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06 March 2020

The Optical Society Names 2020 Kevin P. Thompson Optical Design Innovator Award Recipient

Researcher recognized for innovative approach to freeform optics

WASHINGTON—The Optical Society (OSA) is pleased to name Aaron Bauer, University of Rochester, USA, as the 2020 recipient of the Kevin P. Thompson Optical Design Innovator Award. Bauer is recognized for theoretical, creative and innovative design methods for freeform optics.

“Aaron Bauer exemplifies the intent of this award to honor early career professionals who are true innovators,” said 2020 OSA President Stephen D. Fantone, founder and president of Optikos Corporation. “His freeform optical design methods establish a high bar for others dedicated to advancing this area of research and application.”

Aaron Bauer received a B.S. degree in Physics from University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, USA and a Ph.D. in Optics from The Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester, USA. He has since joined the Institute of Optics full-time as a research engineer investigating the latest optical design topics and mentoring graduate students.

His research interests stem from his doctoral work where he focused on applying freeform surfaces to optical designs in a practical and efficient manner. His current work includes utilizing freeform surfaces to improve the performance and packaging of optical systems and metasurfaces to enable both form and function. Bauer is also involved in more conventional optical system design for a variety of applications.

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

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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