2013 SPIE Awards

Top optics and photonics experts are honored with SPIE Annual Awards for 2013.

01 July 2013

The SPIE Awards Committee is pleased to announce the 2013 SPIE Award recipients.

Since 1959, SPIE has honored the best in optics and photonics for their significant achievements and contributions in advancing the science of light.

Photo of Federico Capasso by Eliza GrinnellThis issue of SPIE Professional features articles on SPIE Gold Medal recipient Federico Capasso of Harvard University (USA) and SPIE Educator Award recipient Barry Shoop of the U.S. Military Academy.

Capasso (at right), of Harvard University's School of Engineering and Applied Science, is the co-inventor of the quantum cascade laser.

Shoop is a professor at the U.S. Military Academy who played a strategic role in developing the program criteria for optical and photonics engineering in the undergraduate college curriculum in the United States.

Information about the other SPIE award recipients announced so far this year are below along with the 2013-2014 Arthur H. Guenther Congressional Fellow, SPIE member Carly Robinson.

James Fujimoto receives Britton Chance Biomedical Award

SPIE Fellow James Fujimoto, professor of electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (USA), is the 2013 recipient of the SPIE Britton Chance Biomedical Award in recognition of his pioneering research in optical coherence tomography (OCT) and its development as a clinical tool.

As a result, the widespread use of OCT “stands out as the dominant achievement in biomedical optics in the past 20 years,” says Erich P. Ippen, professor of physics at MIT.

SPIE President Bill Arnold of ASML (left) presented the 2013 Britton Chance Biomedical Optics Award to James Fujimoto at SPIE Photonics West in February.

“OCT is now in regular use in thousands of ophthalmology centers and clinics, and instruments from more than 10 different companies are on the market.” OCT technology is being extended by advances in broadband sources and Fourier domain-signal processing, Ippen says. In addition, applications to other areas of medicine including cardiology, gastroenterology, neurology, dermatology, and dentistry are rapidly developing.

“The last time I looked, there had been almost 10,000 publications on OCT, with about half being ophthalmic in origin,” Ippen says.

Fujimoto is the longtime chair of SPIE BiOS, serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Biomedical Optics, and is a member of the SPIE Board of Directors.

Martin RichardsonCREOL’s Richardson gets Harold E. Edgerton Award

SPIE Fellow Martin C. Richardson, professor of optics and founding director of the Townes Laser Institute at CREOL at the University of Central Florida (UCF) (USA) is the 2013 recipient of the Harold E. Edgerton Award in recognition of his significant contributions to the field of high-speed diagnostics of transient dense-plasmas.

“I have followed Dr. Richardson’s career and have professionally incorporated his technical accomplishments in high-speed photography, lasers, optical techniques, and solutions to laser spatial and temporal diagnostics in my research,” says Dennis L. Paisley, retired, Los Alamos National Lab (USA). “He has the theoretical understanding required to apply his knowledge to make direct application to his experimental research in high-speed photography and lasers, a unique skill not acquired by many individuals.”

Richardson and William Silfvast, professor emeritus of optics at UCF, established the Laser Plasma Laboratory at UCF in 1990. Here they developed research programs in ultrafast laser development, laser-plasma studies, EUV/X-ray lithography and microscopy, laser materials processing, femtosecond laser structuring of materials, laser spectroscopy and sensing, and high-intensity laser filamentation studies in the atmosphere.

Deeply involved in the education of his students, Richardson directs a National Science Federation-sponsored International Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program at UCF. He is particularly interested in advancing science in under-developed countries and in gaining equal rights for women through science.

Kevin ThompsonKevin P. Thompson to receive A.E. Conrady Award

SPIE Fellow Kevin P. Thompson, group director of R&D at Synopsys (USA), is the 2013 recipient of the A.E. Conrady Award in recognition of his efforts to discover and develop Nodal Aberration Theory (NAT)—a complete aberration theory for imaging optical systems that applies to rotationally nonsymmetric optical systems.

An author of numerous technical papers in the field of optics, Thompson has been developing optical design methods and tools for tilted and decentered optical systems using CODE V for over 30 years. His work in NAT has been linked to understanding freeform optical surfaces. This insight has opened a new perspective on how to approach the optical design of systems with freeform surfaces.

Thompson has also recently been “at the forefront of exploring the implications of a revolutionary new optical design tool — freeform surfaces — and continues to be very active in this area,” says Dave Schafer, principal vision engineer at Intuitive Surgical.

In his blog, “Idle Diffractions,” Thompson puts the spotlight on emerging optical technologies, explores industry hot topics and events, and shares his knowledge of optics history.

David Markle receives Zernike Award for Microlithography

SPIE member David Markle, co-founder of Periodic Structures (USA), is the 2013 recipient of the Frits Zernike Award for Microlithography in recognition of his pivotal role in the development of numerous lithography tools, including the PerkinElmer Micralign and Micrascan tools and the Ultratech Stepper.

