SPIE 2020 New Fellows Cohort Includes Theresa Axenson, Wolfgang Fink, Ming Han, Yi-Pai Huang, Paul Pellegrino, and Austin Richards
In 2020, SPIE welcomes 72 Members as new Fellows of the Society. Fellows are Members of distinction who have made significant scientific and technical contributions in the multidisciplinary fields of optics, photonics, and imaging. They are honored for their technical achievement and for their service to the general optics community and to SPIE in particular. More than 1,500 SPIE Members have become Fellows since the Society's inception in 1955.
New Fellows receive their plaques from the current SPIE President as well as in-person recognition from their peers at the SPIE conference of their choice during the year that they are inducted. This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, SPIE has transitioned several in-person conferences to digital forums. Therefore, we will be celebrating the Fellows virtually as well, via articles such as this one and through our various online platforms. These recognitions will be timed to the new Fellows' preferred SPIE conferences, during their digital-forum timeframe. Additionally, each Fellow will be invited to enjoy the traditional in-person recognition at the 2021 event of their choice.
This year, six new Fellows — Theresa Axenson, Wolfgang Fink, Ming Han, Yi-Pai Huang, Paul Pellegrino, and Austin Richards — elected to be recognized at 2020 SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing (DCS).
Theresa Axenson, of the National Reconnaissance Office, is being recognized for the development of active and passive electro-optical sensor systems for commercial, civil, and Department of Defense applications. Since 2011, she has also provided STEM mentorship to students in the Nysmith School for the Gifted and to members of the Girl Scouts of America troops in Northern Virginia. She has served in multiple roles for SPIE, including on the Society's Outreach Grant Committee where she helped to develop an SPIE Photonic Technician Certification in order to meet the employment shortfall in technicians; on its Membership, Strategic Planning, and Education Committees; and on the Program Committee for Autonomous Sensors where she is active in the planning of DCS sessions.
Wolfgang Fink, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering; biomedical engineering, ophthalmology and vision; systems and industrial engineering; aerospace and mechanical engineering; and the inaugural recipient of the Edward and Maria Keonjian Endowed Chair at the University of Arizona, is recognized for exceptional and innovative contributions in vision science for the blind and for tele-ophthalmic healthcare worldwide. Fink's research portfolio covers a broad spectrum of technology and application areas, including biomedical engineering for healthcare, human-machine interfaces, smart service systems, and autonomous systems. For SPIE, he has been a session chair for multiple conferences, initiated the DCS conference Space Exploration Technologies in 2008, and has served as a peer reviewer for the Journal of Biomedical Optics.
Ming Han, an associate professor in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Michigan State University, is being recognized for his work in fiber-optic sensor research and development. He established a successful fiber-optic sensor research group aimed at leveraging new opportunities provided by technological advancements in order to develop novel fiber-optic sensors and sensor systems with unprecedented performances and new functionalities. His research has attracted grants from many funding sources including the Office of Naval Research, the Naval Research Lab, the Department of Energy, Oak Ridge National Lab, and the National Science Foundation, as well as industry. Han has been serving as a Technical Committee Member for SPIE DCS since 2010 and has served as the associate editor for the SPIE journal Optical Engineering since July 2016.
Yi-Pai Huang, a professor at National Chiao Tung University's department of photonics and the director of the university's Display Research Center, is being recognized for specific achievements in the area of LC-lens applications in 3D and AR/VR. Huang has developed high resistance LC-lends array technology for 3D displays, interactive, and capturing technologies. As well as being the author of multiple SPIE journal and proceedings papers, and a program committee member for several conferences, Huang was also a recipient of the SPIE-Fumio Okano Best 3D Paper prize in both 2016 and 2017.
Paul Pellegrino, a physicist at the US Army Research Lab, is being recognized for his achievements in the areas of optical scattering and sensing. He currently serves as branch chief of the Optics and Photonics Integration Branch in the Sensor and Electron Devices Directorate, while also heading the Optical Devices and Sensors team, which is focused on development and application of fieldable and standoff optical detection technologies for chemical, biological, and explosives monitoring. He has served as a program committee member and session and conference chair of the DCS Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives Sensing conference since 2005, and is actively involved in STEM outreach activities with the Boy Scouts of America.
Austin Richards, senior research scientist at FLIR Systems, is recognized for his achievements in infrared and ultraviolent imaging systems development and innovation, as well as for his education efforts in the field of invisible-light imaging technology. Richards is the co-inventor of the Swux unit of measure for SWIR radiometry, and founder of ultraviolet video camera company Oculus Photonics. Richards has served on the SPIE conference program committees for the Infrared Technology and Applications and Thermosense: Thermal Infrared Applications conferences, and has taught a range of SPIE courses including "Introduction to Infrared and Ultraviolet Imaging Technology," "NIR and SWIR Imaging Applications," and "Infrared Imaging Technology Basics."
As noted earlier this year by Jeffrey Puschell, Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems engineer and chair of the SPIE Fellows Committee, SPIE Fellows represent the vibrant technical range, diversity, and ethos of the Society, and the SPIE Fellows program proudly honors the innovations that these research, industry, and government scientists create, develop, and implement across the optics and photonics landscape. SPIE invites every constituent in our community to consider your distinguished colleagues, their professionalism, and their work. Please send us your nominations for next year's SPIE Fellows by 15 September.
The complete list of the 2020 SPIE Fellows is available online, along with a list of all SPIE Fellows, nomination criteria, and the SPIE Fellows nomination form.
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