around the world, I have always turned to OSA to find out. And I don’t ever want to see this value change.
The second leg is communications. I see OSA as a critical vehicle for communication of information, knowledge and news about optics not only to our community of people, who study and develop optics, but also to the broader population that uses and benefits from what we do. OSA spreads the word via publications and conferences, but also through less formal, widely varying and highly creative marketing. The peer-review standard OSA sets is first rate in the research world, and sets OSA apart from other organizations.
The third leg of the OSA stool is community. OSA serves as a living organization, within which we can network, develop our careers, and mentor younger colleagues. But it’s more than that—OSA is a family, comprising people who love optics!
What would I like to focus on to make OSA even better in the future? My personal passion is to improve the balance of representation between academia and industry within OSA. Today, OSA does a phenomenal job of representing academia—but I believe we are still learning how to provide the same level of value to people and organizations in industry. The challenge, however, is to get more people from industry involved in OSA without changing the flavor of OSA as the home to the most forward-looking and cutting-edge research in optics.
One very successful intersection we foster today between the research and industry communities is found on the trade show floors of our major conferences and even of the smaller topical meetings. But roles there tend to focus on a seller (industry)/customer (research) relationship, so that technical interaction is limited. I am eager to find a way for people in industry, who develop creative custom solutions for products made by their OEM customers, to learn more from and contribute more to the OSA community.
What these people develop often can’t be published, and when they do create something truly unique (especially a process or capability), frequently it must be kept secret. Thus I would like to cultivate means for these colleagues to share know-how and news at the level at which they are able—forums in which they can talk about capabilities without having to teach all of the details, for example, or forums to discuss patented and patent-pending innovations. Through such expanded communication vehicles, I believe the entire OSA family will benefit.

Andrew Forbes

Andrew ForbesProfile
Andrew Forbes studied Physics at the University of Natal (Durban, South Africa) and received his PhD in 1998 in lasers and optics while working on a large laser programme at the South African Atomic Energy Corporation.  From 1999 he spent several years working as an applied laser physicist, where he helped grow a small start-up laser company of just a few friends to a medium size enterprise.  During this time, much of it as technical director of the company, he led the development of several laser systems which are now in use at blue chip institutes around the world.
In 2005 Forbes returned to more research orientated activities and joined the CSIR National Laser Centre where he started two new research groups: first the User Facility – a set of laboratories for advancing photonics in South Africa through engagement with local universities, and later in 2007 the Mathematical Optics group, where until 2015 he was Chief Researcher and Research Group Leader.  In March 2015 he was appointed in the School of Physics at the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa) on the Distinguished Professor programme and is presently building a new laboratory with a focus on structured light.  He continues to lead projects at the CSIR National Laser Centre laboratory.
Professor Forbes serves on several international conference committees, including OSA's Frontiers in Optics and SPIE's Photonics West (Laser Resonators and Beam Control, Complex Light), chairs the SPIE international conference on Laser Beam Shaping, was former chair of the OSA's Digital Holography and Diffractive Optics technical group and sits on Advisory Boards of both OPN and the Siegman International School on Lasers.   He is an active member of continental programmes: he is a founding member and Steering Committee member of PISA (Photonics Initiative of South Africa), a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa and a member of the African Laser Centre (virtual centre for promoting photonics in Africa).  Forbes is a reviewer for all the major optics journals, for several funding agencies, serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Optics (IoP) and is an active member of various outreach organisations.
Professor Forbes has published more than 300 technical papers in refereed journals and international conference proceedings, including books and book chapters, and together with his students has presented approximately 300 orals or posters at conferences.  He is an active populariser of science through numerous popular articles, television shows and radio contributions.  Professor Forbes and his students have won more than 50 awards for outstanding contributions to science in the past 5 years, including several international awards.  Prof. Forbes' research interests include digital holography, structured light and its applications at the classical and quantum regimes, as well as laser resonators and high brightness lasers. 

OSA is a venerable society, steeped in culture and excellence, with arguably the best portfolio of journals in optics. It is blessed with an active membership that has an altruistic streak second to none; this symbiotic relationship has enabled the society to continue in its trajectory of growth. Optics has enjoyed renewed awareness through national initiatives to promote photonics as an enabling technology, and through the 2015 International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies. Today, more than half of OSA’s membership comes from outside of the United States, yet it is important to remember the society’s roots, where it came from, to understand the wonderful legacy we have—and to appreciate the responsibility that this brings to the next generation of leaders.
The society needs an active membership with visionary leaders, and I am prepared to serve in any capacity that will see OSA move from strength to strength. What I will bring to the party is an international flavor, an African perspective, and time and energy to drive specific programs. Here are some of my thoughts for OSA now and in the future:

