Optical Society of America Confers 17 General and Specialty Awards for 2007



Angela Stark
Optical Society of America

Optical Society of America Confers 17 General and Specialty Awards for 2007 

WASHINGTON, May 21—The Optical Society of America (OSA) is pleased to announce this year’s recipients of many of its prestigious awards. This year’s winners include: Daniel Kleppner, Frederic Ives Medal/Jarus W. Quinn Endowment; M.J. Soileau, Esther Hoffman Beller Medal; Luigi Lugiato, Max Born Award; Stephen D. Fantone, Distinguished Service Award; J. Roger P. Angel, Joseph Fraunhofer Award/Robert M. Burley Prize; Connie J. Chang-Hasnain, Nick Holonyak, Jr. Award; Charles R. Munnerlyn, Edwin H. Land Medal; Jonathan Tennyson, Ellis R. Lippincott Award; Shanhui Fan, Adolph Lomb Medal; J. Gary Eden, C. E. K. Mees Medal; Pierre Agostini, William F. Meggers Award; Arpad A. Bergh, OSA Leadership Award-New Focus/Bookham Prize; Kenneth Chau, OSA - New Focus/Bookham Student Award; James L. Fergason, David Richardson Medal; Serge Haroche, Charles Hard Townes Award; Emmanuel Desurvire, John Tyndall Award; Bahram Jalali, R.W. Wood Prize. These award winners join an esteemed group of past recipients in their perseverance, ingenuity and foresight in the field of optics.

“Year after year, OSA honors the best and the brightest in the field of optics and photonics and this year is no different,” said Elizabeth Rogan, OSA executive director.  “These 17 outstanding scientists and engineers have contributed to the field in their own unique ways, providing leadership, innovations, expertise, service and quality research.  OSA congratulates them on their achievements.”

The review process for each of the awards is stringent, with all nominees evaluated by a selection committee. While the criteria differ for each award, the judging process remains the same. A nomination form is submitted, along with a brief citation summarizing the nominee’s accomplishments, emphasizing those that make him/her a candidate for the particular award, a one-page narrative description touching on the most significant events in the candidate’s career, a curriculum vitae and a minimum of four letters of reference for the candidate. The OSA Board of Directors appoints a committee to oversee each nomination process. The committee is then responsible for evaluating each nominee and choosing the person most deserving of the award.  Finally, the committee’s recommendations are presented to the OSA Board of Directors for their review and approval.  

“The OSA Board of Directors is pleased to honor this year's award recipients and I'm privileged to count these outstanding individuals as my colleagues,” said OSA President Joseph Eberly.

The awards to be presented are as follows:

Frederic Ives Medal/Jarus W. Quinn Endowment
Daniel Kleppner

The highest award conferred by the Society for overall distinction in optics, this award is presented to Daniel Kleppner for sustained innovation, discovery and leadership in the interaction of radiation with atoms and for his service and general educational activities.  He is currently the Lester Wolfe Professor of Physics, Emeritus, at MIT, and co-director of the MIT - Harvard University Center for Ultracold Atoms.

Esther Hoffman Beller Medal
Recipient: M.J. Soileau
M.J. Soileau has been awarded the Esther Hoffman Beller Medal, recognizing outstanding contributions to optical science and engineering education, for distinguished and long-standing service to the optics education and research community – and specifically for establishing CREOL (Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers) as a major optics center.  Soileau is the vice president for research and commercialization at the University of Central Florida.

Max Born Award
Recipient: Luigi Lugiato
Luigi Lugiato, a professor at the University of Insubria, Italy, has been selected to receive this year’s Max Born Award, presented in recognition of contributions to physical optics. He is being honored for pioneering theoretical contributions to the fields of optical bistability and instabilities, optical pattern formation, cavity solitons, squeezing and quantum imaging.

Distinguished Service Award
Recipient: Stephen D. Fantone
Stephen D. Fantone has been awarded this year’s Distinguished Service Award, recognizing outstanding service to the optical community and to OSA, for his outstanding vision, leadership and service in setting the financial policies and procedures for the Society that provide financial stability and opportunity for the foreseeable future.  He is the founder and president of Optikos Corporation, and has served as OSA’s treasurer since 1996.

Joseph Fraunhofer Award/Robert M. Burley Prize
Recipient: J. Roger P. Angel
This year’s Joseph Fraunhofer Award/Robert M. Burley Prize, presented in recognition of significant accomplishments in optical engineering, is being awarded to J. Roger P. Angel for innovation in optical systems development including large astronomical telescope and mirror technology, methods for observing extra-solar planets, fiber-fed spectroscopy, adaptive optics and a possible optical solution for global warming.  Angel is director of both the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab and the Center for Astronomical Adaptive Optics, as well as Regents Professor and professor of astronomy and optical sciences at the University of Arizona.

Nick Holonyak, Jr. Award
Recipient:  Connie J. Chang-Hasnain
Honoring her career of contributions to control of diode lasers: vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser arrays, injection locking, and slow light, Connie J. Chang-Hasnain is being presented the Nick Holonyak, Jr. Award. This award recognizes significant contributions to optics based on semiconductor-based devices and optical materials, including basic science and technological applications.  She is the John R. Whinnery Chair Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley, where she also serves as the chair of the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Graduate Group and director of the Center for Optoelectronic Nanostructured Semiconductor Technologies.  

