Maiman Student Paper Competition

Maiman Student Paper Competition

This competition was established in 2008 in memory of Theodore Maiman and in acknowledgement of his amazing invention, the first working laser, and his other outstanding contributions to optics and photonics. The program recognizes student innovation, research excellence and presentation skills in the areas of laser technology and electro-optics, and is endowed by HRL Laboratories, LLC, IEEE Photonics Society and APS Division of Laser Science.

Papers submitted to CLEO during the regular “call for papers” are eligible for entry. Students must opt-in to the competition during the submissions process.

The finalists will present their papers to a panel of judges in a private session during the conference. The top prize winner receives $3,000 USD, two honorable mention recipients each receive a certificate. The results will be announced during the Plenary Session and the OSA Foundation Luncheon.


All the following criteria must be met:

  • Submitting author must opt-in to the competition during the regular submission process and follow all the instructions provided on the submission site.
  • The presenting author must be an undergraduate or graduate student of an educational institution of collegiate grade who is devoting more than half-time to studies within the institution, at the time the paper was written.
  • The paper must be submitted and accepted during the regular “call for papers” process (Note: Postdeadline Papers are not part of this competition).
  • Student must present the paper during CLEO.



Grand Prize

Dominik Peller
Univeristy of Regensburg, Germany

Honorable Mentions

Nils Otterstrom
Yale University, USA

Sheldon Kwok
Massachusetts General Hospital, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA


Grand Prize

Jingyuan Linda Zhang
Stanford University, USA

Honorable Mentions

Jinghui Yang
University of California, Los Angeles, USA

Zhanshi Yao
Hong Kong Univ. of Science and Tech., China


Grand Prize

Mengjie Yu
Cornell University, USA

Honorable Mentions

Nils Engelsen
Stanford University, USA

Duanni Huang
UC Santa Barbara, USA


(LtoR) Philip Russell (2015 OSA President), Shuo Sun


Grand Prize

Shuo Sun 
University of Maryland, US

Honorable Mentions

Richard Geiger
Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland

Muhammad Rodlin BIllah
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany


See caption below
(LtoR) Matthias Lauermann, Fabian Langer, Kevin O'Brien

Grand Prize

Fabian Langer 
University of Regensburg, Germany

Honorable Mentions

Matthias Lauermann
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

Kevin O’Brien
University of California, Berkeley, US


(LtoR) Jeffrey Demas, Peter Krogen, Gary Shambat

Grand Prize

Gary Shambat
Stanford University, US

Honorable Mentions

Jeffrey Demas
Boston University, US

Peter Krogen



(LtoR) Jeffrey Driscoll, Jun Ong, Chien-Yao Lu

Grand Prize

Jeffrey Driscoll
Columbia University, US

Honorable Mentions

Jun Ong
University of California, San Diego, US

Chien-Yao Lu
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, US




(LtoR) Hugo Benichi, G. Michael Morris

Grand Prize

Hugo Benichi
University of Tokyo, Japan

Honorable Mentions

Han-Wei Wang
Purdue University, US

Gabriel Ycas
University of Colorado, Boulder, US




(LtoR) James Wyant, Bernardo Kyotoku, Christina Olausson, Brendan Reagan

Grand Prize

Brendan Reagan
Colorado State University, US

Honorable Mentions

Bernardo Kyotoku
Cornell University, US

Christina Olausson
Institute for Laser Science, Japan



(LtoR) G. Michael Morris, Georg Anetsberger, Jean-Michel Menard, Jens Bethge, Alexander Sawchuk

Grand Prize

Georg Anetsberger
Max-Planck-Institut fur Quantenoptik, Germany

Honorable Mentions

Jens Bethge
Saratov State University, Russia

Jean-Michel Menard
University of Toronto, Canada

To be considered apply at the time of paper submission

Grand Prize: $3,000
Two Honorable Mentions (no funding)