  • Strengthening the good. We should celebrate and strengthen the many things that are good about OSA. The excellent journals and periodicals are an OSA hallmark (and bring in most of the money). There are interesting dynamics here: at the people level, a professional staff in the background supports volunteers (editors, referees) who interact with authors; at the technology level, we have the ever-increasing demand for open access and data-on-demand; at the business end, we have pressures for new journals and new publishing models. This most critical aspect of OSA’s business should be our highest priority, striking a balance between moving with the times and maintaining the legacy that established our publishing reputation in the first place. 
  • Improving member participation. In many institutes and societies, it is a few people who do a lot. I believe that most OSA members would like to contribute in some way to the society, and need only be provided with the opportunity. We can do much more to mobilize younger members, as well as to make participation in the society more inclusive and transparent. At times, OSA appears a very exclusive club. It is nothing without its members and volunteers—so let’s provide an environment for giving back to the community through OSA. 
  • Stretching our boundaries. We have a strong society that was born from active researchers in the United States. Now the society is more international, with a culture that transcends nationalities. What remains is to formulate a strategy and implementation plan to promote optics and OSA beyond traditional borders. Much, for example, can be done in the Southern Hemisphere, where a potentially large membership base resides. More broadly, it is incumbent on us to help—through advocacy—in creating sustainable program in optics in less developed regions of the world. Sometimes a commanding external voice can lift a dream to a reality. African researchers in particular need such a supporting voice.
It is not only geographically that we must stretch. Many outside observers would consider OSA an academic society—we may not agree, but that is the reality. There are many exciting developments in optical technologies, and many new companies starting up every year. I have made the transition from industry to academia, and can see both perspectives for OSA. There are many initiatives we can drive to be more inclusive and build new partnerships, so that everyone working in optics finds a home within OSA.

Franz Kärtner

Franz Kärtner

Franz Kärtner heads the Ultrafast Optics and X-rays Division at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL) at DESY, Hamburg, and is Professor of Physics at University of Hamburg and Adjunct Professor of Electrical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  Professor Kärtner received his Diploma and Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Technical University in Munich, Germany in 1986, and 1989, respectively, developing a generalized noise analysis for microwave oscillators now used in commercial CAD tools. During his postdoc period from 1989-1991, he switched to quantum optics and worked on squeezed state generation from microwave devices and in fibers, which he continued as Feodor-Lynen Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at MIT working with Hermann Haus and Erich Ippen. From 1993 to 1997, he earned his Habilitation Degree at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology working with Ursula Keller on several topics in Ultrafast Optics, such as the semiconductor saturable absorber mirrors for stable modelocking or Q-switching of solid-state lasers and dispersion compensating laser optics. After a visiting professorship in 1998 at MIT he joined University of Karlsruhe (TH), now Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), as Professor of Electrical Engineering and held the Chair for Photonics and Terahertz Technology. In 2001 he returned to MIT where he became full professor in 2005.
During the time at MIT he developed ultra-broadband dispersion compensating mirror systems that lead to the first octave spanning Ti:Sapphire lasers. High repetition-rate frequency combs based on this technology are used in the calibration of visible astrophysical spectrographs in the search for exo-planets by the Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics at Harvard. The ultralow jitter properties of femtosecond lasers was proven using the balanced optical cross-correlation technique, which lead over a 10 year period to the development of pulsed optical timing distribution systems delivering sub-femtosecond precision synchronization over km-distances. Today such systems are employed in several X-ray Free-Electron Lasers around the world. His current research at CFEL is focused on compact attosecond hard X-ray sources.
He served as Program and General Co-Chair for the LEOS Annual Meetings 2002 and 2004, the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics 2007 and 2009, and served over many years on the Program Committee of CLEO US and CLEO Europe and the corresponding Steering Committees. He also was Chair of the Ultrafast Optical Phenomena Technical Group of OSA 2008-2010 and Commission D, Electronics and Photonics, of the International Union of Radio Scientists (URSI) 2008-2011. Since 2012, he has served on the Scientific Advisory Committee of Max Born Institute, Berlin, Germany, and since 2014 he has served on the Science Policy Committee of the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory Board. Kärtner has authored or co-authored more than 280 peer-reviewed journal publications and four book chapters. He holds or has applied for 26 patents and is a fellow of The Optical Society and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

