Skip To Content
Get Involved

Awards & Honors

Celebrating distinguished achievements and contributions.

Award | News Release

Kenichi Iga Receives the 2024 Frederic Ives Medal/Jarus W. Quinn Prize

Optica, Advancing Optics and Photonics Worldwide, has named Kenichi Iga, Professor Emeritus and former President of Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan, the 2024 Frederic Ives Medal/Jarus W. Quinn Prize recipient. Iga is recognized for pioneering contributions and visionary leadership in the field of semiconductor lasers and optoelectronics and a dedication to training and educating future generations. "Kenichi Iga fundamentally changed the field with his revolutionary work on VCSELs,” said Gerd Leuchs, Optica's 2024 President. "It is an honor to celebrate his lasting contributions.”

His work has significantly impacted high-speed communications. Since his first demonstration of a VCSEL in 1979 at Tokyo Tech, he has established the fundamental technical and theoretical bases for the lasers and inspired much research in the field. Today, approximately 75% of all telecommunications lasers sold are VCSELs.

Read Now


Award | Honorary Members

Sir Peter L. Knight Named Honorary Member

Sir Peter L. Knight is internationally renowned for his ground-breaking quantum optics research. His investigations of quantum optics, strong field physics and nonclassical properties of light culminated in the theoretical foundations of quantum computing and quantum information science. In recognition of his influence within the international physics community,  Optica, Advancing Optics and Photonics Worldwide, has named Knight an Optica Honorary Member, the most distinguished of all Optica Member categories.

Knight is recognized for remarkable and varied contributions to quantum optics, ranging from foundations to applications, and his unique combination of educational, organizational, and globally active leadership skills. He is currently an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Physics, Imperial College London, UK; Chair of the UK National Quantum Technology Programme Strategic Advisory Board; and Chair of the National Physical Laboratory Quantum Metrology Institute.

"Peter's influence on our field has extended well beyond his pioneering quantum optics research. He is an outstanding leader, advisor, and mentor, bridging the gaps between academia, organizations, and governments," said Gerd Leuchs, Optica's 2024 President. "The quantum science and optics community benefits greatly from his service. We are proud to recognize him as an Optica Honorary Member."

Read Now


Award | News Release

David Richardson Wins 2024 John Tyndall Award

Optica, Advancing Optics and Photonics Worldwide, and the IEEE Photonics Society have named David Richardson, Microsoft, UK, the 2024 recipient of the John Tyndall Award. Richardson is recognized for pioneering contributions to the development of optical fibers and their applications and commercialization in fiber lasers and optical communications. "His contributions to the field are not limited to his pioneering work," added Optica President Michal Lipson. "His leadership and service, including serving as a Technical Program Chair and General Chair for OFC, will benefit our community for years to come. It is a pleasure to recognize David's accomplishments with this award."

Read Now


Award | News Release

Olga Kocharovskaya Named 2024 Herbert Walther Award Recipient

Optica and the Deutsche Physikalische Gesell­schaft (DPG) have named Olga Kocharovskaya, Texas A&M University (TAMU), USA, the recipient of the 2024 Herbert Walther Award. She is recognized for field-opening contributions to lasing without inversion and electromagnetically induced transparency and for theory and experiments that initiated the field of gamma-ray quantum optics.

A trailblazer in her field, Kocharovskaya was the first woman professor in the TAMU physics department, and she is the first woman to receive the Walther Award. A Fellow of Optica and the American Physical Society, she has received several additional honors, including the inaugural Willis Lamb Medal for Laser Physics and Quantum Electronics, the Association of Former Texas A&M Students Distinguished Achievement Award in Research and the Texas A&M University Distinguished Professor Award.

Read Now


Award | News Release

Announcing the 2024 Optica Fellows Class

The Board of Directors of  Optica recently elected 129 members from 26 countries to the Society’s 2024 Fellow Class. Optica Fellows are selected based on several factors, including outstanding contributions to research, business, education, engineering and service to Optica and our community.

“Congratulations to the 2024 class of Optica Fellows, ” said Michal Lipson 2023 Optica President. “It is a pleasure to honor these members who are advancing our field and society. We are grateful for their exceptional work and dedication.”

