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"The World of Light" Photo Contest Judges

SPIE thanks the judges in the SPIE International Year of Light 2015 Photo Contest. They included a panel of graduate students enrolled in art, physics, optics, and other science programs at universities around the globe.

See what they chose as the SPIE IYL Photo Contest winners and finalists and watch for an announcement in spring 2015 about how you can be a judge for the People's Choice Award.

Ada AbangAda Abang
Ada is a final-year PhD student in Electronic Engineering Department at Aston University, Birmingham, UK. Her research focuses on polymer optical fiber-sensing technology that involves development of temperature, high-strain, humidity and pressure sensors using polymer optical fiber combined with fiber Bragg grating technology. Ada is also interested in additive manufacturing and managing innovative technologies, as well as promoting optics and photonics through various outreach activities.

Alexandra Artusio-GlimpseAlexandra Artusio-Glimpse
Alexandra is a PhD student in imaging science at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Her research centers on the fundamental characteristics of optical wings-cambered refractive micro-structures that fly by the radiation pressure of uniform light. Alexandra’s current interests are in clever methods of light propulsion for space travel. Her undergraduate degree, that combined both, the photographic arts and the science of light, was in imaging and photographic technology.

Kirby CampbellKirby Campbell
Kirby is a PhD student in biomedical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who analyzes images on a daily basis. His dissertation focuses on biophotonics for cancer diagnostics using second-harmonic-generation imaging. Kirby considers himself a light enthusiast. Taking photos became a fervent hobby of his, after a photography class in high school, as the awe and complexity of nature and light has always fascinated him.

Amol ChoudharyAmol Choudhary
Amol holds a PhD from the Optoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Southampton, UK, where he is currently a research fellow. His research focuses on the development of miniature laser sources, especially devices that can have various applications in medical imaging, astronomical spectrography and frequency standards. Amol was awarded an Erasmus Mundus scholarship to pursue an MSc in Photonics from the Gent University and VUB Brussels in Belgium and the University of St Andrews in the UK.

Elizabeth DreyerElizabeth Cloos
Elizabeth is a PhD student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. Her research project studies the burgeoning field of dynamic magneto-optics and looks to identify optical materials for potential energy-conversion applications. Elizabeth is passionate about the local optics/photonics industry and is interested in helping advance the industry through professional development and networking, public policy, and education initiatives. She is an active member of OSA, SPIE, IEEE, HKN, and SWE.

SStephanie Crawfordtephanie Crawford
Stephanie is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Ultrahigh Bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS), Australia. Her research interest focuses on the demonstration of a high-powered mid-infrared fiber laser. She completed her honors year at CUDOS where her research project was the demonstration of a widely tunable 3 µm fiber laser, work for which she received the 2012 Wanda Henry Prize. Stephanie has also been heavily involved in optics outreach where she has organized programs such as Optics in the Outback 2013.

Alma Gonzalez AlcaldeAlma Gonzalez Alcalde
Alma is a PhD candidate at the Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada (CICESE) in Ensenada, Baja California. Her research area is in scattering by random rough surfaces. Alma is currently working on the design of an optical diffuser. In addition, she is the president of the SPIE CICESE Student Chapter.

Roopam GuptaRoopam K. Gupta
Roopam is a fourth-year undergraduate student, pursuing a dual BS/MS in the Physical Sciences Department at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Kolkata. His research interests include ultrafast time-domain spectroscopy, quantum optics and applications of terahertz waves. Roopam is currently enrolled at Rice University as a summer research scholar working on coherent phonon spectroscopy using an ultrafast pump-probe technique.

Jana HuismanJana Huisman
Jana will start a MSc. in physics and nanotechnology at the Danish Technical University in September 2014. Her research interest revolves around ultrafast-laser physics. Born and raised in the Netherlands, she received her bachelor's degree in physics from the University of Bonn, Germany. Jana was appointed "Young Ambassador for Photonics Education" by Photonics21 in April 2013. She is currently an Observer in the Group of Young Advisors to the Digital Agenda for Europe.

Alireza Lajevardipour
Alireza is a PhD student in biophotonics at Swinburne University of Technology, Australia. His research focuses on fluorescence-lifetime-imaging microscopy. Taking high quality images is a primary part of Alireza's work. Alireza first became interested in photography in high school which had developed into a serious hobby since. His introduction to camerawork was through Zenit 35mm SLR. Alireza is the president of the Swinburne SPIE Student Chapter.

Robert LancefieldRobert Lancefield
Robert is a graduate student at the University of Toronto studying biomedical communications with specialization in medical animation. His background is in biomechanical engineering and prosthetics. Robert's current research project involves 3D animation of dinosaur skull growth from laser-scanned specimens. Upon graduation, he plans to work in medical animation, as well as use rapid prototyping to create widely accessible medical devices.

Emily Ling
Emily is a graduate student in medical and biological illustration at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She has always been interested in visual communication and her aim is to create informative and beautiful diagrams not only for the scientific community but for the general public, as well. Emily is eager to delve into 3D modeling and animation. When she gets a chance, Emily spends her free time visiting and sketching in museums, aquariums, botanical gardens, and zoos.

