12 April 2019

The Optical Society Names Fred Leonberger the 2019 David Richardson Medal Recipient

Honoree recognized for technical and business leadership resulting in successful commercial development of many optical communications innovations

WASHINGTON—The Optical Society (OSA) is pleased to name Fred Leonberger, EOvation Advisors LLC, U.S.A., winner of the 2019 David Richardson Medal. Leonberger is recognized for innovative development, technical leadership and commercialization of guided wave photonic components, especially integrated optical modulators, which have had major applications in fiber optic communications, CATV and sensing.


“Fred Leonberger’s distinguished record as a photonics industry leader merits recognition with the David Richardson Medal,” says 2019 OSA President Ursula Gibson. “He has shepherded many photonics innovations from the laboratory to successful commercial development of the technologies that, today, are essential to many optical communications systems, sensors and networks.”

Leonberger is principal of EOvation Advisors. He has served as a co-founder, board member and/or advisor for 10 photonics companies and Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Integrated Photonics Systems, U.S.A. He was senior vice president and chief technical officer for optical products and communications firm, JDSU; co-founder and general manager of of optical modulator company, UTP; and held research and management positions at United Technologies Research Center and MIT Lincoln Laboratory. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of OSA and IEEE and recipient of the IEEE Photonics Award among other professional honors.

Leonberger is a widely known photonics industry leader. The LiNbO3 integrated optic modulator technology he and colleagues pioneered has been widely used for more than 20 years in fiber optic communications, CATV/rf signal transmission and fiber optic gyroscopes. Following more than a decade of development at Lincoln Laboratory and United Technologies Research Center, he co-founded and led the spinoff of UTP to commercialize the LiNbO3 technology. UTP (now part of Lumentum) continues as a leading modulator supplier.

Established in 1966, the David Richardson Medal recognizes significant contributions to optical engineering, primarily in the commercial and industrial sector, and honors David Richardson’s unique contributions to applied optics. The award is endowed by Cary Instruments and Gary Duck.

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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