OSA | Living History

Juris Upatnieks

OSA Awards & Distinctions



OSA Fellow Juris Upatnieks studied Electrical Engineering at the University of Akron in Ohio, where he was awarded a bachelor's degree in 1960. In 1965, he earned his master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan. He stayed at the university from 1973 to 1993, working first at the Environmental Research Institute and then at the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. After his work with the University of Michigan, he became a consultant with Applied Optics until 2001. Also at this time, he was a researcher at the university in the Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics Department.

His most well-known achievement was the 1964 demonstration with Emmet N. Leith of the first three-dimensional hologram in the United States. Accompanying this demonstration were a series of technical papers, published between 1962 and 1964.

Upatnieks holds 19 U.S. patents. In 1975, he received the R. W. Wood Prize from OSA, in 1976, the Holley Medal of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and he was named "Inventor of the Year" in 1976 by the American Association for the Advancement of Invention and Innovation. He is a member of The Optical Society and of International Society for Optical Engineering, as well as a member of the Latvian Academy of Sciences, whose Great Medal he received in 1999. Most recently, he was awarded the 2010 Emmet N. Leith Medal from OSA.



Document Created: 17 Mar 2020
Last Updated: 24 Apr 2020