2016 Board of Directors Biographies

Jay M. Eastman

Optel, Inc., USA
Term: 1/1/2015-31/12/2017

Jay Eastman received his B.S. (1970) and Ph.D. (1974) from The Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester. Following completion of his degrees he became the manager of engineering in the Optics Group at Spectra Physics in Mountain View, California. From there he joined the staff of the Laboratory for Laser Energetics at the University of Rochester, progressing from staff engineer to Project Manager for the construction of the 24 beam Omega Laser Fusion System. He finally served as the Director of the Laboratory after the departure of its founding director.

Dr. Eastman has subsequently formed four start-up companies, with three of them having strong optics and photonics technology bases. The first was Optel Systems Inc., (subsequently acquired by PSC, Inc.) which developed the first hand-held laser diode-based bar code scanners in the world. During the 1990’s the company became a recognized leader in field of bar code scanning. Next was Lucid, Inc., a pioneer in the development of in-vivo confocal microscopy for the diagnosis of skin cancer. The confocal imagers, called VivaScopes, have been used by medical researchers around the world for research and clinical diagnosis of skin cancers, resulting in over 350 peer-reviewed publications in various medical journals and several books on the use of confocal microscopy in dermatology. Eastman is now involved as a co-founder in two more start-up medical companies, one of which is heavily based on optical technology. As a consequence of his work in these companies, he is a named inventor on 44 issued U.S. patents.

In addition to his entrepreneurial pursuits, Dr. Eastman has served as an adjunct professor at the Institute of Optics over the years since he received his Ph.D., periodically teaching courses in optical fabrication, optical thin films, product development and entrepreneurism. Dr. Eastman’s honors, awards and professional contributions and achievements include: member of the National Academy of Science’s Board of Assessment of NIST Programs, Panel for Physics (2000-2002); Herbert Vanden Brul Entrepreneur of the Year Award (1996-1997); The Optical Society: Engineering Excellence Award (1994), Board of Directors (1984-1988), Chair of the Technical Council; Rochester Engineering Society - Engineer of the Year (1997); Rochester Museum and Science Center - Distinguished Lecturer; Rochester Optical Society: Honorary Member (1992) and President; University of Rochester SMPTE Fellow, (1972-1973), and Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers - Board of Governors. He is a Fellow of OSA and the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.

Turan Erdogan 

Plymouth Grating Laboratory, Inc., USA
Term: 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2018

Turan Erdogan has been studying, teaching, and practicing optics for 30 years.  He is currently President of Plymouth Grating Laboratory, Inc.  Prior to his current position, Erdogan was 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.


Amy Eskilson

Inrad Optics, USA
Term: 1/1/2015-31/12/2017

Amy Eskilson has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Inrad Optics, located in Northvale, NJ, since October 2012. Inrad Optics is a manufacturer of exceptional quality crystal materials, crystal devices and high precision optical components. As the leader of a small publicly-held company, Ms. Eskilson has a responsibility to both the business and to its shareholders. She also embraces her role as the company’s Chief Culture Officer, and as such works to mentor younger employees as well as challenge and excite longtime contributors. A strong advocate for localized manufacturing, Amy is focused on building an organization that is competitive and profitable while delivering products with extraordinary optical specifications.

Ms. Eskilson joined Inrad Optics in early 2011 as VP Sales and Marketing, charged with leading the sales team and building a market presence for Photonics Product Group, an umbrella company for the original Inrad, Laser Optics and MRC Precision Metal Optics brands. The multiple brand names had led to confusion in the industry and Amy executed an effort to rename and rebrand the organization. In January 2012 the business officially became Inrad Optics and launched a new website and marketing push concurrent with that name change.

In 2002 Ms. Eskilson’s role at Thorlabs became more strategic and outward facing. As Director of Business Development and a key member of the Thorlabs senior team, Amy’s work focused on three main areas – acquisitions, building the Thorlabs strategic partner companies, and contracts, including licensing agreements, real estate matters, and supply agreements in partnership with outside counsel.

Amy is an engaged advocate for photonics, championing the field from the importance of basic research through the downstream commercialization of photonics technologies. Ms. Eskilson has also been active in several photonics start-up companies. She was a minority partner in optics and crystals manufacturer Nova Phase, Inc. and Menlo Systems Inc. (U.S. spin-out of Menlo Systems GmbH), both based in Newton, NJ. Amy currently serves as a member of the Board and minority partner in Idesta Quantum Electronics, Newton, NJ.

