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17 September 2019

The Optical Society (OSA) Elects Satoshi Kawata as 2020 Vice President

Kawata to serve as OSA president in 2022; two directors-at-large elected to OSA Board of Directors

WASHINGTON – The Optical Society (OSA) is pleased to announce that its members have elected Dr. Satoshi Kawata, professor emeritus of Osaka University and honorary scientist at RIKEN, both in Japan, as the society’s 2020 Vice President.

Two directors-at-large were also chosen during this year’s election: Dr. Polina Bayvel, University of London, U.K., and Dr. Gerd Leuchs, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Germany. The announcement was made today during OSA’s Annual Business Meeting at the 2019 Frontiers in Optics + Laser Science (FiO + LS) conference held 15-19 September in Washington, D.C., U.S.A.

By accepting the vice presidency, Kawata makes a four-year commitment to OSA’s Board of Directors. He will serve one year as vice president in 2020, followed by one year as president-elect in 2021, president in 2022 and past president in 2023.

Along with Kawata, the new directors-at-large, Bayvel and Leuchs, will begin their terms on 1 January 2020. They will hold their positions for three years.

“As a pioneer of near-field optics and the inventor of tip-enhanced near-field microscopy, Satoshi brings a wealth of knowledge in optical sciences,” said OSA Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Rogan. “Satoshi’s experience in both leading and participating in organization governance will be a pivotal asset to his role as the OSA Board Chair.”

Dr. Satoshi Kawata joined the Department of Applied Physics of Osaka University in 1981 where he currently serves as a professor emeritus. Kawata founded the Photonics Advanced Research Center (PARC) at Osaka University in 2007, where he was executive director until 2016. Kawata also led a research group on nanophotonics as a chief scientist in RIKEN from 2002 to 2015 and now serves as an honorary scientist. He founded two companies, one of which is a laser-scanning Raman microscope company, Nanophoton, established in 2002, where he has been the chairman.

Kawata has been an OSA member since 1980 and was elected an OSA Fellow in 2003. He served as the chair of the International Council (2009-2010) and on the OSA Board of Directors (2009-2010). He has served on a number of OSA committees and councils, and organized topical meetings for OSA. He has been the advisor for the OSA Student Chapter of Osaka University, the first OSA student chapter in Japan.

Kawata was the president of the Japan Society of Applied Physics (2014-2015), president of the Spectroscopical Society of Japan (2007-2008), general chair of Nanoscience and Engineering of SPIE (2012-13), editor of Optics Communications (2000-2009), and the regional representative of the Journal of Microscopy (1988-2014). He chaired and organized a number of international conferences, including Near Field Optics (1998), Focus on Microscopy (2000, 2008) and UV Nanophotonics (2013).

Dr. Polina Bayvel is professor of Optical Communications and Networks in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University College London (UCL), a position she has held since 2002. Bayvel is the head of the Optical Networks Group (ONG), which she founded in 1994. The ONG is now an internationally leading group in optical communication systems and networks research, recognized for its seminal work on optical network architectures and the study of capacity limits in nonlinear optical networks. She has developed many active international collaborations with leading academic centers and industry – more than 60 collaborations in more than 25 countries around the world. Bayvel was elected an OSA Fellow in 2008.

Dr. Gerd Leuchs is director emeritus at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Erlangen, Germany and an adjunct professor within the physics department of the University of Ottawa, Canada.  After 15 years in academic research at the University of Cologne, University of Munich and at JILA, Boulder, Colorado, he worked at a Swiss optics company for five years before becoming full professor at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg. His scientific work includes quantum beats, photo-electron angular distributions in multi-photon ionization, quantum noise reduced and entangled light beams and solitons in optical fibers, quantum communication protocols, focusing light beams and nanophotonics. Leuchs was elected an OSA Fellow in 2004 and received the Herbert Walther Award in 2018.

About FiO + LS

Frontiers in Optics is The Optical Society’s (OSA) Annual Meeting and held together 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, cutting-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 leading optics companies, technology products and programs.

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About The Optical Society

The Optical Society (OSA) is dedicated to promoting the generation, application, archiving, and dissemination of knowledge in optics and photonics worldwide. Founded in 1916, it is the leading organization for scientists, engineers, business professionals, students, and others interested in the science of light. OSA’s renowned publications, meetings, online resources, and in-person activities fuel discoveries, shape real-life applications and accelerate scientific, technical, and educational achievement.

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