2021 Optica Vice President Michal Lipson is the Eugene Higgins Professor at Columbia Universit, U.S.. She completed her B.S., MS and Ph.D. degrees in Physics at The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in 1998. Following a Postdoctoral position in MIT, U.S., in the Material Science department from 1998 to 2001, she joined the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell University, U.S., and was name the Given Foundation Professor of Engineering at the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2012. In 2015 she joined the electrical engineering department at Columbia University. Lipson is one of the pioneers of the field of silicon photonics.
Lipson pioneered critical building blocks in the field of Silicon Photonics, which today is recognized as one of the most promising directions for solving the major bottlenecks in microelectronics. In 2004 she showed the ability to tailor the electro-optic properties of silicon (Almeida, et al., Nature 2004 with more than 1300 citations and Xu et al Nature 2005 with more than 2000 citations) which represent critical advances that led to the explosion of silicon photonics research and development. The number of publications related to silicon photonic devices and systems is now more than 50,000 a year. A large fraction of these publications are based on Lipson’s original papers published since 2001. Today more than one thousand papers published yearly involve devices and circuits based on Lipson’s original modulators, as well as on other silicon photonics devices demonstrated by her group including slot waveguides (Almeida et al, Optics Letters 2004 with more than 1500 citations) and inverse tapers (Almeida et al, Optics Letters, 2003 with more than 80 citations). The growth of the field of silicon photonics has also been evident in industry with an increasing number of companies developing silicon photonics products (IBM and Intel, HP Aurrion, Melannox, Apic, Luxtera, etc).
Lipson’s work has been cited in top high-impact journals such as Nature, Nature Photonics, Nature Physics, IEEE Photonics Technology Letters, Nanoletters, Lab on a Chip, Physical Review Letters and IEEE Journal of Lightwave Technologies. Her papers (over 200 refereed journal publications) have been cited more than 32,000 times. Her h-index (an index that measures both the productivity and impact of the published work) of 90 is also indicative of the impact that her work has had on the scientific community.
Lipson has delivered hundreds of invited, keynote and plenary lectures in all the major conferences in optics and related fields. She has over 30 patents that have been issued and approximately half of them have been licensed to industry. In 2010 in recognition of her work in silicon photonics she was awarded the MacArthur Fellow. She was also awarded the Blavatnik award in 2010,
She received the R. W. Wood prize in 2016 and has been named by Thomson Reuters as a top 1% highly cited researcher in the field of Physics since 2014.