2014 Election Bios

OSA Election for 2014 Offices
Candidate Profiles and Statements

Candidates for Vice President
Candidates for Director at Large

OSA 2014 Vice President Candidates (1 will be elected)

Sune Svanberg


Sune Svanberg is a professor of physics at Lund University, Sweden, where he served for 30 years as head of the Atomic Physics Division and for 15 years as founding director of the Lund Laser Center. Since 2011, he has also been a distinguished professor at South China Normal University, Canton.

Svanberg obtained his doctorate in 1972 from Gothenburg University, Sweden, working on optical resonance spectroscopy. During a one-year postdoc at Columbia University, New York, he started early work in atomic laser spectroscopy, a field that he later vigorously pursued at his Swedish home university. He also introduced laser-radar sounding for environmental monitoring and laser-based combustion diagnostics. Moving to Lund University in 1980, he continued work on these applications as well as basic laser spectroscopy. In addition, a program of biophotonics was created. Cross-disciplinary work became a hallmark of his activities, which also expanded into the cultural heritage, food safety and ecology sectors. Rejuvenating the Lund basic physics program, he initiated the Lund High Power Laser Facility for research in broad-band hard X-rays, X-ray lasers, high-harmonic generation and applications. His work has been presented in over 600 publications. He collaborated with large industries and helped form several spin-off companies. For the last 30 years, he has worked extensively with China, and he has made strong efforts to introduce realistic spectroscopy applications in developing countries, especially Africa. He spent several research periods at Stanford University.

Svanberg has been a member of The Optical Society for more than 30 years. From 1997-1999, he served as Director at Large on the OSA Board of Directors and as Chair of the International Advisory Committee. He has also served as a member or chair of the Max Born Award, Frederick Ives Medal, and C.E.K. Mees Medal committees. More recently, he was a member of the OSA Meetings Council (2009-2011).

Svanberg is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (KVA) and served for 10 years on its Nobel Committee for Physics, including two years as chair. He is also a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering (IVA), the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, the Académie Royal Belgique, and the Third World Academy of Sciences. He is a Dr. honoris causa of the Medical Faculty, Lund University, University of Latvia, Université de Liège, and Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria, Lima, Einstein professor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and honorary professor of Jilin University, Harbin Institute of Technology and Zhejiang University. He is a Fellow of OSA, APS and EOS. He served on the boards of the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Space Agency (where he also chaired its Remote Sensing Committee), and Mid Sweden University, and he currently chairs a European Research Council panel to select the most promising young researchers in basic physics research. He has served on numerous advisory boards and evaluation panels. Svanberg received the first EPS Quantum Electronics Award, the first Azko Nobel Science Award, the Willis E. Lamb Award, the V.K. Zworykin Award, the SKAPA Innovation Prize, the Celcius Gold Medal (Uppsala), the Memorial Gold Medal (Lund), the Adelskold Gold Medal (KVA), the Large Gold Medal (IVA) and the Gold Medal of the King of Sweden.

Sune Svanberg Statement

The Optical Society has a bold tradition of being the prominent facilitator of optical science and its applications, serving the community with superb professional journals, excellent conferences and topical meetings, and providing a great forum for optical scientists and engineers. I am very proud of being a long-time member of such a society, populated by talented and enthusiastic people, and served by an outstanding professional staff.

Under such fortunate circumstances, what could I possibly contribute to OSA? One of my key goals is to promote the role of science in society and of optics as an enabling technology with deep penetration into all sectors of modern life. There is frequently an artificial barrier between basic and applied research, but I see a seamless propagation from the most basic aspects into everyday applications transforming our lives, and I have worked extensively in all stages of this process. Good basic science leads to fruitful applications, which in turn result in prospering companies and better living conditions.

Light, with its magic spectrum of suggestive features, has a unique role in fostering an understanding of the machinery of the Macro- and Micro-Cosmos. It can serve to excite curiosity and arouse an interest in science in the young generation, a task that cannot be emphasized enough. The OSA Student Chapters are a great asset to the Society and they should be strongly supported in their endeavors.

The world is quickly changing, with opportunities emerging and disappearing. It is important to further develop OSA’s strategy for outreach to China and other rapidly-developing regions, in order to better serve the global optics community. I see myself in a very good position to make a contribution in this area.

While OSA should strongly emphasize the role of optics in the world-wide economy and support efforts to expand its impact -- for example, through major initiatives like Photonics21 and the Harnessing Light studies -- it should also foster the role of optics in developing countries. Here the Society has a great responsibility. Because of its moderate investment requirements, optics research is comparatively easy to fund, and its benefits to the health, agricultural, environmental and energy sectors are particularly easy to communicate to local governments. Competition between professional societies is very healthy, but a number of fruitful joint endeavors illustrate the benefits of stakeholder collaboration. In one area, collaboration is mandatory -- in the effort to be efficient and complementary in supporting those who have nothing.