OSA represents and serves the international optics community in remarkable ways. First and foremost, it is the professional home for many of us, providing journals that maintain the highest standards in peer review. Most international conferences and topical meetings in our field are flawlessly organized or co-organized by OSA’s highly competent staff.
As with any field in natural science, optics has reinvented itself many times over the past 3,000 years and is today a strong innovation driver spinning off entire fields at a regular pace, benefiting all of society. To mention only two over the last 50 years that have changed how we live: optical communications provides the backbone of our Internet society, and the rapidly growing field of laser manufacturing provides highly engineered products at ever decreasing prices. No other optics organization recognizes this need for permanent reinvention or innovation as much as OSA—and provides, as a professional society, the support needed to maintain the pace. This momentum needs to be maintained or even strengthened by the following activities:

  • Maintain the high quality of peer review in OSA journals, including open-access journals. New developments in optics, published in OSA premier journals, need to be regularly highlighted, to make the public aware of the importance of research and development in optics and its role for innovation that goes often far beyond optics. 
  • Increase the visibility of optical science and technology at the high-school and university levels to promote excitement about our profession and STEM in general. Continuing to increase the number of OSA student chapters is an effective way to do so. Many discoveries and innovations in optics have led to personal satisfaction in professional careers, major industries and wealth. It is of the utmost importance to convey these endless possibilities to the next generation of scientists and engineers, to attract them to this ever-changing field. After all, optics is the science of light and governs vision—one of our most important senses, if not the most important one, for experiencing the world. 
  • Expand on the vision that OSA is an international community of scientists, engineers and other stakeholders in optics, to further the field of optical science and technology through conferences, topical meetings, and internationally balanced program committees and award system. Including minority groups and members from developing countries, openness to closely related fields and organizing petitions to governments when needed all constitute an important part of community building.

Ruxin Li

Ruxin LiProfile
Ruxin Li is currently the director and a professor of the Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics (SIOM), Chinese Academy of Sciences. Established in 1964, SIOM is the earliest and largest research institute in the field of laser science and technology in China. He is also the director of State Key Laboratory of High Field Laser Physics, Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology. He was elected OSA Fellow in 2014.
Professor Li was educated in Tianjin University which is the oldest modern university in China and then in SIOM where he obtained his doctorate degree in optical physics in 1995. He spent over two years as a postdoctoral fellow in Uppsala University, Sweden and the University of Tokyo, Japan, respectively. He was recruited back to SIOM in 1998 by “The Hundred Talents Program” of Chinese Academy of Sciences. Since then, he has been working at SIOM as a professor and won many awards such as the Outstanding Youth Fund of the Natural Science Foundation of China, the National Awards for Natural Science of China, the National Awards for Progress in Science and Technology of China. He was appointed the vice director of SIOM in 2001 and the director of SIOM in 2009.
His research interests include intense femtosecond lasers, laser acceleration, high order harmonic generation and laser filamentation. His group has developed the world’s highest peak power (2 petawatts) lasers in 2013. His group is among the first in demonstrating the staging scheme of laser wakefield acceleration of electrons, and the first group demonstrating snowfall induced by femtosecond laser filamentation. He has published more than 120 papers in high quality research journals and delivered more than 50 invited talks in academic conferences.
Since 2001, Professor Li has been in charge of SIOM’s international collaborations. He made a special effort to promote the collaboration with OSA. In 2005, the journal, Chinese Optics Letters, which was founded by SIOM, became one of the partner journals of OSA. Based on this good collaboration, OSA and SIOM co-published a new English journal, Photonics Research in 2013.
Professor Ruxin Li is very active in national and international scientific societies and activities. He is currently the Vice President of Chinese Optical Society (COS) and the Vice Chair of Division of Quantum Electronics and Optoelectronics, Chinese Society of Electronics. He is an associate editor-in-chief of COL and a member of editorial board of Chinese Physical Letters. He had served as the Chair of Asian Intense Laser Network during 2011-2014. He is a member of International Committee on High Intensity Lasers under IUPAP and a member of Scientific Advisory Committee of European Extreme Light Infrastructure–ALPS. He has served as General Chair of Advanced Solid State Lasers Conference and Exhibition (ASSL) (ASSL 2014 in Shanghai and ASSL 2015 in Berlin), Co-chair of the 12th International Symposium on Ultrafast Intense Laser Science, Spain, 2013, Co-chair of High Power Lasers for Fusion Research II, SPIE Photonics West, USA, 2013, and etc.

