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SPIE Professional: Bonus Web Content

Optics and Photonics Newsmakers

News briefs about achievements of optics and photonics professionals.
David Payne
David Payne Wins Marconi Prize

SPIE member David N. Payne of the University of Southampton (UK) has been named the 2008 Marconi Fellow and prize winner for his pioneering work in the field of fiber optoelectronics and fiber telecommunications.

A professor of photonics at the University of Southampton's faculty for 40 years, Payne's contributions in the field have had a major impact on areas ranging from telecommunications and optical sensors to nanophotonics and optical materials. Many of the special fibers used today resulted from his work. One is the fiber used in optical fiber gyroscopes. Payne and his colleagues invented the first practical optical fiber amplifier, making long-distance optical communications cost effective since many signals could be easily sent hundreds of miles without requiring electronic conversion. Payne's invention of the erbium-doped fiber amplifier (EDFA) has been widely adopted by the telecommunications industry and has propelled remarkable Internet growth by enabling the transmission of vast amounts of data through the use of multiple optical wavelengths.

Payne is the inventor and co-inventor on more than 20 patents and applications. His group is also credited with the discovery of the diode-pumped silica fiber laser that is now seeing widespread adoption in manufacturing and defense.

The Marconi Society, established in 1975, annually recognizes a living scientist who direct advances in communications and information technology towards the social, economic and cultural improvement of all humanity.

Reinhard Genzel Is Shaw Prize Laureate

Reinhard Genzel, who was among some 2000 presenters at the 2008 SPIE Astronomical Instrumentation Symposium, is the 2008 Shaw laureate in astronomy. Genzel received the Shaw prize for his demonstration that the Milky Way contains a supermassive black hole at its center.

Genzel is managing director of the Max-Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik, an honorary professor at the Ludwig Maximilian University, and professor of physics at University of California-Berkeley. Genzel has been a long-time contributor to SPIE symposia, and is an author of several papers presented at SPIE Astronomical Instrumentation Symposium in Marseille, France.

For a press release in German about the award, visit: http://www.mpe.mpg.de/Highlights/PR20080610/text-d.html  

Bahaa Saleh Named Dean at CREOL

Boston University's Bahaa Saleh will become dean of the University of Central Florida's College of Optics and Photonics and director of the Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers in 2009. He will replace Eric Van Stryland, who intends to focus on his research in nonlinear optics. The two plan to work together during the transition.

Saleh has been a professor and chairman of BU's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering since 1994 and co-director of the BU Quantum Imaging Laboratory. He is also deputy director of the National Science Foundation Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems. Saleh received the 2004 SPIE BACUS Award for his contributions to photomask technology. His research interests include statistical and quantum optics, optical communication and signal processing, nonlinear optics, photodetectors, image processing and vision. He received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Cairo University in 1966 and a PhD from Johns Hopkins in 1971. Saleh has written Photoelectron Statistics and Fundamentals of Photonics and numerous articles and conference proceedings.

SPIE Europe Award Honors EC's Henri Rajbenbach

Henri Rajbenbach, a European Commission scientific project manager, was awarded the 2008 SPIE Europe Recognition Award to honor his service and dedication to the European photonics community, including his advocacy for creating a pan-European platform for photonics research.

Rajbenbach has been the EC's project manager in the areas of microelectronic integration, sensors and displays since 1997, and has played an important role in stimulating activity in photonics in Europe. He is regarded highly by his peers for his pioneering contributions.

In 2000, he launched the initiative on Optics and Opto-electronics in the Information Society Technologies program. More recently, Rajbenbach was assigned to a project portfolio in micro- and nanosystems, supporting multidisciplinary research for the integration of core technologies (nanoelectronics, microfluidics, micromechanics and photonics) and associated materials (silicon, compound semiconductors, polymers and organics).

Rajbenbach has published some 50 conference and journal publications and two textbook chapters, and holds patents in information processing, biometrics, photorefractive materials, semiconductor lasers, real-time holography, optical storage, image processing and target recognition. He has taught an optoelectronics graduate course (DEA) at University of Paris XI, summer-school classes in Europe and undergraduate courses in the USA.

Rajbenbach graduated from the Ecole Supérieure de Physique et Chimie Industrielles, ESPCI in 1983 and received his PhD from the Université de Paris VI in 1984. He has been an SPIE member since 1984.

