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Edmund Optics congratulates 2016 Educational Award winners

07 November 2016

SPIE Corporate Member and Startup Challenge sponsor Edmund Optics Inc., named the winners of its 2016 Educational Awards. The company, a leading supplier of optics and optical components since 1942, recognizes institutions around the globe in an effort to support undergraduate and graduate optics programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Half of the awards are distributed in the Americas and Asia-Pacific region and the remaining awards are presented to institutions in Europe.

All awards are in the form of product donations from Edmund Optics, Gold receiving $10,000, Silver receiving $7,500, and Bronze receiving $5,000. All educational award finalists still benefit from $500 in free products.

This year’s Gold winner in the European region went to Severin Filser of DZNE Munich (Germany) for his group’s work in developing a minimally-invasive micro-endoscope to analyze corticostriatal network dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease. Filser will be presenting his research at BiOS in late January. Dr. Edgar Spalding of the University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA) received the Gold-Americas award, whose research has the potential to revolutionize the agricultural industry by helping plant breeders decide which varieties of corn to hybridize in order to survive harsh weather or drought.

The Silver-Europe award was presented to Mads Sylvest Bergholt of Imperial College London (UK) for his use of innovative optical design and engineering to develop the first wide field near-infrared Ramen imaging probe prototype for applications in accurate molecular assessments of tumor margins. A frequent speaker at SPIE events, Bergholt will be presenting again at BiOS in January. He is also a frequent contributor to the SPIE Journal of Biomedical Optics. Jairo Salazar of Cinvestav (Mexico) received the Silver-Americas award for the design and development of a low-cost Hyperspectral Image Sensor (HIS) prototype, which promises applications in the industries of precision agriculture, recycling, remote sensing, manufacturing, defense, and medicine.

Oybek Kholiqov of UC Davis, (USA) received the Bronze-Americas award for the development of Interferometric Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (iNIRS) that allows for quantitative monitoring of oxygen metabolism and cerebral blood flow in real time. This project has the potential to fulfill the need for quantitative bed-side, real-time functional brain monitoring in the field of medical imaging. Kholiqov will present on two different aspects of NIRS at BiOS during Photonics West 2017.

Barbara Buades Sabater of the Institute of Photonic Sciences (Spain) and her group received the Bronze-Europe award having developed a greater understanding for ultrafast electron dynamics, size limitations for transistors, speed of electronic devices and more. Using the shortest light pulses ever generated on Earth, sub-femtosecond temporal resolution can be achieved. The group is also working to resolve electron dynamics in 2D materials and their applications in the design of nanoscale transistors and efficiency of batteries and photodetectors of solar cells.

For more information and a complete list of award winners and finalists, see the Edmund Optics Awards news release.