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In memoriam: Mikhail Schelev, pioneer in photoelectronics

31 October 2016

photo of Mikhail SchelevSPIE Fellow Mikhail Schelev, 64, a well-known scientist and head of the Laboratory of Picosecond Photonics and of the Department of Photoelectronics at A.M. Prokhorov General Physics Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, passed away 12 September 2016 in Russia.

Professor Schelev, who earned his doctor of sciences in physics and mathematics from Lebedev Physical Institute, was the world’s foremost expert in the field of high-speed photoelectric image recording science. A professor of physical electronics, he led a unique group specializing in photoelectronics, electron-optical image tube design, and picosecond and femtosecond image recording in visible, Infra-Red, UV and X-ray spectral regions. The group has been recognized world-wide as the leading developer of high-speed image-recording instrumentation for more than four decades.

An Honored Scientist of Russian Federation, Schelev was recognized for his outstanding contributions in experimental implementation of methods and tools of electron-optical diagnostics of ultrafast events and their use in laser research, with the Lenin Komsomol Prize in 1971 and the USSR State Prize in 1986. He also was awarded the Stoletov Prize established by the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 2014.

Schelev earned other accolades throughout his career including the International Hubert Schardin Gold Medal awarded by the German Physical Society 1972, the "VIDE & CREDE" award established by the Japan Society for High-Speed Photography and Photonics and Hamamatsu Company in 2009, and the title of Honored Professor of Beijing Institute of Technology in 1999.

Most recently SPIE honored Professor Schelev by awarding him the 2017 Harold E. Edgerton Award for his seminal contributions to the field of high-speed photoelectronic image recording, encompassing fundamental photoelectronics, ultra-high resolution electron-optical image tube design and fabrication, and high speed (picosecond, femtosecond) image recording in the X-ray, UV, visible and Infrared spectral regions.

Schelev had many contributions to the Society. He served on the Program Committee for Ultrafast X-Ray Detectors and Applications symposia at SPIE’s annual meetings, and chaired an SPIE conference on high-speed photography and photonics. He has been the Russian national delegate to this meeting for over 40 years, and has several times chaired the meeting. He authored numerous reports and articles published in Russian and international scientific journals, including more than 75 SPIE articles and conference proceedings.

His colleagues at GPI stated, “We have lost a person deeply devoted to science until his last breath. His name will forever be inscribed into the history of Photoelectronics. We will keep in our hearts the memory of Mikhail Yakovlevich Schelev –a decent, principled and honest man, both in his beloved science and in the relations with friends and colleagues.”