I have a strong belief in the role of science in general, and optics in particular, to help create a better world. The Optical Society has unique possibilities to bring people together beyond the traditional barriers – real and artificial – in order to address future challenges in communications, energy, environment and health. Let us work even harder to keep up the good spirits and to enthusiastically get the work done!

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Alan Willner


Alan Willner received a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University (1988). Prof. Willner was a postdoctoral member of technical staff at AT&T Bell Labs and a member of technical staff at Bellcore. He joined the University of Southern California (USC) in 1992 and is currently the Steven & Kathryn Sample Chaired Professor of Engineering. Prof. Willner is a member of the Defense Sciences Research Council, and he has served on many scientific advisory boards for small companies and venture capital firms. Moreover, he was Founder and CTO of Phaethon Communications, a company acquired by Teraxion, that created the ClearSpectrum® dispersion compensator product line.

Prof. Willner has received various awards, including the OSA Paul Forman Engineering Excellence Award and Robert Hopkins Leadership Award; IEEE Photonics Society Engineering Achievement Award, Distinguished Lecturer Award, and Distinguished Service Award; International Fellow of the U.K. Royal Academy of Engineering; Presidential Faculty Fellows Award from the White House; Packard Foundation Fellowship; Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship;  Fulbright Foundation Senior Scholar Fellowship; SPIE President's Award; National Science Foundation National Young Investigator Award; USC Associates Award for University-Wide Creativity in Research (highest university research award); 2001 Eddy Paper Award from Pennwell Publications for the Best Contributed Technical Article (across all 30 magazines in Pennwell's Advanced Technology Division); Honorary Doctorate (Honoris Causa) from Yeshiva University; and Armstrong Foundation Memorial Award for the highest-ranked EE Masters student at Columbia University. He is a Fellow of the AAAS, IEEE, OSA and SPIE, and he was a Doctoral Fellow of the Semiconductor Research Corporation.

Prof. Willner has been an active OSA volunteer. He served on the OSA Board of Directors (2002-2003), as well as being Co-chair of the Science & Engineering Council, Chair of the Photonics Division, and member of the Board of Editors, Publications Council, Public Policy Committee and Frederic Ives Medal Committee. He has been Chair of the IEEE TAB Ethics and Member Conduct Committee and has served as President, elected member of the Board of Governors, and Vice-President for Technical Affairs of the IEEE Photonics Society. His other activities include: Co-chair of the U.S. National Academies Committee on the Optics and Photonics Study (i.e., Harnessing Light II); General and Program Co-chair and Steering Chair of the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO); Program Co-chair of the OSA Annual Meeting and General/Program Co-chair of various OSA Topical Meetings (e.g., Coherent Technologies, Optical Amplifiers, Slow Light, and SPPComm); General Chair of the IEEE Photonics Society Annual Meeting; Steering Committee and Technical Committee member of the Conference on Optical Fiber Communications; and member of U.S. Advisory Committee for the International Commission for Optics.

Prof. Willner has been Editor-in-Chief of OSA’s Optics Letters, IEEE/OSA Journal of Lightwave Technology and IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics; and Associate Editor of IEEE/OSA Journal of Optical Communications and Networking. He has over 1,000 publications, including one book, six edited books (including Optical Fiber Telecommunications V and VI), 24 U.S. patents, 20 keynotes/plenaries, 19 book chapters, and 200 invited papers/presentations. His research is in optical communications, optical signal processing, optical networks, and fiber optics.

Alan Willner Statement

OSA is a premier society whose strengths include the highest-quality journals, conferences, governance committees, and local and student chapters. Due to outstanding financial management, OSA has a healthy budget that can be used fruitfully to provide more member services, cultivate emerging technical directions, impact our global community, and nurture the younger generation. It is incumbent on OSA leaders to encourage suggestions from our enthusiastic and diverse members for ways that we can all help improve our society. Over-arching themes that may help us prosper include:
(1) New Science and Engineering directions: Our society should expand ongoing efforts to identify the next impactful technical areas, aid in their embryonic development, and reap the benefits as they flourish. Furthermore, since several scientific and engineering areas of potential growth are uniquely inter-disciplinary, we should intensify our multifaceted collaborations with sister societies to foster topics that fall between traditional areas. 

