Celebrating distinguished achievements and contributions.

Our awards and honors program recognizes and honors the field's technical, research, education, business, leadership and service accomplishments.

Award | Fellows

Fellow Spotlight

“A lot of us see the successful stories … but haven’t really understood that it’s not a straight path,” says 2020 Fellow Lynford Goddard, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA. From an inspiring high school swim team experience to finding himself without a project in graduate school, Goddard’s career has taken many unique turns. Now, he uses his story to show young scientists that everyone must travel their own path to success.

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2020 Fellow Lynford Goddard, Univ of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
Award | News Release

Infinera's Optical Innovation Team Awarded 2021 Paul F. Forman Team Engineering Excellence Award

Infinera's Optical Innovation Team, USA, has received the 2021 Paul F. Forman Team Engineering Excellence Award. The team is recognized “for the design, development and commercial deployment of a vertically optimized 1.6Tb/s (2x800G) digital coherent optics module, comprised of a large scale photonic integrated circuit, advanced high-speed RF packaging and pioneering real-time DSP ASIC”.

“This team’s work has resulted in the highest-performing 800 Gb/s class transponder, raising the bar for coherent optical engine design and delivering superior performance to the market,” said 2021 President Connie Chang-Hasnain, Whinnery Chair Professor Emerita of EECS at University of California, Berkeley, USA. “We applaud their dedication, focus, and ambition.”

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Award | News Release

Announcing the 2021 Treasurer’s Award Recipients

Congratulations to staff members Kelly Cohen, senior publisher, and Terence Rooney, senior program manager, students and early-career professionals, the recipients of the 2021 Treasurer’s Award.

Cohen received the award “for her strong leadership, ingenuity and resourcefulness in leading many successful OSA Publishing initiatives.”

Rooney was acknowledged “for providing a world-class experience to Student Chapters through his genuine energy and thoughtful innovation.”

They will be recognized during the 2021 Frontiers in Optics (FiO) + Laser Science (LS) conference to be held 31 October – 04 November.

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Award | News Release

Announcing the 2021 Edwin H. Land Medal Recipient

We are pleased to name Joseph A. Izatt of Duke University, USA the 2021 Edwin H. Land Medal winner. Izatt is recognized for foundational contributions to the invention, development, and commercialization of optical coherence-based technologies for in vivo biomedical imaging, and for the education and mentoring of distinguished scientists and engineers. This award is co-presented with the Society for Imaging Science and Technology (IS&T).

Joseph Izatt is a true leader in optical coherence-based imaging research whose entrepreneurial spirit and mentorship is emblematic of the Edwin Land Medal,” said 2021 President Connie Chang-Hasnain, Whinnery Chair Professor Emerita of EECS at University of California, Berkeley, USA. “His trailblazing accomplishments have contributed to the development of technologies that will benefit society indefinitely.”

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Award | News Release

Announcing 17 Award/Medal Recipients

We are pleased to announce 17 recipients of 2021 awards and medals. Throughout the year, a total of 23 awardees will be recognized for their distinguished achievements. Among those honored this year are the first women to win the Max Born Award, C.E.K. Mees Medal, and John Tyndall Award.

Our Awards Program celebrates the field's technical, research, education, business, leadership and service accomplishments. More information is available here.

“The 2021 Awardees truly embody the Society’s core values of innovation, integrity, inclusivity and impact,” said 2021 President Connie Chang-Hasnain, Whinnery Chair Professor Emerita of EECS at University of California, Berkeley, USA. “They now join the ranks of those who have greatly influenced the global optics and photonics community. In addition, I applaud the efforts of those who nominated candidates, submitted references and participated on the selection committees.”

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Award | News Release

Announcing the 2021 Frederic Ives Medal/Jarus W. Quinn Prize Recipient

The 2021 Frederic Ives Medal/Jarus W. Quinn Prize will be presented to Federico Capasso, John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, USA. Capasso is honored for seminal and wide-ranging contributions to optical physics, quantum electronics and nanophotonics.

