Erich P. Ippen

Erich P. Ippen

2000 OSA President Erich P. Ippen received the S.B. in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1962, and then attended the University of California, Berkeley where he received his M.S. in 1965 and Ph.D. in 1968 in electrical engineering. He was a member of the technical staff at Bell Laboratories from 1968 to 1980 where he was one of the founders of the field of femtosecond optics. He joined the MIT faculty in 1980.

Ippen is a principal investigator in MIT’s Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE). He holds appointments as the Elihu Thomson Professor of Electrical Engineering and Professor of Physics. He is one of the leaders of RLE's Optics and Quantum Electronics Group.

Ippen and his group continue to pioneer important new areas of optics, particularly in the areas of femtosecond science and ultra-highspeed devices, inventing new methods for generating extremely short bursts of light using lasers, innovating techniques to exploit the time resolution such pulses provide, and using these new techniques to probe ultrafast phenomena in materials. He holds 12 patents including one for a mode-locked laser and one for a stretched pulse fiber laser.

Ippen’s many honors include earning MIT's James R. Killian, Jr. Faculty Achievement Award in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to his field and to the Institute. Ippen is a member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, and is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is also a recipient of OSA’s Frederic Ives Medal, and APS’s Schawlow Prize.

For more on Erich Ippen watch his OSA History Interview.