OSA Election Slate for 2019 Offices
Candidates for 2019 Vice President
Constance J. Chang-Hasnain Profile
University of California, Berkeley, USA
(1 will be elected)
Connie Chang-Hasnain received her B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of California, Davis (1982) and her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley (1987). Connie was a Member of the Technical Staff at Bell Communications Research (1987–1992) and Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University (1992–1995). She joined UC Berkeley as Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences in 1996. She was named Whinnery Distinguished Chair Professor in 2006 and served as Chair of the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Graduate Group at UC Berkeley 2006-2017. Connie has been the Associate Dean for Strategic Alliances of College of Engineering since 2014. She is the Founding Co-Director of Tsinghua-Berkeley Shenzhen Institute (TBSI) and the Chief Academic Officer of Berkeley Education Alliance for Research in Singapore (BEARS) since 2015. She is an Honorary Member of A.F. Ioffe Institute; a Chang Jiang Scholar Endowed Chair at Tsinghua University; and a Visiting Professor of Peking University, National Jiao Tung University and National University of Singapore.
A 34-year OSA member since her student years, Connie has been an active volunteer and has served our Society in different positions, including: Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE/OSA Journal of Lightwave
(2007-2012), elected Director-at-Large on the OSA Board of Directors (1998-2000), and member of the OSA Centennial Advisory Panel (2014-2016). Her other volunteer positions include membership on the following: US Air Force Scientific Advisory Board; IEEE Photonics Society Board of Governors; and the US National Research Council’s Board on Assessment of NIST Programs, Study on Optics and Photonics, and US Advisory Committee to the International Commission on Optics.
Connie has been an enthusiastic meetings volunteer and organizer. She served as CLEO Program Co-chair (1997) and General Co-chair (1999); OSA Slow and Fast Light Topical Meeting Program Co-Chair (2006) and General Co-chair (2007); and OSA Frontiers in Optics Conference General Co-Chair (2007). She was the General Technical Co-Chair (2004) and General Co-Chair (2005) for the Asia Pacific Optical Communications Conference.
Connie’s research interests range from semiconductor optoelectronic devices to materials and physics, with current foci on nano-photonic materials, vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs) and their applications. She has received the OSA Nick Holonyak Jr. Award (2007), IEEE David Sarnoff Award (2011), UNESCO Medal For the Development of Nanoscience and Nanotechnologies (2015), IEEE Photonics Society William Streifer Award for Scientific Achievement (2003), the Microoptics Award from Japan Society of Applied Physics (2009), DoD Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship (2008), von Humboldt Foundation Research Award (2009), and Guggenheim Fellowship (2009). She is a Fellow of the OSA and IEEE, and an elected member of the US National Academy of Engineering.
Constance J. Chang-Hasnain Statement
University of California, Berkeley, USA
In 1984, I joined OSA as a graduate student and presented my very first conference paper at the OSA Annual Meeting. This was a life-changing experience, as I found a community that I could call home. I have been fortunate to have stayed active with and benefitted from OSA all these years, devoting my energy and enthusiasm to the society serving in various capacities as a volunteer. I have interacted with many people who generously mentored and guided me, and it is my sincere wish to continue giving back to the society that I hold so dear.
Optics has never been as vital and society-transforming as it is today. With the rise of lasers and optics in 3-D sensing, imaging, consumer electronics, communications and manufacturing, OSA faces fantastic new opportunities, but also great challenges. The root of the challenges lies in the delicate balance between bravely expanding into new technical frontiers and continuously supporting core and traditional programs, both while maintaining fiscally sound and efficient operations. My priorities for OSA include:
Being in the vanguard of OSA’s technical leadership position.
I would work closely with the editorial boards of OSA’s scientific journals and program committees of international conferences to ensure resources and support to achieve and maintain the top quality and leadership positions. In addition, I would proactively support opportunistic expansions into new and emerging areas with new topical meetings, on-line short courses, and special issues.
Increasing membership inclusiveness.
