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New ICO officers include SPIE Fellows, members; SEDOPTICA prizes awarded

16 September 2014

Toyohiko Yatagai, Francisco Javier Avila

Awards for outstanding work presented at the ICO-23 Congress included the SPIE Best Student Paper Award; above SPIE President-Elect Toyohiko Yatagai presents the award to Francisco Ávila.


New and newly re-elected officers of the International Commission for Optics (ICO) were announced at the recent ICO-23 congress in Santiago de Compostela, including several SPIE Fellows and Members. SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, was among the event sponsors.

Officers elected to serve three-year terms beginning on 1 October are:

  • President, Yasuhiko Arakawa (University of Tokyo)
  • Secretary General, Angela Guzmán (University of Central Florida)
  • Associate Secretary, Gert von Bally (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster)
  • Treasurer, SPIE Fellow and Past President James Harrington (Rutgers University)
  • Vice Presidents:
    • John Harvey (National Solar Observatory)
    • SPIE Member Joseph Niemela (Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics)
    • SPIE Fellow and Director Seung-Han Park (Yonsei University)
    • Jakub Zakrzewski (Jagiellonian University in Krakow)
    • SPIE Fellow Mourad Zghal (University of Carthage)
    • Frank Höller (Carl Zeiss AG)
    • Humberto Michinel (Universidade de Vigo)
    • Roberta Ramponi (CNR Istituto di Fotonica e Nanotecnologie).

During the congress, SPIE Fellow and President-Elect Toyohiko Yatagai (Utsunomiya University) presented the SPIE Best Student Paper Award including a prize of €1000 to Francisco Javier Ávila (Universidad de Murcia), for his team's paper, "Two-photo excitation fluorescence microscopy of β-amyloid deposits in retinal tissues affected by Alzheimer disease."

SPIE Fellow and Past President María Yzuel (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), the ICO Vice President appointed by SPIE, and SPIE Fellow and President Philip Stahl (NASA), representing the USAC-ICO (United States Advisory Committee to the ICO) on behalf of the National Academy of Sciences, also attended.

The Spanish Optical Society (SEDOPTICA) awarded Sergio Ortiz the Justiano Casas Award for the best doctorate thesis in the field of optical imaging, for his thesis, "Quantitative anterior segment optical coherence tomography."

The award is named after Professor Justiano Casas for his key role in the modernization of optics in Spain. SEDOPTICA established the award in 2007 to foster new researchers in the field of optical imaging in Spain. SEDOPTICA awarded Ortiz €1000 and runner-up Arnau Farré Flaquer €500.

Ortiz's thesis was made under the supervision of Professor Susana Marcos at the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas in Madrid, and defended at the Universidad de Valladolid. He is a senior researcher for the start-up company MOVU in Silicon Valley, which focuses on the development optical coherence tomography instruments for biomedical applications. He is an author of several papers in the SPIE Digital Library.

Flaquer received his PhD in physics from the Universitat de Barcelona. His thesis, "Momentum measurements of single-beam traps and quantitative holographic experiments: two sides of the same coin," is the basis for the company he co-founded, Impetux Optics, which focuses on design, manufacturing, and marketing optical force measurement systems for optical tweezers. Flaquer is co-author of three papers on optical tweezers technology that were presented last month at SPIE Optics + Photonics 2014 in San Diego, California.