(2) Nurturing of students: We profoundly and positively influence the future careers of our students. We should continue to develop innovative new programs to encourage promising students to become future leaders, expand the engagement of students in technical participation in conferences and journals, and provide critically needed resources for our student chapters. 

(3) High-Impact journals: Our outstanding journals are a significant member benefit. Thanks to our wonderful staff and volunteers, the time to publish manuscripts has decreased significantly, and this trend should continue in order to attract the highest-quality papers. Moreover, our Publications Council is planning exciting activities, and we should use these new ideas to build momentum so that OSA stands tall as the “go-to” resource for optical science and engineering.

(4) Local Chapters: Many Local Chapter members are quite interested in actively participating in OSA. We should draw these enthusiastic volunteers more closely into the central organization and encourage overall volunteerism. Furthermore, we should vigorously pursue new programs that are tailored to engage a broader set of leaders and that fit the unique needs of any particular country.

(5) Globalization: Our global influence extends far beyond the number of our international members -- our actions impact and inspire the optics community worldwide. We should expand international representation on our governance and technical committees, focusing especially on members from developing nations. Moreover, we should provide a high-quality global umbrella that helps to coordinate a significant number of related international activities.

(6) Advocacy: Optics has cemented itself as a ubiquitous, enabling technology that greatly impacts our daily lives, and we are poised to heighten our value if we act with strategic vision. With recent activities (e.g., U.S. National Academies' Optics and Photonics Study, EU's Photonics Public-Private Partnership, U.S. National Photonics Initiative, and UN's 2015 International Year of Light), there are renewed opportunities for OSA to leverage these activities and have a dramatic impact worldwide by helping to: (i) educate decision makers and the public about our value and needs for future growth, (ii) enable better data collection regarding workforce issues and R&D funding, (iii) facilitate partnerships among industry, government and academia, and (iv) foster a technical roadmap that identifies trends and opportunities.

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OSA 2014 Candidates for Director at Large (3 will be elected)

Qihuang Gong


Qihuang Gong is the Cheung Kong Professor of Physics at Peking University, China, where he is also the Founding Director of the Institute of Modern Optics and Deputy Director of the Office of Planning and Policy Research. In addition, Prof. Gong serves as Director of the State Key Laboratory for Artificial Microstructure and Mesoscopic Physics. His current research interests are in ultrafast optics and spectroscopy, nonlinear optics, and mesoscopic optical devices for applications in optical information processing and communication. He has authored more than 300 articles which have received approximately 3,000 citations, with an H-index of 26. Gong’s group has been awarded 16 patents.

Prof. Gong has received numerous awards, including The State Natural Science Award (2nd-Class), the Beijing City Science and Technology Award (1st-Class), the Chinese Physical Society’s Rao Yutai Physics Prize, and the Wang Daheng Science and Technology Prize given by the Chinese Optics Society. He has won the Youth Scholar Award (Physics) of the Hong Kong Qiushi Foundation, and the Science and Technology Award for China Youth. He has also been the honored winner of special government allowances, and he was named one of the Top 10 Excellent Youths of Beijing. He is a Fellow of OSA and IoP.

Prof. Gong is currently the chief scientist of the National 973 Project (the Chinese National Basic Research Program), and Principal of the creative research group of the National Natural Science Foundation of China. Prof. Gong also serves as a topical editor for Optics Letters, advisor editor of Chemical Physics, and associate editor-in-chief of Chinese Physics B, Chinese Optics Letters, Chinese Science Bulletin (in Chinese), Chinese Optics and Applied Optics (in Chinese), Acta Physica Sinica (in Chinese) and Quantum Electronics (in Chinese). He serves as the General Secretary and Vice President of the Chinese Optical Society, Executive Council Member and Director of the Commission on International Exchange of the Chinese Physical Society, Deputy Council Director of the Beijing Optics Society, and Co-chair of the Asian Intense Laser Network. Prof. Gong is a member of the OSA Fellow Members Committee and previously served on the OSA International Council.

Qihuang Gong Statement

In 1986, when I was a graduate student, I began my involvement with OSA when I presented my first scientific report at IQEC/CLEO '86 in San Francisco. Since that time, I have been dedicated to this Society and have become increasingly active in its activities, especially during the last 10 years. Through my attendance at OSA conferences in the U.S. and other parts of the world, I met many excellent researchers and developed fruitful collaborations and life-long friendships. It is thus a great honor to be nominated as a candidate for Director at Large. It is my belief that my energy and experience will enable me to serve the OSA community and help young scientists around the world enjoy the same benefits that I received in my own career.

