The Optical Society Elects Ursula Gibson as 2017 Vice President

19 October 2016

The Optical Society Elects Ursula Gibson as 2017 Vice President

Gibson to serve as OSA president in 2019; three directors-at-large elected to OSA Board of Directors

Rochester, New York —The Optical Society (OSA) is pleased to announce that its members have elected Ursula Gibson of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway, as its 2017 vice president. Three directors-at-large were also chosen during this year's election: Mark Brongersma of Stanford University, USA; Pierre Chavel of the Centre National de la Recherché Scientifique and Institut d’Optique, France; and Martijn de Sterke of University of Sydney, Australia.  The announcement was made today during The Optical Society’s 100th Annual Business Meeting at the Frontiers in Optics (FiO) and Laser Science (APS/DLS) conference in Rochester, New York, USA.

By accepting the vice presidency, Gibson makes a four-year commitment to OSA's Board of Directors. She will serve one year as vice president in 2017, followed by one year as president-elect in 2018, president in 2019 and past-president in 2020.

Along with Gibson, the new directors at large, Brongersma, Chavel and de Sterke, will begin their terms on 01 January 2017. They will hold their positions for three years.

“Ursula joins the Board at a time when the field of optics is better recognized by the world,” said Elizabeth Rogan, CEO of The Optical Society. “Combined with her leadership in optics, Ursula’s years-long involvement with OSA will help us steward the Society into our second century.”

Ursula Gibson held elected positions on the OSA Board of Directors from 2002 to 2005, served on the International Commission on Optics Bureau as an OSA representative from 2011 to 2014 and been an active OSA member for three decades. During Gibson’s career she has contributed to seven books, holds three patents and has refereed over 100 journal articles. Currently, Gibson’s research focuses on semiconductor-core optical fibers and MBE grown fibers for mid-infrared applications.

“I joined The Optical Society during the early stages of my career, and this organization played an integral role in molding me into the professional that I am today,” says Gibson. “My long-time affiliation with this Society makes this election a special honor. I look forward to working with a community that encourages the development and flourishing of the careers of the next generation of innovators and thinkers.”

Gibson received her Ph.D. in physics from Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA, in 1982. Upon receiving her doctoral degree, Gibson held a doctoral graduate research grant at Bell Labs, Murray Hill, New Jersey, USA before moving to an associate professorship at the University of Arizona, Optical Sciences Center in Tucson, Arizona, USA. In 1990, Gibson moved to Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA to accept an Associate Professorship position. Over the course of her career, Gibson has held several visiting positions, including the United States Air Force Academy, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, Tampere University of Technology in Finland, Chalmers University in Sweden and the University of Queensland in Australia. From 1997 to 1998, Gibson was also the NASA/ASEE Visiting Research Fellow and in 2004 she was selected to be a member of the NASA Network of Educator Astronaut Teachers. In 2008 Gibson was awarded the Fulbright Scholarship to fund research in “Nanostructured ZnO for Wood Preservation.” Today, Gibson is a professor of physics at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway and concurrently holds an adjunct professor in the Department of Applied Physics at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology and the Chemistry Department at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA.

“We are pleased to welcome Ursula, Mark, Pierre and Martijn to the Board,” said Rogan. “Their efforts to advance the field of optics and photonics, combined with their dedication to publishing and extensive educational programming for the next generation of researchers is on par with the mission of OSA.”

Mark Brongersma is a Fellow of The Optical Society and is a professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Applied Physics at Stanford University, California, USA.  Brongersma leads a research team of ten students and four postdoctoral researchers in the “Mark Brongersma’s Group Plasmonics and Photonics” program at Stanford University. In his research, Brongersma is dedicated to the development and physical analysis of new materials and structures that find use in nanoscale electronic and photonic devices. A doctoral graduate from the FOM Institute in Amsterdam, Netherlands, in 1998, Mark Brongersma has gone on to become a trailblazer in the field of optics. During a postdoctoral research fellowship at the California Institute of Technology, California, USA, Brongersma studied light manipulation with metallic nanostructures below the free space diffraction limit, coining the term “plasmonics” in the process. The new device which he helped discover, exploited the unique optical properties of nanoscale metallic structures to route and manipulated light at the nanoscale. Brongersma has also authored and co-authored over 175 publications, many of which have been featured in Science and Nature. He also holds patents in the area of silicon microphotonics and plasmonics. He is a co-founder of Rolith, Inc., Pleasanton, California, USA, a manufacturer of advanced optical nanostructures. For his work on plasmonics, he received a U.S. National Science Foundation Career Award, the Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching, the International Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize in the Physical Sciences for Physics. 

