Vladislav V. Yakovlev: The 2021 SPIE Harold E. Edgerton Award in High-Speed Optics
Vladislav V. Yakovlev’s career reflects an enormous amount of pioneering work across high-speed optics. Some of those achievements include his work in optical parametric amplifiers of white-light continuum, widely adapted as broadly tunable sources of ultrashort laser pulses used for high-speed imaging and spectroscopy; using shaped optical pulses for spectroscopy and imaging, including the first experimental demonstration of coherent quantum control of molecular dynamics; and applications of ultrashort laser pulses such as cornea reshaping, broadband coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering, random Raman lasing and imaging, and nonlinear Brillouin imaging.
Currently a professor of biomedical engineering at Texas A&M, Yakovlev received his PhD in physics and quantum electronics from Moscow State University in 1990. When he arrived in the US in 1991, he initially worked at a startup, Novatec Laser Systems, where he built a femtosecond Ti:sapphire oscillator amplifier system and used it for cornea ablation, discovering what is now known as Bladeless LASIK. An SPIE Member since 1995 and a Fellow since 2014, Yakovlev’s commitment to SPIE has included serving as an editorial-board member of the Journal of Biomedical Optics, a program committee member for multiple SPIE conferences, his outreach participation with SPIE student chapters, and more than 160 contributions to SPIE journals and conference proceedings.
“I’ve known Vlad for 25 years,” says Rick Trebino, chair of Ultrafast Optical Physics at the Georgia Institute of Technology. “He was the last PhD student of Professor Sergei Akhmanov, one of the founders of nonlinear optics and one the most prominent Soviet scholars in the field of optics, lasers, and optical spectroscopy. During his career, Vlad has made several seminal contributions to the field of ultrafast nonlinear optical spectroscopy, resulting in high-profile publications and more than 4,500 citations. He has taught a number of courses with emphasis on optics, optical spectroscopy, and applications of optics, and has trained numerous graduate students who are now working in the optics industry and academia around the world. More recently, he pioneered the random Raman laser using short-pulsed lasers, which has been used for remote chemical sensing at kilometer distances — news of which was highlighted in Yahoo! Science, Nature, and Scientific American, among other publications.”