A majority of OSA’s members -- about 53% -- now reside outside the U.S. Globalization is the direction of the future. Hundreds of OSA members around the world dedicate their time and talents to the Society through volunteer services. As a Chinese, I have been pleased to serve as a Topical Editor of Optics Letters, and as a member of the OSA International Council, Publications Council and Fellow Members Committee. I have also served as Secretary General and Vice President of the Chinese Optical Society. These activities have given me a comprehensive understanding of professional society management, as well as international experience that I will use to help OSA strengthen its collaboration with professional societies all over the world and to further the Society’s global development.

The young generation is our future. As an educator, I have helped to start Student Chapters in China and I also served as the advisor to the Student Chapter at Peking University for many years. I would love to continue in this role and help to establish more Student Chapters in the Asian region, particularly in countries with developing optical communities.

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Byoungho Lee


Byoungho Lee is a professor of Electrical Engineering at Seoul National University, South Korea. He received his B.S. (1987) and M.S. (1989) degrees from Seoul National University and the Ph.D. degree from EECS, the University of California at Berkeley (1993). He joined the School of Electrical Engineering, Seoul National University, as a faculty member in 1994 and was promoted to the rank of full professor in 2005. He is currently the Director of the National Creative Research Center for Active Plasmonics Application Systems at Seoul National University (since 2007) and has served as the Director of the Laser Measurement and Diagnosis Center, Korea Electrical Engineering and Science Research Institute (2005-2007). He has been a visiting scholar at various universities in the U.S., Australia and Poland.
Byoungho Lee is a Fellow of OSA (2005) and SPIE (2002) and a Member of the Korean Academy of Science and Technology (2011). His research fields include digital holography, 3D displays, plasmonics and optical sensors. Since his appointment at Seoul National University, research produced by his group has resulted in the publication of more than 310 international journal papers and more than 550 international conference papers, including about 100 invited presentations. His H-index is 39. He is the recipient of a number of awards, including The Scientist of The Month Award of Korea (Sept. 2009). His laboratory has produced 38 Ph.D. degrees and 50 M.S. degrees, and most of these graduates are currently involved in research in Korean industry and academia. Two of his former students serve as topical editors of OSA journals.
Byoungho Lee has been a member of OSA since 1995. He has served OSA in various positions: as a Director at Large by appointment (2006-2008), Chair of the Member and Education Services Council (2012-2013; Vice-Chair 2011), Chair of the Holography and Diffractive Optics Technical Group (2011-2012), and a member of the Strategic Planning Committee (since 2009), Executive Committee (2012-2013), Finance Committee (2012-2013), Awards Committee (2006-2008) and the External Relations Advisory Group (2008-2011). He has also been involved in OSA Journals – as topical editor for Optics Letters (since Dec. 2012) and as topical editor for Applied Optics (July 2005-July 2011). Currently, he represents OSA on the CLEO Pacific Rim Steering Committee and has served as Co-chair, Chair and Advisory Member of the OSA Topical Meeting on Digital Holography and 3-D Imaging. He served as the Program Co-chair of CLEO Pacific Rim 2011 (Sydney, Australia) and as a program committee member for various OSA-sponsored meetings. He has also served in diverse positions for the Optical Society of Korea and the Korean Information Display Society. He served as an overseas editor for the Japanese Journal of Applied Physics (2003-2006), the Tate Medal Committee of American Institute of Physics (2009) and is currently serving as an associate editor of the Journal of the Society for Information Display and Light: Science and Applications.

Byoungho Lee Statement

In its 97-year history, The Optical Society (OSA) has grown to be a highly respected global optics and photonics society by virtue of the tireless efforts of volunteers and staff. I consider it a pleasure and honor to have had opportunities to participate in the various activities of the Society. As a result of these experiences, I have become quite familiar with the current status of the Society and issues that now confront OSA. I am aware that many in-depth activities are now under way and that a systematic decision-making process is in place. Directors at Large play an important role in providing direction and improving the policies of the Society. I have asked myself whether my being a candidate for this position would be beneficial to OSA, because I think a fresh input of new faces in leadership would be good for the further growth of OSA, and I am not new. I have concluded that there are areas where I could have an impact if I was able to serve for three more years on the Board of Directors. Below are some key issues that I feel I could contribute to if I were to be elected a Director at Large by OSA members.
OSA will celebrate its 100th anniversary in three years. I believe that the Society should prepare for another leap. By 2016, our membership is projected to surpass 21,000 members. OSA is already a global society – 53% of its members are non-U.S. based. OSA has been trying to enrich membership categories, recruit more global members and encourage young professionals’ involvement and Student Chapter activities. In some geographic regions, membership has increased at an amazing rate, but there are other regions where membership tends to be saturated or where much room remains for growth. The Society needs good strategies on issues that will benefit not only various categories of membership, but also various geographic regions of the world.
Another important issue is providing more services to our optics/photonics industry and engineering colleagues. Two wheels of our bicycle are optics/photonics science and industry. Recently, OSA made a wise decision to reinforce services to Corporate Members and Optoelectronics Industry Development Association (OIDA) members. Even with these advances, we continue to need to develop more services, so that colleagues from industrial management or laboratories, as well as engineering researchers in academia, will feel at home in OSA and will make further contributions to its activities. 
Further advancing our reputation, providing opportunities for presenting high quality research, and creating networking opportunities to stimulate further progress in research remain challenges for our members. Creating a new high-impact journal is currently under discussion, led by enthusiastic volunteers. We need to devise a well-thought-out strategy and policy for maintaining our position as the leading academic society and serving all of our members in various categories and fields.

