New SPIE Rising Researcher awards recognize 10 distinguished early-career professionals

New awards program recognizes work in defense, commercial, scientific imaging and optics

15 December 2016
Rising Researcher Nathan Cahill

Rising Researcher Matt Graham

Rising Researcher John Hennessy

Rising Researcher Daniel LeMaster

Rising Researcher Yongmin Liu

Rising Researcher Daniela Moody

Rising Researcher Shuo Pang

Rising Researcher Junsuk Rho

Rising Researcher Adrian Tang

Rising Researcher Fei Tian


BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA, and CARDIFF, UK — Images richer in information and more accurate analysis of those details, improved high-altitude imaging, and new computational imaging systems for biomedical diagnosis and industrial testing are among important advances being recognized by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, with its new Rising Researchers awards.

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

Awards will be presented in April 2017 during SPIE Defense and Commercial Sensing in Anaheim, California. Each winner receives a fee waiver full registration and a half-day course at the event, a one-year SPIE Early Career Professional membership, and other recognition.

A team of Defense and Commercial Sensing Steering Committee members, conference chairs, and SPIE leadership assessed research based on impact statements provided by entrants, research report abstracts submitted for the event, CVs, videos, and recommendations from a supervisor or senior colleague.

“The Rising Researcher program enables SPIE and the Defense and Commercial Sensing community to recognize the significant technical achievements of these authors while providing them with ongoing leadership opportunities in the field,” said Bob Hainsey, SPIE Director, Science and Technology. “The work being done by these researchers represents significant contributions to the field from these early career professionals, and their presentations will be featured in conferences throughout the event.”

The 2017 Rising Researchers and their research areas are:

  • Nathan Cahill, Rochester Institute of Technology: development of mathematical models and computational algorithms for the analysis of color, hyperspectral, and medical imagery
  • Matt Graham, Oregon State University: the on-chip behavior of electrons in materials by combining high temporal resolution with small spatial resolution
  • John Hennessy, NASA Jet Propulsion Lab: development of atomic layer deposition and etching processes for optical and electrical applications related to UV detector-integrated filters, UV reflective coatings, and semiconductor surface passivation
  • Daniel LeMaster, Air Force Research Lab: improving high altitude reconnaissance imaging systems and providing new tools for treaty inspectors
  • Yongmin Liu, Northeastern University: nano-optics, nanoscale materials and engineering, plasmonics, metamaterials, nano-optomechanics, as well as optical imaging and sensing
  • Daniela Moody, Descartes Labs: remote sensing and machine learning applications in various research areas, including space systems, astronomy, and nuclear non-proliferation
  • Shuo Pang, the University of Central Florida College of Optics and Photonics: developing computational imaging systems and their applications in biomedical diagnosis and industrial testing
  • Junsuk Rho, Pohang University of Science and Technology: metamaterials, plasmonics, superresolution imaging, nanophotonics, nanofabrication, and nanomanufacturing
  • Adrian Tang, University of California, Los Angeles, and NASA Jet Propulsion Lab: development of a wide range of CMOS SoC chipsets for spectrometer, radiometer, and radar instruments targeting Earth science, planetary, and astrophysics investigations at microwave to sub-mm-wavelengths
  • Fei Tian, Stevens Institute of Technology: development in the interface of photonics and functional nanomaterials and thin films at multilength scales.

Complete information about the application process, eligibility requirements, and judging criteria is on the SPIE website.

About SPIE

SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, is an educational not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based science, engineering and technology. The Society serves nearly 264,000 constituents from approximately 166 countries, offering conferences and their published proceedings, continuing education, books, journals, and the SPIE Digital Library. In 2016, SPIE provided $4 million in support of education and outreach programs.



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