I would focus on actively reaching out to women, underrepresented minorities as well as members from under-represented geographic regions. I will help foster a diverse leadership across technical fields, gender, nationality, positions, responsibilities, and professional backgrounds.
Further investing in our future.
I would build a strong pipeline by strengthening OSA’s student chapter program and outreach program for pre-college students, and by creating more opportunities for students to advance their learning and career trajectories.
Bridging industry and academia.
Providing networking and training opportunities between research and business communities is critical to the health of the optics industry. This can be done by establishing on-line or in-person short courses and workshops to foster entrepreneurship and business training, in addition to increasing the involvement of corporate members.
Advocating and promoting optics.
Professional societies have a responsibility to represent their members on the national and international stage. OSA should continue to advocate for strong science funding and international scientific collaboration.
If elected, it would be a privilege to work hard to provide all members access to communication channels, so that the leadership is alert to the needs and interests of all our constituencies. With your help and engagement, I would look forward to expanding OSA membership and services, providing fiscal management to achieve continued, robust growth, and promoting our field as optical technologies further transform the world.
Amy Eskilson Profile
Inrad Optics, USA
Appointed in October 2012, Amy Eskilson serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Inrad Optics, located in Northvale, NJ. Inrad Optics is a manufacturer of exceptional quality crystal materials, crystal devices and high precision optical components. As the leader of a small publicly held company, Ms. Eskilson has a responsibility to both the business and to its shareholders.
Ms. Eskilson also embraces her role as the company’s Chief Culture Officer, and as such works to mentor younger employees as well as challenge and excite longtime contributors. She is focused on building an organization that is competitive and profitable while delivering products with extraordinary optical specifications.
Prior to joining the Inrad Optics team, Amy Eskilson spent 18 years with Thorlabs Inc., the photonic tools catalog company. She joined the fledgling business in 1992 as an inside sales representative. She assumed progressively more responsible roles, including call center and technical sales manager, as well as heading the trade show and industry sponsorship areas.
In 2002, Ms. Eskilson’s role at Thorlabs became more strategic and outward-facing. As Director of Business Development and key member of the Thorlabs senior team, Ms. Eskilson’s work focused on three main areas – acquisitions, building the Thorlabs strategic partner companies, and contracts, including licensing agreements, real estate matters, and supply agreements in partnership with outside counsel.
Ms. Eskilson was also active in several photonics start-ups during her tenure at Thorlabs.In 2000, she became a minority partner in optics and crystals manufacturer Nova Phase, Inc., and was active up through 2006, when Nova Phase Inc. was acquired by Thorlabs.She helped found the U.S. based subsidiary of Menlo Systems GmbH, and Idesta Quantum Electronics was formed by a subset of Menlo Systems US partners. Ms. Eskilson was an active founding member of IdestaQE, a novel femtosecond laser company until it was acquired in 2013.
Amy Eskilson is an engaged advocate for Photonics, championing the field from the importance of basic research through the downstream commercialization of photonics technologies.
A member of SPIE, Ms. Eskilson has served as a judge for the Prism Awards, and was profiled within the 2014-2015 SPIE “Women in Optics” Daily Planner publication.
She also serves as a Trustee of the Board of the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Partnership, one of the top performing MEP organizations in the national MEP NIST system.
Ms. Eskilson has a 20 plus year history of service to The Optical Society.Beginning with the CLEO Exhibitor Advisory Committee in the 90’s thru her recent term as an elected Director at Large on the OSA Board of Directors, Amy Eskilson is a committed OSA member. Highlights of her service include her 6 years of work on the OSA Public Policy Committee. This work includes advocating on Capitol Hill for the NPI, the Photonics NNMI, and development of OSA’s recently adopted I4
Core Values Statement.
Prior to discovering optics and photonics in 1992, Ms. Eskilson received her B.A. degree in Communications from Montclair State University (1987) and spent several years in New York at McCann-Erickson, the worldwide advertising group.
Amy Eskilson Statement
Inrad Optics, USA
I am honored to stand as a candidate for OSA Vice President. I see my nomination as an indication of continuing transformational change for The Optical Society. As the non-academic CEO of a small optics company, my candidacy would have been unlikely or even impossible in the not-too-distant past.