A member of OSA and SPIE, Ms. Eskilson has served on the OSA Public Policy Committee, the CLEO Joint Council on Applications, and as former chair of the CLEO Exhibitor Advisory Committee. She was recently profiled for the 2014-2015 SPIE “Women in Optics” Daily Planner publication.

Prior to discovering optics and photonics in 1992, Amy received her BA degree in Communications from Montclair State University in 1987 and spent several years in New York at McCann-Erickson, the worldwide advertising group.

Franz Kärtner

Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (DESY) and University of Hamburg, Germany
Term: 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2018

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.

Juerg Leuthold

ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Term: 1/1/2015-31/12/2017

Juerg Leuthold is the head of the Institute of Electromagnetic Fields at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. His research interests are in the field of optical communications, nonlinear optics, plasmonics and photonics for sensing and biomedical applications. For this purpose, he maintains and shares lab facilities for the fabrication, characterization, and system-level testing of integrated optical devices and the testing of larger systems. He has contributed more than 450 scientific journal and conference papers as an author and coauthor.

Juerg Leuthold is actively engaged in The Optical Society and serves the optical community in several capacities. Besides serving as a member and chair of technical program committees, he was the general chair of the OSA 2010 Advanced Optics and Photonics Congress in Karlsruhe, and a group chair and general chair of the OSA Photonics Division. He is currently a member of the OSA Meetings Council.

Juerg Leuthold received his Ph.D. in physics from ETH Zurich in 1998 for work in the field of integrated optics. From 1999 to 2004 he was affiliated with Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies in Holmdel, NJ, USA, where he performed device and system research. From July 2004 to February 2013 he was a full Professor at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), where he was head of the Institute of Photonics and Quantum Electronics (IPQ) and head of the Helmholtz Research Institute of Micro Structure Technology (IMT). He has been a full Professor at ETH Zurich since March 2013. Juerg Leuthold is a Fellow of OSA and IEEE. In Germany he was a member of the Helmholtz Association Think Tank and the Heidelberg Academy of Science.

Michal Lipson

Columbia University, USA
Term: 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2018

Michal Lipson is the Eugene Higgins Professor at Columbia University. She completed her B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Physics in the Technion in 1998. Following a Postdoctoral position in MIT in the Material Science department from 1998 to 2001, she joined the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell University and was named the Given Foundation Professor of Engineering at the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2012. In 2015 she joined the electrical engineering department at Columbia University. Lipson is one of the pioneers of the field of silicon photonics. She holds over 20 patents and is the author of over 200 technical papers. Prof. Lipson’s honors and awards include Macarthur Fellow, Blavatnik Award, IBM Faculty Award, and NSF Early Career Award. She is a Fellow of both the OSA and of IEEE.  She was named by Thomson Reuters as a top 1% highly cited researcher in the field of Physics.


Qingming Luo

Huazhong University of Science and Technology and Wuhan National Laboratory for Optoelectronics, China
Term: 3/1/2014 - 12/31/2016

Qingming Luo is the Executive Deputy Director of Wuhan National Laboratory for Optoelectronics (WNLO) and vice president of Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST), Wuhan, China. He received his bachelor’s degree in Technical Physics at Xidian University, Xi’an, China in 1986. He received M.Sc. degree in Optics and Ph.D degree in Physical Electronics and Optoelectronics at HUST in 1989 and 1993, respectively. He joined HUST as a lecture in 1993 and then named as associate professor in 1995. He made a Postdoctoral Research Associate with Prof. Britton Chance at University of Pennsylvania in 1995-1997. He rejoined HUST and founded the Britton Chance Center for Biomedical Photonics in 1997. He was named the Cheung Kong Professor of Biomedical Photonics by the Ministry of Education of China in 1999.