"Federico Capasso is a true pioneer and distinguished leader in the field of optics and photonics,” said 2021 President Connie Chang-Hasnain, Whinnery Chair Professor Emerita of EECS at University of California, Berkeley, USA. “His contributions to the demonstration of the quantum cascade laser along with many other accomplishments are befitting of the prestigious Ives Medal/Quin Prize.”   

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Award | News Release

Erich Ippen Named Honorary Member

Dr. Erich Ippen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, has been named an Honorary Member. Honorary Membership is the most distinguished of all Member categories and is awarded to individuals who have made seminal contributions to the field of optics.

Ippen is being recognized “for laying the foundations of ultrafast science and engineering, as well as providing inspiring leadership to the optics community.

"Erich Ippen's longstanding dedication to enriching the Society and his seminal contributions to the global optics community are emblematic of the Honorary Member designation," said 2021 President Connie Chang-Hasnain, Whinnery Chair Professor Emerita of EECS at University of California, Berkeley, USA. "We celebrate his innovation and leadership that will greatly impact the future of our field." 

Honorary Members are elected by unanimous vote of the Board of Directors upon nomination by the Presidential Advisory Committee and a unanimous vote by the Awards Council.

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Award | News Release

Wolfgang Peter Schleich Named 2021 Herbert Walther Award Recipient

Congratulations to Wolfgang Peter Schleich, Universitat Ulm, Germany, the 2021 recipient of the Herbert Walther Award. This award is co-presented with the Deutsche Physikalische Gesell­schaft (DPG)

Schleich is recognized “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.”

“As a trailblazer in quantum optics research, Wolfgang Peter Schleich has greatly contributed to our fundamental understanding of quantum mechanics and a myriad of topics ranging from interference to black holes,” said 2020 President Stephen Fantone. “He has broadened our knowledge and served the optics and photonics community on a scale befitting this distinguished recognition.”

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Award | News Release

Michal Lipson Named 2021 John Tyndall Award Recipient

Michal Lipson, Eugene Higgins Professor of Electrical Engineering and Professor of Applied Physics at Columbia University, USA has been named the 2021 John Tyndall Award recipient. Lipson, the first woman to receive the award since it was established in 1987, is recognized for "fundamental and technological advances in integrated photonic devices." This award is co-presented with the IEEE Photonics Society.

"A trailblazer in the field, Michal Lipson’s groundbreaking research led to the development of the first gigahertz silicon modulators, demonstrating that silicon photonics could produce active devices," said 2020 President Stephen Fantone. "The Tyndall Award is a well-deserved testament to her visionary work in nanophotonics."

"Michal Lipson is a leader, a pioneer and a giant in the field of nanophotonics for her contributions to the physics and applications of light confining photonics structures”, added IEEE Photonics Society President Carmen Menoni. “The IEEE Photonics Society is delighted with her recognition by the Tyndall Award."

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Award | News Release

Announcing the 2021 Fellows Class

The Board of Directors elected 118 members from 24 countries to the Society’s 2021 Fellow Class. This year’s cohort reflects a broad and diverse range of achievements in the field of optics and photonics. Fellows are selected based on several factors, including distinguished contributions to education, research, engineering, business and our community. It is worthwhile to note that women account for 19%, or 23 members of the new Class, which is the largest number of women ever elected in one year.  

“Congratulations to the 2021 Fellows,” said OSA President Stephen Fantone. “Your election, by your peers, is affirmation of your impressive accomplishments within our field. Thank you for your dedication to the Society and for advancing the science of light.”

Fellows are members who have served with distinction in the advancement of optics and photonics. The Fellow Members Committee, led by Deborah Kane, Macquarie University, Australia, reviewed a record 261 nominations submitted by current Fellows. The committee extends their thanks to all the nominators and references who participated this year. As Fellows can account for no more than 10 percent of the total membership, the election process is highly competitive. Candidates are recommended by the Fellow Members Committee and then submitted for review and approval by the Awards Council and Board of Directors.

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