I first became involved with the society in 1993, when I attended the CLEO conference in Baltimore, Md., USA, as an exhibitor. As an employee of a young start-up company, I was afforded a unique opportunity to learn both the business and academic sides of the optics and photonics community.
I quickly came to understand how critically important basic research is to the OSA membership. It was exciting to work in a field where innovation was happening every day, and compelling to witness the downstream commercialization that is the dynamic outcome of optical science research.
Nearly 25 years later, it is the entirety of the optics and photonics ecosystem that keeps me engaged and advocating for our community. We are a vibrant and diverse global collection of government, academia, nonprofit organizations and for-profit businesses, each highly interdependent on the others to flourish as a whole. I am proud to be part of a community that embraces the technical craftspeople on our production floors along with our world-renowned Ph.D. scientific leaders.
My work on the OSA Public Policy Committee and contributions to The Optical Society as an elected Director-at-Large focused particularly on bringing this holistic view of optics and photonics to the outside world. If elected, I hope to continue to build on this advocacy, bringing attention to the real and tangible connection between scientific funding, technological advancements and inclusive economic growth.
In 2017, as a member of the Public Policy Committee, I was proud to work with the OSA Board to craft a Core Values Statement for the organization, known as “i4”
- for Innovation, Integrity, Inclusivity and Impact. Those are powerful words to live by, to embrace, and to amplify with our actions. OSA has before it a unique opportunity not just to innovate, but to innovate within a culture of integrity and
inclusivity. Innovation of this nature will produce the greatest impact on our membership and the world. I would be honored to assist The Optical Society on its transformational path forward, and to offer my services to our century-old, robust and evolving organization.
Candidates for 2019-2021 Director at Large
(2 will be elected)
Shanti Bhattacharya Profile
Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India
Shanti Bhattacharya obtained her Ph.D. in Physics from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, in 1997. Her doctoral work was in the area of Optical Array Illuminators. After completing her Ph.D., she worked at the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany, first as an Alexander von Humboldt fellow and then as a Guest Scientist. Bhattacharya’s research there included the development of an optical pick-up for CD/DVD systems and the design of diffractive optical elements for beam shaping of high power laser beams. She subsequently joined the MEMS Division of Analog Devices, Cambridge, MA, USA, where she worked on the design of an optical MEMS switch. In 2002, Bhattacharya returned to India and worked in several optics-related projects at IIT Madras.
Shanti Bhattacharya is currently an Associate Professor and has been with the Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Madras since 2005. Her current research interests are diffractive optics, optical MEMS and the development of measurement and imaging techniques using fiber interferometry.
Bhattacharya continued her collaboration with several German research institutes, each time funded by the AvH Foundation. Her most recent visit was in 2017, when she spent a three-month sabbatical at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. During her visit there, as well as on an earlier visit to the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems Stuttgart, she worked on the fabrication of diffractive optics directly on fiber tip, using direct laser writing and Focused Ion Beam fabrication tools respectively.
Shanti Bhattacharya’s close association with OSA started when she co-chaired the Photonics 2012 conference in India. Since then, Bhattacharya has served as a member of the OSA International Council (2015-2017) and as International Council Chair (2017-2018). She is also the OSA representative on the CLEO/Pacific Rim Steering Committee. She obtained the designation of Senior OSA Member in 2016.
Her other professional roles include being an Associate Editor for the journal, Optical Engineering
, since 2017. In addition to her journal publications, Bhattacharya co-authored a book with Dr. Vijayakumar titled “Design and Fabrication of Diffractive Optical Elements with MATLAB
”. The book was released by the SPIE Press in January 2017.
Apart from her work at IIT, Shanti Bhattacharya is a Founder and Trustee of Chetana Charitable Trust. The Trust seeks to increase awareness on issues of social importance, in particular, accessible reading materials for visually impaired children. She also is an enthusiastic hiker and enjoys many outdoor activities.