Pierre Chavel graduated from the Universite Paris-Sud, Orsay, with a ‘docteur es sciences’ in physics in 1979. Since 1972, he has been a research scientist at CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique), working at the Institut d'Optique – Graduate School. His research interests include subwavelength diffractive optics, digital image processing, optical coherence, speckle and optoelectronic computing. His publications include some 120 articles in refereed journals and he edited or co-edited several books. He also holds 12 patents. He has taught courses on physical optics, coherence, geometrical optics, optics in computing, speckle, Fourier analysis and Fourier optics at IOGS and other institutions. As a participant or principle investigator, he has been involved for many years in research projects funded by the European Union “Framework Programme” for science and technology. From 2004 through 2009, he chaired the board of shareholders of one high tech startup company in the field of biophotonics. He served as the Director of Laboratoire Charles Fabry (1998-2009, 2013-2014) and is serving as a deputy director for the Saint-Etienne site of Institut d’Optique, also working there with Laboratoire Hubert Curien. He was a visiting scientist at the Image Processing Institute, University of Southern California, Los Angeles during 1979-1980, and a Xiing Sheng Chern Visiting Professor at the Institute of Modern Optics, Nankai University, Tianjin, China (2007-2010). A Fellow of OSA, SPIE and the European Optical Society, he served on the board of SFO, the French Optical Society (1983-89 and 91-95) and as the Secretary of the International Commission for Optics, 1990-2002 and as a chair of a number of scientific conferences, including CLEO Europe 2000 and CLEO Europe 2003. He is also the President of the French Physics Olympiads (2011-present).

Martijn de Sterke, University of Sydney, Australia, has been affiliated with The Optical Society for nearly 30 years. Martijn de Sterke holds a Bachelors of Engineering and a Masters of Engineering from the University of Delft, Netherlands, completing his Ph.D. in optics from the University of Rochester, New York, USA, in 1987. Upon the completion of his doctorate, de Sterke joined the faculty at the University of Sydney in 1991, becoming a Professor in Physics since 2003. From 2001 to 2006, de Sterke was an Associate Editor for Optics Express. In 2007, de Sterke was promoted to Editor-in-Chief of the journal. Under his esteemed guidance, the journal witnessed an increase in annual paper submissions, nearly doubling to over 6,000 annually. He has been the Chair of OSA’s Board of Editors since 2014 and has shown a commitment to research and education as an OSA Traveling lecturer. He held the position of Program Chair at the 2011 CLEO Pacific Rim conference and the QELS conference in 2013. Martijn de Sterke has published more than 300 refereed journal papers and book chapters covering various topics within optics and photonics, including nonlinear optics, guided-wave optics, and wave propagation in random media, periodic media, solar energy, plasmonics and metamaterials. 

About FiO/LS
Frontiers in Optics (FiO) 2016 is The Optical Society’s (OSA) 100th Annual Meeting and held together with Laser Science, the 32th annual meeting of the American Physical Society (APS) Division of Laser Science (DLS). The two meetings unite the OSA and APS communities for five days of quality, cutting-edge presentations, in-demand invited speakers and a variety of special events spanning a broad range of topics in optics and photonics—the science of light—across the disciplines of physics, biology and chemistry. The exhibit floor will feature leading optics companies, technology products and programs. More information at:

About The Optical Society
Founded in 1916, The Optical Society (OSA) is the leading professional organization for scientists, engineers, students and entrepreneurs who fuel discoveries, shape real-life applications and accelerate achievements in the science of light. Through world-renowned publications, meetings and membership initiatives, OSA provides quality research, inspired interactions and dedicated resources for its extensive global network of optics and photonics experts. For more information, visit

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