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SPIE Visionary Award

The SPIE Visionary Award is presented to individuals whose work demonstrates any or all qualities of exceptional foresight, creativity, advocacy, and vision, that furthers the research, development, and industries related to light-based technologies.

Current Winner

SPIE Visionary Award   James C. Wyant, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, United States, is the 2019 recipient of the SPIE Visionary Award for his role as founding dean of the College of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona, for pioneering photonics at WYKO Corporation and 4D Technology, for deeply generous philanthropy to enable education in optics, and for thoughtful investment in the future of photonics.

Previous Recipients of the SPIE Visionary Award

2014 - Morris Chang
2009 - Lothar Späth
2006 - Teruo Hiruma
2005 - Richard Smalley



2014 – Industry leader Morris Chang, Chairman of TSMC, was honored for his "invention of the semiconductor foundry concept."

2009 – Lothar Späth, former chairman, Jenoptik AG, in honor of his visionary guidance of Jenoptik AG and the Jena optics community to its recognition as a world leader in its industry, providing technological solutions to challenges of the world and its future.

2006 – Teruo Hiruma, President, Hamamatsu Photonics K. K., for his visionary guidance of Hamamatsu Photonics K.K. to international recognition as a world leading supplier of high quality products to research and industry, his work in expanding the frontiers of photonics technology, and his advocacy for photonics research for the betterment of the human condition.

2005 – Nobel Laureate Richard E. Smalley of Rice University in honor of his recognition of major environmental issues facing humankind and his passion for finding solutions for energy needs through nanotechnology.