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SPIE Professional January 2012

SPIE members among 'Blue Ocean' grant winners

Blue Ocean Optics logoOcean Optics has awarded the Phase I Blue Ocean Grants and Development Grants, an innovative program looking for ideas and technologies with the potential to change the world for the better.

SPIE members Zhiwen Liu, Scott Rowe and (Fellow) Guifang Li, were named as three of the 13 winners for up to $10,000 in funding for evaluation and development of ideas to the proof of concept phase. SPIE Senior member Kristen Maitland of Texas A&M University (USA) earned a development grant.

Liu, associate professor of electrical engineering at Pennsylvania State University (USA), earned a grant for the idea of developing a reflection-type G-Fresnel for optical spectrometer miniaturization.

"We are very excited about the opportunity provided by the Ocean Optics Blue Ocean Grant," Liu said. "With the help of this grant, we plan to develop a reflection type diffractive optical element, which integrates the functionalities of dispersion and focusing in a single device and can potentially lead to compact optical spectrometers."

Rowe, president of Ocular Prognostics, submitted his idea on a commercial product incorporating a miniature spectrometer that can obtain macular pigment measurements objectively and accurately in less than 30 seconds.

"We are pleased to receive this recognition of our efforts from Ocean Optics," Rowe said. "This will augment our current development work towards a new generation of macular pigment measurement tools that will be highly valued by clinician and researcher alike."

Li, professor at University of Central Florida (USA), received a Phase I grant for developing the optical counterpart of the RF super-heterodyne technology for broadband spectroscopy in the Mid IR and into the long-wave IR.

Maitland, a member of the SPIE Professional Editorial Advisory Board, received a developmental grant to further research fast detection of spectrally encoded depth scans in confocal microscopy for early cancer detection.

"We will be using the grant to increase our volumetric image acquisition speed in a chromatic confocal microscope," Maitland explained. "We are extremely grateful for the support from Ocean Optics and the Blue Ocean Grant."

The development grant will allow Maitland to facilitate further research with the use of borrowed or donated Ocean Optics equipment enabling the possibility of entering Phase II for Blue Ocean Grants or next year's Phase I.

Phase II grants of up to $100,000 will be issued to support proposed technology through proof of concept in early 2012.

Phase I grant winners are:

Jarkko Antila, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, MEMS-based Mid-IR spectrometer

Christopher Fraker, Diabetes Research Institute, Tailored oxygen levels for cell culturing

Matthew Gunn, Aberystwyth University, Economical hyperspectral imager

Guifang Li, University of Central Florida, Novel tunable mid IR laser sources

Zhiwen Liu, Pennsylvania State University, G-Fresnel optical spectrometer miniaturization

Hans-Peter Loock, Queen's University, Fiber-Optic mercury probe

Robert Pal, Durham University / FScan, Handheld rapid prostate cancer screening instrument

Bill Parker, Creative Microsystems, Nanoliter optical sensing

Nadia Pervez, Chromation Partners, Novel photonic crystal spectrometer

Scott Rowe, Ocular Prognostics, Macular pigment measurement

Maurizio Tormen, CSEM SA, MEMS wavemeter

Ian White, University of Maryland, Inkjet-printed SERS dipsticks

Liang Zhang, University of Washington, Detection system for early childhood caries

Development grant winners are:

Kristen Maitland, Texas A&M University, Spectrally encoded depth scans for early cancer detection

Dominic Murphy, Fusion Photonics Ltd., Fiber Fourier transform spectrometer

Dustin Ritter, Engineering World Health organization - Texas A&M chapter, Medical oxygen concentrator measurement system

Frank Rutten, Keele University, Rapid on-site detection of asbestos

Eric Smith, FMIP, Realtime spectroscopy for the produce industry

Kate Sugden, Aston University, Fiber Bragg grating sensing using new Ocean Optics spectrometers

Bo Yang, University of San Francisco College of Marine Science, Low-cost optical pH sensors.

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

DOI: 10.1117/2.4201201.20

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