His research interests focus primarily on multi-scale optical bioimaging and cross-level information integration. Since 1996, he has been devoted to new techniques and novel applications in life sciences, including laser speckle imaging (LSI) and combination with optical intrinsic signal imaging (ISI), small animal imaging of fluorescence diffusion optical tomography (fDOT) coregistered with micro-CT, micro-optical sectioning tomography (MOST), and functional near infrared (NIR) imaging. He is currently leading the project Visible Brainwide Networks at single-neuron resolution. He has made creative contributions to the novel applications of the MOST for visible brainwide connectivity, NIR imaging on brain activities such as attention, working memory, emotion, and functional connectivity, ISI and LSI on the high resolution imaging of cortical activities, combination of multi-electrode array (MEA) with optical microscope on dynamics in cultured neuronal networks. He created “the most detailed three-dimensional map of all the connections between the neurons in a complete mouse brain” and “demonstrated the first long-range tracing of individual axons in the mouse brain”. He is the chief scientist of the project Novel Technologies and Methods of Optical Molecular Imaging for Protein Function in vivo supported by National Basic Research Program of China, which aims to develop a series of novel technologies and methods of optical molecular imaging, such as the high-resolution fast microscopy for simultaneously monitoring the molecular events of multiple proteins, multi-scale optical imaging for protein function, cross-level integration and visualization of the related information of the protein function. His group exploited a series of fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) probes to dynamic monitoring the protease activity in living cells, invented a fast fluorescence microscopy imaging, made fundamental contributions to segmentation and identification of the cyrosection images of Virtual Chinese Human (VCH) and constructed a new 3D anatomical structural datasets of VCH with the smallest voxel resolution (0.1×0.1×0.2 mm3) in the world.

Qingming holds 53 patents and has co-authored more than 200 papers in peer-reviewed journal, including Science, Nature Cell Biology, PNAS, Optics Letters, Optics Express and Journal of Biomedical Optics, with an h-index of 37 according to Google Scholars. He is a Fellow of SPIE and IET.


Takashige Omatsu

Chiba University, Japan
Term: 3/1/15-12/31/17

Takashige Omatsu is Professor, Graduate School of Advanced Integration Science at Chiba University, Chiba, Japan.His work has included investigating optical vortex technologies, including optical vortex material processing and development of high-power optical vortex lasers. In particular, he discovered for the first time that optical vortex can twist metal to form chiral metal nanostrucutures. Professor Omatsu has over 60 graduate students and supervises more than 20 PhD students in the field of laser physics, nonlinear optics and optical vortex laser technologies.
Professor Omatsu received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in applied physics from the University of Tokyo, Japan, in 1983 and 1992 for research of frequency-extension of metal vapour lasers and temporal evolution of spatial coherence in metal vapour lasers.In 1992, he became a research associate at Chiba University, where he worked on diode-pumped solid-state lasers, in particular thermal lens measurement and correction techniques.
He has published more than 250 journal and conference papers, 6 patents (2 US patents) and has been a popular presenter at international and domestic conferences, including CLEO-US, CLEO Pacific-Rim, CLEO Europe, and at OSA topical meetings.  He was an Associate Editor of Optics Express  (2006-2012), Associate Editor of Applied Physics Express (2011-2014).

Anne Tropper

University of Southampton, United Kingdom
Term: 1/1/2014-12/31/2016

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.

Adam Wax

Duke University, USA
Term: 1/1/2014-12/31/2016

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).

Xi-Cheng Zhang

University Of Rochester, USA
Term: 1/1/14-12/31/16

Xi-Cheng Zhang is the Director and M. Parker Givens Chair of Optics at The Institute of Optics, a foremost institution in optics and optical physics research and education, in the University of Rochester, NY, USA.

Prior to joining UR on 1 January 2012, he pioneered world-leading research in the field of ultrafast laser-based terahertz technology and optical physics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY (1992-2012). At RPI, he was the Eric Jonsson Professor of Science; Acting Head at the Department of Physics, Applied Physics & Astronomy; and Founding Director of the Center for THz Research.  He is co-founder of Zomega Terahertz Corp.  With a B.S. (1982) from Peking University, he earned the Ph.D.
degree (1986) in Physics from Brown University, RI.
Previous positions have included visiting scientist at MIT (1985), Physical Tech. Division of Amoco Research Center (1987), EE Dept. at Columbia University (1987­1991), and Distinguished Visiting Scientist at the Jet Propulsion Lab, Caltech (2006).
He holds 28 U.S. patents, and is a prolific author, researcher and speaker.  He is a Fellow of OSA, SPIE, AAAS, APS, and IEEE.  Xi-Cheng¹s recent honors and awards include: IRMMW-THz Kenneth Button Prize (2014); OSA William F. Meggers Award (2012); IEEE Photonics Society William Streifer Scientific Achievement Award (2011); and the Rensselaer William H. Wiley 1866 Award (2009).