7 August 2018


The Optical Society Names Inaugural Kevin P. Thompson Optical Design Innovator Award Recipient


WASHINGTON—The Optical Society (OSA) is pleased to name Ulrike Fuchs, asphericon GmbH, Germany as the first recipient of the Kevin P. Thompson Optical Design Innovator Award. Fuchs is recognized for interlinking aspects of optical design, tolerancing, metrology and manufacturing for aspherics to enable their usage as a reasonable choice in optical systems.

The Kevin P. Thompson Optical Design Innovator Award was established in 2017 to honor 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.
The 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, patents or publications. 


Ulrike Fuchs studied physics at the Friedrich-Schiller University, Germany, from 1999 to 2004, majoring in optics. She received a Ph.D. degree in 2009 at Fraunhofer IOF. Afterwards, she worked as research associate at the IOF Micro-Optical Department and as assistant lecturer at the Abbe School of Photonics. In 2010, she joined asphericon and became head of the Applications Department in 2012. Her current position oversees all R&D activities, as well as strategic product development.
Dr. Fuchs started her academic career in 2003 working on numerical simulations for ultrashort pulse propagation in complex optical system. Joining asphericon as an optical designer shifted her research focus to interlinking manufacturing of aspherics and metrology with questions in optical design. She is continuously working on concepts that allow a prediction of system performance during optical design and tolerancing processes. Recent emphasis is on transferring those ideas to freeform optics.

“Dr. Fuchs is very well suited to be the first recipient of this award,” says award selection-committee chair, John R. Rogers, Synopsys, Inc., USA. “Her well-recognized expertise in the optical design/fabrication field, passion for education, ability to manage various projects, and personal motivation exemplify the vision behind the Kevin P. Thompson Optical Design Innovator Award.”
“The breadth and impact of her body of work, coupled with her leadership in optical design with aspheres, set Dr. Fuchs apart scientifically. But, her work as a lecturer and her willingness to share her knowledge with the general community will help to inspire other advancements and make her an ideal candidate for this recognition,” says Ursula Gibson, OSA President-elect and professor of physics at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway.
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 osa.org.

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