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International Optical Design Conference

27 June 2021 – 01 July 2021 OSA Virtual Event - Eastern Daylight Time (UTC - 04:00)

IODC covers a wide range of applications and developments throughout the industry, and the conference is co-located with three other timely topical meetings: Flat Optics: Components to Systems, Optical Fabrication and Testing, and Freeform Optics.

During the past few years, many areas of optical design have seen rapid development driven by a combination of increased demands on system performance, significant advances in both computing power and design software, and by new manufacturing technologies that offer entirely new engineering options.

With such an increase of activity occurring throughout the optics industry, it becomes imperative for designers, engineers, and scientists to keep up to date with the latest state of the art.

Design problems for lens design and illumination design have been presented in advance of the meeting so that contributed solutions can be compiled and presented at IODC. Details of the IODC 2021 Design Challenge can be found on


1. Design Theory and Geometrical Optics

2. New Technologies      

  • Freeform Surfaces, Meta-surfaces, Diffractives, GRIN

3. Imaging Systems Design Methods

  • Synthesis: Systematics, AI, Deep Learning
  • Performance Analysis and Measurement
  • Optimization and Tolerancing

4. Design for Manufacture​

  • International Standards
  • Stray Light Analysis and Control

5. Imaging System Design Examples​

  • Visual Systems
  • Medical and Biological
  • Space and Astronomy
  • Microscopy and Lithography

6. Illumination Systems Design Methods​

  • Simulation and Modeling of Illumination Systems
  • Tolerancing in Illumination
  • Novel Light Sources and LED Optics

7. Illumination System Design Examples

  • Applications of Freeform Illumination Optics
  • Illumination Systems for Displays and Projection
  • Non-imaging Optics and Concentrated Photovoltaics
  • Illumination for Microscopy, Lithography, Endoscopy

8. History of Optical Design



  • Peter Clark, Retired, United StatesChair
  • Richard Pfisterer, Photon Engineering LLC, United StatesChair
  • Henning Rehn, FISBA, SwitzerlandChair
  • Simon Thibault, Université Laval, CanadaChair
  • Dave Aikens, Savvy Optics Corp, United States
  • Miguel Alonso, Aix-Marseille Université, France
  • Aaron Bauer, University of Rochester, United States
  • Julie Bentley, University of Rochester, United States
  • Peter Brick, OSRAM Opto Semiconductors GmbH, Germany
  • Thomas Brown, University of Rochester, United States
  • Scott Cahall, Moondog Optics, Inc., United States
  • William Cassarly, Synopsys, Inc, United States
  • Josh Cobb, Corning Tropel Corporation, United States
  • Jasmin Cote, Side by Side Optics, Canada
  • Christopher Dainty, FotoNation, Ireland
  • J. Rufino Diaz-Uribe, Univ Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico
  • Kai Engelhardt, OPTI-KEN/ams, Germany
  • Alexander Epple, Carl Zeiss AG, Germany
  • Stephen Fantone, Optikos Corporation, United States
  • Gregory Forbes, Scisense Consulting Pty Ltd, Australia
  • Florian Fournier, Synopsys, Inc, United States
  • Edward Freniere, Lambda Research Corporation, United States
  • Kyle Fuerschbach, Sandia National Laboratories Albuquerque, United States
  • Groot Gregory, Synopsys, Inc, United States
  • John Greivenkamp, University of Arizona, United States
  • Herbert Gross, University of Jena, Germany
  • Anurag Gupta, Google LLC, United States
  • Michael Hayford, , United States
  • Lakshminarayan Hazra, University of Calcutta, India
  • Alois Herkommer, TTI GmbH University Stuttgart, Germany
  • Eric Herman, Zygo Corporation, United States
  • Joseph Howard, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, United States
  • Boyd Hunter, Corning Inc, United States
  • Richard Juergens, Cimarron Optical Consulting, Inc, United States
  • Norbert Kerwien, Carl Zeiss AG, Germany
  • John Koshel, University of Arizona, United States
  • Jay Kumler, JENOPTIK Optical Systems, LLC, United States
  • Scott Lerner, Novel Optics Group, Switzerland
  • Paul Manhart, Mission Support and Test Services LLC, United States
  • Benjamin Masella, Optikos Corporation, United States
  • James McGuire, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, United States
  • Paul Michaloski, Corning Advanced Optics, United States
  • Michael Missig, Kollsman Inc, United States
  • Pantazis Mouroulis, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, United States
  • Iain Neil, Scotoptix, Switzerland
  • Thomas Nobis, Carl Zeiss AG, Germany
  • Matthew Novak, Synopsys, Inc. - Optical Solutions Group, United States
  • Jannick Rolland, University of Rochester, United States
  • Martha Rosete-Aguilar, Univ Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico
  • Mark Sanson, Corning Tropel Corporation, United States
  • Jose Sasian, University of Arizona, United States
  • Vesselin Shaoulov, University of Central Florida, United States
  • Daniel Smith, Nikon Research Corporation of America, United States
  • Harvey Spencer, DRS Technologies, Inc, United States
  • Bryan Stone, Synopsys, Inc, United States
  • Andreas Timinger, Lumileds Germany GmbH, Germany
  • Kristina Uhlendorf, Magic Leap Inc, Germany
  • Sergio Vazquez-Montiel, Universidad Politécnica de Tulancingo, Mexico
  • Anthony Visconti, Optikos Corporation, United States
  • Yongtian Wang, Beijing Institute of Technology, China
  • Akira Yabe, Akira Yabe Lens Design, Japan
  • Takanori Yamanashi, Theta Optical LLC, United States
  • Richard Youngworth, Riyo LLC, United States