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Kaoru Minoshima


Kaoru Minoshima is a Professor at the University of Electro-Communications (UEC), Tokyo, Japan. She received her Sc. B., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in physics from the University of Tokyo in 1987, 1989, and 1993, respectively. Her doctoral research focused on ultrafast spectroscopy of mesoscopic materials. In 1993, she joined the National Research Laboratory of Metrology (NRLM), Japan, where she worked on precision metrology using femtosecond laser technology. She became a senior scientist at NRLM in 1997 and at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in 2001, due to organizational restructuring. In 2007, she became group leader of the Length Standards Section at the National Metrology Institute of Japan (NMIJ), AIST. From 2011 to 2013, she served as Bureau Manager at the Innovation School, AIST, where she was in charge of planning and organizing educational programs for career development of postdoctoral fellows. In April 2013, she moved to the University of Electro-Communications. Prof. Minoshima also served as a Visiting Professor at the University of Bordeaux I, France (1996), a Visiting Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, where she worked on micromachining of photonic devices using femtosecond lasers (2000-2001), and a guest professor at the Tokyo University of Science (2007-2013). Her areas of research are ultrafast optical science and technology and their application to optical metrology, particularly time-resolved imaging, generation of frequency combs, and length metrology using frequency combs. One of her achievements is developing ultrahigh accuracy absolute distance measurement technology using frequency combs.
She received the Prize for Science and Technology given by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan, in 2008, and the first Women Scientists Award from the Japan Society of Applied Physics in 2010.
Prof. Minoshima has enjoyed being an active OSA volunteer. She served as the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO) Technical Subcommittee Chair (2004-2005), where she built a new subcommittee for Optical Metrology, and as Subcommittee member (2006-2008), Program Co-chair (2009), and General Co-chair (2011). She has also served on technical and organizing committees for several other international conferences, including CLEO Pacific Rim, CLEO Europe, IQEC, Ultrafast Phenomena, and ASSP. She is currently a member of the Townes Award selection committee (2012-2013). 
Prof. Minoshima is a member of the Science Council of Japan (2011-present). She has served as editor of the Japanese Journal of Applied Physics (JJAP) (2006-2009), Program Chair of Optics Photonics Japan (2011), sponsored by the Optical Society of Japan, and she is involved with several other academic and society activities in Japan.

Kaoru Minoshima Statement

OSA offers high-quality academic information and networking opportunities through its highly rated journals and worldwide optics and photonics conferences. Now that more than half the Society’s members are from outside the U.S., its international role is increasingly significant. I have enjoyed participating in and contributing to these important OSA activities. I am honored to stand as a candidate for Director at Large. If elected, I would like to further serve the society and its members by making the following my priorities:
Strengthening the society’s international participation
OSA is becoming an increasingly global society, with members in countries around the world. We must work on providing more opportunities for international members to participate in OSA activities, and on ensuring that every organizational area is accessible to international members. Since OSA relies on contributions from volunteers from around the world to plan and deliver its projects and services, it is important to make it easier for these volunteers to participate in activities such as conference committees by conducting remote meetings and using a common language for communication. This will make it easier for international committee members to participate, and it would make OSA membership and involvement more appealing to international members.
Organizing productive conferences through cooperation
The number of conferences held worldwide is increasing. Conferences are indispensable opportunities for obtaining information on hot topics and for networking, but sometimes there are many similar conferences in a short period of time, which prevents members from fully enjoying these opportunities. Through proper coordination, we can minimize the efforts of committees to collect submissions and find speakers, resulting in more fruitful conferences. For example, information exchange and schedule coordination in the initial planning stages of OSA-sponsored conferences and symposia would be very helpful. In this way, OSA can provide high-quality, coordinated services to members.
Strengthening collaboration among related societies
The world is currently plagued by problems such as global warming. To resolve such global issues, interdisciplinary collaboration between academic societies is essential. Optics and photonics can play an important role in integrating diverse areas of science and technology. Efforts to facilitate collaboration between related societies worldwide are necessary, and OSA should play a key role in this regard.
Providing attractive opportunities for young scientists and women scientists
It is highly important to make optics and photonics an appealing career choice for young scientists and students by offering attractive services, such as opportunities for networking and organizing informative events. Such services can include activities organized by students, where they network among themselves, or networking opportunities at conferences and other places between people new to the field and veterans. Enhancing opportunities for female students and scientists is also very important to further the growth of the field and to society. Enhancing international collaboration for such activities is necessary to establish attractive career options for students, young scientists and women in this field, as well as for the sustainable development of the Society.

