Alan R. Fry: The 2020 SPIE Harold E. Edgerton Award in High-Speed Optics
As a young engineer, Alan Fry demonstrated a broad range of technical expertise, allowing him to have a significant impact on a wide variety of technologies. Fry, now a senior staff scientist and the Laser Science and Technology division director at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, led projects to develop high-energy, diode-pumped Nd:YLF lasers; a commercial single-box Ti:Sapphire laser system; and high-energy, cryo and flashlamp-pumped custom lasers. He was also instrumental in pushing Ti: Sapphire laser systems into application areas such as laser machining and the development of OPA and 1um ultrafast fiber laser technology.
As an R&D engineer and, later, director of engineering at Coherent, Fry and his team achieved several accomplishments, including expanding the ultrafast laser product portfolio and turning scientific lasers into industrially reliable ultrafast laser tools. For SPIE, Fry has served on conference program committees, advisory boards, and as a conference chair.
"Several themes appear to underscore Alan's career over the years," notes Coherent Director of Engineering in Research Laser Systems William Tulloch. "Alan is a technical leader and innovator as demonstrated by his influence both in the commercial and scientific sectors. My collaborations with Alan on laser machining applications, kHz amplifiers and short pulse oscillators were some of the most successful and prolific times of my career. Additionally, Alan is an ultrafast-laser community influencer. He championed a successful internship program at Coherent for dozens of master-level students and has continued this effort in support of the laser community by leading a large internship program at SLAC. He has a broad footprint within the ultrafast scientific community, emphasizing collaboration and shared technical discovery. Alan's approachable nature and his appreciation and enjoyment of ultrafast laser technology and its applications has extended his influence well beyond Coherent and SLAC."