  • Iain Neil, ScotoptixSwitzerland
    Evolution of Zoom Lens Optical Design Technology and Manufacture Keynote
  • Miguel Alonso, U of Rochester, The Institute of OpticsFrance
    Abstract Spaces, Mappings and Geometry in the Study of Optical Systems
  • Aaron Bauer, University of RochesterUnited States
    Specification Sweep for Three-mirror Freeform Imagers
  • Pablo Benitez, Limbak TechnologiesSpain
    Exploring the Limits of CLOVER: A Multichannel Optics for VR and MR
  • Julie Bentley, University of RochesterUnited States
    10 Years of Development of First-order Search and Evaluation Tools for the Design of Complex Zoom Lenses
  • Andrea Berner, Carl Zeiss AGGermany
    New Surface Contributions for Higher Order Color Aberrations and Chromatic Variations of Seidel Aberrations
  • Jerome Caron, TNONetherlands
    Progress in Aberration Theory for Freeform Off-axis Mirror Systems
  • William Cassarly, Synopsys, IncUnited States
    Compound Surface Descriptions in Illumination Design
  • Eric Fest, Facebook Reality Labs ResearchUnited States
    Proposed Syllabus for Augmented Reality Display Waveguide Design Course
  • Rafael Gonzalez Acuña, Tecnologico de MonterreyMexico
    The General Equation of the Stigmatic Lenses: Its History and What we Have Learned from it
  • Alan Greynolds, United States
    Hyper-aspheroidal Surfaces: Two Approaches
  • Alois Herkommer, Universität StuttgartGermany
    3D-printing of Microoptics Reveals Novel Chances and Challenges in Optical Design
  • Christoph Menke, Carl Zeiss AGGermany
    Deep Learning Advances to Optical Design - How Will it Impact the Lens Designers' Work?
  • Motoyuki Ohtake, University of YamanashiJapan
    Title to be Announced
  • John Rogers, Synopsys, IncUnited States
    Surface Slope Error Tolerances: Applicable Range of Spatial Frequencies
  • Peter Schreiber, Fraunhofer IOFGermany
    Light Shaping with Micro-optical Irregular Fly′s Eye Condensers
  • David Shafer, David Shafer Optical DesignUnited States
    Fast Speed Unvignetted Wide-angle Catadioptric Design with an External FrontPupil and a Metasurface
  • Simon Thibault, Université LavalCanada
    Lens Design Using Metasurfaces: Broken the Last Technical Locks


Plenary Session

James Wyant

University of Arizona

History of Interferometric Optical Testing

This talk will trace the history of the use of interferometry in testing optical components and optical systems. Early interferometers will be discussed, and special emphasis will be given to the enhancements provided by the use of lasers, electronics and computers.

About the Speaker

James C. Wyant is professor emeritus and Founding Dean at the College of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona, where he was Director (1999-2005), Dean (2005-2012), and a faculty member since 1974. He received a B.S. in physics from Case Western Reserve University and M.S. and Ph.D. in optics from the University of Rochester. He was a founder of the WYKO Corporation and served as its president and board chairman from 1984 to 1997 and he was a founder of the 4D Technology Corporation and served as its board chairman from 2002 to 2018. Wyant is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Inventors, and a Fellow of OSA and SPIE. He is a former editor-in-chief of the OSA journal Applied Optics and he was the 2010 president of OSA and the 1986 president of SPIE.

Julius Muschaweck

JMO Illumination Optics

Freeform Optics for Illumination and Imaging: Quite a Ride, and Still a Long Way to Go

In the decades since nodal aberration theory, the basis of freeform imaging optics, was found, and the problem of tailoring freeform optics for illumination was first solved for point sources, freeform optics has developed into a semi-mature state: Used in many products, but not fully understood – routinely manufactured, but hard to tolerance. Some key pieces of theoretical understanding, accessible design methods, and reliable yet affordable manufacturing processes still wait to be discovered.