Shanti Bhattacharya Statement
Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India
I grew up in a small town called Kabwe, in Zambia, where both of my parents were teachers. The education system was good, but over time the country faced problems with funds, and public schools had access to fewer facilities. Therefore, for my XI class, my parents decided to put me in a boarding school in India. I joined the school in Madras, only to find myself struggling due to differences in the school systems. The one subject that made any sense was physics, and this was in part due to the excellent teacher I had. Over time, I became more accustomed to the new school system and my love for physics grew. When I did my masters in physics, this grew into an interest in optics.
When I look back at the path that I have taken — from school in India, to studying physics, to working in the electrical-engineering department of one of the premier institutes in India — there are many people and opportunities that have shaped my journey till now.
OSA has definitely played a very important role in my career over the last six years. In 2012, a colleague and I were asked to be the general chairs for the Photonics conference, which is India’s largest optical conference, held once every two years. OSA was one of several sponsors for that conference. Working with OSA then, and again later as part of the OSA Board, gave me myriad opportunities to interact with the larger optics community.
I began to understand that OSA is not just an organization that arranges conferences and publishes journals. It also cares deeply about optics and about creating opportunities for optics to grow. OSA’s strength lies in its desire to include everyone working in the field of optics, whether it be a Nobel laureate, a researcher from a lesser known lab or a student from anywhere in the world.
OSA creates opportunities for these people to learn, to meet and to interact. I consider some of its most important contributions to include providing free access to OSA content to members of the optics and photonics community who reside in developing countries, through their association with the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications. Also important is OSA’s program to help with travel funds, so that students have the opportunity to attend international conferences, giving themselves much-needed exposure to the optics world at large, as well as giving them confidence in the work that they are doing.
OSA could have settled to be an organization that creates opportunities for those who readily have access to them. What makes OSA special is how hard it works at ensuring that those opportunities are available to all citizens of the photonics world. This is what OSA must continue to focus on in the years to come, as the optics community continues to grow across the globe.
Svetlana Boriskina Profile
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Dr. Svetlana V. Boriskina is a Research Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Originally from the Ukraine, Boriskina holds a Ph.D. degree in Physics and Mathematics from the Kharkiv National University (KNU), one of leading research universities in the former USSR. She worked at the University of Nottingham in the UK, at KNU, and at Boston University (BU) prior to joining MIT in 2012.
Dr. Boriskina’s research blends nanophotonics, plasmonics, thermodynamics and mechanics to explore light-matter interactions on the nanoscale. She currently leads several research projects at MIT aimed at the development of smart photon-managing fabrics that provide thermal comfort indoors and outdoors, new meta-materials that manipulate light in unusual ways, and novel solar harvesting platforms to generate clean energy and provide fresh water to off-electrical-grid and disaster-stricken communities. Dr. Boriskina has authored over 100 publications and holds many patents on optical sensor and photon energy conversion systems. She received a Joint Award of the International Commission for Optics and the A. Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, a NATO-UK Royal Society Fellowship, and a SUMMA Graduate Fellowship in Electromagnetics. She has also been dedicated to student mentorship and teaching, having guided dozens of middle-to-grad-school student mentees during her career in academia. Boriskina has also developed and taught award-winning new courses in optics and photonics at the graduate and undergraduate level at KNU, BU, and MIT.
Dr. Boriskina has been a member of The Optical Society for nearly two decades, and a Senior Member since 2012. In 2007, she helped establish an OSA Student Chapter at KNU, and served as the Chapter Faculty Advisor. Over the years, Boriskina served as a member of the OSA Membership and Education Council, the Chair of the OSA Technical Group “Optics for Energy,” the Chair of the Esther Hoffman Beller Medal Committee, and the Chair or a Member of technical program committees at various OSA meetings, symposia, and conferences. She currently is as a Member of the OSA Meetings Council, a Member of the Optics and Photonics News
Editorial Advisory Board, and an Associate Editor at the Optics Express
Svetlana Boriskina Statement
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Seventeen years ago, OSA opened the door for me to access scientific and professional development resources, to present my work at prestigious international research meetings, and to communicate directly with my peers around the globe. For a fresh Ph.D. graduate from an Eastern European country that had just earned its independence, this was an amazing and humbling experience, which I hope that other professionals working in optical science and engineering can experience for themselves.