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Anne Tropper


Anne Tropper is currently a Professor of Physics at the University of Southampton in the UK, where she leads the Semiconductor Laser group, with a particular interest in the generation of ultrashort pulses in passively mode-locked surface-emitting lasers. Prof. Tropper was born in London and educated at the University of Oxford, where she obtained her doctorate in 1978. Her first professional job was as a Consulting System Engineer with Smith Associates near London; later she returned to experimental research as a postdoctoral assistant at the Clarendon Laboratory, Oxford. In 1982, the award of a Lindemann Fellowship by the English Speaking Union of the Commonwealth took her to California, where she worked at the IBM Research Laboratory on laser spectroscopy and coherent transient phenomena. At the end of 1983, she returned to the UK with a faculty position in David Hanna’s newly established Laser Physics Group at the University of Southampton. The work on lanthanide-doped silica fibre lasers that she initiated there contributed to the formation of the Southampton Optoelectronics Research Centre in 1989. Prof. Tropper was appointed to a personal chair in 2000.

During her time at Southampton, Prof. Tropper’s research has included pioneering studies of silica fiber lasers and amplifiers, planar waveguide lasers, fluoride fiber upconversion lasers, spin-polarised excitations in semiconductor quantum wells, and, most recently, femtosecond surface-emitting quantum well lasers. Her group has shown how passively mode-locked external cavity quantum well lasers can generate transform-limited pulse trains at repetition frequencies around 1 GHz, with peak powers up to 4 kW or more directly from the laser oscillator. She has about 200 publications, which have been cited more than 4,000 times. She is a Fellow of the UK Institute of Physics, and was recently awarded a Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship. At Southampton, she has served terms as Head of the Quantum, Light and Matter Group, Deputy Head of School for Research, and Head of the School of Physics and Astronomy. She has three children, of whom the youngest turns 18 this year.

Prof. Tropper has been a member of The Optical Society for over 30 years, and was elected to a Fellowship in 2006. She has served on the Program Committee of the Advanced Solid State Photonics Topical Meeting, and as Chair of the Charles Hard Townes Award Panel. She regularly reviews papers for Optics Express and other OSA journals.

Anne Tropper Statement

In 1980, as a new postdoctoral research assistant working with lasers for the first time, I joined The Optical Society of America for a purely pragmatic reason: I was anxious to attend a Topical Meeting in Cape Cod on a slender budget, and needed the member registration discount. I went on, however, to realize by degrees what a truly remarkable organization it was that had admitted me to its ranks. I was immediately thrilled to discover that for a modest charge I could receive my own copy of Optics Letters in the mail, and be the first person locally, in those pre-Internet days, to know about cool new stuff.
For over 30 years now, OSA has been my professional home, offering the best conferences, the most exciting topical meetings, and the journals which my community regards as definitive in their authority and scope. I have served on the Program Committee of the Advanced Solid State Photonics Topical Meeting, and as Chair of the Charles Hard Townes Award Panel, and seen for myself the great value of the work undertaken by OSA staff on behalf of the scientific community.
The support of OSA becomes even more critical to its members in times of great change. Three aspects in particular concern me:
• Rigorous standards of peer review in publishing are deeply challenging to maintain, with the open-access revolution and the continual appearance of new journals driving up demands on reviewers. OSA must ensure that it continues to set a high standard here, drawing on the loyalty of the expert reviewer community that OSA can uniquely command through the sheer range of activities – meetings, awards, support groups – that it embraces.
• OSA Student Chapters offer great support and inspiration to fledgling scientists, and aid the community to get the very best from this precious resource. This is a vital activity, and it is worth periodically reviewing whether the changing environment creates new training needs that Student Chapters might help to address.
• The encouragement that OSA has shown over many years to minorities and women, and to international members, is a defining characteristic that is profoundly valued by members. This inclusive approach must continue to be a hallmark of the work of OSA.