SPIE President Bill Arnold of ASML (left) presented the Zernike Award to David Markle at SPIE Advanced Lithography in February.

He was honored for his insights and engineering talents that have helped to guide both mechanical and optical designs of lithography tools for the last 40 years.

Throughout his career, Markle has made major contributions to engineering theory and practice and has played an instrumental role in the development of advanced photolithography systems used in the manufacture of semiconductor devices. In 2004, Markle was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, one of the highest professional distinctions accorded an engineer.

“David Markle has been a near legendary presence as an innovator and leader since the earliest days of projection lithography,” says SPIE member Marc D. Levenson, an optics consultant. “Beginning by helping design the first successful projection wafer exposure tool at PerkinElmer’s Microlithography Division, Dave has had a hand in every major advance in microlithography.”

José Jorge GilJosé Gil receives G.G. Stokes Award

SPIE member José Jorge Gil, research physicist and professor at University of Zaragoza (Spain), is the 2013 recipient of the G.G. Stokes Award in recognition of his groundbreaking collection of rigorous mathematical descriptions of polarization that are used widely to interpret experimental data. His work in polarization optics forms part of the underpinnings of modern polarimetry.

Gil’s articles on depolarization indices and polar decomposition of Mueller matrices have explained how the different — and mixed — contributions of polarization properties of an optical system can be split up, characterized, and analyzed as individual properties. Gil has also proposed a parallel Mueller matrix decomposition, which includes all the polarimetric degrees of freedom and provides more information than the classical distribution.

“The fact that all these works can be successfully implemented into real experiments adds relevance to Professor Gil’s findings,” says Juan Bueno, professor of physics at University de Murcia (Spain). “The junction between the mathematical formalism of Stokes vector and Mueller matrices developed by Professor Gil and the possibility of this being physically realizable is the cornerstone for the advance of science in this field.”

Malgorzata Kujawinska honored with Chandra S. Vikram Award

Malgorzata KujawinskaSPIE Fellow and Past SPIE President Malgorzata Kujawinska, professor of applied optics at Warsaw University of Technology (Poland), is the 2013 recipient of the Chandra S. Vikram Award in recognition of her lifetime of achievements in full-field optical metrology and optical testing.

She has made pioneering contributions to fields such as automatic fringe pattern analysis, integrated interferometric sensors, optical and digital holography, optical tomography, structured light and moiré fringe methods as applied to fields such as experimental mechanics, multimedia, material engineering, and civil engineering.

“Through her innovative research on fringe analysis and its applications to interferometry, digital holography, optical tomography, and 3D optical profilometry, Professor Kujawinska is known internationally as a leading scientist of the field,” says SPIE Fellow Mitsuo Takeda, professor of optical research and education at Utsunomiya University (Japan).

“What distinguishes her research from that of others is that she has successfully carried out her research with a very wide scope on the basis of cross-disciplinary principles, systematically combining and integrating optics and photonics, electronics, experimental mechanics, information science, multimedia engineering, and even civil engineering into new technologies,” he says. “She is a real forerunner.”

Alan C. BovikAlan Bovik earns SPIE Technology Achievement Award

SPIE Fellow Alan C. Bovik, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, (USA), is the 2013 recipient of the SPIE Technology Achievement Award in recognition of his broad and lasting contributions to the field of perception-based image processing.

During his career, Bovik has contributed widely to the field of biomedical image processing. His work includes developing techniques for improving and measuring the quality of digital images and videos, creating influential models for the analysis of patterns in images, and developing systems for image and video compression.

“I consider Al to be in the top 2% of researchers in image processing in the world,” says SPIE Fellow Edward J. Delp, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University. “Al has widely investigated the difficult problem of objective image-quality assessment. His metric, the Structural Similarity (SSIM) index, is a breakthrough in image quality assessment” and has been shown to do better than nearly any other metric proposed in the past 40 years.

“This work is seminal, widely cited, and very important,” Delp says. “It has completely changed the way we think of image quality.”

Timothy J. WhiteUSAFRL’s White to receive SPIE Early Career Award

SPIE member Timothy J. White, a research engineer in the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory in Ohio, is the 2013 recipient of the Early Career Achievement Award in recognition of his innovative work in the development of light responsive materials and their employment as smart, remotely cued, optically and mechanically adaptive devices.

“Tim is an extraordinary individual who has produced a truly groundbreaking body of work that has changed the way we look at polymer networks and liquid crystals,” says C. Allan Guymon, professor of chemical and biochemical engineering at the University of Iowa (USA).

“By understanding the dynamics of polymerization in concert with actuating driving forces, a new class of transformative materials has been developed that could allow fast response and high power output from photoactuated materials,” Guymon says. “His dissertation work and especially his subsequent research at AFRL are impressive. I have been very impressed with Tim’s growth as a researcher and the amazing quality of his work.”

White has presented papers at both SPIE Photonics West and SPIE Optics + Photonics. He received the 2011 Directors Jr. Force Award, and the 2012 Early Career Award from the U.S. Air Force.

