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Awards & Honors

Celebrating distinguished achievements and contributions.

Award | News Release

Announcing the 2023 Fellows Class

The Optica Board of Directors recently elected 109 members from 24 countries to the Society’s 2023 Fellows Class. Fellows are selected based on several factors, including outstanding contributions to business, education, research, engineering, and service to Optica and our community.

“I am pleased to welcome the new Optica Fellows,” said Satoshi Kawata 2022 Optica President. “These members join a distinguished group of leaders who are helping to advance the field optics and photonics. Congratulations to the 2023 Class.”

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Award | News

EnFocus Intraoperative OCT Development Team Wins Forman Team Engineering Excellence Award

Leica Microsystems's EnFocus Intraoperative Optical Coherence Tomography Development Team, received the 2022 Paul F. Forman Team Engineering Excellence Award. The team was  recognized on 17 October, “for developing an optically brilliant, latency-free intrasurgical optical coherence tomography microscope that fully integrates into the ophthalmic surgical workflow, allowing a surgeon to see more and do more to preserve patient sight.”
“Optica is proud to honor this diverse team for their impactful work to improve the outcomes of ophthalmic surgeries by providing surgeons with real-time information and a complete picture of subsurface details,” said Optica President, Satoshi Kawata.

The Paul F. Forman Team Engineering Excellence Award was established in 1989 and named in remembrance of Paul F. Forman, who helped raise visibility for the optical engineering field in 2007. The award recognizes technical achievements such as product engineering, process, software and patent development, as well as contributions to society such as engineering education, publication and management, and public appreciation of optical engineering.

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Award | News Release

Optica Names 20 Recipients for 2022 Awards and Medals

Optica is pleased to announce the recipients of several of its 2022 awards and medals. These awards celebrate the people who have achieved significant technical, research, education, business, leadership and service accomplishments across optics and photonics.

"The 2022 Optica award and medal recipients have made outstanding contributions to our field, and I would like to congratulate all the winners," said Satoshi Kawata, Optica’s President. "In addition, my thanks to the dedicated selection committee volunteers, nominators, and references."

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Graphic depicting stylized optic waves.
Award | News Release

Alain Aspect Named Optica Honorary Member

Optica has named renowned physicist Alain Aspect an Optica Honorary Member. Aspect is recognized for illuminating fundamental aspects of the quantum-mechanical behavior of single photons, photon pairs and atoms and transforming our understanding of the quantum world. 

“Alain Aspect is a world leader in quantum optics and atomic physics. His contributions to the field and support of societies and organizations around the world are to be commended”, said Satoshi Kawata, Optica’s 2022 President. “Optica is proud to honor his achievements by naming him as an Honorary Member.”

Honorary Membership is the most distinguished of all Optica Member categories and is awarded by unanimous vote of the Optica Board of Directors to individuals who have made seminal contributions to the field of optics. Their number is limited to two-thousandths (2/1000) of the total membership of the Society.

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Award | News Release

James C. Wyant Named 2022 Frederic Ives Medal/Jarus W. Quinn Prize Recipient

Optica has named James C. Wyant, Emeritus Professor and Founding Dean at the University of Arizona, College of Optical Sciences, USA, the 2022 Frederic Ives Medal/Jarus W. Quinn Prize recipient.

Wyant is recognized for pioneering contributions in advancing the science and technology of quantitative interferometric metrology, his leadership as an educator and entrepreneur, and his visionary service to the global optics and photonics community.

“Jim Wyant has enhanced our field and Society through his extraordinary work as an educator, scientist, entrepreneur and leader,” said Satoshi Kawata, Optica’s 2022 President. “We are grateful to Jim for all he has given to our community.”

First presented in 1929, the Frederic Ives Medal recognizes overall distinction in optics, and is Optica’s highest award. The Quinn Prize was added in 1995 in honor of Optica’s first Executive Director, Jarus W. Quinn.

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Award | News Release

Jun Ye Named 2022 Herbert Walther Award Recipient

Optica and the Deutsche Physikalische Gesell­schaft (DPG) have named Jun Ye, JILA University of Colorado Boulder, USA, the recipient of the 2022 Herbert Walther Award. Ye is recognized "for an extensive body of work in optics, including ultra-stable lasers, ultra-cold polar molecules, ultra-high resolution spectroscopy, and ultra-high accuracy optical clocks."

"A global leader in quantum optics and atomic physics, Ye’s work has made many significant advances including developing some of the most precise measurement instruments we have ever seen,” said 2021 Optica President Connie Chang-Hasnain, Whinnery Chair Professor Emerita of EECS at the University of California, Berkeley, USA. "The Walther Award is a well-deserved recognition of his extraordinary contributions."

The award commemorates Max Planck Institute of Quantum Physics Professor Herbert Walther's groundbreaking innovations in quantum optics and atomic physics and other wide-ranging contributions to the scientific community. The Herbert Walther Award recognizes distinguished contributions in quantum optics and atomic physics as well as leadership in the international scientific community.

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Award | News Release

Meint Smit Named 2022 John Tyndall Award Recipient

Optica and the IEEE Photonics Society have named Meint Smit, Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands, the 2022 John Tyndall Award recipient. Smit is recognized for “leadership in building a photonic integration ecosystem, and pioneering contributions to key photonic devices including the arrayed waveguide grating.”

“Our congratulations to Professor Smit for this well-deserved honor,” said 2021 Optica President Connie Chang-Hasnain, Whinnery Chair Professor Emerita of EECS at University of California, Berkeley, USA. “His revolutionary work in photonic integrated circuits has already created enormous commercial impact and I’m sure it will continue to catalyze future advancements for telecom, datacom and sensing applications.”

Corning, Incorporated sponsors the award, which consists of a specially commissioned glass sculpture, a scroll and an honorarium. Optica and the IEEE Photonics Society will jointly present the Tyndall Award to Smit at OFC 2022, the world’s leading conference and exhibition for optical communications and networking professionals. The event will take place from Sunday to Thursday, 6 - 10 March 2022 in San Diego, California, USA.

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Our awards and honors program recognizes and honors the field's technical, research, education, business, leadership and service accomplishments.