Małgorzata Kujawińska: The 2021 SPIE Dennis Gabor Award in Diffractive Optics
Małgorzata Kujawińska, a professor of applied optics at the Warsaw University of Technology (WUT), began her illustrious career at that institution in the late 1970s with a particular fascination for optical metrology and holography. After receiving her PhD in 1982 on the topic of multi-exposure, computer-generated holograms, she focused on optical metrology for experimental mechanics and automatic fringe pattern (AFP) analysis during a British Council fellowship at the National Physical Laboratory and a year at the University of London's King's College in the late 1980s. On her return to WUT, Kujawińska continued to build her national and international reputation as an expert in optical metrology as well as in dynamic holographic 3D display and video: with her group, Kujawińska developed the first 3D wide-angle, free-space holographic display in circular configuration and spatiotemporal multiplexing and demonstrated the earliest wide-angle holographic transmission of a 3D moving scene. She is internationally acknowledged today as an expert in full-field optical metrology and 3D imaging; hybrid opto-numerical methods in mechanics; image processing; automatic data analysis for metrology and multimedia; design of novel photonics measurement; and display systems.
Along with her WUT colleague Krzysztof Patorski, recipient of the 2021 SPIE Chandra S. Vikram Award in Optical Metrology, she was very active early on in organizing SPIE conferences in Poland and Europe devoted to interferometry and optical metrology. She continues to be actively engaged as a conference and symposium chair as well as a presenter at SPIE meetings worldwide and is an advisor to the SPIE Student Chapter at WUT. An SPIE Fellow since 1997, Kujawińska was elected to the SPIE Board of Directors from 1995-1997, and again from 1999-2001, and served as SPIE President in 2005. In 2013, she received the SPIE Chandra S. Vikram Award in Optical Metrology in recognition of her work in the field of optical metrology and digital holography. This year, Kujawińska notes, marks the 50th anniversary of Dennis Gabor receiving his Nobel Prize in Physics. "For me," she says, "this coincidence is very special."
"Professor Kujawińska is a highly accomplished individual contributor and leader in the optics community," says Peter J. de Groot, the executive director of R&D at Zygo. "She has made seminal contributions in the areas of interferometry, moiré/speckle methods, holography, optical diffraction tomography, structured light methods, photonics sensors, and digital image processing and phase retrieval. In addition, her leadership activities in education, support of SPIE, and the commercial realization of new techniques and sensors are exemplary. Perhaps most importantly, Professor Kujawińska's qualities as a team leader, collaborator, role model, and enthusiastic supporter of young researchers make her uniquely qualified for this recognition that she so deeply deserves."