Paul F. Forman Team Engineering Excellence Award

Recognizes team technical achievements in optical engineering such as product engineering, process, software and patent development, as well as contributions to society such as engineering education, publication and management, and furthering public appreciation of optical engineering.

The award was established in 1989 and in 2007 was named in honor of Paul F. Forman, who, among many other accomplishments, raised the visibility of optical engineering. It is endowed by Zygo Corporation, Canon Inc, Optical Research Associates (now the Optical Solutions Group at Synopsys), Cambridge Research & Instrumentation, Inc, and individual contributors, Barbara Marks-Forman, Gary and Carolyn Bjorklund and G. Michael Morris.

Nominator’s Guide

History and Funding

Selection Committee


  Year       Team or Name(s)

Infinera's Optical Innovation Team
For the design, development and commercial deployment of a vertically optimized 1.6Tb/s (2x800G) digital coherent optics module, comprised of a large scale photonic integrated circuit, advanced high-speed RF packaging and pioneering real-time DSP ASIC.


2-Photon Optical Clock Collaboration
For the development of an optical atomic clock architecture that leverages microfabricated photonic components, leading to a vast reduction in size, weight, and power for next generation applications in timing, navigation, and communication.


Headwall Photonics, Inc., Special Projects Team
For the successful development of a compact, rugged, and lightweight imaging spectrometer, optimized for cost-effective airborne retrieval of chlorophyll fluorescence emission signatures monitoring plant health in near-real-time at simultaneously high spectral and spatial resolutions.


Adaptive Optics Facility on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) at European Southern Observatory’s Paranal Observatory
For equipping one of the 8-m Unit Telescopes at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile with an Adaptive Optics Laser Guide Star Facility, providing exquisite images to the unique 3-D spectrograph MUSE and near-infrared imager HAWK-I.


Guide Star Alliance
For the development of the first high-power, fully remote-controlled, turn-key sodium guide star laser system with optimized photon return enabling next-generation adaptive optics under the extreme conditions of telescope sites.


Advanced LIGO Engineering Team
For innovative engineering creating the most sensitive measurement instrument ever built, leading to the first direct detection of gravitational waves.


Logic Analysis Tool Team (LAT Team)
For pioneering work on ultrashort laser pulses and solid state lasers, and for the invention of the hollow-fiber compressor, leading to advances in extreme nonlinear optics and attosecond science. 


Intel® Silicon Photonics Solutions Group
For 12+ years of innovation in the research and development of a revolutionary 4 x 25G silicon photonics, fully integrated, optical tranceiver that is designed to help change the way data centers are architected.


ZygoLOT Automotive Precision Optical Team
For over a decade of outstanding engineering work in developing custom optical metrology solutions for the automotive industry, enabling ever-higher precision engineering tolerances for improved emissions, reliability and fuel efficiency.


Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) Lidar Team
For the team’s 25-year history of making significant advances in atmospheric lidar technology to make it more cost effective, eye safe, reliable, and capable of producing real-time data products.


Tomasz S. Tkaczyk
For robust cost-effective optical imaging platform technologies that instantaneously provide multi-dimensional biological data.


Alan E. Willner
For technical advances in optical fiber communications technologies that have enabled major improvements in the performance and reliability of wavelength-division-multiplexed systems, and broadly based excellence in education in optical fiber telecommunications.


Stephen A. Boppart
For dedication and advancement in engineering education by fostering undergraduate laboratory research activities, skills, and programs.


Michael J. Bechtold
For work revolutionizing the process of optical fabrication by producing the first affordable CNC machine designed for the optical industry.


Ming C. Wu
For seminal contributions in the fields of optical micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and ultrafast semiconductor lasers.


Jean-Claude Diels
For contributions to high-precision measurements (inertial, nonlinear index, and subpicometer displacements) by new phase interferometry using phase-to-frequency conversion inside a mode-locked laser cavity reaching sensitivities of less than 10-7 rad.


René-Jean Essiambre
For discoveries and seminal contributions to the field of nonlinear propagation in fibers and the development of dispersion maps used in commercially deployed lightwave communication systems.

Michael G. Littman
For the development of the grazing-incidence tunable laser and subsequent improvements, including a geometrical scanning mechanism that allows for continuous single-mode tuning with one moving element.


Shun-Lien Chuang
S. Chandrasekhar
For development of fundamental theories for strained quantum-well lasers and physics of optoelectronic devices.


