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Baltimore Convention Center
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
14 - 18 April 2019
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We are proud to introduce the 2019 Rising Researchers

Congratulations to the 2019 Rising Researchers, read the press release

2019 Rising Researchers announced
The Rising Researchers program is designed to recognize early career professionals who are conducting outstanding work in product development or research in the defense, commercial, and scientific sensing, imaging, optics, or related fields. 

The 2019 Rising Researchers will be honored at the 2019 event in Baltimore. Read the press release.

Rising Researchers honored
14-18 April 2019

2020 Applications accepted
July/August 2019

2020 Applications due
early October 2019

Congratulations, 2019 Rising Researchers

Discipline: Electronic Imaging & Signal Processing
Giulia Acconcia
Giulia Acconcia
Politecnico di Milano
Giulia Acconcia received her master’s Degree cum Laude in Electronics Engineering and her Ph.D. with Honours in Information Technology, Electronics Area, both from Politecnico di Milano. She is currently a Post-Doc Researcher at Politecnico di Milano. Her main research interests concern the design and development of integrated circuits for read-out, signal routing, and timing to achieve high-performance with Single Photon Avalanche Diodes.
Paper: Fast fully integrated active quenching circuit for single photon counting up to 160 Mcounts/s (10978-12)


Discipline: Optical Design & Engineering
Darryl Boyd
Darryl Boyd
US Naval Research Laboratory
Dr. Darryl A. Boyd is a Research Chemist in the Optical Sciences Division at the US Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC. His current primary research focuses on the development of novel, chalcogenide-based optical polymers for use in defense sensing and detection. Originally from Kalamazoo, Michigan, Dr. Boyd received his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Michigan, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Purdue University. Away from the lab, he is the creator of the website www.DrBoydTheChemist.com, where he posts simple science videos geared toward inspiring young people to pursue careers in science.
Paper: Fabrication of High Refractive Index, Infrared Transmitting Organically Modified Chalcogenide (ORMOCHALC) Polymers (10998-1)


Discipline: Industrial Sensing & Measurement
Stephen Andrew Gadsden
Stephen Andrew Gadsden
University of Guelph
Dr. S. Andrew Gadsden is an Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada where he is the Director of the Intelligent Control and Estimation (ICE) laboratory. Prior to joining in 2016, Andrew was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where he worked with a number of colleagues in NASA, the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL), USDA, NIST, and the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). Andrew and his research team are: targeting the development of new control methods that enable robustness to disturbances and uncertainties while providing accurate and stable system control; creating and testing novel estimation strategies that provide improved performance in the presence of system and measurement nonlinearities; and developing autonomy in the area of cognitive systems, at the core of which is machine learning techniques. Andrew is an elected Fellow of ASME, a Professional Engineer of Ontario, and the recipient of the 2018 Ontario Early Researcher (ERA) award winner (on intelligent condition monitoring strategies).
Paper: An adaptive smooth variable structure filter (11018-46)


Discipline: Industrial Sensing & Measurement
Stefan Heist
Stefan Heist
Friedrich Schiller University, Jena
Stefan Heist is the leader of a junior research group at the Institute of Applied Physics at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany, and a research associate at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering. He received his diploma and Ph.D. degrees in physics from the Friedrich Schiller University in 2011 and 2017, respectively. His research interests focus on the application of new wavelengths for optical 3D shape measurement, the development of high-speed pattern projectors, and the simulation-based optimization of structured light techniques. The findings of his work have led to numerous publications, conference contributions, patent applications, and awards.
Paper: Pattern projection in the short-wave infrared (SWIR): accurate, eye-safe 3D shape measurement (10991-17)


Discipline: Defense & Security
Juejun Hu
Juejun Hu
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, MIT
Juejun (JJ) Hu received his B.S. from Tsinghua University, China, in 2004, and his Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, in 2009, both in materials science and engineering. He is currently an associate professor at MIT’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Prior to joining MIT, he was an Assistant Professor at the University of Delaware, USA from 2010 to 2014. Dr. Hu has authored and coauthored more than 90 refereed journal publications.
Paper: Reshaping Light: Reconfigurable Photonics Enabled by Broadband Low-loss Optical Phase Change Materials (10982-25)


Discipline: Astronomy
April Jewell
April Jewell
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Dr. April Jewell is a Technologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory where she focuses on design, development, and implementation of surface passivation techniques and thin film coatings for silicon-based imagers that meet project/mission specific objectives. She holds a Ph.D. from Tufts University and a B.S. from George Washington University, both in chemistry. Dr. Jewell has spent the majority of her career endeavoring to understand how atoms and electrons get from point A to point B and how photons interact with matter. Her work has resulted in over 60 publications, including three book chapters and multiple patents.
Paper: Advanced Technology Enabling CubeSat and Flagship Missions (10982-70)


