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Boon Ooi Named the 2024 Sang Soo Lee Award Recipient

Optica and the Optical Society of Korea (OSK) are pleased to name Boon Ooi, King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia, the 2024 Sang Soo Lee Award recipient. Ooi is honored for pioneering the field of optoelectronic devices and systems and growing the optics and photonics community in Saudi Arabia.

Ooi has established several national- and international-wide photonic initiatives in Saudi Arabia, secured investments in photonics research, provided training to Saudi engineers and scientists and conducted public outreach to promote optics and photonics education to all levels.

He received his PhD in Electronics & Electrical Engineering from the University of Glasgow, UK. He is currently a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at KAUST. Previously, he was Director of KACST Technology Innovation Center for Solid State Lighting at KAUST. He is a founder of AK-Sens, a technology company focused on commercializing distributed fiber optic sensors for a wide range of applications in the oil and gas, as well as agriculture, industries.

Ooi’s research interests include high-speed optoelectronics and optical wireless communications. To date, he has trained 38 PhD students and 17 postdocs, and placed them in top places in academia, industry, and government all over the world.

An active volunteer, he has served in a variety of roles including Associate Editor of the Optics Express, Senior Editor of the IEEE Photonics Journal, OFC Technical Program Committee, CLEO Technical Program Committee, CLEO-Pacific Rim Co-Chair, Latin America Optics and Photonics Conference Technical Program Committee, and Optica Saudi Student Chapter Faculty Advisor. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Photonics Technology Letters. He is a Fellow of Optica, IEEE, SPIE, IoP and the US National Academy of Inventors. He has 41 issued US Patents and his other recognitions include the Khalifa International Award, the 2024 Oil and Gas Technical Innovation of the Year Award, the International Date Palm Innovation Prize, and the PIFI Distinguished Scientist Award.

Established in 2013, the Lee Award recognizes outstanding leadership in founding or growing an optics and photonics community in a specific population, anywhere in the world. It honors Prof. Sang Soo Lee for his pioneering role in establishing optics in the Republic of Korea. The award is jointly presented in even years by Optica and Optical Society of Korea (OSK), and is endowed by Optica, OSK, and the family of Sang Soo Lee.

About Optica
Optica, 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.

About the Optical Society of Korea
Founded in 1989, the Optical Society of Korea (OSK) is the leading academic society in the field of optics and photonics in Korea. OSK provides academic activities including domestic and international optics conferences, tutorials, seminars, workshops, and publishing services including journals, technical digests, monographs, and technical bulletins.

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