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SPIE Professional April 2011

Spotlight on SPIE Fellows in Defense and Aerospace

SPIE Fellow indicia

The new class of 67 SPIE Fellows includes 21 leading optics and photonics experts whose research, teaching, and innovation have been funded by or involved in the defense, security, space, and remote-sensing communities.

Because of their close involvement with SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing, five in this group have elected to receive their recognition at the annual symposium on Monday 25 April. They are:

  • Susan Davis Allen
  • Fredric Marvin Ham
  • Sanjay Krishna
  • Kalluri Sarma
  • Alexander Toet

SPIE Professional will highlight the achievements of several groups of SPIE Fellows and SPIE Senior Members during the year, beginning with this set whose achievements range from imaging extrasolar planets and human biological tissue to building better photodetectors, electronic displays, biosensors, lasers, and other equipment for soldiers, astronauts, cancer patients, and ultimately all of humanity.

Herzl Aharoni (Israel) 

Ben-Gurion University

SPIE Fellow Herzl AharoniHerzl Aharoni is professor emeritus of electrical and computer engineering at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev where he has won numerous excellence-in-teaching awards over nearly 40 years of teaching. He is honored for his achievements in the research, development, invention, and realization of two-terminal and multi-terminal monolithically integrated, single-crystal silicon light-emitting devices (SiLEDs) and for innovative contributions to the research and realization of ion-beam-sputtered thin indium-tin-oxide (ITO) film properties, and ITO/InP photovoltaic devices. An Israeli Air Force veteran who served as a radio electronics technician, Aharoni also conducted research with the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab in the USA.

Susan Allen (USA) 

Arkansas State University

SPIE Fellow Susan Allen

Susan Davis Allen, director of the Arkansas Center for Laser Applications and Science and distinguished professor of chemistry and electrical engineering at Arkansas State University, is an expert in the use of lasers and spectrometers to study basic optical properties of materials. She is recognized for her seminal contributions in laser-assisted particle removal, laser-driven reactions, and laser-matter interactions. Allen was one of the first people to use focused lasers to deposit materials with a process that she and her colleagues termed laser chemical vapor deposition (LCVD). Her research, which has received funding from the U.S. Army and Air Force as well as DARPA and industry, has applications in improving optical qualities of materials, repairing circuits, detecting surface defects, sensing remote objects, and others.

Shlomi Arnon (Israel)

Ben-Gurion University

SPIE Fellow Shlomi ArnonShlomi Arnon, associate professor and founding member of the department of electro-optical engineering at Ben-Gurion University, is honored for his work with laser satellite communication, optical wireless communication, and sensor networks. Arnon has expanded his research to include underwater optical wireless communication where there is a growing need for ocean observation systems. He and his colleagues have proposed a nonline-of-sight network concept using back reflection of the propagating optical signal at the ocean-air interface to derive a mathematical model of the channel. Arnon has also involved his students in projects to develop systems that would detect human survival after earthquakes, infant respiration to prevent cardiac arrest and apnea, and falls in the case of epilepsy sufferers and elderly people. An optical radar system developed by his students helps blind people maneuver around obstacles. He has served on the organizing committee for the free-space laser communications conference at SPIE Security and Defence.

Farzin Amzajerdian (USA)

NASA Langley Research Center

SPIE Fellow Farzin AmzajerdianFarzin Amzajerdian, senior research scientist for aerospace systems at NASA Langley Research Center, is recognized for laser remote sensing technologies. Amzajerdian devised the concept, designed, and built laboratory and prototype units of a continuous wave all-fiber coherent lidar capable of providing wind velocity and high-precision ground velocity and altitude data. This lidar instrument is expected to become a standard landing sensor for all NASA landing vehicles for future trips to the moon and Mars. He has won numerous NASA awards for his innovations in developing new instruments and technologies for applications ranging from improved weather prediction to autonomous landing and hazard avoidance and laser risk reduction.