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Adam Wax


Adam Wax is the Theodore Kennedy Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University in Durham, NC. He received dual bachelor’s degrees in 1993, one from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, in Electrical Engineering and one from the State University of New York at Albany in Physics. He received M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Physics from Duke University in 1996 and 1999, respectively. His doctoral research focused on using Wigner distributions to analyze propagation of coherence in phase space through multiple scattering processes. Immediately after receiving his doctorate, he joined the George R. Harrison Spectroscopy Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as a postdoctoral fellow of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Wax joined the faculty of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University in the fall of 2002 as an assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor in 2007, appointed as the inaugural Theodore Kennedy professor in 2011, and promoted to full professor in 2013.

Dr. Wax leads a vital research program in the area of biophotonics, the use of photonics technologies for biomedical application. His research interests are in the use of light scattering and interferometry to probe the biophysical properties of cells for both diagnosis of disease and fundamental cell biology studies. He has authored over 150 peer-reviewed and conference publications in addition to five book chapters. He has edited two books and seven conference proceedings.

In 2006, Dr. Wax founded Oncoscope, Inc. to commercialize early cancer detection technology developed in his laboratory. To date, Oncoscope has raised over $5MM in venture capital in addition to over $5MM in non-dilutive grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. Dr. Wax currently serves as Chairman of Oncoscope, Inc.

Dr. Wax has been an active member of OSA since joining as a student member in 1996. He has served as chair of the Member and Education Services (MES) Council and on the OSA Board of Directors (2006-2007). He has been involved with the Biomedical Optics Technical Division as a group chair and he served on the Science and Engineering Council (SEC) (2005-2009). With the reformation of the SEC as the Board of Meetings, Dr. Wax served as chair-elect (2009) and chair (2010-2013) of the Biomedical Optics Technical Division. He has served on the Investment Subcommittee (2008-2010), as well as on the Michael S. Feld and C.E.K. Mees award committees. In 2010, he was named a Fellow of The Optical Society. Dr. Wax has served as an editor for Applied Optics (two terms: 2004-2007, 2007-2010) and Biomedical Optics Express (2010–2013). Most recently, he served as the program chair for Frontiers in Optics, OSA’s Annual Meeting (2012). 

Adam Wax Statement

I am honored to stand for election as a Director at Large. My professional history with OSA began 17 years ago, when I joined as a student member, and I am glad to have had the opportunity to serve in a variety of roles since then. I have participated in OSA governance on the membership side, as chair of Member and Education Services Council, on the conference side, as program chair at FiO and committee member for several meetings, on the publications side, as editor for Applied Optics and Biomedical Optics Express, and finally, on the governance side, serving on the Board of Directors and the Investment Subcommittee, in addition to multiple ad hoc roles.  It is the breadth of my volunteer experience at OSA that will enable me to serve as an effective director.

In working with OSA, I have been struck by the collegiality and openness of my fellow members. I believe that connecting with members across a broad range of segments will allow me to be an effective voice for them on the Board. I relate to those engaged in fundamental research, due to my training as an experimental physicist and continuing interest in basic science. My interests align with those engaged in applied research, with my current role as a biomedical engineer providing me a deep appreciation for design and implementation. I also have a solid understanding of the needs of our members from industry, having experienced firsthand the emphases and priorities required to found and operate Oncoscope.

While its members are the lifeblood of OSA, it is the staff that provides the support system. I have truly been impressed with how responsive and helpful the OSA staff can be. Across my many roles of OSA volunteer work, I have interacted with staff at a variety of levels. I believe that my knowledge of OSA culture will give me an advantage in understanding which new initiatives are feasible and the optimal approach for achieving desired outcomes.

If I am elected, I would focus my efforts on the following areas:

Membership development – In my role as a graduate level educator, I have seen that many employers would gladly hire more people with optics skills, but that there are not enough trained experts making it to the workforce. I would work within OSA to bolster our education efforts, in particular by engaging our Student Chapters and young professionals, to spark an interest in optics at a young age and encourage continued development with OSA. 

Online presence – OSA has created a strong online presence, offering video dissemination, multimedia publications and social media exposure, such as Facebook and blog posts. I will build upon this foundation to enable a more connected community, through online discussions, webcasts and educational offerings.

Maintaining stature – At 100 years old, OSA is among the preeminent academic societies in existence. As a director, I would work to ensure that we maintain this role by continuing to provide quality offerings and staying aware of the needs of our membership.

