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21 March 2019

The Optical Society Names 2019 Kevin P. Thompson Optical Design Innovator Award Recipient


21 March 2019

The Optical Society Names 2019 Kevin P. Thompson Optical Design Innovator Award Recipient

Kyle Henry Fuerschbach is recognized for groundbreaking telescope design and manufacture

WASHINGTON—The Optical Society (OSA) is pleased to name Kyle Henry Fuerschbach, Sandia National Laboratories, U.S.A., as the 2019 recipient of the Kevin P. Thompson Optical Design Innovator Award. Fuerschbach is recognized for groundbreaking work utilizing nodal aberration theory to design, manufacture and test a fully functional first-ever free form imaging telescope in a fully rotational nonsymmetric configuration, demonstrating revolutionary free form surfaces in optical imaging systems.


“Kyle Fuerschbach, at an early stage of his career, has had a remarkable influence on the design and fabrication of complex optical systems,” said 2019 OSA President Ursula Gibson. “His innovative approach and achievements are truly worthy of the Thompson Optical Design Award.”

  Fuerschbach attended the University of Arizona, U.S.A., from 2004-2008 and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Optical Sciences and Engineering. He began his doctoral studies at The Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester, U.S.A., in 2008, and received his Ph.D. in 2014. Since graduating, he has worked at Sandia National Laboratories, U.S.A., in the optics and sensors engineering group as a senior member of the technical staff.

His interests lie in the design, fabrication and assembly of complex optical systems. For his doctoral dissertation, Fuerschbach focused on freeform surfaces for their use in optical system design and investigated the ability to fabricate and measure this new type of surface. At Sandia, he is focused on the realization of optical payloads for remote sensing applications with an emphasis on developing novel systems that are compact and able to be manufactured.

Established in 2017, the Kevin P. Thompson Optical Design Innovator Award recognizes significant contributions, at an early career stage, to lens design, optical engineering or metrology as evidenced by one or more of the following: innovative and rigorous research, optical system design with a foundation in aberration theory, development of advanced metrology capabilities, product development and patents or publications. The award honors Kevin Thompson, whose many other accomplishments include leading breakthroughs in the understanding of the aberration fields of a new class of truly non-symmetric optical systems using freeform optical surfaces.

About The Optical Society
Founded in 1916, The Optical Society (OSA) is the leading professional organization for scientists, engineers, students and entrepreneurs 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

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