G. G. Stokes Award in Optical Polarization: Joseph Shaw

Joseph Shaw, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Montana State University, wins the 2019 G. G. Stokes Award in Optical Polarization
02 October 2019
Joseph Shaw. Credit: Kelly Gorham, MSU

SPIE Fellow Joseph Shaw, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Montana State University (MSU), and director of the Optical Technology Center at MSU, is a pioneer and leader in the quantitative understanding of polarization in nature. Shaw's work has led to important "firsts," such as the first observation of the effect of sky state on polarized emission, the first observation and explanation for the role of the earth in polarized observations in the sky, and the first observation of the effects of sub-visible clouds on the distribution of sky polarization.

These works have contributed to atmospheric science and remote sensing, as well as a range of applications where understanding the polarization state leads to more accurate results. Also an avid photographer, Shaw published the SPIE Press book, Optics in the Air: Observing Optical Phenomena through Airplane Windows, in 2017.

Shaw is the 2019 recipient of the SPIE G. G. Stokes Award in Optical Polarization in recognition of contributions made to the understanding of the distribution of optical polarization in the natural environment through the development of instruments, measurement methods, and analysis techniques.

"In addition to his impressive research contributions, what sets Joe apart is his exemplary behavior as a collaborator, mentor, and teacher in the optics and photonics community, says SPIE Senior Member Julia Craven of Sandia National Laboratories. "SPIE awards should call attention to and reward those who are not just outstanding researchers, but also exceptional members of the community. By being a welcoming collaborative conference organizer, and an approachable, caring mentor and professor, Joe Shaw is certainly well deserving of the Stokes Award," says Craven.

The SPIE G. G. Stokes Award in Optical Polarization is presented for exceptional contribution to the field of optical polarization. Shaw received the award at SPIE Optics + Photonics in August 2019.

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