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Xi-Cheng Zhang


Xi-Cheng Zhang is Director of The Institute of Optics and M. Parker Givens Professor of Optics at the University of Rochester, New York, USA. Prof. Zhang joined The Institute of Optics on 1 January 2012. Prior to Rochester, he spent 20 years at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he was Acting Head of the Department of Physics, Applied Physics and Astronomy, and Founding Director of the Center for THz Research. He is co-founder of Zomega Terahertz Corp. Graduating from Peking University in 1982, he earned his Ph.D. in physics from Brown University in 1986. He started his THz photonics research at Columbia University in 1988.

Prof. Zhang is a Fellow of OSA, APS, and IEEE. His recent honors and awards include: M. Parker Givens Professor of Optics at the University of Rochester (2012); Honorable Professor at Moscow University (2012); OSA William F. Meggers Award (2012); IEEE Photonics Society William Streifer Scientific Achievement Award (2011); William H. Wiley 1866 Award (2009); and J. Erik Jonsson '22 Professor of Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

In the late 1980’s, Prof. Zhang reported THz wave generation from semiconductor surface with a femtosecond laser excitation. In the late 1990’s, he demonstrated a new THz sensing technology, the use of electro-optic crystals for free space electro-optical sampling. Prof. Zhang uses ZnTe as a pulsed THz wave emitter and sensor with femtosecond lasers, which works very well with Ti:sapphire laser. This technique has now been widely used in hundreds of groups in more than 20 countries. His single-shot detection method for the measurement of an intense THz field is used in numerous advanced laser laboratories worldwide.

Since the Columbia Space Shuttle accident on 1 February 2003, Prof. Zhang has been working with the NASA Langley Research Center, NASA Marshall Flight Research Center and Lockheed Martin Space Systems to apply THz wave technology to detecting defects in the space shuttle’s insulating foam samples. NASA certified and accepted this THz technology, and T-ray imaging has been selected by NASA as one of two imaging modalities to discover defects in foam insulation. A recent contribution from Prof. Zhang’s group has been in THz wave air-photonics research. They demonstrated a high-field, broadband THz spectrometer which uses air and selected gases as the THz wave emitter and sensor.

Prof. Zhang has served as a distinguished lecturer for OSA, APS and IEEE. He has delivered over 400 colloquiums, seminars and invited conference presentations, and 300 contributed conference talks.

Prof. Zhang has 28 patents, has authored 18 books, book chapters, and over 300 refereed journal papers. His has more than 20,000 total citations, with an H-index of 67 and i10-index of 288.

Xi-Cheng Zhang Statement

As OSA originated in 1916 in Rochester, the timing is advantageous for me to help prepare for the celebration of OSA’s 100th anniversary. As Director of The Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester (UR), I would be thrilled to join with colleagues here to help host this historic event.

Today, OSA is truly a global community, with more than half of our approximately 18,000 members residing in over 100 countries. An applied physicist by training, I gained extensive experience in both industry and academia over the past 30 years, actively participating in leadership and governance in the U.S. and internationally. I served as Chairman of the NATO Task Group for five years, as President and Chairman of Zomega Terahertz Corp., consultant for over 15 companies, in academic study and service at Brown University, MIT and Columbia University, as Acting Department Head of Physics, Applied Physics & Astronomy at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), and Director of The Institute of Optics, UR. I have gained a unique perspective on the collaboration between scientists and educators with engineers and developers, domestically and internationally. My goal is to enhance OSA’s role in fostering interaction between industry and academia.

OSA’s primary emphasis currently is optical physics. However, OSA’s main focus was originally applied optics. Participation by industrial optical engineers in OSA is low in comparison with other professional societies, including SPIE. I see a need to refocus on industrial representation and recognition.

As the 13th Director of The Institute of Optics, I  organized the first Optical Leadership Summit during FiO/LS: 2012 in Rochester, where I brought together current and former deans and directors of the Colleges and Institute. Our goal is to strengthen collaboration and cooperation among major optics programs and extend the summit worldwide. This would strengthen academic alliances within OSA.

OSA has an outstanding educational outreach program, including the "Optics Suitcase," which originated in Rochester in 1999. Since recent studies indicate that many students still learn about optics only after starting college, more vigorous promotion of OSA resources is needed. Working with high school science teachers to promote early interest is key.

OSA is a premier educational and service organization. The dedicated members and staff offer avenues for members to use their talents and energy in ways that enhance the field and lead to innovations in optics. As Director at Large, I would offer key expertise to advance the future success of OSA; endorse international collaborations and contacts for enhancing worldwide membership, networking and support; foster industrial and academic expertise; and promote international prestige. I would appreciate the opportunity to serve the optics community with OSA.

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