About the Speaker

Julius Muschaweck, a physicist, is the owner and CEO of his company, JMO. After receiving his M.D. from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, Germany in 1989 and a stay as Visiting Scholar at the University of Chicago, he co-founded and ran OEC, a unique combination of optical engineering service and pioneering freeform optics research institute. In 2006, he moved on to OSRAM, where he became Senior Principal Key Expert for Optical Design, and in 2013 joined ARRI, the maker of professional movie cameras and lamp heads, as Principal Optical Scientist. He is Senior Member of OSA, authored over 25 scientific papers and is the inventor of over 50 patents. Throughout his career, his work focuses on applying the theory of thermodynamics of light to everyday problems in illumination optics. Since 2018, he is again a freelance scientist, helping companies to understand and solve their problems in illumination optics, and teaching courses to engineers in industry on how to find good optical designs based on insights from both first principles and practical experience.

Joseph M. Howard

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Current and Future NASA Space Telescopes

Astronomy is arguably in a golden age, where current and future NASA space telescopes are expected to contribute to this rapid growth in understanding of our universe. A summary of our current space assets will be given, as well as an update on the status of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), almost ready for launch. Future telescopes will also be discussed, including the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope (RST), the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA), as well as mission concept studies being prioritized in the 2020 Decadal Survey in Astrophysics.

About the Speaker

Joseph M. Howard received BS in physics from the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and his Ph.D. in Optical Design from The Institute of Optics, University of Rochester, in Rochester, New York. He now serves as an optical designer for NASA, working on projects including the James Webb Space Telescope, the Roman Space Telescope, LISA, and the other future space missions. Joe lives with his wife, two children, and dog and cat in Washington DC.


Special Events

Crossroads of Freeform and Flat Optics

Reflective, refractive, and diffractive optics each offer unique capabilities for imaging and non-imaging applications.  This symposium focuses on novel opportunities at the intersection of freeform and flat optics, including the co-design of different modalities in optics and new opportunities for inverse design.

This is a joint session for Flat Optics and Freeform. 

Lens Design with Flat Optical and Metasurface Components

New fabrication techniques have been pushing the boundary of available optical components. This joint session between Flat Optics and IODC focuses on a discussion of how novel optical components, including metasurfaces, diffractive surfaces and GRIN, can be applied in lens design for better performance.

This is a joint session for Flat Optics and IODC. 

Best Student Paper Competition: Congratulations to the 2021 Winners and Finalists

Flat Optics: Components to Systems


Yifei Zhang, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States (FTu4A.5)
Electrically Reconfigurable Nonvolatile Metasurface based on Phase Change Materials


Cheng Guo, Stanford University, United States (FM4B.4)
Squeeze free space with nonlocal flat optics device

Brian Raeker, University of Michigan, United States (FM3C.2)
Spatial Amplitude and Phase Control with High-Efficiency Meta-optics

Md Saad-Bin-Alam, University of Ottawa, Canada (FM3C.4)
Ultra-High-Q (~2400) Lattice Resonances in Plasmonic Metasurface for Flat Optics

Freeform Optics


ShiLi Wei, Huazhong University of Sci. & Tech., China​ (JTh1A.6)
Design of freeform illumination optics by deconvolving the blur from extended sources


Yuxuan Liu, University of Rochester, United States (RW1A.5)
CubeSat Format Freeform Hyperspectral Imager

Alejandro Madrid Sánchez, Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Belgium (ITh2A.4)
Freeform beam shaping optics design through reproducible ray-mapping and surface optimization

Zhu Zhengbo, Huazhong Univ of Science & Technology, China (Th4A.7)
Freeform illumination design on 3D target surfaces via a virtual irradiance transformation

International Optical Design Conference


Congli Wang, King Abdullah University of Science and TechnologySaudi Arabia (JTh4A.2)
Lens design optimization by back-propagation


Nicholas Kochan, University of Rochester, United States (JTh4A.5)
Evaluating ophthalmic progressive addition lens designs with freeform surfaces and gradient index optics

Zheng Li, Fraunhofer IOSB, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany (ITu2A.6)
Resolution enhancement of low-NA objectives in confocal fluorescence microscopy by diffractive lens arrays

Shohreh Shadalou, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, United States (ITh2A.3)
Tunable LED-based Illuminator Using Freeform Arrays

Optical Fabrication and Testing


Luke DeMars, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, United States (OW3B.2)
Separating and Estimating Impacts of Anisotropic Mid-Spatial Frequency Errors


Joel Berkson, University of Arizona, United States (JTu2B.2)
Fringe Projection Metrology for Thermoformed Millimeter Wave Freeform Optical Elements

Jimin Han, Kyung Hee University, South Korea  (OW2B.7)
Lightweight Aluminum Mirror with Duplex Layers

Vipender Negi, Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIR-CSIO) Campus, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIR-CSIO), India (OW2B.2)
Smoothing Effect Analysis for Active Fluid Jet Polishing


Image for keeping the session alive