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Paul F. Forman Team Engineering Excellence Award

Recognizes team technical achievements in optical engineering, as well as contributions to society such as engineering education, publication and management, and furthering public appreciation of optical engineering.

View Past Winners.

Submit a nomination.


This award will not be presented in 2024. 

Nominator Requirements

There is no membership requirement for nominators.

Nominee Requirements

1. Nominees do not need to be Optica members.

2. Only teams are eligible to be nominated.

3. An individual may not receive more than one society award in a year, nor may an individual receive more than one award for the same body of work.

4. Awards are not presented posthumously, except in the case that the recipient's death occurs after the Selection Committee decision has been made.

Nomination Requirements

All nomination materials are submitted online through BEAM. Any documents must be uploaded as PDF files. The following is needed for a nomination:

  1. Name of the nominated team and contact information for the team leader or a key team member.*
  2. A concise (~30 word) citation that highlights the team’s contributions.*
  3. An original, one (1) page narrative/statement describing the team's contributions to optical engineering, engineering education, management and/or furthering public appreciation of optical engineering.
  4.  A list of team members, their individual role on the team, and the period of time they were involved with the team.
  5. Two (2) - Four (4) references.* Diversity of support is preferred; at least one (1) reference must come from outside the team's home institution/organization. Important while staff will send reminders to references, it is the nominator's responsibility to ensure that all required references have been submitted by the deadline.

* This information is all entered directly into BEAM.

If you have any difficulty using BEAM, please contact us at

Nomination Do's and Don'ts


  1. Forget to check for spelling errors, typos and grammatical errors.
  2. Assume that the reviewer knows your candidates well.
  3. Use generalizations.
  4. Just say your team is outstanding – prove it!
  1. Communicate with your references! Confirm that they are willing to be a reference and will be enthusiastic about your nominee before you add them to the system.
  2. Make the narrative clear and easy to read. Consider using bullet points and section headers.

  3. Give specific examples that explain the impact of the team's work.

  4. Proofread your material for typos and mistakes.

  5. Include qualitative and quantitative facts, statistics, metrics, etc.

Selection Process

The Selection Committee reviews and discusses all eligible nominees. After careful consideration, they make a recommendation that is approved by the Awards Council and Board of Directors.

Please note that a minimum of four eligible nominations are required before the Selection Committee may select a recipient. If the minimum is not met, all nominations will be held for consideration the following year.

All nominations are automatically considered for up to three review cycles. After consideration by three Selection Committees, the nomination is retired but may be renominated.

Promotion of Winning Teams Includes:

1. Special recognition in Optica’s magazine, Optics and Photonics News.

2. A dedicated press release.

3. Outreach on Optica social media channels.

4. Recognition during Frontier’s in Optics (FiO), Optica’s annual meeting.

5. Participation in the FiO Awards Ceremony and Reception.

6. Recognition in trade magazines, journals and/or conference publications.

7. Plaques and a modest stipend for team members.

Using BEAM

1. Log in to BEAM, our Awards and Honors system, with your Optica credentials.

2. Be sure you are on the "Nominators" tab.

3. Click the "Submit a New Nomination" button and select the appropriate award/medal from the drop-down menu.

4. Enter the name and email address of the nominee.

5. Input the required supporting information and references. Note - references will automatically receive an email with a link to the reference form as soon as you select them as a reference, even if you have not completed/submitted the nomination.

6. Review and submit the nomination prior to the deadline.

7. After submitting the nomination you will receive a confirmation email.

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