Kristina Johnson wins John Fritz Medal

SPIE Board member and Fellow Kristina Johnson, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at The Johns Hopkins University, received the John Fritz Medal for her expertise in optics, optoelectronic switching, and display technology.

With more than 140 published articles, Johnson is known for pioneering work in "smart pixel arrays," a field that has applications in displays, pattern recognition and high-resolution sensors, including cameras. She holds 129 U.S. and international patents and patents pending and is a co-founder of several start-up companies. She also sits on the boards of directors of Mineral Technologies Inc., Boston Scientific Corp., AES Corp. and Nortel Networks.

The John Fritz Medal from the American Association of Engineering Societies is considered the highest in the engineering profession.

"I am thrilled and extremely humbled to receive this award," Johnson said. "This is really special because it recognizes inventors, and I am happiest when inventing."

Optos Researchers Win Inventor Award

Douglas Anderson, Robert Henderson and Roger Lucas of Scotland's Optos were named Inventors of the Year by the European Patent Office.

They were honored at a ceremony in Ljubljana, Slovenia, for developing a new laser scanning technology that provides a pain-free way to conduct comprehensive eye examinations. The ophthalmoscope designed by the trio uses a very low-level laser beam to provide a high-resolution ultra-wide-field digital image that captures approximately 82 percent of the retina in a single scan.

John C. Mather Endows Fellowship With Nobel Prize

NASA's John C. Mather is donating a portion of his Nobel Prize winnings to the Hertz Foundation to endow an annual fellowship for graduate studies in astrophysics and cosmology.

Mather, an SPIE Fellow, shared the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics with George F. Smoot of the University of California, Berkeley, for their collaborative work on understanding the Big Bang. Mather and Smoot mapped the primordial hot and cold spots in the cosmic microwave background radiation. These spots are related to the gravitational field in the early universe, only instants after the Big Bang, and are the seeds for the giant clusters of galaxies that stretch hundreds of millions of light years across the universe. Smoot donated a portion of his award money to the Berkeley Center for Cosmological Physics.

Mather is senior project scientist and chair of NASA's Science Working Group for the James Webb Space Telescope. The Webb Telescope is a large, infrared-optimized space telescope, scheduled for launch in 2013. It will find the first galaxies that formed in the early universe and peer through dusty clouds to see stars forming planetary systems. Mather's plenary talk at this year's SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation Symposium in Marseille, France, in June was titled, "From the Big Bang to the Nobel Prize and on to the James Webb Space Telescope."

Zakya Kafafi Named AAAS Fellow

SPIE Fellow Zakya Kafafi, director of materials research at the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate of the National Science Foundation, has been elected a Fellow at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Kafafi was recognized for her leadership in the field of organic photonics and electronics, particularly for her pioneering work in organic optoelectronic materials and devices. Kafafi, who is also a Fellow of SPIE and OSA, was recognized for her leadership in the field of organic photonics and electronics, particularly for her pioneering work in organic optoelectronic materials and devices.

Kafafi is the chair of the Photonic Devices + Applications Symposium at SPIE Optics+Photonics, 10-14 August.

Marlan Scully Elected Fellow of American Arts and Sciences

SPIE member Marlan O. Scully has been elected a 2008 Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. A distinguished professor of Physics at Texas A&M University, Scully is a world-renowned pioneer in quantum and laser physics and has received many awards for his contributions in the field of physics and theoretical quantum optics.

Scully has a dual appointment as a professor at Princeton University and Texas A&M University, is associate dean for external relations at the Texas A&M University's College of Science, and is director of the Institute for Quantum Studies and the Center for Theoretical Physics.

Scully has received a number of other awards and professional honors, including the Adolph E. Lomb Medal and Charles H. Townes Award from OSA, the Quantum Electronics Award from IEEE, the Elliott Cresson Medal from the Franklin Institute, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Alexander von Humboldt Distinguished Faculty Prize and the Arthur L. Schawlow Prize from the American Physical Society. Most recently he was selected as a 2008 Morris Loeb Lecturer in Physics at Harvard University. Scully is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences, Academia Europea and the Max-Planck Society.

