The SPIE Scholarship Committee has selected 137 outstanding students to receive more than $350,000 in scholarships this year. The awards are based on students' potential to contribute to the field of optics and photonics or a related discipline.
To date, SPIE has distributed more than $3 million in scholarship funds, ranging from $2,000 to $11,000, to 1,905 students across 86 countries.
Top SPIE scholarship winners
Thomas Nesch, an engineering student at the University of Cambridge (UK), was awarded the $11,000 D.J. Lovell Scholarship, the Society's most prestigious scholarship. Nesch's project, a liquid-detecting sensor, garnered honors at the 2009 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), including awards from SPIE and GE Energy. A minor planet discovered by the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research project was named "25617 Thomasnesch," in recognition of his achievements at ISEF.
"The scholarship will help me finish my sensor project, particularly the optical distinction between water and ice," says Nesch. "I also plan to visit another SPIE meeting as this has brought me valuable contacts who can help me achieve my intentions."
Nutan Gautam, received the $10,000 John Kiel Scholarship, sponsored by SPIE. A doctoral student at the University of New Mexico (USA), Gautam is working on theoretical and experimental studies on type II strained layer superlattice materials useful for infrared imaging.
"I plan to make more students aware of the Society and the advantages of being a member," says Gautam who was vice president of the UNM SPIE Student Chapter in 2010. She will use her scholarship to help fund her research and attend conferences.
Evgeny (Eugene) Sholokhov, president of the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute SPIE Student Chapter, received the Laser Technology, Engineering, and Applications Scholarship. A postgraduate student at the Prokhorov General Physics Institute (Russian Federation), Sholokhov's recent achievement was the creation of the pulsed Ho-doped fiber laser with 2 kW output peak power at two micron wavelength.
"As far as I know, it is an absolute record for such lasers," says Sholokhov. The scholarship will help Sholokhov to develop a compact prototype of a holmium fiber laser.
Kathleen Adelsberger, a PhD student at the University of Rochester (USA), was awarded the Optical Design and Engineering Scholarship. Adelsberger's current research involves modifying the lens design process to incorporate computational imaging techniques.
"Technology for electronics and digital image processing of optical systems has exploded," Adelsberger says, "while lens design methodology has remained almost entirely the same." Her goal is to develop a simultaneous system-wide design approach. She plans to use the scholarship to attend conferences and study all aspects of the system design process.
Germain Fenger is the winner of the BACUS Photomask Scholarship. A PhD researcher at Rochester Institute of Technology (USA), Fenger is working on photoresist-based aberration metrology for Extreme UV Lithography (EUVL).
"My research will consist of a modeling portion that will look at the impact of different aberrations on the ultimate performance of EUVL systems," says Fenger. The scholarship, sponsored by BACUS, SPIE's Photomask International Technical Group, will help offset the cost of simulation software and hardware needed for his project.
For more information on SPIE's scholarship program, a complete list of 2011 scholarship winners, and the criteria used by the SPIE Scholarship Committee in selecting recipients, visit spie.org/scholarships.
The deadline for submitting scholarship applications for 2012 is 15 February 2012.
Kyle Fuerschbach, right, a third-year PhD student at the University of Rochester (USA), receives the 2011 Michael Kidger Memorial Scholarship in Optical Design from Tina Kidger.
Fuerschbach is working on a new class of optical design forms based on non-symmetric and freeform surfaces.
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