L. Ramdas Ram-Mohan
For the development of advanced algorithms to optimize design methods for mid-IR quantum well lasers, for advancing the paradigm of wavefunction engineering, and for mentoring students in optoelectronics.

Paul R. Dumas
For significant contributions to the development, automation, and commercialization of Magnetorheological Finishing (MRF).

Mark E. Lowry
For leadership in the development of innovative photonic instrumentation and in the development of revolutionary network architectures including the use of tunable DWDM techniques in optical metro networking systems.

Alan H. Gnauck
For numerous achievements in the development of high-speed, ultra-high-capacity lightwave systems including the first Terabit/s system demonstration.


Tim Day
For contributions to the development and commercialization of external cavity tunable diode lasers for telecommunications, spectroscopy, metrology and biotechnology.

Christopher R. Doerr
For the design and implementation of both InP and silica waveguide photonic integrated circuits including multi-frequency lasers and receivers, reconfigurable wavelength add-drop filters, dynamic gain equalization filters, and wavelength-selective crossconnects.

David W. Peckham
For waveguide design and process development leading to commercialization of optical fibers for managing dispersion and non-linearities that enable practical high-speed and wideband DWDM in terrestrial and submarine networks.


Henry A. Blauvelt
For outstanding, innovative contributions in the development of linear technology for fiber optic transmission systems with major impact on the implementation of high performance broadband communication, specifically for cable television distribution.

Michael A. Klug
For contributions to the field of holographic stereography.  Mr. Klug developed and built instrumentation for printing full color, full parallax display holograms of unlimited size and has directed further improvements in low volume mastering and mass production techniques to create commercial holograms at a reasonable cost.  His work has contributed to the convergence of at and computing to make holography a realistic medium for advertising and display.

David G. Mehuys
For the development and commercialization of fiber-optic and semiconductor laser subsystems, including the first commercially available Raman-enhanced EDFAs and the first extremely high-power Raman sources incorporating double-clad fiber technology.

Dale E. Morton
For the development and commercialization of fiber-optic and semiconductor laser subsystems, including the first commercially available Raman-enhanced EDFAs and the first extremely high-power Raman sources incorporating double-clad fiber technology.


Joseph W. Anello, Jr.
For being an exemplary engineer who serves as a strong community advocate for engineering education, working with schools and businesses to increase student awareness in the profession, its importance, and the skills needed to succeed.

Arne Erstling
For creating from inception in just eighteen months an engineering department encompassing research and development, process, and manufacturing efforts that resulted in a groundbreaking telecommunications technology for the active/passive optical components industry.

Andrew C. Tam
For inventing, developing and implementing novel laser processes for the manufacturing of modern disk-drive components, particularly laser zone texturing for disks and laser curvature adjust for magnetic head sliders.

Robert L. Hartman
Leonard J.P. Ketelsen
Judith A. Grenko
Won-Tien Tsang
For the development of high-performance integrated multiple-quantum-well electro-absorption modulated distributed-feedback lasers, and associated epitaxial growth, fabrication, and characterization methodologies for high reproducible manufacture.


Denis Barbier
For leadership in the research and fabrication of erbium-doped waveguide amplifiers and loss-less integrated waveguide structures. 

Valentin Gapontsev
For his work in creating new optical fiber laser and amplifier products, his many engineering publications in the field of optical fibers, and his engineering management achievements evidenced by the founding of the IRE Polus Group.

Igor Koltchanov
Olaf Lenzmann
For their development of the PTDS multi-domain simulation environment and the first commercial simulation platform to support heterogeneous signal approximations used to assess optical components, systems and networks.

Herman Reedy
For his contributions to the continuous improvement of the materials processes, and product performance of the II-VI Incorporated infrared/carbon dioxide laser optics products and his technical achievement in the field of high power kW class CO2 laser optics.


Lee R. Shiozawa
For 45 years of research improving electro-optics and nonlinear optical crystals for applications from the UV to Far-IR. Scaling KDP/KD*P from subkilogram to 650-kg crystals for laser fusion use and developing AgGaS2 /AgGaSe2 for tunable IR applications epitomize his achievements.

Kenneth L. Walker
For invention and leadership in the development of broadband optical fiber technology and for advancing the fields of optical amplifiers, fiber grating and fiber devices.


Donald M. Combs
John J. Mader
Jeffrey W. Roblee
Edward A. Yobaccio
For the creation, development and continuous improvement of three ultra-precision machines that have made possible the manufacture of millions of Polaroid cameras that utilize aspherical and non-rotational aspherical elements.