Alexander Dirochka (Russia)

Orion Research and Production Association

SPIE Fellow Alexander DirochkaThe scientific secretary in Orion, the State Scientific Center of the Russian Federation, Alexander Dirochka, is honored for his pioneering work in the fields of semiconductor cathodoluminescence and the optics of quasi-two-dimensional layered semiconductors. His achievements also extend to the study of optical and photoelectric phenomena in layered semiconductors. Dirochka, a member of the former SPIE Russia Chapter, has chaired a number of conferences co-sponsored by SPIE on night-vision devices, and is a professor and deputy head of the Physical Electronics Department at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.

Wolfgang Ecke (Germany)


SPIE Fellow Wolfgang EckeA professor at the Institute of Photonic Technology in Jena, where he is vice-head of the fiber-optic systems research group, Wolfgang Ecke is honored for achievements in the science and implementation of fiber-optic sensors for structural monitoring, particularly with fabrication of large arrays of fiber Bragg grating sensors suitable for extreme environments. He is also recognized for his collaborations with industry, which have brought his research into practical applications in the monitoring of spacecraft health and other structures. Ecke is a program committee member for the Fiber-Optic Sensors and Applications conference at SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing.

J. Gary Eden (USA)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

SPIE Fellow J. Gary EdenGary Eden is director of the Laboratory for Optical Physics and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the 2010 winner of the SPIE Harold Edgerton Award. He is honored for achievements in laser physics, ultrafast science, and molecular spectroscopy where he has been active in developing technologies for commercial applications. Eden, co-founder of a high-tech startup, Eden Park Illumination, has 53 U.S. patents granted or pending. His discovery and development of microcavity plasma light sources has demonstrated a novel class of photonic devices with major scientific and commercial applications in high-luminance lighting, chemical sensing, high-resolution displays, versatile photodetectors, and phototherapeutics. Working at the U.S. Naval Research Lab in the 1970s, Eden made contributions to ultraviolet and visible lasers and laser spectroscopy, including co-discovery of the KrCl excimer gas laser emitting in the UV.

Christoph Grein (USA)

University of Illinois at Chicago

SPIE Fellow Christoph GreinAn entrepreneur and professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Christoph Grein is honored for his award-winning work in novel HgCdTe materials and infrared detectors. He has been a leader in demonstrating how superlattice design can impact the charge carrier lifetime through the suppression of Auger recombination mechanisms, and his modeling efforts have played a pivotal role in several defense and aerospace contracts for the development of type-II superlattices for IR detectors. Grein is director of graduate studies and associate director of the Microphysics Laboratory in the Physics Department at UI. He also has executive roles in EPIR Technologies and Sivananthan Laboratories.

Fredric M. Ham (USA)

Florida Institute of Technology

SPIE Fellow Fredric M. HamFredric Marvin Ham, assistant dean for research and professor of electrical engineering in the College of Engineering at Florida Institute of Technology, is one of the leading figures in the computational intelligence and signal-processing communities and is honored for development of optical methods for determining blood glucose concentrations. An award-winning teacher and co-author of "Principles of Neurocomputing for Science and Engineering, Ham's cutting-edge research involves artificial neural networks, biomedical signal processing, biosensors, acoustics, digital signal processing, digital image processing, and wireless network security. Ham has also been involved in the planning and session chairing for the Independent Component Analyses, Wavelets, Neural Networks, Biosystems and Nano-engineering conference at SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing. As a staff engineer with the Harris Corp. in the 1980s, he worked on the Hubble telescope.

Ali Javan (USA)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

SPIE Fellow Ali JavanAli Javan, the Francis Wright Davis Professor of physics at MIT, is the inventor of the HeNe gas laser and one of the many luminaries celebrated during the 50th anniversary of the laser last year. He is honored for his original contribution and leadership role in the fields of laser and quantum electronics. Javan has conducted pioneering work for defense and other industries on high-resolution laser spectroscopy, fiber optics, and radar.