Edwin H. Land Medal (co-sponsored with the Society for Imaging Science and Technology)
Recipient:  Charles R. Munnerlyn
Co-sponsored with the Society for Imaging Science and Technology, the Land Medal is given in recognition of pioneering entrepreneurial creativity that has had a major public impact. This year’s award goes to Charles R. Munnerlyn for his pioneering science, engineering, and entrepreneurship in developing and promoting excimer laser surgery for the correction of vision, which has created a new industry and has given millions of people normal vision without glasses.  Munnerlyn, now retired, is the founder of VISX, Incorporated.

Ellis R. Lippincott Award (co-sponsored with the Coblentz Society and the Society for Applied Spectroscopy)
Recipient: Jonathan Tennyson
Jonathan Tennyson, Massey Professor of Physics and head of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at University College London, has been selected to receive the Ellis R. Lippincott Award for his contributions to theory and simulations of rotational-vibrational spectra of small molecules and applications for practical purposes. The Lippincott Award, co-sponsored by OSA, the Coblentz Society and the Society for Applied Spectroscopy, recognizes outstanding contributions to vibrational spectroscopy.  The selection committee consists of members from all three societies.

Adolph Lomb Medal
Recipient: Shanhui Fan
The Lomb Medal, recognizing noteworthy contributions to optics before reaching the age of 35, goes to Shanhui Fan for his fundamental work in nano-photonic structures.  Fan is an assistant professor of electrical engineering at Stanford University.

C. E. K. Mees Medal
Recipient: J. Gary Eden
This year’s C. E. K. Mees Medal, given in recognition of interdisciplinary and international contributions, goes to J. Gary Eden, professor of electrical and computer engineering and director of the Laboratory for Optical Physics and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Eden is being honored for seminal interdisciplinary contributions to ultraviolet lasers, photochemical vapor deposition, ultrafast spectroscopy and microplasma devices, and to strengthening international collaborations in these areas of optics and photonics.

William F. Meggers Award
Recipient: Pierre Agostini
Pierre Agostini is being honored with the William F. Meggers Award for leadership in the development of innovative experiments providing major insights into the dynamics of the nonlinear response of atoms and molecules submitted to strong infrared laser pulses. The Meggers Award honors outstanding work in spectroscopy.  Agostini is a professor of physics at Ohio State University.

OSA Leadership Award-New Focus/Bookham Prize
Recipient: Arpad A. Bergh
Arpad A. Bergh is being awarded the OSA Leadership Award-New Focus/Bookham Prize for his leadership role in establishing and leading the Optoelectronic Industries Development Association (OIDA) and making it the primary advocate for the optoelectronics industry in the U.S. over the past 12 years.  The award is given in recognition of an individual or group of optics professionals who has made a significant impact on the field of optics and/or made a significant contribution to society.  Bergh, now retired, was co-founder and president of OIDA from 1994 to 2006.

OSA - New Focus/Bookham Student Award
Recipient: Kenneth Chau
Kenneth Chau of the University of Alberta was named the winner of the OSA - New Focus/Bookham Student Award at CLEO/QELS 2007 earlier this month.  The award was established in 1997 to encourage research excellence, presentation prowess and leadership in the optics community among OSA student members.  Chau received the award for his paper and presentation titled “Magnetically anisotropic photon transport.”

David Richardson Medal
Recipient:  James L. Fergason
Recognizing contributions to optical engineering, primarily in the commercial and industrial sectors, the Richardson Medal is presented to James L. Fergason for outstanding contributions to the understanding of the physics and optics of liquid crystals, and particularly for his pioneering contributions to liquid crystal display technology.  He is the founder of Fergason Patent Properties.

Charles Hard Townes Award
Recipient:  Serge Haroche
Serge Haroche, professor of quantum physics at Collège de France, received the C. H. Townes Award in recognition of outstanding contributions to the field of quantum electronics. He is being honored for pioneering experiments in cavity quantum electrodynamics, starting with the observation of superradiance, leading to the two-photon maser, non-destructive measurements of photons and decoherence of Schrödinger cats.

John Tyndall Award (co-sponsored with IEEE/Lasers and Electro-Optics Society)
Recipient: Emmanuel Desurvire
Awarded in recognition of contributions to fiber optic technology, the Tyndall Award goes to
Emmanuel Desurvire for pioneering contributions to the physical and theoretical understanding of Erbium-doped fiber amplifiers and to their early development.  He is the senior director in the Optics Division's WDM Networks Product Group at Alcatel-Lucent.  This award was presented in March at OFC/NFOEC 2007.

R.W. Wood Prize
Recipient: Bahram Jalali
The Wood Prize recognizes an outstanding discovery, a scientific or technological achievement or an invention. This year’s prize goes to Bahram Jalali for the invention and demonstration of Raman lasing in silicon.  Jalali is a professor of electrical engineering at UCLA.

OSA bestows many of these awards during a formal presentation ceremony that will take place at the plenary session of the Society’s annual meeting, Frontiers in Optics, on the morning of Sept. 17 at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, Calif. More information about the OSA awards program, previous award winners, and the annual meeting can be found on OSA's Web site at www.osa.org.

About OSA

Uniting more than 70,000 professionals from 134 countries, the Optical Society of America (OSA) brings together the global optics community through its programs and initiatives. Since 1916 OSA has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing educational resources to the scientists, engineers and business leaders who work in the field by promoting the science of light and the advanced technologies made possible by optics and photonics. OSA publications, events, technical groups and programs foster optics knowledge and scientific collaboration among all those with an interest in optics and photonics. For more information, visit www.osa.org.

Editor’s Note: Complete biographies for and photos of the recipients are available upon request.