OSA has been a professional home for me ever since. I have been privileged to witness and contribute to the society’s evolution over the years as it continues to serve thousands of professionals at various stages of their careers, connecting them across the borders, scientific disciplines, and application areas.
To preserve The Optical Society’s competitive edge in the rapidly evolving field of professional groups, meetings, and resources, we need to grow and nourish its volunteer base
; provide connectivity
between different groups within the society; innovate in OSA’s publishing operation
to provide valuable and machine-searchable resources that stand out in the vast amount of data published daily; continue advocacy efforts
for the recognition of optics and photonics as a scientific discipline in its own right (while embracing the broad reach of photonics as an enabling technology for many vertical markets and application areas, ranging from healthcare to renewable energy and clean water to communications); and partner with sister societies
on outreach, meeting and publishing activities.
Most important, the success of OSA programs and resources is fueled by the energy, ingenuity and dedication of thousands of its volunteers. OSA volunteers are the resource we should cherish and grow by providing not only encouragement, but also a clear roadmap for involvement and participation in various aspects of OSA activities, including conference committees, local and student sections and technical groups. Dynamically connecting volunteers from different OSA subunits and career levels to work on common projects, such as the organization of meetings and events, public outreach, or publishing, should be a high priority for the society. An inviting volunteer resources and opportunities portal at the OSA website could go a long way toward getting new members engaged in both the short and long term.
As the optics and photonics technology grows and penetrates various aspects of human life, the optical workforce evolves. We need to make sure that OSA attracts and embraces new members from less-traditional R&D areas by offering dynamically changing topical conferences and publication opportunities, and by bridging the gap between our academic and industry members. We should also continue advocacy, public-outreach effort, and educational- curriculum development to define optics and photonics as a mature, independent discipline. (If you ever tried to explain what you do for living and people thought you were an optician, you are not alone!)
Last but not least, to maintain its leading position in publishing and as a meeting organization, OSA needs to innovate by providing mutually beneficial cross-pollination between these two activities, and by developing new, searchable online resources that integrate published OSA content over the years and across different journals.
Zakya H. Kafafi Profile
Lehigh University, USA
Dr. Kafafi received her B.Sc. (cum laude
) from University of Houston with a major in chemistry and a minor in mathematics. Three years later she got her M.A. and Ph.D. in Chemistry from Rice University. She then moved to Cairo, where she pursued her academic career as an Assistant Professor for the next few years, before returning to Houston on a sabbatical leave as a Visiting Professor at Rice University. Dr. Kafafi then decided to combine her chemical expertise and training with research in optics, and joined the Optical Sciences Division at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC, USA, where she established and led an interdisciplinary research team, and a section on Organic Optoelectronics. Her work has been motivated by newly emerging technologies based on organic electronics and photonics, spanning a wide spectrum of disciplines including the chemistry and physics of organic and nanostructured materials, organic nonlinear optics, light-emitting materials and devices, photovoltaics, and plasmonics.
In 2007, she joined the U.S. National Science Foundation as the Director of the Division of Materials Research (DMR). She was the first woman to lead the largest and unarguably the most complex Division in the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate. During her tenure in DMR, Dr. Kafafi managed a budget portfolio close to one billion dollars, and oversaw the funding of single and group investigators, interdisciplinary research teams and centers, instrumentation, and major facilities. In 2011, she took a sabbatical leave and was a Visiting Professor in the Departments of Electrical & Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania and, Chemistry and Material Sciences & Engineering at Northwestern University working with the groups of Chérie Kagan and Tobin Marks, respectively.
