Joseph Fraunhofer Award / Robert M. Burley Prize

Joseph Fraunhofer Award / Robert M. Burley Prize

The Joseph Fraunhofer Award/Robert M. Burley Prize recognizes significant research accomplishments in the field of optical engineering. The Fraunhofer Award was established in 1982. The accompanying prize was established in 1992, and honors the memory of Robert M. Burley, who exemplified many of the highest attributes of the optical engineer and was the first recipient of the Fraunhofer Award.

The prize is endowed by the Baird Corporation and individuals including Prof. Shin-Tson Wu. Please consider making a donation to support this special honor. Your gift will be matched by OSA with a contribution to the OSAF General Fund.

View the current Joseph Fraunhofer Award/Robert M. Burley Prize Selection Committee.


2016 - Demetri Psaltis [Citation]

For pioneering contributions to the field of photonics engineering, including founding the sub-field of optofluidics engineering.

2015 - Russell A. Chipman [Citation]

For his outstanding contributions in the development of metrology facilities for imaging polarimetry and spectro-polarimetry

2014 - Juan Carlos Miñano [Citation]

For discovery of exceptional new design methods and devices in both nonimaging and imaging optics over more than three decades, with special emphasis in freeform surface design

2013 - Wade Thomas Cathey [Citation]

For seminal contributions to the field of computational optical imaging and its commercial application

2012 - Hiroo Kinoshita [Citation]

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

2011 - James Howard Burge [Citation]

For many clever developments in optical fabrication and testing and the education of optical engineering students

2010 - Shin-Tson Wu [Citation]

For his exceptional contribution to optical engineering through liquid crystal displays, tunable photonics, and adaptive-focus lenses

2009 - Roland Winston [Citation]

For pioneering and continuous contributions to the field of nonimaging optics including the development of design methods and nonimaging devices for applications from solar energy to particle physics

2008 - Ursula Keller [Citation]

For seminal contributions to the development and application of ultrafast lasers and notably pioneering work on semiconductor saturable absorber mode-locking

2007 - Roger P. Angel [Citation]

For innovation in optical systems development, including large astronomical telescope and mirror technology, methods for observing extrasolar planets, fiber-fed spectroscopy, adaptive optics, and a possible optical solution for global warming

2006 - Susumu Noda [Citation]

For fabricating some of the world’s most advanced photonic crystals and photonic crystal devices, working uncompromisingly at optical frequencies

2005 - G. Michael Morris [Citation]

For innovation in the design, theory, and application of diffractive and hybrid optical elements to solve a wide range of problems

2004 - C. Randy Giles [Citation]

For pioneering contributions to optical fiber communication including the engineering and application of the Erbium-doped fiber amplifier, fiber-Bragg-grating stabilized pump lasers, and MEMS optical cross-connects

2003 - Yoshiki Ichioka [Citation]

For important contributions to information processing and optical computing

2002 - Daniel Malacara Hernandez [Citation]

For outstanding contributions to the art of interferometry and the science of optical testing passed on to posterity through his many publications and the education of his students. And for the establishment of several scientific institutions in Mexico

2001 - Warren J. Smith [Citation]

For providing a lifetime effort wherein he detailed the very essence of practical optical engineering and applied optics, with profoundly understandable contributions benefitting in large measure every optical engineer worldwide

2000 - Philip St. J. Russell [Citation]

For his invention of the photonic crystal fiber, an array of micron-spaced sub-micron holes allowing extremely large mode area single-mode fibers offering solid-core fibers with better power handling

1999 - David F. Welch [Citation]

For significant contributions to the invention and development of advanced laser diode products. This work encompassed both device development and record-breaking demonstrations of high-power sources, including diode laser arrays, semiconductor amplifiers and singlemode waveguide laser diodes. He is recognized for the successful commercialization of over 50 high power semiconductor laser products, developed either directly from his research...

1998 - James R. Leger [Citation]

For pioneering contributions in the use of diffractive optical elements in laser resonator design and the coherent addition of beams from arrays of lasers including laser diodes. Through his applied research and publications, he stimulated new directions in the use of diffractive optics for beam combination and shaping that are finding widespread applications in many fields of optics

1997 - William T. Plummer [Citation]

For his exceptional accomplishments in the field of optical engineering, for making state-of-the-art optical technology affordable, bringing extremely sophisticated optics into the consumer marketplace, and for his expertise and willingness to participate in all aspects of engineering from technology and product development to manufacturing

1996 - Jerry Earl Nelson [Citation]

For exceptionally creative optical design, engineering, and testing of the 10-meter Keck telescope segmented primary mirror. The ingenuity and accomplishments were the keystone of the world's largest and highest performance optical telescope

1995 - Joseph H. Apfel [Citation]

For tireless efforts to simplify the theoretical underpinnings of optical thin films and for casting design rules into graphical forms that can be easily manipulated without extensive computations

1994 - Garry V. Papayan [Citation]

For outstanding work in the field of quantitative microscopy. Specifically, for the creation of new optical instruments for medicine and biology, thereby advancing the field of optical engineering

1994 - Isaak Ya. Barsky [Citation]

For outstanding work in the field of quantitative microscopy. Specifically, for the creation of new optical instruments for medicine and biology, thereby advancing the field of optical engineering

1993 - Erwin G. Loewen [Citation]

For recent fundamental technical contributions and teaching that have furthered the application of the principles of precision optical engineering, particularly with regard to the theory, design, and manufacture of diffraction grating structures

1992 - James C. Wyant [Citation]

For pioneering work in the development of optical testing technology

1991 - James G. Baker [Citation]

For his continuing exemplary and pioneering work in optical engineering, particularly the development of high performance non-rotationally symmetric optical systems

1990 - Thomas I. Harris [Citation]

For his fundamental contributions to the development of automated optical signal tools

1989 - Parameswaran Hariharan [Citation]

For his pioneering scientific and engineering contributions to interferometry, laser speckle, and holography

1988 - James M. Burch [Citation]

For pioneering work in all areas of modern optical design and testing, as well as a special understanding of the behavior of light in physical systems and the application of that knowledge to practical engineering purposes

1987 - J. A. Dobrowolski [Citation]

For development of numerical methods for the automatic design of optical multilayer coatings with pre-defined spectral characteristics, as well as methods for their practical realization

1986 - David S. Grey [Citation]

For contributions to the development of computer optimization techniques in lens design

1985 - Peter K. Runge [Citation]

For contributions to the design of optical fiber connectors and the development of an undersea lightwave system

1984 - Donald R. Herriott [Citation]

For persistent and continued efforts toward perfecting the techniques of high resolution lithography

1983 - Robert E. Hopkins [Citation]

For his achievements in optical engineering, including the design, development, engineering and manufacturing of many optical instruments

1982 - Robert M. Burley No citation available