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CLEO/Europe Honorees

CLEO/Europe - EQEC Honorees

OSA is proud to recognize the outstanding achievements of our community. We regret that we were unable to honor these accomplishments in-person during CLEO/Europe - EQEC and the World of Photonics Congress.

Please join us in congratulating these honorees being recognized during the virtual events.


Herbert Walther Award

Named in honor of Prof. Herbert Walther, who made ground-breaking innovations in quantum optics and atomic physics, the award recognizes distinguished contributions in quantum optics and atomic physics as well as leadership in the international scientific community.


2021 Recipient

Wolfgang Peter Schleich
Universitat Ulm, Germany

For pioneering contributions to topics including gyroscopes and general relativity, Schleich-Wheeler oscillations, quantum state engineering, quantum optics in phase space, Gauss-sum factorization and wave packet dynamics and the red shift controversy resolution in atom interferometry.

Schleich received a Diplom Physik and Ph.D. in Physics from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Mün-chen, Germany. During his Ph.D. work, he studied for a year with Dr. Marlan O. Scully in the United States. He became a postdoctoral research associate at the Center for Theoretical Physics in Austin, Texas, USA upon completion of his Ph.D. In 1989, he received the Dr. rer. nat. habil. at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany. Before joining the Universitat Ulm in 1991, he worked with Herbert Walther at the Max- Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik. In 2019 he established the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Quantum Technologies, which pursues fundamental precision measurements with cold atoms, Bose-Einstein condensates, and atom interferometers in micro-gravity. He leads this center as Acting Director.

Schleich is a theoretical physicist with a 40 year career of demonstrated leadership and groundbreaking research. He is most well-known for providing the theoretical support for the Bose-Einstein conden-sate on a chip sounding rocket experiments.

He is active in the community, serving as a reviewer for numerous scientific journals and funding agencies, as a member and participant in his professional societies, and as an editor and speaker. He is organizer or co-organizer of 35 international conferences on quantum optics. His many awards include the Personal Medal of the Cardinal of Duka, the Archbishop of Prague; the Equal Opportunity Award of Ulm University; the Medal of the Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering of Czech Technical University; the Willis E. Lamb Award and others. He is a Fellow of OSA, the Institute of Physics, the American Physical Society, and the European Op-tical Society; an elected member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and Academia Europaea; and an Honorary member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.


2020 Recipient

Eugene Polzik
Kobenhavns Universitet, Denmark

For pioneering experimental contributions to quantum optics including the demonstration of spin squeezing and entanglement of atomic ensembles, quantum teleportation between light and matter, a quantum memory for light, and hybrid atomic-mechanical coupling.

Polzik, a U.S. citizen, received M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in physics from Leningrad (Saint Petersburg State) University, Russia. Upon completion of his Ph.D., he became an associate professor of physics at the Mining Institute in Leningrad. Since then, he has held a number of positions at the California Institute of Technology, US.; the University of Aarhus, Denmark; the Institute Henri Poincare, France; and the Institute for Photonic Sciences in Barcelona, Spain. He is currently a professor of physics at the Niels Bohr Institute at Kobenhavns Universitet, Denmark.

Polzik is an experimental quantum physicist who has made groundbreaking contributions within quantum optics with an emphasis on quantum state engineering and control of light and matter. He has published more than 160 papers in refereed journals and given over 150 plenary and invited talks. His research has helped to lead the development of quantum optics throughout Europe, which includes his leadership of the “Quantum Information Processing and Communication in Europe (QUROPE)” project from 2006-2009. In Denmark, he established the first quantum-optics lab, and later the Danish Center for Quantum Optics (QUANTOP) at the University of Copenhagen.

He has received many awards for his work, including the Danish Physical Society Prize, the Scientific American Research Leadership Award, the Gordon Moore Distinguished Scholar Award, and the Danish Academic Association Research Prize in Natural Sciences. He is a Fellow of OSA, the American Physical Society, and the Institute of Physics, and a member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters.

2021 Fellows

Recognizing OSA members who have served with distinction in the advancement of optics and photonics through distinguished contributions to education, research, engineering, business leadership and society. View a complete list of 2021 Fellows.


Camille-Sophie Brès
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland

For the development of novel photonic systems for efficient light generation with enhanced functionalities


Dr. Arnaud Brignon
Thales Research & Technology, France

For outstanding contributions to nonlinear wave mixing, adaptive laser beam shaping, and coherent beam combining of fs laser amplifiers


Elliott Brown, Ph.D.
Wright State University, USA

For pioneering contributions and leadership in the development and application of terahertz photomixers and diodes for spectroscopy and imaging


Tal Carmon
Tel Aviv University and Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Israel

For impacting optical-interaction sciences by introducing hybrid micro-cavities where light exchanges energy with mechanical vibrations, sound, water waves, or plasma


Volker Deckert
Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology, Jena, Germany

For on-going contributions to high resolution Raman spectroscopy, in particular the realization of tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy


Des Gibson
University of the West of Scotland, United Kingdom

For contributions advancing the technology and industry of optical coatings, sensors and medical devices


Martina Havenith-Newen
Ruhr Universitaet Bochum, Germany

For exploring THz spectroscopy as a sensitive tool to map solvation and highlighting the role of water in biological processes


Robert Huber
Universität zu Lübeck, Germany

For outstanding contributions to the development of tunable lasers and imaging techniques, especially Fourier domain mode locking


Christian Kränkel
Leibniz-Institut für Kristallzüchtung, Germany

For significant advancements in the development of new, tailored rare-earth ion-doped gain crystals for visible, near-, and mid-infrared lasers


Arseniy Kuznetsov
IMRE, A*STAR, Singapore

For pioneering contributions to the field of dielectric nanoantennas and development of their applications


Síle Nic Chormaic
Okinawa Inst of Science & Technology Graduate University, Japan

For contributions to fundamental understanding and applications of optical nanofibers, nanofiber-mediated interactions with cold atoms, whispering gallery resonator cavities, and microparticle trapping


Tatiana Novikova
LPICM, Ecole Polytechnique, IP Paris, France

For pioneering contributions to the study of polarized light and its applications in Mueller polarimetry for metrology in microelectronics and biomedicine


Vittorio M. N. Passaro
Politecnico di Bari, Italy

For pioneering contributions in photonic micro-sensor development


Roberta Ramponi
IFN-CNR and Politecnico di Milano, Italy

For leadership in the promotion of optics and light-based technologies, and outstanding contributions to photonics innovation in Europe


Albert Schliesser
Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

For pioneering contributions to the fields of quantum optomechanics and optical frequency combs


Enrique Tajahuerce
Universitat Jaume I, Spain

For achievements on optical security and computational imaging using digital holography and single-pixel imaging techniques


John Travers
Heriot-Watt University, United Kingdom

For pioneering research on nonlinear fibre optics, including supercontinuum generation and extreme pulse compression in both solid and hollow-core fibers


Nicolas Treps
Laboratoire Kastler Brossel, Sorbonne Université, France

For outstanding contributions to quantum optics, quantum metrology and quantum technologies, and for successful technology transfer to photonics industry


Dries Van Thourhout
Ghent University - IMEC, Belgium

For outstanding and sustained contributions to research on silicon photonics, particularly the integration of novel active materials through wafer bonding or epitaxy


Ramon Vilaseca
Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya. Barcelona, Spain

For pioneering research in nonlinear optics, nonlinear laser dynamics, and ultra-fast laser pulse propagation in photonic crystals




Anton Zeilinger
Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria

For decades of pioneering quantum optics and quantum information contributions, critically advancing understanding of the foundations and applications of quantum physics