The Optical Society Announces 18 Awards for 2012


Lyndsay Meyer
The Optical Society

The Optical Society Announces 18 Awards for 2012

WASHINGTON, April 2—The Optical Society (OSA) is pleased to name the 2012 recipients of its prestigious awards and medals. The winners include: Marlan O. Scully, Frederic Ives Medal/Jarus Quinn Prize; Judith Franzosa Donnelly, Esther Hoffman Beller Medal; Jean Dalibard, Max Born Award; Joseph H. Eberly, Distinguished Service Award; Hiroo Kinoshita, Joseph Fraunhofer Award/Robert M. Burley Prize; Kent D. Choquette, Nick Holonyak, Jr. Award; Yoichi Miyake, Edwin H. Land Medal; Thomas M. Baer, Robert E. Hopkins Leadership Award; Demetri Psaltis, Emmett Leith Medal; Keith A. Nelson, Ellis R. Lippincott Award; Hatice Altug, Adolph Lomb Medal; Xi-Cheng Zhang, William F. Meggers Award; Gregory William Forbes, David Richardson Medal; Gerald H. Jacobs, Edgar D. Tillyer Award; Philippe Grangier, Charles H. Townes Award; John Bowers, John Tyndall Award; Alain Aspect, Herbert Walther Award and; Eric Van Stryland and Mansoor Sheik-Bahae, R.W. Wood Prize. These award winners join an esteemed group of past recipients recognized for their unwavering commitment to the field of optics.

“OSA is proud to honor these individuals for their leadership in the field of optics and photonics,” said OSA President Tony Heinz. “This year’s recipients have made major contributions to advancing the science and technology of light.  Their accomplishments and commitment serve to inspire the next generation of optics researchers and educators.”

Although the criterion for each award differs, the rigorous selection process is the same. A nomination form is submitted with a brief citation summarizing the nominee’s accomplishments with a particular emphasis on those that make him/her a candidate for the award, a one-page narrative on the most significant events in the candidate’s career, curriculum vitae and four letters of reference for the candidate. The OSA Board of Directors appoints a committee to oversee each award or medal selection process. The committee is responsible for the evaluation of each nominee and the selection of the individual or group that is most deserving of the award. Finally, the committee’s selection is presented to the OSA Awards Committee and Board of Directors for their review and final approval.

This year’s award winners are as follows:

Frederic Ives Medal/Jarus Quinn Prize
Recipient: Marlan O. Scully, Texas A&M University and Princeton University, USA
The Frederic Ives Medal is the highest award conferred by OSA for overall distinction in optics. This award is being presented to Marlan O. Scully for lifetime leadership in groundbreaking research on all aspects of quantum optics including the quantum theory of the laser, quantum coherence effects, quantum thermodynamics and the foundations of quantum mechanics.

Esther Hoffman Beller Medal
Recipient: Judith Franzosa Donnelly, Three Rivers Community College, USA
The Esther Hoffman Beller Medal recognizes outstanding contributions to optical science and engineering education. This year Judith Franzosa Donnelly is being recognized for outstanding dedication to engaging middle, high school and college students in optical science and engineering education.

Max Born Award
Recipient: Jean Dalibard, Ecole Normale Superiéure-Paris, France
The Max Born Award recognizes contributions to physical optics. Jean Dalibard is being recognized for groundbreaking theoretical work on atom-light interactions, including the elucidation of new laser cooling mechanisms, and for seminal experimental work on the optical manipulation of cold atoms and quantum gasses.

Distinguished Service Award
Recipient: Joseph H. Eberly, University of Rochester, USA
The Distinguished Service Award is given in recognition of service to the optics community. This year, Joseph H. Eberly is being honored for his outstanding service as founding editor of the groundbreaking journal, Optics Express, leadership while serving as OSA president, and his deep commitment in serving OSA in many other ways.

Joseph Fraunhofer Award/Robert M. Burley Prize
Recipient: Hiroo Kinoshita, University of Hyogo, Japan
The Joseph Fraunhofer Award/Robert M. Burley Prize recognizes significant research accomplishments in the field of optical engineering. The award is presented to Hiroo Kinoshita for pioneering research in the development of EUV reduction lithography with a multilayer-coated reflective imaging system and a reflective mask for use in the fabrication of semiconductor integrated circuits.

Nick Holonyak, Jr. Award
Recipient: Kent D. Choquette, University of Illinois, USA
The Nick Holonyak, Jr. Award is given for contributions to optics based on semiconductor-based devices and optical materials, including basic science and technological applications. This year, Kent D. Choquette is being recognized for contributions to the development of vertical cavity surface-emitting lasers.

