SPIE Directors’ Award

Kenneth M. Hanson receives 2017 award.

01 July 2017

SPIE Fellow Kenneth M. Hanson has been selected as recipient of the 2017 SPIE Directors’ Award.SPIE Fellow Kenneth M. Hanson, a research scientist in the medical imaging field and an accomplished nature photographer, has been selected as recipient of the 2017 SPIE Directors’ Award.

The award recognizes Hanson’s substantial contributions to SPIE Medical Imaging and to outstanding advancements in medical image quality, restoration, and 3D reconstruction techniques.

Hanson, who has volunteered his skills as a photographer to chronicle the SPIE Medical Imaging symposium for more than 30 years, served as symposium chair from 2002 to 2004. He also served on the program committee for the Imaging Processing Conference from 1984 to 1995 and was the chair of that conference from 1996-2001.

Hanson has worked in various capacities at the US Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) since 1975, including more than 20 years in the Dynamic Testing Division where he codeveloped the Bayes Inference Engine, the principal analysis tool for quantitative interpretation of dynamic radiographs. His work at LANL included developing a methodology for quantifying the uncertainties in simulation-code predictions and on the first Advanced Strategic Computing Initiative (ASCI) validation milestone.

His research at LANL also included innovations with tomographic reconstruction from limited image data; inversion of the diffusion equation for optical tomography based on IR photons; new approaches to assess the uncertainties in simulation codes for the verification and validation of simulations; and other basic problems in image analysis.

Although he officially retired from LANL in 2016, he is still a guest scientist in the geophysics group there, working on a project aimed at improving ultrasound breast imaging.

Hanson is the author of 168 publications, including two book chapters and more than 100 papers in the fields of imaging science and tomographic reconstruction. He also used his expertise to help SPIE by developing LaTeX manuscript templates for the Society’s proceedings and journals and by teaching an SPIE course on how to write for publications in medical imaging.

“In addition to his substantial contributions to SPIE conferences and publications as a chair, editor, and author, the support Ken provided in developing the LaTeX templates were invaluable in helping SPIE make a successful transition from print publishing to the SPIE Digital Library,” said Eric Pepper, SPIE director of publications.

Hanson has received multiple awards including an Outstanding Achievement Award from SPIE in 2004, the US Department of Energy Award of Excellence in 1986, and the LANL Distinguished Performance Award in 1991.

He has a PhD and MS in physics from Harvard University (USA) and earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering physics at Cornell University (USA).

Hanson will receive the award 9 August at SPIE Optics + Photonics.


Members of the photonics community may nominate colleagues for a 2018 SPIE award to recognize their outstanding achievements. Nominations may be made through 24 June and are considered active for three years from the submission date.

Read more about SPIE awards.

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