OSA is the only international professional society I am now actively involved in. I think of it as my best professional home, and I cherish this opportunity to be a candidate for OSA Director at Large. OSA has offered our global optics community the best journals, conferences and networking. I have served in many OSA events—for example, as general chair of the Advanced Solid State Lasers (ASSL) Conference and Exhibition –and have witnessed the significant value of the work undertaken by OSA staff on behalf of the scientific community. I want to contribute more as an OSA volunteer for the society’s future development.
Over the past 10 years, I have actively participated in leadership and governance in China and internationally. My experi­ence includes serving for 14 years as the vice director and then the director of the Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics (SIOM), Chinese Academy of Sciences, which is the oldest and largest research institute in the field of laser science and technology in China. I have also served as vice president of Chinese Optical Society, chair of the Asian Intense Laser Network and a member of International Committee on High Intensity Lasers under IUPAP, as well as serving as a chair or committee member for more than 30 international conferences.
Since 2001, I have been in charge of SIOM’s international collaborations and have made a special effort to promote collaboration with OSA, through such steps as publication of the journals Chinese Optics Letters and Photonics Research. I have gained the required experience and ability to develop domestic and international collabora­tion.
OSA will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2016—and, as a 100-year-old society, now faces an era of unprecedented change. I would like to emphasize three aspects:
  • OSA is already a global community, with more than half of our approximate­ly 18,000 members residing in over 100 countries. However, OSA’s roles in different regions are quite different. OSA needs to strength its existence in Asia, for example. Co-organizing conferences and exhibitions and co-publishing journals are efficient approaches to promote OSA’s existence and to serve our members better. 
  • OSA is the professional society of the highest international prestige in optics. However, an enhanced interaction between academia and industry under OSA’s leadership is highly desired—and here, some other societies are moving faster. OSA’s unparalleled impact in academia is our invaluable treasure; taking unique advantage of it is key to bridging academia and industry for our members. 
  • OSA’s future success relies on the younger generation. OSA should play an enhanced role in promoting optics using OSA’s resources. To celebrate the 2015 International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies, I sponsored a photo contest among the nearly 500 graduate students at SIOM, and asked them to submit the most beautiful pictures they took during their own research. The reaction was unbelievably strong, and the 19 best examples were made freely available to the public. Many high-school students wrote to me expressing their decision to pursue optics study after learning the beauty of optics from those pictures.
I would appreciate the opportunity to serve the optics community with OSA.

Michal Lipson

Michal LipsonProfile
Michal Lipson is the Given Foundation Professor of Engineering at Cornell University, Ithaca NY and will be joining the faculty at Columbia University in July 2015. She completed her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Physics at the Technion in 1998, followed by a Postdoctoral position at MIT in the Materials Science Department until 2001. In 2001 she joined the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell University. Lipson was one of the pioneers in the field of silicon photonics and is the inventor of several of the critical building blocks in the field including the GHz silicon modulator. She holds over 20 patents and is the author of over 200 technical papers. Professor Lipson held several leadership positions in the scientific community including IEEE Photonics society board of directors member, and co-organized numerous symposia, workshops and sessions in OSA conferences. She has served as a topical editor  for Optics Letters and served as a guest editor for IEEE Journal of Selected Topics of Electronics. She is a co-founder of PicoLuz, a company specializing in nonlinear silicon photonic components. Professor Lipson's honors and awards include the MacArthur Fellow, Blavatnik Award, IBM Faculty Award, and the NSF Early Career Award. She is a fellow of OSA and IEEE. In 2014, she was named by Thomson Reuters as a top 1% highly cited researcher in the field of Physics.

OSA, as one of the major scientific societies, has been successful in attracting members from across the globe, from all areas of optics, and from different areas of science and technology. Its peer-reviewed journals and its scientific meetings have helped shape the field of optics over the past decades and have been incredibly successful in increasing its visibility to the broader scientific community. I have been an OSA member since 1998, and I feel grateful to the society for establishing a strong sense of community and at the same time establishing an environment of excellence.

OSA has been extremely successful in following the rapidly evolving fields of optics. New topical meetings and incubators have been established with the sole purpose of helping the community identify and develop emerging research areas. Several optics fields, largely due to OSA’s effective research dissemination tools, are evolving at rapid pace, and research areas that were purely academic endeavors 10 years ago are now being commercially developed in industry.

One example of an area that has evolved very quickly is silicon photonics, in which a large number of companies that traditionally were involved solely in microelectronics are now interested in establishing connections with academia for possible joint projects and for future hires. This fast evolution makes it challenging for academia to identify and interact with the emerging new industry players in the field. OSA could help facilitate such interactions through, for example, small meetings geared specifically toward networking and establishing common interests between academia and new participants from industry.

Finally, I believe that OSA can set an example to other professional societies by helping to decrease the gender gap in optics. Despite heroic efforts to minimize negative perceptions and increase participation of women, we often sit in meetings in which the participants are almost all male. This problem is of course not unique to the optics community; however OSA can make recommendations for industry, academia and government agencies on measures that would help minimize this gender gap and ensure an environment that provides equal opportunity for professional development for OSA members of all genders and races. One example of such a measure would be to make an effort to hold OSA meetings in locations that are easily accessible (to minimize travel time), so that members of both genders with young families can attend.