Edwin H. Land Medal
Recipient: Yoichi Miyake, Chiba University (emeritus), Japan
The Edwin H. Land Medal recognizes pioneering work empowered by scientific research to create inventions, technologies and products and is co-sponsored with the Society for Imaging Science and Technology. Yoichi Miyake is being presented this award in recognition of his work in image processing of medical images.

Robert E. Hopkins Leadership Award
Recipient: Thomas M. Baer, Stanford Photonics Research Center, USA
The Robert E. Hopkins Leadership Award recognizes 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. Thomas M. Baer is receiving this award for his initiation of the idea of LaserFest and his leadership in making LaserFest an extremely successful worldwide celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first demonstration of the laser.

Emmett Leith Medal
Recipient: Demetri Psaltis, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
The Emmett N. Leith Medal recognizes seminal contributions to the field of optical information processing. Demetri Psaltis is being recognized for seminal contributions to holographic storage and optical information processing.

Ellis R. Lippincott Award
Recipient: Keith A. Nelson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
The Ellis R. Lippincott Award is given for contributions to vibrational spectroscopy and is co-sponsored with the Coblentz Society and the Society for Applied Spectroscopy. This year, Keith A. Nelson is receiving the award for his innovations in the development of impulsive stimulated Raman scattering and its applications to the ultrafast vibrational spectroscopy of phonons and intermolecular liquid dynamics.

Adolph Lomb Medal
Recipient: Hatice Altug, Boston University, USA
The Adolph Lomb Medal recognizes noteworthy contributions made to optics before reaching the age of 35. Hatice Altug is being honored for breakthrough contributions on integrated optical nano-biosensor and nanospectroscopy technologies based on nanoplasmonics, nanofluidics, and novel nanofabrication.

William F. Meggers Award
Recipient: Xi-Cheng Zhang, University of Rochester, USA
The William F. Meggers Award recognizes outstanding work in spectroscopy. Xi-Cheng Zhang is being recognized for exceptional contributions to coherent generation and detection of ultra-broadband THz waves for far-infrared spectroscopy.

David Richardson Medal
Recipient: Gregory William Forbes, QED Technologies Inc., Australia
The David Richardson Medal recognizes contributions to optical engineering, primarily in the commercial and industrial sector. The award is being given to Gregory William Forbes for seminal contributions in the areas of aberration theory, asymmetric optical system design, and manufacturing for aspheres.

Edgar D. Tillyer Award
Recipient: Gerald H. Jacobs, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA
The Edgar D. Tillyer Award is given in recognition of distinguished work in the field of vision, including (but not limited to) the optics, physiology, anatomy or psychology of the visual system. Gerald H. Jacobs is being recognized for contributions to fundamental understanding of the biological mechanisms underlying color vision, and for pioneering comparative studies which have revealed the nature, variations, and evolution of primate color vision.

Charles H. Townes Award
Recipient: Philippe Grangier, Institut d’Optique, France
The Charles Hard Townes Award is given for contributions to quantum electronics. Philippe Grangier is receiving the award for breakthroughs in fundamental quantum optics, based on invention and/or development of experimental methods and techniques, and leading to groundbreaking applications in quantum information.

John Tyndall Award
Recipient: John Bowers, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA
The John Tyndall Award recognizes contributions to fiber optic technology and is co-sponsored with the IEEE Photonics Society. This award is being presented to John Bowers for pioneering research in hybrid-silicon lasers and photonic integrated circuits.

Herbert Walther Award
Recipient: Alain Aspect, Institut d’Optique, France
The Herbert Walther Award recognizes distinguished contributions in quantum optics and atomic physics, as well as leadership in the international scientific community. It is co-sponsored with the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft. This year, Alain Aspect is being recognized for pioneering experimental contributions to the fields of quantum entanglement and cold atom physics.

R.W. Wood Prize
Recipients: Eric Van Stryland, University of Central Florida, USA and Mansoor Sheik-Bahae, University of New Mexico, USA
The R. W. Wood Prize is given for an outstanding discovery, scientific or technological achievement or invention. Eric Van Stryland and Mansoor Sheik-Bahae are being recognized for their invention, implementation and development of “Z-scan”:  A simple and effective method to measure cubic and higher order optical nonlinearities.

About OSA

Uniting more than 130,000 professionals from 175 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



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