Robert S. Hilbert Memorial Student Travel Grant

Recognizing research excellence in optical engineering, lens design & illumination design.

Program Prize


Established in 2009 by Optical Research Associates (ORA), now the Optical Solutions Group at Synopsys, as a memorial to ORA’s former President and Chief Executive Officer Robert S. Hilbert, this program recognizes the research excellence of students in the areas of optical engineering, lens design and illumination design. Three grants of USD 1,100 can be awarded annually to allow students to travel to the Optical Design and Fabrication Congress and the Frontiers in Optics (FiO+LS) conference (2022) in years that the Design and Fabrication Congress does not take place.

Application Information

How to Apply

Submit a paper to FiO+LS and opt into the competition. Learn more on the conference website.

Important Dates

The submitting author must opt-in to the competition during the regular paper submission process and follow all of the instructions provided on the submission site.
Paper Submission Deadline: 07 July 2022

Applicant Requirements
  • Be the presenter of an accepted paper/poster at the meeting that includes research in the areas of optical engineering, lens design and/or illumination design. (Note: preference is given to oral presentations, but posters are eligible as well.) Applicants are encouraged to include graphics created using either CODE V® or LightTools®.
  • Be an undergraduate or graduate student of an educational institution of collegiate grade who is devoting more than half-time to studies within the institution at the time the paper was written.
  • Be a current member.
Application Requirements
  • Short Answer Questions
    • In 250 words or less, describe why you first became interested in optics/photonics/physics.
    • In 250 words or less, how does optics play a role in your current research?
    • In 250 words or less, identify the impact receiving this grant would have on your career.
  • CV/Resume
  • Personal Statement
  • Accepted Paper and Abstract
  • GPA Certification (Unofficial Transcript)
  • Two Reference Letters

2021 Selection Committee

The recipient is selected by the FiO+LS conference and program chairs.

Past Recipients

  • 2021- Due to Covid-19 the travel grant used to support 22 student registrations at the OSA Optical Design & Fabrication Congress. 
  • 2020 - Due to Covid-19 the travel grant was approved to cover costs for 31 student presenter FIO registration for the virtual meeting.
  • Philippe Guay, Université Laval, Canada (2019)
  • Shun Fujii, Keio University, Japan (2019)
  • Xinyang Su, Beijing Jiaotong University, China (2019)
  • Ayan Chattopadhyay, Princeton University, USA  (2018) 
  • Abhijit Roy, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, India  (2018) 
  • Ashutosh Singhal and Nisha Nisha, Bharati Vidyapeeth's College of Engineering, India  (2018) 
  • Rebecca Berman, University of Rochester, USA  (2017) 
  • Niamh Fitzgerald, National University of Ireland Galway, Ireland (2017)
  • Yang Zhao, University of Rochester, USA (2017)
  • Jin-hui Chen, Nanjing University, China  (2016)
  • Ahmed H. Dorrah, University of Toronto, Canada  (2016) 
  • Denise Valente dos Santos, University College Dublin, Ireland  (2016) 
  • Haoran Ren, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia  (2015)
  • Nithyanandan K., Pondicherry University, India (2015)
  • Peng Wang, University of Utah, US (2015)
  • Tamer Elazhary, University of Arizona, US (2014)
  • Aaron Bauer, University of Rochester, US (2014)
  • Stacey Sueoka, University of Arizona, US (2014)
  • Julie Kho, University of Auckland, New Zealand  (2013)
  • Doron Bar-Lev, Tel-Aviv University, Israel (2013)
  • Stephen J. Olivas, University of California, San Diego, US (2013)
  • Benjamin Alonso, Universidad de Salamanca, Spain (2012)
  • Matthew Barnum , University of Arizona, US (2012)
  • Anthony Visconti , University of Rochester, US (2012)
  • Sergio Carbajo, Colorado State University, US (2011)
  • Ying Geng, University of Rochester, US (2011)
  • Akondi Vyas, Indian Institute of Astrophysics, India (2011)
  • Amber Beckley, University of Rochester, US (2010)
  • Joshua Kim, University of Arizona, US (2010)
  • Garam Yun, University of Arizona, US (2010)


We thank the Optical Solutions Group at Synopsys for their sponsorship of this program.