SPIE Awards

Since 1959, SPIE has honored the best in optics and photonics for their significant achievements and contributions in advancing the science of light
01 July 2019

This is a partial list of the 2019 SPIE award winners. Different winners are highlighted in each quarterly issue of SPIE Professional.

A. E. Conrady Award in Optical Engineering

Great discoveries in astronomy are often associated with scientists who spend nights at the telescope and write scholarly articles presenting their observations. Behind many of these discoveries are scientists and engineers who build the tools that enable those observations. The creative contributions they make-the result of long days, many blind alleys, and flashes of brilliance-are sometimes overlooked.

Hubert M. "Buddy" Martin, a project scientist at the Steward Observatory and associate research professor of optical sciences at the University of Arizona (UA) is considered by many of his colleagues to be one of those scientists whose life-long work has enabled others to pursue their scientific goals and make breakthrough discoveries in astronomy.

In recognition of his work, Martin is the 2019 recipient of the SPIE A. E. Conrady Award in Optical Engineering. The award recognizes Martin's exceptional contributions in design, construction, and testing of optical systems and instrumentation.

"Optical and telescope designers tend to receive more of the limelight than makers, but without Buddy's proven ability to complete very large aspheric mirrors to exacting tolerances, some of the most powerful new telescope designs would have been impossible and not seriously considered," says Roger Angel, Regents' Professor of Astronomy and Optical Sciences at UA.

"He has been central to the string of advances in design, fabrication methods, metrology, and analysis that have allowed the lab to constantly improve its ability to make the largest and most aspheric optics ever. As I understand, these are exactly the kind of contributions the Conrady award is set up to recognize."

The SPIE A. E. Conrady Award is presented annually in recognition of exceptional contributions in design, construction, testing, and theory of optical and illumination systems and instrumentation. Martin will receive the award at SPIE Optics + Photonics in August, where he will also give a plenary talk on advances in telescope mirror technology.

Hubert Martin

Hubert M. "Buddy" Martin. Credit: Ray Bertram/Steward Observatory

Dennis Gabor Award in Diffractive Optics

"Optics is a tremendously exciting field, and nanophonotics is at the frontier of research in so many ways," says SPIE Fellow Min Gu, Distinguished Professor and Associate Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia. "Our work is driven by a desire to deliver real solutions to the real issues faced by industry and the community in conjunction with artificial intelligence."

This work has earned Gu the SPIE Dennis Gabor Award in Diffractive Optics, which he accepts "on behalf of the entire research team." The award recognizes his pioneering work in nanoscale information optics, including optically digitized holography and optical data storage using advanced nanomaterials.

Known internationally for his expertise in 3D optical imaging theory, Gu's discoveries are helping drive the development of solutions to some of the biggest challenges in renewable energy, information technology, and big data storage.

"Professor Gu has played a major role in the development of 3D optical imaging theory and its instrumentation for modern optical microscopy, says SPIE Fellow Mitsuo Takeda of Utsunomiya University in Japan, who received the award in 2010. "Specifically, he made great contributions to the progress of information optics through his seminal work on the unification of 3D Fourier optics and nonlinear optical microscopy (based on two-photon and/or multi-photon absorption processes), which has enabled 3D imaging and data writing with the resolution beyond the traditional limit set by Abbe theory."

Named after the Nobel-winning inventor of holography, the SPIE Dennis Gabor Award in Diffractive Optics is presented in recognition of outstanding accomplishments in diffractive wavefront technologies, especially those that further the development of holography and metrology applications.

Gu will receive the award at SPIE Optics + Photonics in August.

Min Gu

Min Gu. Credit: RMIT

George W. Goddard Award in Space and Airborne Optics

"Dr. Giovanni Fazio is a giant in the field of infrared astronomical instrumentation," says Lisa Storrie-Lombardi, Spitzer and NuSTAR project manager at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "As the principal investigator of the Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) on the Spitzer Space Telescope, his work made possible one of the most exciting scientific discoveries of 2017-seven Earth-sized planets orbiting the dwarf star TRAPPIST-1. This is one of NASA's highest impact science results ever."

Fazio, a senior physicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, is being recognized for his exceptional achievements in the area of infrared instruments with the 2019 SPIE George W. Goddard Award in Space and Airborne Optics.

In the 1960s, Fazio pioneered the development of gamma-ray astronomy using balloon-borne telescopes and initiated construction of a 10-meter optical telescope at the Whipple Observatory in Arizona to search for ultra-high energy gamma rays. Throughout his career, Fazio has led work on ground-based infrared instruments including infrared bolometers, infrared cameras using many kinds of detector arrays, and the solid-state photomultiplier. These instruments have been used for observations of everything from the solar corona to the distant universe.

"Dr. Fazio's work has had a profound impact on the entire field of infrared astrophysics and all of the scientific disciplines that now thrive on infrared data," says Storrie-Lombardi. "Besides being a brilliant instrument builder, he is a role model as a scientist and human being. Whenever I see Giovanni he is always interested in looking to the future, new scientific questions, and what we can learn."

The SPIE George W. Goddard Award in Space and Airborne Optics is presented in recognition of exceptional achievement in optical or photonic technology or instrumentation for earth or planetary or astronomical science, reconnaissance, or surveillance from airborne or space platforms. Fazio will receive the award at SPIE Optics + Photonics in August.

