2015 SPIE Scholarships

SPIE awarded $353,000 in education scholarships.

01 October 2015

SPIE awarded $353,000 in education scholarships this year to 126 outstanding individuals, based on their potential for long-range contribution to optics and photonics or a related discipline.

Five students were awarded the top scholarships.

photoDaming Xu, a PhD student at CREOL at University of Central Florida (USA), received the SPIE D.J. Lovell Scholarship, the Society’s most prestigious scholarship.

Xu’s career goals include developing new optical technologies that benefit humanity. Xu plans to use the scholarship to attend conferences and to share his passion for optics research and education.

“Interacting with experts in optics and sharing experiences with them at technical conferences helps me reach my career goals,” Xu says. “Their passion in research and advanced technologies inspires me to become like those great minds and serve the optical engineering community in a similar way.”

photo of SPIE scholarship recipientWeibo Cheng, a PhD student at University of Arizona (USA), was awarded the John Kiel Scholarship, the second-largest scholarship SPIE sponsors.

Cheng’s research focuses on the fundamental aspects of femtosecond laser micromachining. His lab work includes investigating ultrafast ionization dynamics involved in the volumetric and surface laser ablation of materials and the development of new regimes of laser machining using spatially and temporally shaped femtosecond laser pulses.

“My lifetime goal is to use the knowledge I accumulate through my lab and class work to the advancement of optical science that will ultimately improve the quality of life of people around the world,” Cheng says.

photo of SPIE scholarship recipientThe Laser Technology, Engineering and Applications Scholarship was awarded to Amina Hussein, a PhD student at University of Michigan (USA).

Her research includes the numerical simulation of plasma material interaction for applications including nuclear fusion and advanced nanolithography. She plans to use the award to continue her work at the John Adams Institute for Accelerator Science at Imperial College London (UK).

“My PhD work will explore the use of brilliant, spatially coherent, femtosecond X-ray flashes, generated by laser-plasma accelerators, to produce the first sub-picosecond resolution images of transient phenomena in high-energy-density experiments,” Hussein says.

photo of SPIE scholarship recipientThe Optical Design and Engineering Scholarship was awarded to James Corsetti, a PhD student at University of Rochester (USA). His research focuses on gradient-index (GRIN) materials for broadband imaging systems with a strong emphasis on thermal considerations. He is currently involved in a DARPA-sponsored project to improve the manufacturability of GRIN materials.

“My professional ambition is a career in optical systems design,” Corsetti says. He plans to use the scholarship to fund conference travel and purchase reference materials on optical systems and design. Corsetti also plans to become a lifetime member of SPIE, “the society that has opened so many doors for me.”

photo of SPIE scholarship recipientYow-Gwo Wang, a PhD student at University of California, Berkeley (USA), was awarded the BACUS Photomask Scholarship, sponsored by BACUS, the SPIE photomask international technical group.

His research focuses on design, fabrication, and testing of mask/lens concepts for EUV aerial image monitoring and mask inspection.

With the help of the scholarship, Wang plans to tackle critical issues in photomask technology. “I want to bridge the gap between scientific research and engineering applications,” Wang says.

SPIE offers optics and photonics education scholarships and travel scholarships for SPIE student members who are studying or planning to study optics, photonics, or a related field anywhere in the world.

The optics and photonics education scholarships are for high school, pre-university, secondary school, undergraduate, and graduate students. Postdoctoral students and others who have completed a PhD are not eligible to apply. The scholarships generally support tuition, books, research activities, and other education-related expenses.

Scholarship awards are in varying amounts ranging from $2,000 to $11,000.

The deadline to apply for the 2016-17 academic year is 15 February 2016.

SPIE has distributed over $4 million in individual scholarships to date, reflecting the Society’s commitment to education and to the next generation of optical scientists and engineers around the world.

More information on the 2015 SPIE scholarship recipients and the SPIE scholarship program: spie.org/scholarships.

University of Rochester student receives Michael Kidger Award

The 2015 Michael Kidger Memorial Scholarship is being awarded to Eric Schiesser, a PhD student at University of Rochester (USA). Schiesser’s research addresses the advantages of non-axi-symmetric optical elements in optical design.

SPIE Senior Member Tina E. Kidger will present the scholarship at SPIE Optifab in October.

The Michael Kidger Memorial Scholarship was established in 1998 to honor Michael John Kidger, a well-respected education, design-software developer, and member of the optical science and engineering community.

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