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2019 Rising Researchers announced soon

SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing Rising Researchers

SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing Rising Researchers.

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

The 2019 Rising Researcher application information is coming soon.


Congratulations 2018 Rising Researchers

Discipline: Nanotechnology
Amit Agrawal
Amit Agrawal
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Amit Agrawal, is a Project Leader in the Nanoscale Imaging and Spectroscopy Group at the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and an Associate Research Scientist at the Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics of the University of Maryland, College Park. He received a Bachelors with Honors in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering from the Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University India and, M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Utah. His research interests are broadly focused on investigating the interaction of light with nanoscale structures where he is developing novel time-resolved optical spectroscopy and microscopy techniques in the visible, mid-infrared and terahertz ranges for applications in nanophotonic, energy and nanoelectronic devices and systems. He is a past recipient of the University of Utah Graduate Research Fellowship, New Focus/Bookham Award from OSA, IEEE/LEOS Graduate Student Fellowship, and the D. J. Lovell Scholarship from SPIE.
Paper: Nanoscale Imaging and Sensing using Hyperbolic Metamaterials (10657-23)


Discipline: Industrial Sensing & Measurement
Michael Buric
Michael Buric
National Energy Technology Lab
Dr. Michael P. Buric is a research scientist at the National Energy Technology Laboratory in Morgantown, West Virginia in the Lab’s Research and Innovation Center on the Functional Materials Development Team. His current research interests include the modeling and fabrication of fiber-based optical sensors and devices, harsh-environment sensing for energy applications, Laser-heated pedestal growth of single-crystal optical fibers, novel waveguide fabrication, distributed sensing, fiber embedding, additive manufacturing, and applications of Raman spectroscopy. Dr. Buric currently has been awarded several patents and is published extensively in the proceedings of the SPIE and elsewhere. He is also the lead Laser Safety Officer at NETL in addition to overseeing several energy-related research projects.
Paper: Single-crystal fiber structures for harsh environment applications (10654-22)


Discipline: Nanotechnology
Pai-Yen Chen
Pai-Yen Chen
Wayne State University
Dr. Pai-Yen Chen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Wayne State University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, working on concepts and applications of plasmonics and metamaterials in optical regime. He conducted interdisciplinary research at the Intellectual Ventures Laboratory (USA) and the National Nano Device Laboratories (Taiwan) before joining Wayne State. Dr. Chen’s research interests include plasmonic, metamaterial and nanophotonic devices for light detection and harvesting, sensing, imaging, and nonlinear nano-optics.
Paper: Hyperbolic Metamaterial-Based Plasmoelectronic Nanodevices for Infrared Detection and Energy Harvesting (10639-21)


Discipline: Defense & Security
Amber Dagel
Amber Dagel
Sandia National Laboratories
Dr. Amber L. Dagel is an optical scientist at Sandia National Laboratories who manipulates light in non-conventional ways to deliver intelligence, whether about the state of an ion, signals in the brain, internal defects in a component, or for 3D scene rendering. Amber knows that if you can’t see it, you’re not measuring the right parameter and with a passion for leadership and developing multi-disciplinary teams she demonstrates that it’s collaboration and diverse perspectives that enable solutions to tough challenges. Amber’s creativity and technical accomplishments have been recognized through 2 patents, several patent disclosures, and Sandia’s Up and Coming Innovator award. Amber holds a BA in Physics from Middlebury College and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Optical Sciences from The University of Arizona.
Paper: Defect detection in foams and encapsulants using grating-based x-ray phase contrast imaging (10632-21)


Discipline: Electronic Imaging & Signal Processing
Shuowen Hu
Shuowen Hu
US Army Research Laboratory
Shuowen “Sean” Hu received the B.S. in electrical and computer engineering from Cornell University in 2005, and the Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from Purdue University in 2009. Following graduation, he joined the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) as an electronics engineer in the Image Processing Branch. He has over 45 conference and journal publications – he received a best paper award at IEEE WACV 2016, a runner-up best paper award at IEEE BTAS 2016, and three of his journal articles have been highlighted in OSA’s “Spotlight on Optics”. His current research focuses on cross-spectrum face recognition as well as on target detection and classification.
Paper: An Overview of Polarimetric Thermal Imaging for Biometrics (10655-1)