Paul R. Yoder, Jr.
For his definitive, highly regarded reference books on opto-mechanical design, as well as his numerous journal articles and many short courses on optical engineering topics.


Gary Blough
For outstanding technical achievements in the design and fabrication of high-performance diffractive master elements and replicas operating in the visible spectral range for commercial products, industrial applications, and government systems.

Teddi C. Laurin
Who, as publisher of Photonics Spectra, Biophotonics International, and The Photonics Directory, has fostered broader recognition of optical engineering's achievements and greater awareness of the technology's potential new applications.


Francisco J. Duarte
For the invention of an electro-optic coherent interferometer for direct applications to imaging diagnostics of transparent surfaces, such as photographic film and film substrates.

John D. Gonglewski
For exceptionally creative optical engineering that produced the first high resolution images of satellites passing over optical space surveillance sites during the daytime, extending optical space surveillance coverage from 4 to 15 hours a day. 

Gary Guenther
For his significant contributions to the field of airborne lidar bathymetry and, in particular, development of the depth extraction algorithm.

Melvyn H. Kreitzer
For contributions to the design of numerous photographic lenses and projection displays and for advancing the state of the art in these fields.

Frank Luecke
For achieving elegance in products that exemplify sound integration of mechanical, optical, and electronic elements. 

David G. Voelz
For the development of the first optical synthetic aperture space object imaging system. His outstanding optical engineering resulted in the first high resolution laser images of space objects collected from a ground observing site.


Peter P. Clark
For the optical design and engineering of the Polaroid Microcam® photomicrography reflex camera.

Dale E. Crane
For excellence in the design, engineering, and successful commercial production of helium-neon and argon ion gas lasers, and for outstanding leadership in promulgating quality standards in the laser industry.

Jay M. Eastman
For outstanding and unusually broad contributions to the field of optical engineering and for meritorious service to the Optical Society of America.

John Michael Guerra
For the invention and development of the photon tunneling microscope.

Jon Van Tassell
For optical design and engineering of the Polaroid Captiva® camera.


John H. Adams
For his contributions to the conversion of Germanium from an electronics material to a high-quality infrared optical material.

Lacy Gordon Cook
For his contributions to the optical design of reflective, wide-field viewing systems and holographic heads-up and helmet-mounted displays.

Gaétan Duplain
For his contributions to the development of high-quality graded-reflective coatings for use with high-power lasers.

Yury Pavlovich Khimich
Sergey Vladimirovich Lubarsky
Franklin R. Nash
For their contributions to the development of light-weight beryllium mirrors for space applications and high-power laser applications.

Padman Parayanthal
For their contributions to the development of highly reliable, stable, single-frequency lasers for undersea communication systems.

David A. Roberts
For his contributions to the development of optical devices utilizing nonlinear optical crystals.


Bertrand H. Johnson
For his contributions to manufacturability and packaging through the application of optical technology.

Louis A. Koszi
For his development, demonstration, and utilization of practical semiconductor laser processing methodologies in light wave communication technologies.

Anthony R. Phillips, Jr.
For the excellence of his contributions to optical design for microlithography.


Leroy D. Dickson
For the pioneering development of the IBM 3687 Supermarket Scanner, introduced 10 years ago.

J. Tendra S. Goela
Michael A. Pickering
Raymond L. Taylor
For their contributions to the development of chemical vapor deposited polycrystalline SiC and Si and their applications in large lightweight Si/SiC mirrors.

Un-Chul Paek
For his contributions to high speed fiber coating resulting in increased productivity in fiber drawing and for analytical work dealing with model propagation in fiber waveguides for optical communication, which resulted in novel fiber design.


Lawrence Lin
For the development of a holographic patterned wafer defect detection system.

Eric Rawson
For the invention and construction of improved star couplers.


Stanley W. Haskell
For contributions to the development of aspheric optical designs, non-rotationally symmetric optical surfaces, and aspheric surface manufacturing technologies.

Robert A. Jones
For his pioneering work in the development of computer controlled optical surfacing for the manufacture of large, high quality, highly aspheric, symmetric and asymmetric mirror surfaces. 

David Smithgall
For his innovative contributions to the design and development of optical instrumentation used control the optical fiber drawing process.

Gary Starkweather
For numerous inventions in the field of laser scanning and printing that led to the commercial development of the laser printer.

Laurence S. Watkins
For his engineering management and contributions directed to the development of photonic products in production, measurement, and packaging.