11 March 2019

The Optical Society Names Wolfgang Osten the 2019 Emmett N. Leith Medal Recipient

Honoree recognized for extending the limits of optical metrology

WASHINGTON—The Optical Society (OSA) is pleased to name Wolfgang Osten, Universität Stuttgart, Germany, the 2019 Emmett N. Leith Medal recipient. Osten is recognized for extending the limits of optical metrology by integrating digital image processing with modern optical measurement techniques.


“Working at the frontier of optical metrology, Wolfgang Osten has brought new concepts to industrial inspection and metrology,” said 2019 OSA President Ursula Gibson. “He richly deserves recognition with the Emmett N. Leith Medal.”

 Osten received the MSc/Diploma in Physics from the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Germany, in 1979. From 1979 to 1984, he was a member of the Institute of Mechanics in Germany working in the field of experimental stress analysis and optical metrology. He received a Ph.D. degree from the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany, for his thesis in the field of holographic interferometry.

From 1984 to 1991, Osten was employed at the Central Institute of Cybernetics and Information Processes ZKI, making investigations in digital image processing and machine vision. Between 1988 and 1991, he was head of the Institute for Digital Image Processing at the ZKI. He joined the Bremen Institute of Applied Beam Technology (BIAS) to establish and to direct the Department Optical 3-D-Metrology.

From September 2002 until October 2018, Osten was full professor at the Universität Stuttgart, and director of the Institute for Applied Optics. From 2006 to 2010, he was the vice rector for research and technology transfer of the Universität Stuttgart.

Osten’s research work is focused on new concepts for industrial inspection and metrology by combining modern principles of optical metrology, sensor technology and digital image processing. Special attention is directed to the development of digital optical technologies such as digital holography and resolution enhanced technologies for the investigation of micro- and nano-structures.

Osten is a Fellow of OSA, SPIE, EOS, SEM, and senior member of IEEE. He is Honorary Professor at Shenzhen University, China, Honorary Doctor of the University of Technology of Ilmenau, Germany, the 2011 recipient of the Dennis Gabor Award of SPIE, the 2018 recipient of the Rudolf Kingslake Medal of the SPIE, and the 2019 recipient of the Chandra Vikram Award of the SPIE.

Established in 2006, the Emmett N. Leith Medal recognizes seminal contributions to the field of optical information processing, including (but not limited to), sensing and analog signal processing as well as computing (classical and quantum) and optical storage. It honors Emmett N. Leith, a world-renowned scientist in holography and optical information processing, and is endowed by General Dynamics, the University of Michigan College of Engineering, U.S.A., Physical Optics Corporation and individual contributors, including Alexander Sawchuk, Joseph Goodman, James R. Fienup, G. Michael Morris, Tom Cathey and James Wyant.


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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