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19 September 2017

The Optical Society Elects Stephen D. Fantone as 2018 Vice President

19 September 2017

The Optical Society Elects Stephen D. Fantone as 2018 Vice President

Fantone to serve as OSA president in 2020; three directors-at-large elected to OSA Board of Directors

WASHINGTON —The Optical Society (OSA) is pleased to announce that its members have elected Stephen D. Fantone, president and founder of Optikos Corporation, United States, as its 2018 vice president. Three directors-at-large were also chosen during this year's election: Roel Baets, Ghent University, Belgium; Gisele Bennett, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA; and Ekaterina Golovchenko, IPG Photonics, USA.  The announcement was made today during The Optical Society’s Annual Business Meeting at the 2017 Frontiers in Optics + Laser Science (FIO + LS) conference in Washington, DC, USA. 

By accepting the vice presidency, Fantone makes a four-year commitment to OSA's Board of Directors. He will serve one year as vice president in 2018, followed by one year as president-elect in 2019, president in 2020 and past-president in 2021.

Along with Fantone, the new directors at large, Baets, Bennett, and Golovchenko, will begin their terms on 1 January 2018. They will hold their positions for three years.

“Steve has served on the OSA Board for over twenty years. This longevity of leadership and dedication to our members will only enhance what Steve brings to his position as president,” said Elizabeth Rogan, CEO of The Optical Society. “Combined with his leadership in the optics industry and research, Steve’s years-long involvement with OSA will undoubtedly provide a value to our members and an asset to the Board.”

Dr. Stephen Fantone has served on the Board of the OSA Foundation since 2004, and has chaired OSA’s Strategic Planning Committee since 2015. In his role as OSA Treasurer, Fantone served on the OSA Board for nearly two decades. Recently, he served as the Vice-Chair of the 2016 Centennial Advisory Panel.  As OSA Treasurer, he chaired the Finance, Audit and Investment Committees, and during his tenure, OSA increased its financial reserves over 15-fold.

His OSA experience also includes serving as lens design topical editor for Applied Optics; and his engagement with meetings and conferences includes leadership roles with Optical Fabrication and Testing Workshops, the OSA Engineering Council, the first LEAP program at CLEO, and the Optical Fabrication and Testing Technical Group. He served as President and Program Chair of his local OSA section and his company, Optikos, hosts a local section meeting annually. In 2007, Dr. Fantone received OSA’s Distinguished Service Award. In October of 2013, The Optical Society renamed that award the Stephen D. Fantone Distinguished Service Award to recognize Dr. Fantone’s commitment to the organization.

Fantone added, “I joined OSA in 1973, and was delighted to find an intellectually powerful group of committed individuals, who treated me as a peer. By the time I presented my first paper at an OSA meeting, I knew I had found an intellectual home, one that I continue to passionately support and serve to this day. One hundred years ago, the idea of an optical society was a pioneering one. OSA continues to fulfill its role as a visionary force in optics and photonics for its members and the world at large. In the years ahead, OSA will continue to adapt to our fast-changing world and to the phenomenal growth the organization continues to experience—from 6,050 members when I first joined in 1973 to a stunning 20,000-plus worldwide today.”

Stephen D. Fantone received his S.B. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his Ph.D. from The Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester and was awarded a Hertz Fellowship. His Ph.D. work was under the supervision of Prof. Duncan T. Moore. While completing his Ph.D., Dr. Fantone joined Polaroid Corporation, where he worked on the development of Polaroid products and related technology, both as an employee and later through services provided by his company, Optikos. He has been a Senior Lecturer in the MIT Mechanical Engineering Department since 1995 and has been awarded over 65 US Patents.

Established in 1982, Optikos is an engineering and instrumentation firm that uses optics as an enabling technology for clients who are developing medical devices and diagnostics, virtual reality and consumer products, aerospace and defense systems, and automotive sensing and imaging applications. Their metrology products are found in laboratories and production facilities around the world.

