2017 Highlights

2017 OSA Foundation Programs, Grants, and Recognition Highlights

In 2017, The OSA Foundation allocated $150K USD, impacting approximately 10,000 students and early-career professionals from the Annual Fund.

In addition, OSA Foundation Endowments contributed $450K USD to support programs such as the Siegman School, corporate fellowships, travel grants, scholarships, prizes, and awards. Labor and overhead was covered by OSA. Below are a few highlights.


2017 Siegman International School on Lasers: Hosted 68 students from 23 countries (29% developing nations), with women making up 40% of the attendees. 52 (76%) of the students received either tuition or travel assistance. To date, the school has hosted 323 students.

The Innovation School: Newly launched in 2017, the school hosted nearly 50 attendees, mentors, and lecturers with a focus on building business acumen in students and early-career professionals.


Professional Development Sessions: Over 500 students and early-career professionals attended sessions at OSA meetings, on topics ranging from  resume writing/development, transferable skills, leveraging LinkedIn, to networking strategies.

Lunch and Learn Networking Sessions: Sessions hosted at four OSA congresses (Biomedical, Imaging, Optical Design, and Advanced Photonics), allowing 250 students and early-career professionals to spend 90 minutes engaging with industry leaders for career advice.

Incubic Milton Chang Travel Grants: Awarded to 20 students from 11 countries.

Student Chapter Grants: 25 student chapters in 17 countries received grants  for professional development and youth outreach impacting 6,000.

Optics Suitcase: 26 student chapters received an Optics Suitcase to assist with their youth outreach programs. Approximately 1,250 kids were inspired.


Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, & Entrepreneurship (WISTEE): Gathered 70 professionals from 14 countries and 43 organizations interested in promoting gender equity. Almost 300 people have benefited since 2015.

American Association of University Women (AAUW): 21 camps reaching 1,600 girls. OSAF also recruited 18 OSA members to participate in the camps’ Professional Women’s Night and hands-on demonstrations utilizing the  Explore Optics Kits.


Bright Ideas Competition: Four groups presented concepts for innovative uses of $30K in Quantel Lasers. Dr. Harald Schwefel, Univ. of Otago, New Zealand, won the grant for his proposal to generate photon triplets for secure communications.

Prizes and Scholarships: The OSAF annually awards the Stoicheff, Pollicove and Bonenfant Scholarships; the Corning, Li, Maiman, Kaminow, and Wolf Prizes; and the Bennet and Hilbert Travel Grants.