Michael Kidger Memorial Scholarship in Optical Design

The US $5,000 Michael Kidger Memorial Scholarship was established in 1998 to honor Michael John Kidger, a well-respected educator, design software developer, and member of the optical science and engineering community. This scholarship is awarded to a student engaged in optical design including lens design, illumination design, and computational optical design. 

Now accepting applications; deadline is 28 February 2023.

Apply online

Requirements and criteria


Requirements for the scholarship are:

  • Submit a summary (five pages maximum) of academic background and interest in pursuing training or research in optical design. Limited supporting material may be attached.
  • Submit an Application Form
  • Submit two letters of recommendation

 

The selection criteria for the scholarship are:

  • Candidate must be a Ph.D. student of optical design, where the term 'optical design' is meant to include lens design, illumination design, and computational optical design
  • Candidate must meet the entry criteria for the chosen course of study or research
  • Candidate must have at least one year after the award to complete their chosen course of study

Note: The Scholarship Committee reserves the right to withhold award of the scholarship in any year where an insufficient number of applications are received by the cutoff date to form a reasonable competition or when none of the applications received meet the committee's requirements for quality, either in academic achievement or in presentation.

2022 recipient


David Lippman

University of Rochester (United States)

David Lippman, University of Rochester (United States), has been awarded the 2022 Michael Kidger Memorial Scholarship in Optical Design. David received a BS in optical engineering from the University of Rochester in 2018. He is currently a fourth year PhD student performing research at the Institute of Optics, University of Rochester, under the supervision of Professors Julie Bentley, Duncan Moore, and Greg Schmidt. A primary area of David's research focuses on gradient-index (GRIN) optics where recent innovations in fabrication have brought about a paradigm shift by enabling Freeform GRIN (F-GRIN) materials.

2021 recipient


Geoffroi Côté

Université Laval (Canada)

Geoffroi Côté, Université Laval (Canada), has been awarded the 2021 Michael Kidger Memorial Scholarship in Optical Design. Geoffroi received an undergraduate degree in engineering physics from Université Laval in 2017. In 2017, he was awarded first place for innovative design in the Quebec Engineering Competition (Rimouski). Geoffroi entered the PhD program at Université Laval on a 'fast track' following the award of a Master's degree in 2019. He is currently in his second year of the program under the tutelage of SPIE Fellow Simon Thibault.

2020 recipient


Brandon Hellman

James C. Wyant College of Optical Sciences, University of Arizona (United States)

Brandon Hellman, James C. Wyant College of Optical Sciences, University of Arizona (United States) has been awarded the 2020 Michael Kidger Memorial Scholarship in Optical Design. Brandon received a BS in Optical Sciences and Engineering from the Wyant College of Optical Sciences as the Outstanding Senior, Summa Cum Laude, in 2015. He is currently a fifth year PhD candidate at the James C. Wyant College of Optical Sciences under the guidance of Professor Yuzuru Takashima.

2019 recipient


Nicholas Takaki

Institute of Optics, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Univ. of Rochester (United States)

Nicholas Takaki, a fourth year PhD student at The Institute of Optics, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, University of Rochester (United States), has been awarded the 2019 Michael Kidger Memorial Scholarship in Optical Design. Currently, Nicholas is working with Professor Jannick Rolland, the Brian J. Thompson Professor of Optical Engineering. Nicholas simultaneously received a BS and MS in applied and computational mathematics from Carnegie Mellon University (United States) with honors in August 2015.

2018 recipient


Caleb D. Gannon

Univ. of Arizona, College of Optical Sciences (United States)

Caleb D. Gannon, a PhD student attending the University of Arizona, College of Optical Sciences (United States), was awarded the 2018 Michael Kidger Memorial Scholarship in Optical Design. Caleb received a BS in engineering physics from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 2015 where he was honored as the Most Outstanding Engineering Physics Student in the graduating class of 2015. Caleb entered the PhD program at the College of Optical Sciences, University of Arizona in fall 2015. He is currently working with Professor Rongguang Liang, an SPIE Fellow and associate editor of Optica. Professor Liang commented on Caleb's future, "His PhD research on optical design with deep learning will have a huge impact on future optical design."


 

The Kidger Scholarship is one of several named SPIE scholarships that are funded by companies and individuals who partner with SPIE to serve its non-profit educational mission.