The Optical Society Creates Optical Design Innovator Award

26 July 2017


The Optical Society Creates Optical Design Innovator Award

Award to honor memory of Kevin P. Thompson while recognizing innovative early-career optics professionals

WASHINGTON – The Optical Society (OSA) is pleased to announce the creation of the Kevin P. Thompson Optical Design Innovator Award recognizing significant contributions to lens design, optical engineering or metrology by an individual at an early career stage. The inaugural award will be given in 2018. 
The award was established to honor Kevin P. Thompson, who, among many other accomplishments, was known for leading breakthroughs in a new class of truly nonsymmetric optical systems using freeform optical surfaces. Kevin was an OSA Fellow  and active OSA volunteer serving as the co-chairman of the OSA Topical Meeting on Freeform Optics and the Freeform Optics Incubator, a Topical Editor for JOSA A, Chairman of the Optical Design Technical Group and a member of the Fellows Selection Committee.

“Kevin enjoyed working with and guiding students and young professionals,” said Dr. Jannick Rolland, Thompson’s wife. “He would be very happy and deeply honored that this award is recognizing scientists who are in the early stages of their careers and making significant contributions to the field.”
“Kevin had an immeasurable impact on his students and colleagues as well as in the field of optics and photonics,” said George Bayz, Treasurer of The Optical Society and Vice President and General Manager at the Synopsis’ Optical Solutions Group. “The Thompson Award will be a way to remember his influence in the optics community to The Optical Society and to everyone who had the chance to know him.” 
An endowment has been established by The OSA Foundation, and is currently accepting donations. All donations, up to $25,000, are being matched by Synopsys, Inc. Those wishing to make a contribution to the help permanently endow the award can learn more here. Additional details on the nomination process can be found here. Nominations for the inaugural Thompson award are due by 1 October.

About The Optical Society Foundation
The Optical Society Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation established by the Optical Society (OSA) in 2002 to carry out charitable activities that support the society’s mission of promoting the generation, application, archiving and worldwide dissemination of knowledge in optics and photonics. The Foundation helps cultivate the next generation of leaders and innovators in the optics and photonics community as they move through advanced degree programs and become active members of research, engineering and business communities around the globe. The Foundation also works to secure OSA Awards and Honors program endowments. For more information, visit
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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