SPIE, the International Society for Optics and Photonics, Announces Three New Awards

As well as re-naming multiple long-standing Society awards to more fully reflect the current status of the technologies and science of optics and photonics, SPIE adds new recognitions in diversity, medical imaging, and education

17 September 2018

2018 SPIE Awards Banquet

BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA and CARDIFF, UK - Three new awards from SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, will acknowledge and celebrate innovative and progressive work being done in diversity outreach, medical imaging, and high-impact photonic technologies. 

The SPIE Maria Goeppert-Mayer Award in Photonics, named for one of the three 1963 Nobel Prize for Physics winners, recognizes outstanding contributions to the field of photonics and the development of innovative, high impact technologies. Goeppert-Mayer, won the Nobel alongside J. Hans D. Jensen, for proposing the nuclear shell model of the atomic nucleus. Goeppert-Mayer's 1930 doctorate, outlined the possibility of two-photon absorption by atoms; the invention of the laser 30 years later, experimentally proved her theory. Two-photon absorption theory has been applied to imaging living cells, 3D optical data storage, 3D microfabrication, and treating cancer with photodynamic therapy.

The SPIE Harrison H. Barrett Award in Medical Imaging, named for a founder of the SPIE Medical Imaging conferences and the 2011 SPIE Gold Medal winner, honors outstanding accomplishments in medical imaging. Barrett is a recognized leader and innovator in the field of image science, an emerging field which strives to provide unified theories, design principles and evaluation methods for all forms of imaging. The main focus of his work at the College of Optical Sciences, University of Arizona has always been medical imaging, especially nuclear medicine.

The SPIE Diversity Outreach Award recognizes an individual who has made outstanding contributions to promoting diversity in the education, training, and participation of women and/or minorities in optics, photonics, electro-optics, or imaging technologies or applications.

In addition, several of SPIE's long-established awards have been re-named to more clearly reflect their criteria and their recognized areas within optics and photonics. The newly-renamed SPIE Rudolf and Hilda Kingslake Award in Optical Design, transitions to recognizing achievements in the field of optical design.

"With its awards, SPIE has a long and honored history of recognizing excellence, leadership, and contributions across optics and photonics," said SPIE Awards Committee Chair Elizabeth Krupinski. "This year we reviewed the existing awards, implementing an updating and renaming process to reflect these changes. Of greater importance, however, was assessing where gaps exist, including the often-overlooked contribution of women. The Rudolf Kingslake Medal and Prize is now the SPIE Rudolf and Hilda Kingslake Award in Optical Design, recognizing Hilda's significant contributions to that field; the renamed SPIE Maria Yzuel Educator Award recognizes Dr. Yzuel's contributions as well as the contributions of scientists from outside North America; and the remonikered SPIE Aden and Marjorie Meinel Technology Achievement Award recognizes a high-powered optics and imaging research team. Three new awards have been added, reflecting the ever-changing research landscape in optics, technology development, and imaging: one in particular, the SPIE Diversity Outreach Award, acknowledges the critical need to promote and reward diversity in education, training, and professional work. But all of the SPIE awards, old and new, are testaments to the contributions, ingenuity, and creativity of the many scientists who have dedicated themselves to advancing photonics and creating technologies and tools that improve our world."

"As SPIE's technology reach has expanded over the years, it is important that our Awards program expand to recognize accomplishments across the full scope of our Society," noted SPIE Vice President and Board representative to the Awards Committee John Greivenkamp. "The SPIE Diversity Outreach Award reflects our full and ongoing commitment to diversity in all facets of the Society, while the SPIE Maria Goeppert-Mayer Award in Photonics and the SPIE Harrison H. Barrett Award in Medical Imaging recognize two of our very important technical communities. It is my hope that other SPIE communities with come forward with additional award proposals."

Nominations for all 2020 awards will close 1 June, 2019. For a complete list of all SPIE awards, please visit: http://spie.org/about-spie/awards-programs/awards-listing.

About SPIE

SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, 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 2017, SPIE provided more than $4 million in support of education and outreach programs. www.spie.org.

Daneet Steffens
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