Kaminow Outstanding Early Career Professional Prize

Recognizing early career professionals leadership & service.

Application Dates
01 Feb 2022 - 01 Mar 2022
Program Prize

Funding to attend Optica governance meetings and to one technical meeting of their choice.

Established in 2012, this prize honors Ivan Kaminow for his many contributions to the field of optics and photonics, as well as his dedication to mentoring and inspiring early career researchers.

Each year, one early career member is selected to acknowledge their volunteer efforts with both Optica and the community.  We seek emerging leaders who dedicate their time to activities, such as student chapters, youth outreach, community service, meetings and publication service.

Invited to attend an Optica Leadership meeting or Frontier in Optics (FIO), the recipients can network with 120+ leaders of Optica and learn more about the society’s strategic priorities. Additionally, the recipient receives funding to attend an Optica topical meeting focused on their research. This prize offers a unique combination of volunteerism through Optica engagement and the enhancement of professional skills.

Application Information

How to Apply

Applications will be available at

Important Dates

Opens 01 February 2022
Closes 01 March 2022

Applicant Requirements
  • Be a current early career professional member or recent graduate member
  • Active individual members may apply as long as they have achieved their highest degree in the last five to seven years
Application Requirements
  • Short answer questions
  • CV/resume
  • Two reference letters

Selection Committee

The winner is selected by past recipients and current ambassadors.

2021 Recipient

Brandon Buscaino
Brandon Buscaino
Infinera Corporation

"I plan to continue to give back to the optics community and support our next generation as a mentor."

Brandon Buscaino received a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 2020, where he developed novel techniques for electro-optic frequency comb generation and designed optical links for co-packaged data center communications. As president of the Stanford Optical Society, the student Optica chapter, he organized community conferences, led outreach presentations at FiO+LS, and served on the Optica Student Leadership Conference planning committee. In addition, he has participated in several Congressional Visits Days with Optica, advocating for optics and photonics funding in Congress. Currently, Brandon is a Coherent Optical Systems Architect at Infinera Corporation, focusing on next-generation commercialized digital coherent optical systems scaling up to and beyond 800 Gb/s per wavelength.

Past Recipients

  • Chaitanya Kumar Suddapalli, ICFO and Radiantis, Spain (2020)
  • Robert Woodward, Macquarie University, Australia (2019)
  • Amol Choudhary, University of Sydney, Australia (2018)
  • Adam J. Fleisher, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), USA (2017)
  • Rocio Borrego-Varillas, Politecnico di Milano, Italy (2016)
  • Alvaro Casas-Bedoya, University of Sydney, Australia (2015)
  • Antigone Marino, Italian National Research Council, Italy (2015)
  • Arlene Smith, University of Michigan, USA (2014)
  • Arti Agrawal, City University, London, United Kingdom (2013)
  • Giovanni Volpe, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey (2012)
  • Laura Waller, University of California-Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA (2012)


This fund is sponsored by the Kaminow family, Intel Corporation and personal donations from the community.

About the Endowment

Ivan P. Kaminow

Ivan was a pioneer who helped revolutionize the telecommunications industry. A Member for 48 years, Ivan received many awards over his career, including the Charles Hard Townes Award, John Tyndall Award and Frederic Ives Medal/Jarus W. Quinn Endowment. Ivan was respected among his peers and known for influencing and guiding future innovators in the field of optics and photonics. 

More information on Ivan’s accomplishments can be found here.