Discipline: Optical Design & Engineering
Chengwei Qiu
Chengwei Qiu
National Univ. of Singapore
Prof. Cheng-Wei Qiu received his B.Eng. and Ph. D. degree in 2003 and 2007, respectively. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Physics Department in MIT till the end of 2009. Since December 2009, he joined NUS as an Assistant Professor and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in Jan 2017. He has published over 160 peer-reviewed journal papers with over 6,000 total citations and wide media coverage inlcuding Science, Nature Physics, Nature Nanotechnology, MIT Technology Review; PRL, etc.
Paper: Structured surfaces: Imaging, security print, and beyond (10639-25)


Discipline: Industrial Sensing & Measurement
Matthew Reichert
Matthew Reichert
Princeton University
Matthew Reichert is a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Princeton University. He received a B.S. in Optical Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 2010, and M.S. in 2012 and Ph.D. in 2015 in Optics and Photonics from the College of Optics and Photonics at the University of Central Florida. His doctoral work in nonlinear optics included the observation of nondegenerate two-photon gain for investigation of two-photon semiconductor lasers, as well as development and application of novel techniques for ultrafast nonlinear optical characterization. At Princeton University, he works in quantum optics on techniques for rapid and efficient measurement of high-dimensional entangled states of light and their applications.
Paper: HD Quantum Optics (10638-43)


Discipline: Defense & Security
Russell Shirey
Russell Shirey
United States Air Force
Captain Russell Shirey is the technical and program lead for the Air Force Research Laboratory's Blue Guardian Combat Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) program, leading development and testing of new and novel rapid sensor integration technologies with a focus on the use of open architectures and adaptable interfaces. Captain Shirey received his commission in 2010 after graduating from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and completing Officer Training School. He has extensive experience with the Air Force’s premier air-to-air weapons, electronic warfare on the F-35 aircraft, and technical expertise in software development, cyber warfare, and ISR capabilities. Captain Shirey completed his M.S. in computer engineering at the Air Force Institute of Technology in 2015 and was recently selected by the Air Force to begin a PHD program in Fall 2018.
Paper: Blue Guardian Open Adaptable Architecture for C4ISR (10651-8)


Discipline: Defense & Security
Mark Spencer
Mark Spencer
Air Force Research Laboratory
Mark F. Spencer is a Research Physicist at the Air Force Research Laboratory, Directed Energy Directorate. He is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Optical Science and Engineering (OSE) at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), Department of Engineering Physics. In addition to being a Senior Member of SPIE, he is a member of the Directed Energy Professional Society, the Optical Society, Tau Beta Pi, Phi Beta Kappa, and Omicron Delta Kappa. Mark received his BS in physics from the University of Redlands in 2008 and his MS and PhD in OSE from AFIT in 2011 and 2014, respectively.
Paper: Signal-to-noise models for digital-holographic detection (10650-7)


Discipline: Electronic Imaging & Signal Processing
Alina Zare
Alina Zare
University of Florida
Alina Zare conducts research and teaches in the area of pattern recognition and machine learning in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Florida. Dr. Zare develops algorithms for automated analysis of large data sets from a variety of (usually, non-visual) sensors including multi- and hyperspectral imagery, LiDAR, ground penetrating radar, mini-rhizotron imagery, synthetic aperture sonar, wide band electromagnetic induction data, synthetic aperture radar, and others. Her current research work includes applications in plant phenotyping, plot root imaging and analysis, forestry, remote sensing, landmine and explosive hazard detection, sub-pixel target characterization and detection, and underwater scene understanding.
Paper: Sample spacing variations on the feature performance for subsurface object detection using handheld ground penetrating radar (10628-34)


Important Author Dates

Abstracts Due
3 October 2018
Late submissions considered

Author Notification
10 December 2018

Manuscripts Due
20 March 2019

Applications Due 10 October

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