SPIE Scholarships

SPIE announces scholarships for the 2017-18 academic year.

01 July 2017

SPIE has awarded US $298,000 in optics and photonics education scholarships for 2017 to 88 outstanding SPIE student members, based on their potential contribution to optics and photonics, or a related discipline.

Through 2016, SPIE has distributed over $5 million in individual scholarships. The awards reflect the Society’s commitment to education and to the next generation of optical scientists and engineers around the world. Individual awards range from $2,500 to $11,000.

SPIE Scholarship Committee chair and SPIE Senior Member Jeremy Bos of Michigan Technological University (USA) offered his thanks to all students who applied and congratulated the 2017 recipients.

“Every year, we take on the process of selecting awardees from an incredible group of smart, energetic, talented students,” Bos said. “I want to thank the applicants, those who wrote helpful recommendations, and the members of the scholarship committee. I look forward to following the winners and all of our applicants as they contribute to the Society and to our field.”

SPIE scholarships are open to full- and part-time SPIE student members studying anywhere in the world. All scholarship applications are judged on merit and the experience and education level of the individual student. High school (pre-university/secondary school) and first- and second-year post-secondary, undergraduate, and graduate students are encouraged to apply and will be judged relative to other applicants with similar educational backgrounds.

Find more information on SPIE’s scholarship program, a complete list of 2017 scholarship winners, and the criteria used by the SPIE Scholarship Committee in selecting recipients.

The awards for the 2017-2018 academic year include six named SPIE scholarships.


The SPIE D.J. Lovell Scholarship was awarded to Logan Wright, Cornell University (United States). Logan Wright, a PhD student in applied physics at Cornell University (USA), was awarded the $11,000 D.J. Lovell Scholarship for 2017. His research area is nonlinear wave propagation in multimode optical fibers. The scholarship is named for the radiometry and infrared optics consultant, author of Optical Anecdotes, and SPIE Fellow who died in 1984.


Travis Sawyer, University of Cambridge (United Kingdom), was awarded the John Kiel ScholarshipTravis Sawyer, a recent graduate of University of Cambridge (UK), was awarded the $10,000 John Kiel Scholarship. He will begin a PhD in optical sciences at the University of Arizona (USA) in the fall, conducting research into developing a multimodal imaging system for tissue analysis. The John Kiel Scholarship honors SPIE founding member John Kiel, who died in 2014. The scholarship is awarded for a student’s potential for long-term contributions in the field of optics and optical engineering.

The Laser Technology, Engineering and Applications Scholarship was awarded to Matthias BanetLASER TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING AND APPLICATIONS SCHOLARSHIP

Matthias Banet of the Air Force Institute of Technology (USA) is the recipient of the 2017 SPIE Laser Technology, Engineering and Applications Scholarship, which includes a $5,000 award. He will be starting a PhD in optics in the fall. Banet recently developed the necessary wave-optics simulations to accurately predict the performance of digital holography wavefront sensing in the presence of distributed-volume atmospheric aberrations. He also has expanded his developments to include the deleterious effects of detection noise. The scholarship is awarded in recognition of a student’s scholarly achievement in laser technology, engineering, or applications.


Brandon Born, University of British Columbia (Canada), is the recipient of the Teddi Laurin ScholarshipBrandon Born, a PhD student in optical design and engineering at the University of British Columbia (Canada), was awarded the Teddi Laurin Scholarship for 2017. He has conducted research in the field of ultra-fast optical switching through his investigation of photonic nanojets. Photonics Media partners with SPIE to fund the $5,000 scholarship to raise awareness of optics and photonics and to foster growth and success in the photonics industry by supporting students involved in photonics. The scholarship is in memory of Laurin Publishing and Photonics Media founder Teddi Laurin.


The Optical Design and Engineering Scholarship was awarded to Meg Tidd, The University of Arizona (United States). Meg Tidd, a master’s student in optical design and engineering at the University of Arizona (USA), was awarded the SPIE Optical Design and Engineering Scholarship for 2017. The scholarship was established in memory of Bill Price and Warren Smith, both well-respected members of SPIE’s technical community. Growth in her career as an optical engineer has led Tidd to pursue a graduate program in optical design, with hopes of building on her practical experience to learn new perspectives and develop new design approaches. The scholarship is awarded to a full-time student in the field of optical design and engineering.


Jiaojiao Ou, University of Texas at Austin (United States), was awarded the BACUS Scholarship. Jiaojiao Ou, a PhD student in micro/nanolithography and fabrication at the University of Texas at Austin (USA), is the recipient of the 2017 SPIE BACUS Scholarship. The $5,000 scholarship is awarded to a full-time student in the field of microlithography with an emphasis on optical tooling and/or semiconductor manufacturing technologies. Ou’s research has focused on mask synthesis and layout optimization for directed-self-assembly and emerging lithography. The scholarship is sponsored by BACUS, the international photomask technical group of SPIE.


Jonathan Papa, photoSPIE member Jonathan Papa of the University of Rochester (USA) has been awarded the 2017 Michael Kidger Memorial Scholarship in Optical Design.

The $5,000 award will be presented to Papa by Andy Wood, chair of the Kidger Scholarship Award Committee, during the International Optical Design Conference in July.

The scholarship is supported by the Michael Kidger Memorial Scholarship Fund in memory of Michael John Kidger, a well-respected educator, design software developer, and member of the optical science and engineering community.

photo of Charlotte GutheryCharlotte Guthery, a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology, is the 2017-2018 recipient of the $20,000 SPIE Graduate Student Endowed Scholarship in Optical Sciences, part of the Friends of Tucson Optics (FoTO) Scholarship Program at the University of Arizona.

The College of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona awards the FoTO Graduate Student Scholarships competitively to promising incoming PhD applicants, providing base stipend and tuition for the first academic year. In addition to demonstrating academic excellence in optical sciences, recipients display commitment to scholarship, involvement in extracurricular activities, and interests beyond science and technology. Guthery's research interests are in optical engineering and astronomy.

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