Sanjay Krishna (USA)

University of New Mexico

SPIE Fellow Sanjay KrishnaSanjay Krishna, the 2008 recipient of the SPIE Early Career Achievement Award and recipient of the Defense Intelligence Agency's 2007 Chief Scientist Award, is honored for achievements in quantum dot-in-a-well (DWELL) and strained layer superlattice infrared photodetectors. An innovator in semiconductor material development, Krishna is associate director of the Center for High Technology Materials at University of New Mexico where he is also professor of electrical and computer engineering. He is also CTO and co-founder of SK Infrared, a spin-off company from UNM that is investigating the use of IR imaging for non-invasive medical diagnostics. He was named the 2010 UNM Teacher of the Year and is the adviser to the SPIE Student Chapter.

Jay Kumler (USA)

Jenoptik Optical Systems

SPIE Fellow Jay KumlerJay Kumler, honored for his achievements in optical design and fabrication, serves on the SPIE Board of Directors and is the current president of the American Precision Optics Manufacturing Association. Along with being an entrepreneur, Kumler has invented innovative optical designs for hyperspectral imaging, UV corrected photography lenses, fisheye lenses for several formats, wide-angle projection lenses for flat screens, cameras for detection of biohazards, tracking telescopes, and image-intensified cameras. The company he formed in Florida, Coastal Optics, was acquired by Jenoptik in 2006 and Kumler now serves as director of Jenoptik's North American business. Coastal Optics has been a key supplier for Lockheed Martin and Ball Aerospace for the Webb Space Telescope and the United States' airborne laser program.

Yung-Sheng Liu

National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu

SPIE Fellow Yung-Sheng LiuYung-Sheng Liu, vice chancellor of the National Tsing Hua University and former director of the Institute of Photonics Technologies there, is honored for his pioneering research and leadership in high-power, solid-state, short-pulse lasers; laser direct writing and ablation; optical interconnect; and LEDs. His long career has included initiating the first LED lighting program at GE and leading the largest government-sponsored LED research team at the Taiwan Industrial Technology Research Institute. Some of his work with DARPA is classified, but he received recognition in 1998 for leading a large project on polymer optical interconnect technology. Liu founded the Taiwan Optical Communication Industry Association in 2001 and the Semiconductor Lighting Industry Association in 2003.

Bruce Macintosh (USA)

Lawrence Livermore National Lab

SPIE Fellow Bruce MacintoshBruce Macintosh, principal investigator on the Gemini Planet Imager under construction for the Gemini Observatory and physicist at the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at Lawrence Livermore National Lab, is honored for high-contrast astronomical imaging of extrasolar planets. He has designed techniques, instruments, and methods to resolve the faint signal of an extrasolar planet, leading the team that used adaptive optics to detect the three-planet system orbiting the star HR8799 in 2008. Macintosh leads the team at LLNL that developed the spatially-filtered wavefront sensor, predictive Fourier control, and comprehensive error budgets that will be used in the GPI project, which will be the most advanced adaptive optics system in operation when it sees first light, scheduled for 2012.

Allen Mann (USA)

AM Associates

Spie Fellow Allen MannAllen Mann, a lens designer of visual and infrared optical systems and manager of complex electro-optical systems, is honored for innovative achievements in optical design, with particular emphasis on refractive and reflective visual and IR zoom lens systems. He retired from Hughes Aircraft after managing projects involving military gunsights, target designators, beam directors, and similar projects and is now an independent consultant. He also taught a course in scientific Russian to engineers and scientists at Hughes and will teach a course on IR optics and zoom lenses in April at SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing. He served in the Air Force Intelligence Service from 1950 to 1954 where he learned Russian.