Dr. Kafafi was the President of the Spectroscopic Associates, Inc. in Houston, Texas, USA where she designed a cryogenic link that rotates and translates in vacuum for which she won an R&D 100 Award. She received an Edison Patent Award for inventing a simple two-step, cost-effective method to pattern conducting polymers for flexible organic photonic and electronic devices. Since 2008, Dr. Kafafi has been an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Lehigh University. She is the Founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Photonics for Energy
. She is the Inaugural Deputy Editor for the online, open access AAAS journal, Science Advances
. She is the Chair of the Materials Research Society Awards Nominations Subcommittee. She also chairs and organizes the annual SPIE Symposium on Organic Photonics and Electronics, and the Conference on Organic, Hybrid, and Perovskites Photovoltaics. Dr. Kafafi is a member of the American Chemical Society and Sigma Xi. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Materials Research Society, The Optical Society, and SPIE - the international society for optics and photonics. On March 29, 2018, Dr. Kafafi received the Hillebrand Prize, the highest honor of the Chemical Society of Washington, “for her pioneering contributions in organic optics and electronics technologies through innovative physical chemistry and materials chemistry research.”
Zakya H. Kafafi Statement
Lehigh University, USA
In 1986, I joined the Optical Sciences Division at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) to carry out an experiment on mode-selective chemistry using color center lasers. This was a new territory for me as a female chemist surrounded mainly by male physicists and engineers. Later on, I realized that chemists were badly needed for the development of a new program on nonlinear organic optics. So I decided to challenge myself by combining my chemical research experience with optics, and launched a program between the chemistry and optical-sciences divisions. I spent the next 20 years working on cross- and interdisciplinary research, leading a team and a section on organic optoelectronics. My work was motivated by newly emerging technologies such as organic light-emitting diodes for flat-panel displays and solid-state lighting, and organic photovoltaics for conversion of solar light into electricity.
During this journey of 21 years, I learned a lot about building strong interdisciplinary research programs and teams, and about successfully competing in a field dominated by male scientists and engineers. My scientific research led me to join The Optical Society and other organizations, where I participated in meetings and organized new conferences. Among various activities, including the launching the Journal of Photonics for Energy
, I served on the technical program committee of joint OSA/American Chemical Society (ACS) symposia on organic thin films for photonics applications. These symposia alternated between the annual OSA and the fall or spring ACS meetings.
Being part of OSA broadened my experience, and made me aware of the mission of this great society and the excellent work carried out by its leadership and staff. I plan to continue to strengthen this strong tradition of excellence in OSA, in particular in conferences and journals focusing on emerging and important trends in optics and by reaching out to sister societies.
Throughout my career, I have worked hard to recruit, increase and promote the pool of qualified women and minorities. I was honored to receive the NRL Commanding Officer’s Award, “for achievements in the field of equal employment opportunity and the creation of a mentor program for scientists and engineers.” I promise to work on strategically investing in our future by training men and women to become leaders in optics and photonics by crossing our natural borders and connecting on global levels; by reaching out to sister societies nationally and internationally to develop cross- and interdisciplinary conferences linking optics to biology, chemistry, medicine, nanoscience and nanotechnology as well as new areas of engineering; and by working on diversifying and increasing the membership of the society. I will strive to establish an awards nomination subcommittee whose goal would be to increase the number of nominations of well-deserved, under-represented national and international optical scientists and engineers, including women, minorities, and people with disabilities.
Being a physical chemist by training and a materials researcher by practice, I bring new blood to the society and out-of-the box ideas that will enrich OSA and take it to a new, higher level.
Sophie LaRochelle Profile
Université Laval, Canada
Professor Sophie LaRochelle obtained a Ph.D. degree in optics from the College of Optical Sciences, University of Arizona, USA. She is currently a professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Université Laval, Canada, where she holds a Canada Research Chair in Advanced Photonics Technologies for Communications. She is a member of the Center for Optics, Photonics and Lasers (COPL), a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional research network in the Province of Quebec. Her current research activities focus on optical fiber design for MIMO-less spatial division multiplexing, multicore and multimode erbium-doped fiber amplifiers, and silicon photonic modulators and sensors. In her career, she has also made contributions to passive and active fiber devices, and their application to optical signal processing of analog and digital communications. In 2015, she was elevated to the rank of OSA Fellow for “contributions to optical communications by proposing innovative fiber optic components such as super-structured fiber Bragg gratings for chromatic dispersion equalizers, multi-wavelength fiber lasers and optical code-division multiplexing”. She has served on the technical committees of numerous conferences, and several times as chair of subcommittees, including Optical Fiber Communication Conference (OFC), Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO), and Bragg Grating, Photosensitivity and Poling in Glass Waveguides (BGPP).
