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Alan Willner elected OSA vice president

SPIE Fellow co-chaired US committee that recommended NPI

05 November 2013

photo of Alan Willner

SPIE Fellow Alan Willner of the University of Southern California (USA) has been elected OSA vice president for 2014.

Willner and past SPIE President Paul McManamon co-chaired the US National Research Council committee that issued the landmark 2012 report, "Optics and Photonics, Essential Technologies for our Nation."

The report led to the launch earlier this year of the National Photonics Initiative (NPI), a collaborative alliance among industry, academia, and government to raise awareness of photonics and drive US funding and investment in five key photonics-driven fields.

Willner, who will become OSA president in 2016, is the Steven and Kathryn Sample Chair Professor of Engineering in the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. Willner and McManamon received the SPIE President's Award earlier this year for their work in facilitating the NPI.

SPIE and OSA are founding sponsors of the NPI, playing leading roles in bringing attention to the report and the need for action to meet its "grand challenges" in advanced manufacturing; communications and information technology; defense and national security; energy; and health and medicine.

Three directors at large were also elected to the OSA board: SPIE Fellow Adam Wax of Duke University (USA), SPIE Member Xi-Cheng Zhang of the Institute of Optics at University of Rochester (USA), and Anne Tropper of the University of Southampton (UK). Their one-year terms begin 1 January 2014.

At a meeting in October announcing the election results, SPIE Member Brian C. Wilson of University of Toronto was also presented with the inaugural Michael S. Feld Biophotonics Award.

Established by OSA in 2012, the Feld Biophotonics Award recognizes Wilson's more than 30 years' of contributions in the areas of light dosimetry; photodynamic therapy fluorescence and Raman endoscopy; microscopy; and nanophotonics.