The Optical Society Names Rengmao Wu the 2021 Kevin P. Thompson Optical Design Innovator Award Recipient


The Optical Society is pleased to announce that Rengmao Wu, Zhejiang University, China, has been selected as the 2021 recipient of the Kevin P. Thompson Optical Design Innovator Award. Wu is honored for achievements in theory and computational methods for freeform illumination optics.

Rengmao Wu earned his Bachelor’s degree from Shandong University, China, his Master’s degree from Shanghai University, China, and Ph.D. from Zhejiang University. He did postdoctoral research at the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Spain, and the University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences, USA. In 2016, he returned to China as a Professor in the College of Optical Sciences and Engineering at Zhejiang University.

Wu has made significant contributions to freeform optics. In early 2013, when still a Ph.D. student at Zhejiang University, he invented the Monge–Ampère (MA) equation method, allowing the design of smooth freeform surfaces based on ideal-source assumption. He has also made contributions to the design for freeform imaging optics, developing an algorithm for designing freeform imaging optics with B-spline surfaces and exploring its applications in Augmented Reality.

He has published over 40 peer-reviewed articles and is active in the optics community, serving on a number of conference and program committees. In 2019, he received the DAMO Academy Young Fellow Award. He a senior member of OSA.

Established in 2017, the Optical Design Innovator Award recognizes significant contributions, at an early career stage, to lens design, optical engineering or metrology as evidenced by one or more of the following: innovative and rigorous research, optical system design with a foundation in aberration theory, development of advanced metrology capabilities, product development and patents or publications. The award honors Kevin P. Thompson, whose many other accomplishments include leading breakthroughs in the understanding of the aberration fields of a new class of truly non-symmetric optical systems using freeform optical surfaces. It is endowed by several supporters including Jannick Rolland and Synopsys.