Conference Co-Chair David Long Earns Oscar

David Long, a co-chair for the Digital Cinema Conference at the 2009 IS&T/SPIE Electronic Imaging Symposium, won an Oscar this year for his work on Kodak's VISION 2 family of color negative films in order to recognize its "proven record of contributing significant value to the process of making motion pictures." Introduced in 2002, it is now the current industry standard.

Long is the digital cinema program chair in the School of Film and Animation at Rochester Institute of Technology. He was honored along with three other Kodak employees. The team worked on understanding the physics of such components as color reproduction, light capture and image aesthetics, designing photographic behaviors of the films, and other film components.

ICTP Winter College Honors Denardo

This year's ICTP Winter College on Optics, co-sponsored by SPIE, the International Commission for Optics, and others, saw the renaming of an annual optics award and the dedication of a lecture hall in memory of Gallieno Denardo, a tireless promoter of optics education. Denardo died in 2007 and was in charge of optics activities at the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) for more than 20 years and an advocate for optics in developing nations.

The award, made by the International Commission for Optics (ICO) and ICTP and as of this year known as the ICO/ICTP Gallieno Denardo Award, was presented to Mourad Zghal of École Supérieure des Communications de Tunis, Tunisia. Zghal was recognized for his original work in the development of numerical modeling techniques for photonic crystal fibers, microstructured optical fibers and polarization, and for his active commitment to the diffusion of research in optics in Africa.

The ICO/ICTP Gallieno Denardo prize is awarded to young researchers from developing countries (as defined by the United Nations), who conduct their research in these countries.

ICTP's Joseph Niemela Plans for 2009 Winter College on Optics

Joseph Niemela, coordinator of the fluid dynamics laboratory at the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), is heading up the growing optics activities at ICTP. Niemela is currently working on plans for ICTP's annual Winter College on Optics in Trieste; the theme for 2009 will be optics in environmental science.

Contact Dr. Niemela: [mail to:niemela@ictp.it]

Max Becomes NAS Member

SPIE member Claire Max, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at University of California, Santa Cruz, has been elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

Max's research focuses on astronomical applications of adaptive optics and she is active in the development of advanced adaptive optics systems for large current and future ground-based telescopes. In the past several years she been using adaptive optics to observe nearby active galactic nuclei (galaxies with black holes in their cores), and more distant galaxies in the CATS survey.

Max was a chair of the conference on Adaptive Optics Systems at the 2008 SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation Symposium.

The NAS is a private organization of scientists and engineers dedicated to furthering science and its use for the general welfare by acting as an official adviser to the federal government in matters of science or technology.

Miguel Eckstein Wins NAS Troland Award

SPIE member Miguel P. Eckstein received the National Academy of Sciences' 2008 Troland Research Award for his achievements in experimental psychology. The awards committee cited Eckstein's "sophisticated theoretical analysis and modeling that address fundamental issues in perception and cognition and their application to the practical problems of medical imaging."

Eckstein is affiliated with the University of California Santa Barbara's Vision and Image Understanding Laboratory. The annual research awards of $50,000 are given to recognize unusual achievement and to further their research within the broad spectrum of experimental psychology.

Inman Named Distinguished Alumnus at Virginia Tech

Dan Inman, director of Virginia Tech's Center for Intelligent Material Systems and Structures (USA) and the George Goodson Professor of Mechanical Engineering, is Michigan State's Distinguished Alumnus in mechanical engineering for 2008.

Inman's work on mechanical vibrations has greatly impacted the aerospace and automotive industries. His national reputation in his field is recognized by premier government entities.

As a teacher, Inman has introduced the use of computational software into undergraduate engineering education through books, articles, and course development. He has supervised 46 PhD dissertations and 62 masters' theses. He has published nine books that are widely used by mechanical engineering students. 

SPIE Europe E-News Quarterly Newsletter Launched

SPIE Europe has established an e-newsletter to stay in touch with our friends and business partners and to keep you informed about the latest innovations in photonics, business trends, events, and other news about optics research and technology across Europe. Subscribe to free e-mail updates that will keep you informed about SPIE products and services or to receive the quarterly SPIE Europe E-Newsletter.

Have a question or comment about SPIE Professional magazine? Write to us at spieprofessional@spie.org

Posted for July through September, 2008.

DOI: 10.1117/2.4200807.45

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