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SPIE Professional October 2012

2012 SPIE scholarship recipients

140 young researchers awarded $353,000 for study.

By Karen Thomas

The SPIE Scholarship Committee has awarded more than $350,000 in scholarships to 140 outstanding individuals for study in optics, photonics, and related disciplines this year.

The SPIE scholarship program, with awards ranging from $2,000 to $11,000, has distributed more than $3.6 million in scholarships to more than 2,000 students over the years.

SPIE has also awarded $40,000 in travel scholarships this year in a new program to assist students presenting at SPIE conferences.

SPIE members worldwide who are studying in optics, photonics, imaging, optoelectronics, or related programs are eligible to apply for SPIE scholarships and travel grants. The awards are based on a student’s potential for long-range contribution to the optics and photonics community.

For more information on SPIE’s scholarship program and a complete list of 2012 scholarship recipients, visit spie.org/scholarships. The deadline for submitting applications for the 2013-14 academic year is 15 February 2013. Applications will be available in November 2012.

Top five scholarship winners

Maria SerikovaMaria Serikova, a PhD student at National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics (NRU-ITMO) in the Russian Federation, was awarded the SPIE D.J. Lovell Scholarship, the Society’s largest and most prestigious scholarship. As a member of the ITMO SPIE Student Chapter, Serikova began an English language club to help students who spoke little English; otherwise they couldn’t participate in international conferences, internships, or even read research papers.

This English club is now one of the leading projects in the Chapter. Another SPIE Student Chapter project she began is the “Magic and Power of Optics” light show and exhibition for school children. Serikova is currently working on a new signal-processing concept for near-field laser radar.

“The SPIE Scholarship will help me purchase the necessary equipment for a testbed and books on engineering to design the testbed the best way possible,” Serikova says.

Nutan GautamNutan Gautam is receiving the John Kiel Scholarship, the second largest scholarship sponsored by SPIE. Gautam is a graduate student in the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque (USA). Her research is focused on developing high-performance infrared detectors based on InAs/GaSb type-II superlattices.

“The SPIE scholarship has helped me personally, by motivating me to do better in my field, as well as professionally, by supporting graduate studies,” Gautam says. She plans to attend conferences such as the Quantum Structured Infrared Photodetector (QSIP) workshop to network with researchers from around the world.

“Such conferences not only motivate graduate students like me, but also lead to new ideas,” Gautam says. “It would not be possible for me to attend such an event without financial support.”

Anton TcypkinAnton Tcypkin was awarded the Laser Technology, Engineering and Applications Scholarship. A PhD student at NRU-ITMO, Tcypkin’s research interests include nonlinear interaction of ultrashort optical pulses with matter and nonlinear optical fibers. His work includes investigating the interference phenomenon of femtosecond spectral supercontinua theoretically and developing a method of information transfer at speeds of over 10 Tbit/s using interference quasi-discrete spectral supercontinuum. His patent, “Device for a sequence formation of femtosecond light pulses,” is based on this method.

“I will use the scholarship money to purchase equipment for complex experiments related to the interference of spectral supercontinuum,” Tcypkin says.

Cristina CanavesiCristina Canavesi received the Optical Design and Engineering Scholarship. Canavesi is a PhD student at the Institute of Optics, University of Rochester (USA). Her research focuses on illumination design, specifically freeform reflector design and applications of illumination to biomedical instrumentation.

“With the many recent advances in solid-state lighting and the growing need for efficient lighting systems, illumination optics is a truly exciting field to be in,” Canavesi says. “I will use the SPIE scholarship to support my travel to SPIE conferences and greatly benefit from discussions with professionals in my field.”

Canavesi is also active in student professional organizations and optics outreach efforts, and is co-founder and president of the Women in Engineering student group at Rochester.

Elizaveta YankovskayaElizaveta Yankovskaya was awarded the BACUS Photomask Scholarship. Yankovskaya, a PhD student at NRU-ITMO, is studying properties of optical metamaterials. She has served as secretary and vice president of ITMO’s SPIE Student Chapter, and she has been awarded previous SPIE scholarships and travel grants as well as two prestigious Russian scholarships, a best student diploma, and best poster award.

“My current topic of interest is the investigation of plasmonic nanoantennas, artificially generated subwavelength structures,” Yankovskaya says. “Nanoantennas can be used in making new antireflecting and light-trapping coatings, which in the future, can be used for mass production of thin-film solar cells. The SPIE scholarship will allow me to implement this research plan in full and to gain access to additional information resources.”

Kidger Scholarship for Fabian Duerr

Fabian DuerrFabian Duerr, a PhD student in the Brussels Photonics Team B-PHOT in the Department of Applied Physics and Photonics, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, has been awarded the 2012 Michael Kidger Memorial Scholarship in Optical Design.

Duerr’s study integrates both free-form optics design and the Simultaneous Multiple Surfaces (SMS) design method developed by SPIE member Juan C. Miñano and SPIE Fellow Pablo Benítez, both of Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. Duerr’s interests include the direct design of optical systems with multiple surfaces and asymmetric off-axis lens design.

The Kidger Scholarship Award will be presented by Tina E. Kidger of Kidger Optics Associates (UK), 26 November at SPIE Optical Systems Design in Barcelona, Spain.

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

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DOI: 10.1117/2.4201210.21

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