Discipline: Micro / Nano Fabrication
Yong Lin Kong
Yong Lin Kong
University of Utah
Yong Lin Kong is an Assistant Professor of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Utah (2018 – Present). He received a B.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering with First Class Honors from The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (2010), a M.A. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University (2012) and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science from Princeton University (2016). His research focuses on the fabrication of biomedical devices and the printing of nanomaterial-based functional devices. He is a recipient of the Technology Review Innovators Under 35 Asia Award, Materials Research Society Graduate Student Award, The Daniel & Florence Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, Sayre Graduate Prize, and the HKUST Academic Achievement Medal.
Paper: Multiscale additive manufacturing of electronics and biomedical devices (10982-11)


Discipline: Micro / Nano Fabrication
Laura Na Liu
Laura Na Liu
University of Heidelberg
Laura Na Liu is a full professor at the Kirchhoff Institute for Physics at University of Heidelberg, Germany. She works at the interface between nanoplasmonics, biology, and chemistry. Her group focuses on developing sophisticated and smart plasmonic nanosystems for answering structural biology questions as well as catalytic chemistry questions in local environments.
Paper: A dynamic plasmonic system that responds to thermal and aptamer-target regulations (10982-115)


Discipline: Defense & Security
Uttam Majumder
Uttam Majumder
Air Force Research Laboratory
Dr. Uttam K. Majumder is a Senior Electronics Engineer at Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). He earned his Ph.D. degree (in Electrical Engineering) from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. His research interests include Machine Learning for Object Recognition, High Performance Computing, Radar Waveforms and Systems Design, and Digital Image Processing. He served as an adjunct faculty and presented short courses at IEEE Radar conference, SPIE DCS Symposium, and IEEE events.
Paper: Deep Learning for Radio Frequency Civilian Vehicles Classification (10987-10)


Discipline: Biomedical Optics & Medical Imaging
Andres Marrugo
Andres Marrugo
Universidad Tecnologica de Bolivar
Dr. Marrugo is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering at the Universidad Tecnológica de Bolívar (UTB), Colombia, where he did his B.Eng. in Mechatronics Engineering (Summa Cum Laude). He received his Ph.D. in Optical Engineering (Cum Laude) and his M.Sc. in Photonics from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain. He was the recipient of the Honours Diploma for Young Researchers from the Spanish Optical Society (SEDOPTICA). At UTB, Professor Marrugo's lab is called Laboratorio de Óptica y Procesamiento de Imágenes (OPI-Lab), and together with his team they innovate in optical technologies and develop methods for 2D and 3D image acquisition/analysis for biomedical and industrial applications. He has co-authored over 30 conference and journal papers, co-edited one book, two book chapters, and one patent (pending).
Paper: Wide-field 3D Imaging with an LED Pattern Projector for Accurate Skin Feature Measurements via Fourier Transform Profilometry (10991-1)


Discipline: Other
Thanh Nguyen
Thanh Nguyen
University of Connecticut – Department of Mechanical Engineering
Dr. Thanh Duc Nguyen is an assistant professor in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Connecticut (UConn, USA). His interdisciplinary research is focused on the manufacturing and transformation of biodegradable surgical-suture polymers into special structures/forms/shapes with “smart” functions for various medical applications. Recently, he invented a platform technology to create 3D microstructures of medical polymers for single-administration vaccines and developed a novel biodegradable piezoelectric device, which can monitor intra-organ pressures and stimulate tissue growth. Dr. Nguyen’s works have been published in prestigious journals (e.g. Science, PNAS etc.) and highlighted in major media such as The NewYork Times, The Guardian, BBC News etc.
Paper: Biodegradable Piezoelectric Force Sensor (10982-63)


Discipline: Defense & Security
Jamie Ramsey
Jamie Ramsey
Rochester Precision Optics
Jamie Ramsey is an optical designer for Rochester Precision Optics in Rochester, NY. Her current interests lie in multispectral optics with a focus on achromatization and athermalization with an emphasis on SWAP-c. Her design experience covers a broad range of commercial and military optical systems in the Visible, MWIR, and LWIR wavelength regions. She holds a Ph.D. from Strathclyde University in Electrical and Electronics Engineering specializing in Diffractive Optics, and M.Sc. in Condensed Matter and Materials Physics from the University of Ottawa. She is also focused on supporting STEM related education and volunteers as a reviewer for the STS Regeneron science talent search.
Paper: Experimental Verification of a MWIR/LWIR 3x Continuous Zoom Lens (10998-24)