Giovanni Fazio

Giovanni Fazio. Credit: NASA

Aden and Marjorie Meinel Technology Achievement Award

Avalanche photodiodes (APDs) are the basis of high-sensitivity receivers and are used throughout the world by a wide variety of companies. Joe C. Campbell, the Lucien Carr III Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of Virginia, has been a leader in APD research for the past 30 years.

In recent years, Campbell's group has continued to refine and improve the performance of APDs and advance fundamental knowledge of the physical principles that contribute to low-noise and high-gain bandwidth products in APDs. Modeling by Campbell's students has shown that the very low multiplication noise that has been achieved is a result of the nonlocal nature of impact ionization and its importance in APDs with thin multiplication regions. Using new materials and structures, Campbell's group has demonstrated record low-noise and gain-bandwidth products for communications APDs.

For these pioneering contributions to high-speed, low-noise APDs used in optical communication systems, Campbell is the 2019 recipient of the SPIE Aden and Marjorie Meinel Technology Achievement Award.

"There can be no question that Joe was the major contributor worldwide in developing useful long wavelength (1300-1600 nm) APDs," says Larry Coldren, Fred Kavli Professor of Optoelectronics and Sensors at University of California, Santa Barbara. "His original invention of the separate absorption and multiplication structure, as well as his many contributions to novel structures since, has had a major impact in the optical communications arena. He continues to make significant contributions to detectors and receivers in the UV and visible as well as in the IR spectral regions."

The SPIE Aden and Marjorie Meinel Technology Achievement Award is presented in recognition of outstanding technical accomplishment in optics, electro-optics, photonic engineering, or imaging. Campbell will receive the award at SPIE Optics + Photonics in August.

Joe C. Campbell

Joe C. Campbell. Credit: Dan Addison, University of Virginia Communications

G. G. Stokes Award in Optical Polarization

SPIE Fellow Joseph Shaw, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Montana State University (MSU), and director of the Optical Technology Center at MSU, is a pioneer and leader in the quantitative understanding of polarization in nature. Shaw's work has led to important "firsts," such as the first observation of the effect of sky state on polarized emission, the first observation and explanation for the role of the earth in polarized observations in the sky, and the first observation of the effects of sub-visible clouds on the distribution of sky polarization.

These works have contributed to atmospheric science and remote sensing, as well as a range of applications where understanding the polarization state leads to more accurate results. Also an avid photographer, Shaw published the SPIE Press book, Optics in the Air: Observing Optical Phenomena through Airplane Windows, in 2017.

Shaw is the 2019 recipient of the SPIE G. G. Stokes Award in Optical Polarization in recognition of contributions made to the understanding of the distribution of optical polarization in the natural environment through the development of instruments, measurement methods, and analysis techniques.

"In addition to his impressive research contributions, what sets Joe apart is his exemplary behavior as a collaborator, mentor, and teacher in the optics and photonics community, says SPIE Senior Member Julia Craven of Sandia National Laboratories. "SPIE awards should call attention to and reward those who are not just outstanding researchers, but also exceptional members of the community. By being a welcoming collaborative conference organizer, and an approachable, caring mentor and professor, Joe Shaw is certainly well deserving of the Stokes Award," says Craven.

The SPIE G. G. Stokes Award in Optical Polarization is presented for exceptional contribution to the field of optical polarization. Shaw will receive the award at SPIE Optics + Photonics in August.

Joseph Shaw

Joseph Shaw. Credit: Kelly Gorham, MSU

Chandra S. Vikram Award in Optical Metrology

During his 40+ year career, SPIE Fellow Wolfgang Osten, professor at Universität Stuttgart, has made significant contributions to optical metrology. His research focuses on new concepts for industrial inspection and metrology by combining modern principles of optical metrology, sensor technology, and image processing.

Osten and his research team developed the first automated system for the quantitative and qualitative evaluation of interferograms, and tilted-wave interferometry for aspherical and free-form surface measurement. Both techniques have since been commercialized.

"Metrology is a key component of industrial value creation," said Osten in a 2017 interview with Laser World of Photonics. "Only what can be measured can be produced and optimized. Today, industry simply cannot do without optical sensors and especially not in a digital transformation."

In recognition of his significant contributions to the development of wide-scale optical imaging and metrology, which have stimulated new approaches and technologies for the inspection of nano, micro, and macro objects, Osten is the is the 2019 recipient of the SPIE Chandra S. Vikram Award in Optical Metrology.

"Professor Osten is one of the most recognized ‘gurus' for the international community of experienced and young researchers working in optical metrology and optical imaging as well as in the disciplines where optics is crucial for better product quality, archiving, and exploring biological structures," says SPIE Fellow and 2005 SPIE Past President Malgorzata Kujawinska of Warsaw University of Technology. "The conferences which he initiated, such as Fringe, Holomet, Interferometry (San Diego), Optical Metrology (Munich), and recently Digital Optical Technologies (Munich), have been the international forums which inspire the entire optical community."

The SPIE Chandra S. Vikram Award in Optical Metrology is presented for exceptional contribution to the field of optical metrology. Osten will receive the award at SPIE Optics + Photonics in August.

Wolfgang Osten

Wolfgang Osten, thrid from left, in his new Nano-Measurement and Nano-Fabrication Lab.

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