Skip To Content
Optica Names Andrew Weiner the 2023 Charles Hard Townes Medal Recipient

Optica (formerly OSA), Advancing Optics and Photonics Worldwide, is pleased to announce that Andrew Weiner, Purdue University, USA, has been selected as the 2023 recipient of the Charles Hard Townes Medal. Weiner is recognized for ground-breaking work bringing optical frequency combs to the quantum world and developing innovative applications spanning several fields, including coherent control, generation and line-by-line manipulation of frequency combs, and ultrabroadband radio-frequency photonics.

Weiner earned his Sc.D. degree in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA. He is currently the Scifres Family Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University, USA.  He previous joined Bellcore, USA, first as a member of Technical Staff and later as Manager of Ultrafast Optics and Optical Signal Processing Research. He has also spent sabbaticals at the Max Born Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Ultrashort Pulse Spectroscopy, Germany; JILA, University of Colorado, USA; and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, USA.

Weiner’s had a long term in interest in ultrafast optics, with an emphasis on processing of extremely high speed lightwave signals and ultrabroadband radio-frequency signals.  He is best known for his seminal work on programmable pulse shaping; his recent research focuses on integrated nonlinear photonics and quantum optics. 

He has graduated 48 Ph.D. students, is the author of the textbook Ultrafast Optics, and has published eleven book chapters, over 1,000 journal and conference papers, and is the inventor of 18 U.S. patents.  An engaged volunteer he has served as Editor-in-chief of Optics Express, and chaired multiple conferences including the National Academy’s U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Meeting and the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO). 

He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Inventers and was selected as a Department of Defense National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellow. He is Fellow of Optica and IEEE. He has also received additional awards include the Adolph Lomb Medal, the R.W. Wood Prize, Hertz Foundation Doctoral Thesis Prize, the International Commission on Optics Prize, and William Streifer Scientific Achievement Award and Quantum Electronics Prize. At Purdue he has been recognized with the inaugural Research Excellence Award from the Schools of Engineering, the Provost's Outstanding Graduate Student Mentor Award, the Herbert Newby McCoy Award for outstanding contributions to the natural sciences, and the College of Engineering Mentoring Award.

Established in 1980, the Townes Medal recognizes an individual or group for outstanding experimental or theoretical work, discovery or invention in the field of quantum electronics. The medal honors Charles Hard Townes, whose pioneering contributions to masers and lasers led to the development of the field of quantum electronics. Bell Laboratories, Hewlett-Packard, The Perkin Fund and students and colleagues of Charles Townes endowed the award.

About Optica

Optica (formerly OSA), Advancing Optics and Photonics Worldwide, is the society dedicated to promoting the generation, application, archiving and dissemination of knowledge in the field. Founded in 1916, it is the leading organization for scientists, engineers, business professionals, students and others interested in the science of light. Optica's renowned publications, meetings, online resources and in-person activities fuel discoveries, shape real-life applications and accelerate scientific, technical and educational achievement. Discover more at:

Image for keeping the session alive