Prof. LaRochelle was very active in developing photonics research in Canada through the Canadian Institute for Photonics Innovations
, a Government of Canada sponsored network of centers of excellence (CIPI). From 1999 to 2012, she was the principal investigator of four successive multi-university projects focusing on optical fiber components, fiber laser systems, and optical networking. Prof. LaRochelle is currently the co-leader of a multi-disciplinary research project involving scientists from biology, chemistry, physics, geological engineering and electrical engineering, aimed at developing photonics technologies for monitoring climate change in the Canadian North. She has led several industry sponsored projects, mostly in collaboration with small and medium size businesses, helping some of them through their start-up phase. Prof. LaRochelle was a member of the Advisory Committee to the Province of Quebec’s Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export, for the revision of the Québec investment policy in research and innovation (2009-2010). She also served on the Technical Advisory Committee of CMC Microsystems (2011-2013), including one year as Chair, and on its Board of Directors (2014-2016). She was recently appointed by Canada’s Minister of Science to the Governing Council for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
At Université Laval, Prof. LaRochelle teaches electromagnetism and optical communications to electrical engineering students. She has developed a graduate course and a continuing education course on optical fiber components. She has been awarded the title of “Professor étoile” five times by the Faculty of Science and Engineering for excellence in teaching, a recognition based on student course evaluations. In her career, she has directed the research work of over 70 graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.
Sophie LaRochelle Statement
Université Laval, Canada
What brings us to OSA? Why are we loyal members and volunteers? I believe it is because OSA provides a community that shares fundamental values. We know that we can rely on OSA to promote and encourage scientific excellence. Its publications disseminate our scientific discoveries to our peers, colleagues and friends around the world. Its major conferences and topical meetings create forums where ideas are exchanged, developed and nurtured. It is a community that allows us to communicate our passion for the field of optics and photonics, its continuing discoveries and countless innovations.
In 2016, OSA celebrated its 100th
anniversary. This has given us an opportunity to reflect on our past and future. As optics and photonics technologies have matured, they have enabled interdisciplinary research that is transforming our lives and shaping our future. OSA is not only evolving with these changes; it is also providing a vision that is shaped by the contributions of each of its members.
What are the challenges ahead of us as scientists and as a society? How can we innovate within the scope of OSA’s mission to generate and disseminate knowledge in optics and photonics? The core values embraced by the OSA — inclusivity, integrity, innovation and impact — can guide us going forward.
Inclusivity today means reaching out to scientists in all parts of the world. In the coming years, we must discuss how to exploit digital technologies to facilitate access to scientific knowledge for all. As a hub of optics and photonics education, OSA plays a pivotal role in the promotion of scientific careers to the younger generation. OSA must continue to support and encourage its members to get involved and share their education and outreach experience, particularly at the international level.
Inclusivity also means fostering collaborations within our community, but above all with scientists from diverse backgrounds as optics and photonics branches out into other fields. This openness feeds innovation and maximizes impact, two of OSA’s other core commitments. Interdisciplinary research initiatives and networks are emerging to address issues and opportunities related to energy, climate change, artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing and more. OSA must similarly lead and develop partnerships to support its members involved in interdisciplinary research initiatives.
Integrity is central to the actions of a professional society. In this age of rapid communications, scientific rigour and excellence must remain our priority. As we are all submerged under a continuous flow of information, we need, more than ever, high-quality publications that have a rigorous and selective review process. Integrity also carries a duty to participate in current debates. OSA must carry our voice and advocate the importance of solid science in decision making processes.
I have been an OSA member for 25 years. Through this society, I have met many inspiring and dedicated people. It would be a great honor for me to represent such a dynamic community and to engage with you in many stimulating discussions about our future.