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Ian Walmsley

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Awards & Distinctions

2018 OSA President Ian Walmsley is the Provost of Imperial College London. As Provost, Walmsley serves as Imperial’s chief academic officer and provides the leadership to ensure excellence in Imperial’s core academic mission in education, research and translation. Professor Walmsley reports directly to Imperial President Alice Gast and together they oversee the College’s strategic direction.

Prior to joining Imperial College London, Walsmley was the Hooke Professor of Experimental Physics at the University of Oxford, UK, and the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research. He led a research group in the areas of quantum and ultrafast optics, and was the Director of the Networked Quantum Information Technologies Hub of the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme. He was previously the Head of the Sub-Department of Atomic and Laser Physics at the University of Oxford from 2002 - 2009, and was on the faculty of the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester from 1988 - 2001, serving as its Director in 2000 – 2001. He received a B.Sc. in Physics from Imperial College, London, UK in 1980 and a Ph.D. from the Institute of Optics, in 1986.
His research efforts have been directed toward quantum phenomena on ultrafast timescales, including the generation of nonclassical radiation and its application in quantum technologies, including sensing, communications and simulation, manipulation of matter using closed loop methods, and the development of methods for the measurement of ultrafast optical waveforms. He has supervised more than  forty doctoral and master’s theses and has published more than 240 research articles and review papers, and been granted 5 patents. In 1999, he received the Goergen Award for Undergraduate Teaching at the University of Rochester, as well as the Rochester Undergraduate Optical Society Teaching Award in 1996, and the School of Engineering and Applied Science Teaching Award in 1995.
Walmsley has been an active OSA volunteer for more than two decades, serving as Director-at-Large, as Chair of the Publications Long-Term Planning Group and of the Member and Education Services Committee. He has been a member of the Public Policy Committee and International Council, as well as Chair of the Quantum Electronics Division and the Ultrafast Technical Group. He was a Topical Editor for JOSA B, and served on the Optics Express implementation committee in 1997. More recently he chaired the Committee that established Optica, OSA’s new flagship journal. He is currently on the Editorial Boards of Science, the Journal of Modern Optics, the Journal of Physics B: Quantum and Semiclassical Optics. He has chaired national and international conferences in both the USA and in Europe, including several OSA topical meetings, QELS and the OSA Annual Meeting, as well as co-chairing the ILS-XV meeting.
Walmsley is a Fellow of the Royal Society, OSA, APS and the Institute of Physics (UK). He was awarded the Keithley Prize of the APS and the Young Medal of the Institute of Physics in 2011, the Innovationspreis of the Berthold Leibinger Stiftung in 2006, named an NSF Presidential Young Investigator in 1990, and is a former Scholar of Imperial College. He currently serves as International Councillor for the Institute of Molecular Spectroscopy, Japan, and as a member of the Advisory Board of the Max Planck Institut für Quantenoptik, Garching. He has been a member of the NRC Visiting Committee for JILA, the Beirat of the Max Born Institute, and the Triennial Committee of Visitors of the NSF Physics Division.

Walmsley serves on several OSA committees, including Strategic Planning and the Presidential Advisory Committee.

Light is extraordinary. It makes possible new discovery and enables new technologies, delivering both understanding about the world and the ability to use that understanding to make the world a better place. It reaches across fields from physics to medicine to information engineering, providing tools for exploration, application, measurement and control.

Ian Walmsley, 2018 OSA President

Document Created: 26 Jul 2023
Last Updated: 28 Aug 2023

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