Julia MajorsJulia Majors
Julia is a PhD candidate at The University of California, Irvine (UCI). She investigates laser-driven, ultrafast control of single electrons at the smallest measurable scales of space and time ("nanoplasmonics"). For the last four years Julia has had the pleasure to be the president of Photonics@UCI, the now joint SPIE and OSA student chapter at UCI, taking particular interest in expanding light education outreach. She sees light as the primary means by which the universe communicates with us and we communicate with one another.

Felicity McGrathFelicity McGrath
Felicity is a PhD candidate in the Quantum Optics and Laser Science (QOLS) group at Imperial College London. Her research focuses on revealing molecular structure and dynamics using high-harmonic-generation (HHG) spectroscopy. Aside from her research, Felicity is extremely active in the management of the Imperial Optical Society. In April 2014, international networking platform LinkedIn made Felicity one of its 14 "Ones to Watch for 2014" based on her academic and entrepreneurial achievements.

Kari Opert

Kari Opert
Kari is a graduate student in medical and biological illustration at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She studied in the field of fine art and complimented this with pre-medical courses and work in the field of vaccine research. She looks forward to utilizing her artistic talents for the promotion of public health and education. Her other interests include cooking, spending time outdoors, and wandering through the halls of museums and galleries.

Andrea PachecoAndrea Pacheco Tobo
Andrea is pursuing a graduate degree in Physics from Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNBOS). Her research interest is in optical design. Andrea has been working on corneal topography through modified Hartmann test and Fourier analysis. She has been the president of the UNBOS Student Chapter since 2011.

Ada-Simona Popescu
Ada-Simona is a graduate student at the City College of New York. Her research interests center on photonics engineering, especially developing metamaterials that have practical applications, such as metamaterial antennas. Prior to her graduate work, Ada-Simona completed her undergraduate degree in Romania with a focus on telecommunications.

Lindsay QuandtLindsay Quandt
Lindsay graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in May 2014 with a major in imaging and photographic technology and a minor in imaging science. She will be pursuing a graduate degree in bioengineering from the University of Colorado in Denver. Lindsay hopes to develop new imaging techniques and devices for diagnostic purposes in the future. She is also a two-time recipient of the SPIE Optics and Photonics Education Scholarship.

Laura Roy Laura Roy
Laura is a graduate student in medical and biological illustration at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Her interests in medicine and fine art converged after choosing to study and work in the fields of painting, culinary arts, and wine in addition to a pre-medical coursework. Laura recognizes light as crucial to conveying meaning, and enjoys using it in her own artwork and illustrations to evoke emotions and to relate stories.

Dustin ShippDustin Shipp
Dustin graduated from the University of Rochester in August 2014 with a PhD in optics. He is now a lecturer in physics at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT.) Dustin's dissertation focuses on using light scattering to measure the size of organelles in single cells. He loves seeing new biomedical applications of optics and is impressed at the impact these technologies have and will have in the future.

Lien SmeestersLien Smeesters
Lien is a PhD student at the Applied Physics and Photonics Department, Brussels Photonics Team, at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium. She investigates optical detection techniques, ranging from reflectance and fluorescence spectroscopy, scattering and polarization, to detect carcinogenic substances in food products. In particular, Lien aims to integrate these optical detection techniques into state-of-the-art optical sorting machines. She is the president of the Brussels SPIE Student Chapter.

Ilya SmirnovIlya Smirnov
Ilya is a final-year PhD student in optics and biophotonics at the Saratov State University’s Physics Department. Ilya is the president of the Saratov SPIE Chapter and the vice-president of the Saratov OSA Chapter. His Chapter was awarded education outreach and activity grants, and selected as a host of the SPIE’s Visiting Lecturer Program. Ilya’s interest in photography took him to several local photo exhibits and won a Best Photo prize at the annual Astrofest 2014.

Kai-ou Tang

Kai-ou Tang
Kai-ou is a graduate student in medical and biological illustration at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Her current area of interest includes molecular and data visualization, as well as medical imaging. She is drawn in particular to communications and imagery that inspire curiosity.

Laura TobinLaura Tobin
Laura is a PhD candidate in optical engineering at the University College Dublin (UCD), Ireland. Her research is in solar energy, focusing on dye-sensitized solar cells and alternative lighting solutions for which she won an early-stage business award. She is actively involved in outreach and public engagement from running the UCD SPIE Student Chapter to participating in Discover Research Dublin and UCD Science Film Expression Film Festival. Laura is a co-founder of Dublin Maker and a member of the SPIE Future Leaders Committee.

Perla GonzalezPerla Viera-Gonzalez
Perla is a PhD student in industrial physics engineering at the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Her research focus is on nonimaging optics that are applied in solar-illumination systems. Additionally, Perla is actively engaged in science outreach, especially with kids. She won the "Gold Medal" in the SPIE Optics Outreach Games in 2012 and 2013. She is currently serving as the International Year of Light (IYL) 2015 activities coordinator in the SPIE Student Chapter at Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon.

Amy ZhongAmy Zhong
Amy is a graduate student in medical and biological illustration at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Michigan School of Art and Design after which she worked in publishing, creating animations for children's storybook apps. Amy considers herself a graphite-illustration enthusiast, but has recently uncovered a love for carbon dusting.


Erica Chin, Edwin Choi, Jeff Day, Jackie Kustan, Caitlin Mock, Mariya Pantyukhina, Mesa Schumacher, and I-Hsun Wu

These judges are also graduate students in medical and biological illustration at the Department of Art As Applied to Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.