“We are so pleased to welcome Steve, Roel, Gisele and Ekaterina to the OSA Board,” said Rogan. “They join us with extensive industry and practical applications-based research expertise that will resonate with our members.”

Roel Baets is a full professor at Ghent University (UGent) in Belgium. He holds academic and managerial responsibilities within the Photonics Research Group of UGent, the Center for Nano- and Biophotonics (NB Photonics) of UGent and the joint UGent-imec research program on silicon photonics.

Baets received an MSc degree in Electrical Engineering from Ghent University in 1980 and a second MSc degree from Stanford University in 1981, with a focus on biomedical engineering. He returned to Ghent University for doctoral research focused on semiconductor lasers, which he completed in 1984. From 1984 till 1989 he held a postdoctoral position at imec. Since 1989, he has been a professor in the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture at UGent where he founded the Photonics Research Group. The activities of this team have led to high impact research achievements and to four spin-off companies. In recent years, Baets’ research has mainly focused on nonlinear optics, spectroscopic sensing, and biomedical devices based on silicon or silicon nitride photonic integrated circuit platforms. From 1990 till 1994, he has also been a part-time professor at Delft University of Technology and from 2004 to 2008 at Eindhoven University of Technology. Baets is a Fellow of the The Optical Society (OSA), the European Optical Society (EOS) and IEEE. He is also a member of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts (KVAB).

Gisele Bennett is a Regents’ Researcher, an Associate Vice President for Research for Faculty Integration, and a Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech).  She is the Glenn Robinson Chair in Electro-Optics at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI).  Prior to that, she was the Director of the Electro-Optical Systems Laboratory (EOSL) at GTRI.  As the former director of EOSL, she led a group of over 120 engineers, scientists, and students in a diverse applied research environment with sponsored funding reaching $50M per year in some years.  The diverse research portfolio included areas in EO modeling and Analysis, Remote Sensing, LIDAR, EO systems design, and software development for sensor integration and analysis.

Her research interests are broad and include coherence theory applications to optical imaging systems, atmospheric turbulence, wave propagation, RFID, and related tagging technologies. She holds patents on RFID and Container Security devices and a copyright on a computer model for Wave Propagation through the atmosphere.  She has a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and a certificate in Management of Technology from Georgia Tech.

Ekaterina Golovchenko is currently vice president, Telecom Systems at IPG Photonics, where she leads new market development and coherent optical transport platform design. Having graduated from the Physics Department of Moscow State University, Golovchenko started her career at the Academy of Sciences of Russia, and in 1991 received her Ph.D. During this time, her passion was in nonlinear fiber optics, solitons, and femtosecond phenomena contributing to discovery of slowing down and delaying of optical solitons through higher order effects in femtosecond domain, and depicting a thorough picture of interplay between parametric and Raman effects in fiber.  

An internationally recognized leader and innovator, Golovchenko has co-authored more than 100 technical publications, several book chapters, and holds more than a dozen patents in the field of fiber optics communications. She was awarded the TE Connectivity Innovation Award for 100Gb/s coherent transceiver in 2013 and the Thomas Alva Edison Patent award from R&D Council of New Jersey for “Optical Transmission Systems Including Repeated and Unrepeated Segments” in 2016.

About The Optical Society
Founded in 1916, The Optical Society (OSA) is the leading professional organization for scientists, engineers, students and business leaders who fuel discoveries, shape real-life applications and accelerate achievements in the science of light. Through world-renowned publications, meetings and membership initiatives, OSA provides quality research, inspired interactions and dedicated resources for its extensive global network of optics and photonics experts. For more information, visit

About FiO + LS
Frontiers in Optics is The Optical Society’s (OSA) Annual Meeting, which is held with Laser Science, a meeting sponsored by the American Physical Society’s Division of Laser Science (DLS). The two meetings unite the OSA and APS communities for five days of quality, leading-edge presentations, in-demand invited speakers and a variety of special events spanning a broad range of topics in optics and photonics—the science of light—across the disciplines of physics, biology and chemistry. The exhibit floor will feature prominent optics companies, technology products and programs. More information at:

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