Read Now


Award | News Release

Brelyon named 2023 Optica Paul F. Forman Team Engineering Excellence Award recipient

Brelyon, a company spun-off from the MIT Media Lab, took a new approach to displays, employing computational wavefront engineering designed to work with the physiology of the human eye. Optica recognizes Brelyon’s innovative engineering with the 2023 Paul F. Forman Team Engineering Excellence Award. They were selected “For introducing the world's first headset-free virtual monitor using computational optics to program the wavefront of the light in large scale.”

Read Now


Award | News Release

Stewart Wills named 2023 Optica Treasurer’s Award recipient

Pick up a copy of Optics and Photonics News, and Stewart Wills’ commitment to excellence is apparent. Well-researched, meticulously written and edited articles on cutting edge topics fill the pages of OPN, many of which are the direct contributions of Wills—and all are impacted by his example.

Optica is pleased to honor Wills with the 2023 Treasurer’s Award. Since Wills joined Optica in 2013 as Senior Editor and Content Developer for OPN, he has displayed the “long-term commitment to excellence in visual design, communication, and impact.” He was recognized during the Optica Awards Ceremony at FIO+LS.

Read Now


Award | Honorary Members

James C. Wyant Named Optica Honorary Member

James C. Wyant, Emeritus Professor and Founding Dean at the University of Arizona, Wyant College of Optical Sciences, USA, has been a leader in the classroom, lab and boardroom for over 30 years. His technical innovation and entrepreneurship changed the field of optical metrology and developed tools that enabled many disciplines of precision manufacturing. Optica, Advancing Optics and Photonics Worldwide, announces that Wyant has been named an Optica Honorary Member.

Wyant is recognized for his pioneering contributions to 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 has made extraordinary contributions to our society and field through his scientific and technical work, mentorship, leadership and philanthropy," said Michal Lipson, Optica's 2023 President. "It is with great pleasure that I welcome him into the esteemed group of Optica Honorary Members."

Read Now


Award | News Release

Optica announces Leonard Mandel Quantum Optics Award

Optica announces the creation of the Leonard Mandel Quantum Optics Award to recognize distinguished contributions to the foundations of statistical and quantum optics and applications in advanced technologies. Established through the Optica Foundation, this award honors Mandel’s legacy in the field of quantum optics.

“Dr. Mandel's work has influenced the evolution of the field of statistical and quantum optics, from the formative book Optical Coherence and Quantum Optics that he wrote with Emil Wolf to his role in furthering the efforts of the broader community,” said Michal Lipson, Optica 2023 President. “This award extends that legacy by fueling next-generation quantum advancements.”

This award joins other Optica initiatives that support the rapidly expanding fields of quantum optics and quantum-enabled technologies, including the Quantum 2.0 conferenceOptica Quantum, a new journal dedicated to highly selective results in quantum information science and technology, and the Theodor W. Hänsch Prize in Quantum Optics, which focuses on early-career efforts and the applications of optics-enabled quantum technologies.

Read Now


Award | News Release

Susana Marcos Awarded the Edwin H. Land Medal

Optica and the Society for Imaging Science and Technology (IS&T) are pleased to announce that Susana Marcos, the David R. Williams Director of the Center for Visual Science, University of Rochester, USA, has been awarded the Edwin H. Land Medal. 

Marcos, a highly regarded researcher in the field of visual optics and ocular imaging, is a pioneer in the development of new techniques for the evaluation of the eye. Her work is aimed at understanding the interplay of structural, biomechanical and optical properties of the eye. Marcos studies the impact of those properties on retinal image quality, and the limits that optics impose on visual functions and perception, specifically with applications in myopia, presbyopia, cataract and corneal corrections.

Recognizing pioneering work empowered by scientific research to create inventions, technologies, and products, the Edwin H. Land Medal was established in 1992 to honor his unique career as a scientist, technologist, industrialist, humanist and public servant.

Read Now


Award | News Release

Optica Names 17 Recipients for 2023 Awards and Medals

Optica is pleased to announce the recipients of several of its 2023  awards and medals. These awards celebrate those in our field who are making significant technical, research, education, business, leadership and service accomplishments.

"On behalf of the Optica Board and membership, I congratulate the 2023 Awardees for their innovative and pioneering contributions to our field and Society," said Michal Lipson, Optica's 2023 President. "I would also like to thank those who nominated candidates, submitted references and served on  selection committees—your service and support of this program is valued and appreciated."

Read Now


Image for keeping the session alive