Jerry Meyer (USA)

Naval Research Laboratory

Spie Fellow Jerry MeyerJerry Meyer, head of quantum optoelectronics at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, is honored for development of midwave IR semiconductor lasers, especially quantum cascade lasers (QCL). His group work with inter-sub-band QCL (IQCL) demonstrated CW operation above room temperature in 2008, establishing IQCL's potential for medical, defense, and industrial applications. He is also a leading authority on "negative luminescence" devices that absorb blackbody radiation but strongly suppress re-emission, making them "appear" much colder than they actually are. Meyer was a guest editor for a special issue of Optical Engineering last year on QCLs and ICQLs.

Peter Powers (USA)

University of Dayton

SPIE Fellow Peter PowersPeter Powers, chair of the Physics Department at University of Dayton, is honored for achievements in nonlinear optics, especially parametric processes. Powers has developed innovative and practical frequency-conversion sources from the mid-infrared to the terahertz spectrum. Tools such as the seeded optical parametric generator are vital for a wide range of applications in spectroscopy, environmental science, safety and security, biomedical imaging, and trace gas detection and sensing. Often collaborating with the nearby Air Force Research Lab, Powers has developed a rapid frequency scanning technique for an IR chemical-sensing system and a technique to produce tunable CW THz radiation to locate structural cracks in metal and plastic for aircraft inspection.

Stanley Rogers (USA)

Air Force Research Lab

SPIE Fellow Stanley RogersStanley Rogers of the U.S. Air Force Research Lab, the technical lead for Photonic MEMS and Electronics and a technical representative for DARPA's Large Area Coverage Optical Search Track and Engage (LACOSTE) sensor program, is honored for achievements in photonic MEMS (spatial light modulators) and nanotechnology. An author of technical books and an academic adviser for University of Dayton students, Rogers has distinguished himself by carrying out and leading significant research in memristors, metamaterials, MEMS, and nanophotonics technologies. He was a key technical contributor on a DARPA surveillance system that employs a MOEMS micro-shutter array to enable persistent tactical surveillance of moving vehicles in a large urban battlefield.

Kalluri Sarma (USA)

Honeywell Aerospace Advanced Technology

SPIE Fellow Kalluri SarmaKalluri Sarma, senior research fellow for Honeywell Aerospace Advanced Technology, is honored for achievements in electronic displays, including AM LCDs, AM OLEDs, and flexible displays that Honeywell supplies for cockpit display systems for the space shuttle and military aircraft. His seminal work to improve the viewing angle for AM LCDs, by developing halftone pixel circuits that match the unique electro-optical characteristics of AM LCD pixels, has enabled cross-cockpit viewing. Sarma has also been instrumental in starting the U.S. Army Research Lab Flexible Display Center at Arizona State University.

Alexander Toet (Netherlands)

TNO Defence Security and Safety

SPIE Fellow Alaexander ToetAlexander Toet, senior research scientist in the Perception and Simulation Department at TNO, is honored for achievements in image fusion and digital image processing. He has made important contributions in target-detection and human-perception models, electro-optical device performance evaluation, signal and imaging processing, computational human-vision models, target-acquisition simulation, and camouflage development. Toet has developed several grayscale and color image fusion techniques as well as a patented color-transfer method that provides stable colorization under variations of scene content.

Quing Zhu (USA)

University of Connecticut

SPIE Fellow Quing ZhuQuing Zhu, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at University of Connecticut, is honored for achievements in combining near IR diffused light and ultrasound technologies for medical diagnostics. Under the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program, Zhu developed a combined NIR and ultrasound approach to distinguish early-stage breast cancer from non-cancerous lesions. This optical tomography modality allowed researchers to calculate the concentration of oxygen-carrying blood cells — or hemoglobin — and microvessels present in each lesion. Since a high density of microvessels in a tumor is known to be highly correlated with malignancy, this technique has potential for non-invasively distinguishing malignant and benign masses and thereby reducing the number of biopsies. Preliminary results also suggest that once one type of imaging has pinpointed a tumor, OT may predict response to chemotherapy in advanced-stage disease.

Have a question or comment about this article? Write to us at spieprofessional@spie.org.

DOI: 10.1117/2.4201104.06

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