OSA Foundation Recognizes Award Winners at CLEO/QELS 2010


Lyndsay Meyer
The Optical Society

OSA Foundation Recognizes Award Winners at CLEO/QELS: 2010


Theodore Maiman Student Paper Competition, Distinguished Service Award winners recognized at OSAF events in San Jose

SAN JOSE, Calif., May 18—The OSA Foundation today held a special luncheon honoring past and present winners of OSA and OSA Foundation awards and medals.  Held at the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics and the Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference (CLEO/QELS) this week in San Jose, Calif., the Foundation announced Brendan Reagan of Colorado State University as the winner of the Theodore Maiman Student Paper Competition and recognized three OSA Foundation board members as recent recipients of OSA’s Distinguished Service Award—Gary Bjorklund (2010), Stephen Fantone (2007), and Alexander Sawchuck (2004).

“Since 1929, 690 prizes and medals have been awarded by OSA,” said G. Michael Morris, OSA Foundation chairman. “These named programs provide a wonderful opportunity to honor the work or memory of a member of our community, and provide a lasting way to recognize on-going achievements in the field. The many paper competitions, grant and scholarship programs established through the OSA Foundation extend this tradition of recognition to the next generation of leaders and innovators.”

Theodore Maiman Student Paper Competition

Brendan Reagan was named the 2010 Maiman Competition winner for his paper titled “Soft X-Ray Laser Pumped by a Joule-Class, All-Diode-Pumped Laser System.” Reagan was one of 21 Maiman Competition semi-finalists that were selected from a record 944 student paper submissions. The papers were reviewed and scored by the CLEO/QELS technical program committee and semi-finalists were selected based on standard CLEO/QELS paper review criteria. The top three semi-finalists presented their research at CLEO/QELS and were judged based on innovation, research excellence and presentation ability.

Honorable mentions went to Bernardo Kyotoku of both Cornell University and Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Brazil for his paper titled “Cavity enhanced on-chip spectrometer with sub-nm resolution” and to Christina Olausson of the Institute for Laser Science at the University of Electro-Communications in Japan, NKT Photonics A/S in Denmark and the Department of Photonics Engineering at the Technical University of Denmark for her paper titled “167 W, 1178 nm Ytterbium-Doped Photonic Bandgap Fiber Amplifier with Power Scalability.”

Now in its second year, the Maiman Student Paper Competition honors American physicist Theodore Maiman for his amazing invention, the first working laser (which celebrated its 50th anniversary May 16, 2010), and his other outstanding contributions to optics and photonics. It recognizes student innovation and research excellence in the areas of laser technology and electro-optics. The award is endowed by a grant from HRL Laboratories LLC, the IEEE Photonics Society and the APS Division of Laser Science and is administered by the OSA Foundation.

Distinguished Service Awards

Of the last four OSA Distinguished Service Award winners, three have been presented to OSA Foundation Board members.  This year’s winner, Gary Bjorklund, founding chair of the OSA Foundation and 1998 OSA president, received the award for his long and distinguished service to the optics profession, including extraordinary leadership in guiding the OSA Foundation through its initial years and leading it to an impressive set of accomplishments.  In 2007, Stephen D. Fantone received the award for his outstanding service to the optical community and to OSA, for his outstanding vision, leadership and service in setting the financial policies and procedures for the society that provide financial stability and opportunity for the foreseeable future.  He is the founder and president of Optikos Corporation, and has served as OSA’s treasurer since 1996 and treasurer of the OSA Foundation board since its inception. Alexander Sawchuk was the Distinguished Service Award winner in 2004, cited for his 23 years of dedicated service to the Optical Society, including vital contributions to publications, meetings, international relations, and general governance.  Sawchuk is the vice chair of the OSA Foundation and a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Southern California.

“We are thrilled to have so many dedicated volunteers serve on the OSA Foundation board,” said Morris.  “Gary, Steve and Sandy have served OSA and the Foundation with passion, leadership and ingenuity for several decades combined.  We congratulate them on their award and thank them for invaluable service.”

The Distinguished Service Award was established in 1973 by the OSA Board of Directors. It is presented to individuals who, over an extended period of time, have served the Optical Society in an outstanding way, especially through volunteer participation in its management, operation or planning in such ways as editorship of a periodical, organization of meetings, or other service to the society. The award is endowed by contributions from individual members and by the American Optical Corporation in memory of Stephen M. MacNeille. The award is usually presented in even-numbered years only.

About the OSA Foundation

The OSA Foundation (OSAF) was established in 2002 to support philanthropic activities that help further the Optical Society 's (OSA) mission by concentrating its efforts on programs that advance youth science education, provide optics and photonics education to underserved populations, provide career and professional development resources and support awards & honors that recognize technical and business excellence. The grants funded by the OSA Foundation are made possible by the generous donations of its supporters as well as the dollar-for-dollar match by OSA. The Foundation is exempt from U.S. federal income taxes under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is a public charity. To learn more about the OSA Foundation, please visit www.osa-foundation.org.


With a distinguished history as the industry’s leading event on laser science, the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO) / Quantum Electronics Laser Science Conference (QELS) is where laser technology was first introduced. In 2010, CLEO/QELS will unite the field of lasers and electro-optics by bringing together all aspects of laser technology, with content stemming from basic research to industry application. Sponsored by the American Physical Society’s (APS) Laser Science Division, the Institute of Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Photonics Society and the Optical Society (OSA), CLEO/QELS provides a holistic reflection of the critical developments in the field, showcasing the most significant milestones from laboratory to marketplace. With an unparalleled breadth and depth of coverage, CLEO/QELS connects all of the critical vertical markets in lasers and electro-optics. For more information, visit the conference’s Web site at www.cleoconference.org.