New Focus™ and the Optical Society Announce Finalists for Student Award



Conference Contact:
Colleen Morrison
Optical Society  

New Focus, a Bookham brand:
Howard Jones
+44 (0)115 948 6901 

New Focus™ and the Optical Society Announce Finalists for Student Award

Students from Around the World to Compete for Awards Recognizing Outstanding Scientific Achievements at CLEO/QELS 2008

WASHINGTON, May 5 – The Optical Society (OSA) and New Focus, a Bookham brand, today announced the finalists of the 2008 OSA – New Focus/Bookham Student Award, which recognizes student researchers who exemplify the skills critical to scientific achievement: excellence in research, presentation and leadership.

This year’s competition attracted submissions from a number of prominent colleges and universities, both in the United States and abroad. Competition finalists are:

  • Amit Agrawal, University of Utah, USA
  • Wenshan Cai, Purdue University, USA
  • François Couny, University of Bath, UK
  • Umit Demirbas, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
  • Amy Lytle, JILA and University of Colorado at Boulder, USA
  • Franklyn Quinlan, University of Central Florida, USA
  • Richard Sandberg, JILA and University of Colorado at Boulder, USA

Six of the seven finalists will each receive a $1,500 cash prize and the top-ranked finalist will receive $5,000.

“OSA is honored to partner with Bookham on the development of students in the optics and photonics community. This award recognizes students who not only exhibit exceptional technical proficiency but can also deliver this expertise in a professional and inspiring manner to an audience of mentors and colleagues,” said Elizabeth Rogan, OSA executive director. “These seven finalists have worked hard to get to this point of the competition. We’re looking forward to their presentations on May 6 during CLEO/QELS.”

An independent selection committee chose the student finalists based on a letter from the nominator, which covers all facets of student’s career; a letter from the student; curriculum vitae; and the paper to be presented. The finalists will present in a special session at CLEO/QELS 2008 on Tuesday, May 6, and the results will be announced in the CLEO/QELS Award & Plenary Session on Wednesday, May 7, in San Jose, Calif. 
Each finalist will give a 15-minute presentation on his or her unique research, the last evaluation in the selection process.

Members of the press and the public are welcome to attend the May 6 event, which will be from 4 – 6:30 p.m. in room J1 of the San Jose Convention Center. A reception, beginning at 4 p.m., precedes the presentations, which start 30 minutes later.  

“Now in its 11th year, the OSA – New Focus/Bookham Student Awards Competition has long recognized the industry’s most promising students," said Bookham EVP and General Manager of the New Focus brand, Ken Ibbs.  “This year's finalists demonstrate the qualities of today's industry thought leaders, and we look forward to honoring them at the conference.”

This year’s finalists will present their original papers on the following topics:

  • Wenshan Cai, Purdue University, USA
    Designs of Optical Cloak with Nonlinear Transformations
    Abstract: Two novel designs for optical cloaking based on nonlinear transformations for TM and TE polarizations are presented. This critical development builds upon our previous work on nonmagnetic cloak designs and high-order transformations.
  • Franklyn Quinlan, University of Central Florida, USA
    Self-Stabilization of the Optical Frequencies and Pulse Repetition Rate in a Coupled Optoelectronic Oscillator
    Abstract:  A self-stabilized coupled optoelectronic oscillator is described where a single intracavity etalon is used for optical supermode selection, optical frequency stabilization and repetition rate determination and stabilization.
  • Amy Lytle, University of Colorado at Boulder, USA
    All-Optical Quasi-Phase Matching and Electron Trajectory Control of High-Order Harmonic Generation at 140 eV
    Abstract:  We extend all-optical quasi-phase matching of high harmonic generation to 140-150 eV, where conventional phase matching is not possible.  We also demonstrate enhancement of a single electron quantum trajectory.
  • Amit Agrawal, University of Utah, USA
    Enhanced Transmission through Subwavelength Aperture Arrays with Short-Range Order
    Abstract:  We measure the THz transmission properties of subwavelength aperture arrays that possess short-range order (SRO), but lack long-range order (LRO).  We demonstrate that transmission enhancement will occur through these structures despite the absence of LRO.
  • Richard Sandberg, University of Colorado at Boulder, USA
    70 nm Lensless Diffractive Microscopy using Tabletop Soft X-Ray Sources
    Abstract:  We use curvature correction and high-numerical-aperture imaging to demonstrate a soft-x-ray diffraction microscope with 70-90 nm resolution using two tabletop coherent sources.  This near-diffraction-limited resolution of 1.5λ is a first for x-ray diffractive imaging.   
  • François Couny, University of Bath, UK
    Generation of Multi-Octave Optical-Frequency Combs in a Kagome Lattice Hollow Core Photonic Crystal Fiber
    Abstract: A 3-octave spectral comb is generated in a hydrogen-filled hollow-core photonic-crystal-fiber. The spectrum consists of up to 45 high-order Stokes and anti-Stokes lines generated by coherent stimulated Raman scattering in the transient regime of amplification.
  • Umit Demirbas, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
    Low-cost and efficient femtosecond laser technology
    Abstract: Using inexpensive single-mode and multimode diodes to pump a Cr:LiCAF laser, continuous-wave output powers exceeding 1 W, modelocked pulse energies as high as 2.8 nJ, and a record electrical-to-optical conversion efficiency of 7.8% were demonstrated. Obtained laser performance shows that Cr:LiCAF is a promising solid-state gain media for developing low-cost and highly efficient femtosecond laser sources.


With a distinguished history as one of the industry’s leading events on laser science, the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics and the Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference (CLEO/QELS) is where laser technology was first introduced.  CLEO/QELS combines the strength of peer-reviewed scientific programming with an applications-focused exhibition to showcase the present and future of this technology.  Sponsored by the American Physical Society’s (APS) Laser Science Division, the Institute of Electronic Engineers/Laser and Electro-Optics Society (IEEE/LEOS) and the Optical Society of America (OSA), CLEO/QELS provides an educational forum, complete with a dynamic Plenary, short courses, tutorials, workshops and more, on topics as diverse as its attendee base whose broad spectrum of interests range from biomedicine to defense to optical communications and beyond.  For more information, visit the conference’s Web site at

About New Focus

New Focus, a Bookham brand, is a leading name in the provision of photonics solutions for demanding semiconductor, life science, industrial, scientific and other applications.  New Focus products include high-performance lasers, modulators, detectors, high-resolution actuators, optomechanics and optics for precision measurement and processing.

About Bookham

Bookham is a leading manufacturer and independent, vertically integrated supplier of high performance, high reliability industrial laser diodes across many markets, including industrial, medical, display, analytical, printing, aerospace and defense. 

The company boasts two decades of experience as a leader in laser diode development, continued investment in technology and customer support, and offers scalability for cost efficient, high volume

production through the use of advanced automated manufacturing processes in its state of the art facility in Zurich.

Bookham was the first company to offer 120W 9xxnm diode bars and is a leader in the market for single emitter pigtailed laser modules for fiber laser pumping.  The company’s diversified high power laser diode offering ranges from 10W pigtailed multimode modules to 120W bars and 2.4kW fast axis collimated stacks.

More information on Bookham, Inc. is available at

Bookham and all other Bookham, Inc. product names and slogans are trademarks or registered trademarks of Bookham, Inc. in the USA or other countries.

About OSA

Uniting more than 70,000 professionals from 134 countries, the Optical Society (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