SPIE Fellow and past SPIE President M.J. Soileau, vice president for the Office of Research & Commercialization at the University of Central Florida (UCF), will be honored by the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission next month.
Soileau was the first director of the Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers (CREOL) at UCF, now part of the College of Optics & Photonics. He will receive the Chairman's Award at the commission's annual awards dinner 3 April 2014, in recognition of his long-term contributions to the commission's work, especially with optics commercialization.
Under Soileau's leadership, research funding earned by UCF faculty members has increased to more than $100 million for each of the past nine years. UCF also ranks among the world's top universities for patents earned by faculty members.
Soileau served as president of SPIE in 1997 and has received numerous awards, including the 2008 SPIE Gold Medal and the SPIE Directors' Award in 1999. An expert in laser-induced damage and sensor protecting devices, Soileau has served as co-chair of SPIE Laser Damage; conference chair and session chair at SPIE events; and on program committees and panels. He has also been elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Inventors.
A paper he presented at SPIE Optics + Photonics 2012, "Coupling the academic research enterprise to the innovation economy," discusses UCF's approach to aiding Florida's innovation economy.