New SPIE Biophotonics Technology Innovator Award

SPIE Fellow Aydogan Ozcan, professor of electrical engineering and bioengineering at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) (USA), has been awarded the inaugural SPIE Biophotonics Technology Innovator Award in recognition of his seminal contributions to computational imaging, sensing, and biophotonics technologies impacting telemedicine and global health challenges.

SPIE President Bill Arnold of ASML (left) presented the SPIE Biophotonics Technology Award to Aydogan Ozcan at SPIE Photonics West in February.

The Ozcan Research Group at UCLA has developed a number of lensless computational imaging technologies for use in a variety of applications, particularly in telemedicine. Many of these devices, including a cellphone-based microscope with applications such as diagnosing malaria, will provide access to medical tests in resource-poor countries.

“Dr. Ozcan is clearly one of the most innovative biophotonics researchers I have met during the last decade and he stands out as truly exceptional with regards to clear-sightedness in research, ingenuity of approach, effectiveness in completion of the research projects and publication record,” says Bahram Jalali, professor of electrical engineering at UCLA.

Ozcan received his PhD at Stanford University (USA) in 2005 and received the SPIE Early Career Achievement Award in 2011. His work has been published “in the most prestigious academic journals and has resulted in more than 20 licensed patents and several major international awards,” Jalali says.

The new award will be awarded annually.

David J. BradyDuke’s David J. Brady to receive Dennis Gabor Award 

SPIE Fellow David J. Brady, the Michael J. Fitzpatrick Professor of Photonics at Duke University (USA), is awarded the 2013 SPIE Dennis Gabor Award in recognition of his development of compressive holographic and tomographic imaging systems and for advances in the physical and information science of imaging and spectroscopy.

Brady heads the Duke Imaging and Spectroscopy Program (DISP), which builds computational imaging systems. Current projects at DISP include snapshot gigapixel photography using multiscale optics, x-ray scatter tomography, millimeter-wave diffraction tomography, focal tomography, and compressive spectral imaging.

“He was one of the first to fully recognize the significance of novel sampling strategies and coding schemes, to achieve improved, smaller, more efficient imaging and spectroscopy systems by placing more of the burden of information extraction through computational processing,” says Michael A. Fiddy, professor of physics and optical science at University of North Carolina, Charlotte (USA).

”He has successfully applied these concepts to compressive measurement and compressive tomography, multiscale imaging, and coded aperture spectroscopy.”

Samuel H. MoseleyMoseley recognized with George W. Goddard Award

SPIE member Samuel Harvey Moseley, a senior astrophysicist at NASA Goddard Flight Center (USA), is the 2013 recipient of the George W. Goddard Award in recognition of his extraordinary inventions of superconducting imaging arrays for astronomy. His inventions range from submillimeter bolometers to energy-sensitive X-ray microcalorimeters, and dark matter detectors.

Moseley conceived and led the development of the first microshutter arrays for use on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) near-IR spectrometer. This micromechanical device will allow the JWST to make its most critical observations 100 times faster and enable detailed studies of the first galaxies to form in the universe after the Big Bang.

“Harvey is the most creative inventive genius I have ever been blessed to know,” says Nobel Laureate and SPIE Fellow John C. Mather, senior project scientist at NASA Goddard Flight Center. “He is a practicing astronomer, but his greatest insights have been in the area of detectors and microdevices.

“He founded the field of the X-ray microcalorimetry, springing from his work on cosmic ray interference with infrared bolometers.”

Microcalorimeters are now the standard for x-ray astronomy, Mather says “because they combine imaging capability with energy resolution, and the resolution is far better than previous technologies could offer. Similar technology is now the basis for imaging arrays of far-IR and microwave detectors, and now the standard for research in those fields of astronomy.”

Carly RobinsonGuenther Congressional Fellow selected for 2013-14

SPIE member Carly Robinson, a PhD candidate in atmospheric chemistry at University of Colorado, Boulder (USA), will serve as the 2013-2014 Arthur H. Guenther Congressional Fellow.

Robinson, who has been active in student government and has won several grants for her research, will serve a one-year term working as a special legislative assistant to a member of the U.S. Congress or a congressional committee.

The Congressional Fellow program is sponsored by SPIE and the Optical Society (OSA).

Robinson is a member of the Margaret Tolbert Research Group where she studies optical properties of coated aerosols in the atmosphere with cavity ring-down aerosol extinction spectroscopy (CRD-AES). Her dissertation is on hygroscopic optical growth of atmospherically relevant mixed particles.

During her fellowship, Robinson hopes to serve as a resource to policy makers on science-related issues, particularly climate change, and educate fellow scientists on how they can impact science policy.

Nominate a colleague for SPIE awards

SPIE presents several annual awards that recognize individual and team technical accomplishments in optics and photonics and service to the Society.

Nominations may be made through 1 October and remain active for three years from the submission date. Exceptions are the Early Career Achievement Award and the SPIE/OSA Joseph W. Goodman Book Writing Award.

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