News from the Society

Molly Moser

OPTIC 2019 in Taiwan / IONS KOALA / Hagan named CREOL interim dean / NAI fellows / Honors for Vuckovic and Forbes / OSA Fellow stories / A.E. Kaplan mourned / Thank you, editors and volunteers

Group holding a sign

[Image: OPTIC 2019]

Women in Optics at OPTIC 2019

In December, OSA 2019 Vice President Connie Chang-Hasnain attended the Optics & Photonics Taiwan, International Conference (OPTIC 2019) at National Chung Hsing University in Taichung City, Taiwan. During the conference, which was hosted by the Taiwain Photonics Society, Chang-Hasnain delivered a plenary talk titled “VCSEL Array: Catalyzing 3D Sensing,” met with several OSA Student Chapters and also met with the Taiwan Local Section of OSA. She also participated in the conference’s first Women in Optics (WiO) session, which OSA was proud to sponsor.

Group holding a sign


IONS KOALA in New Zealand

The 12th annual IONS Conference on Optics, Atoms and Laser Applications (KOALA) took place at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, in December. This student-led conference has become an annual gathering for the next generation of optics and photonics in New Zealand. Students also enjoyed exploring the area, visiting the stunning sites of Orokonui Ecosanctuary and Sandfly Bay.

Man in Lab

[Image: Jason Greene/The University of Central Florida]

Congratulations to OSA Fellow David Hagan, who has been named interim dean at the University of Central Florida’s CREOL/College of Optics and Photonics! Hagan takes the reins from OSA Fellow Bahaa E.A. Saleh, who stepped down as CREOL dean in May 2019 after 10 years in the post.

Woman in Lab

[Image: Linda Cicero]

Jelena Vuckovic Wins Engineering Research Prize

Congratulations to OSA Fellow Jelena Vuckovic, Stanford University, USA, who has been awarded the 2019 IET A F Harvey Engineering Research Prize—a prestigious international prize from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), U.K. Vuckovic will use the £350,000 prize to develop miniaturized and inexpensive Ti:sapphire lasers, which she says is the “greatest challenge of integrated photonics, which could revolutionize many applications, from self-driving cars, to neuroscience and to quantum technologies.”

Vuckovic will deliver a prize lecture on her research at IET London: Savoy Place, U.K., in March.

Man in theater

[Image: Courtesy of Igor Jex]

OSA Fellow Stories

OSA Fellow Igor Jex, Czech Technical University in Prague, Czech Republic, encourages students and other researchers to connect with people who do work that interests them. “Dream and make your dreams come true,” he tells his students. Following your passion can spark ideas and good ideas can come from anywhere. Learn more about Jex and other OSA Fellows at


Congratulations, NAI 2019 Fellows

Fifteen OSA Members—including thirteen OSA Fellows, two of whom are also Senior Members, and one OSA Emeritus Member—have been elected as 2019 Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) for their “innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.” The induction ceremony will be held in April as part of the Ninth Annual Meeting of the NAI in Phoenix, AZ, USA. (For a full list of the OSA members honored by NAI this year, go to

Man in Lab

[Image: Courtesy of Andrew Forbes]

Georg Forster Research Award for Andrew Forbes

OSA Fellow and OSA Senior Member Andrew Forbes, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, has been elected the recipient of a Georg Forster Research Award. This award is conferred to nationals of developing or transition countries in recognition of lifetime achievements in research. To further promote international scientific cooperation, Forbes and his fellow award winners are also invited to carry out research projects of their choice in cooperation with specialist colleagues in Germany.

Man smiling

Alexander E. Kaplan

Alexander E. Kaplan, 1938–2019

The Optical Society mourns the loss of OSA Fellow and Emeritus Member Alexander Kaplan, who passed away on 31 December 2019 at the age of 81. In a remarkable career spanning more than five decades, in both the Soviet Union and the United States, Kaplan made pioneering contributions in a range of areas of nonlinear and ultrafast optics and quantum electronics, and was awarded OSA’s Max Born Medal in 2005. He was also known for his efforts to support academic emigres from the USSR in their new lives. Learn more about this remarkable scientist at


[Image: Getty Images]

Gearing Up for Fiber’s Golden Anniversary

In 1970, optical fiber and room-temperature semiconductor lasers came together to launch the modern telecommunications era—enabling light-speed connections around the world. OSA/IEEE will mark this half-century milestone at the Optical Fiber Communication Conference (OFC) in March with a special event titled “Celebrating 50 Years of Light-speed Connections.” The programming will include a dedicated keynote address, a show-floor exhibit on the history of fiber optics, a theme-based reception and more.

Thank You, Editors

We are happy to announce that the following individuals were recently appointed as new editors: Applied Optics: David Haefner, U.S. Army Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate, USA (E&L Notes Editor); Adriana Szeghalmi, Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Optik und Feinmechanik IOF, Germany. JOSA B: Jiefei Chen, Southern University of Science and Technology, China. Optica: Pierre Berini, University of Ottawa, Canada; Juliet T. Gopinath, University of Colorado at Boulder, USA; Amr Helmy, University of Toronto, Canada; Anna Sytchkova, ENEA Optical Coatings Lab, Italy. Optics Express: John Koshel, University of Arizona, USA (Deputy Editor).

We thank the following editors for agreeing to serve a second term: Applied Optics: Songnian Fu, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China; John Heebner, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA; Sanshui Xiao, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark; Chi Xiong, IBM TJ Watson, USA. JOCN: Antonio García-Zambrana, Universidad de Málaga, Spain. Optica: Klaus Petermann, Technische Universität Berlin, Germany; Aleksei M. Zheltikov, Texas A&M University, USA, and M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia. Optical Materials Express: Victor Ya. Zyryanov, Kirensky Institute of Physics, Russia.

Thank you, Volunteers

Thank you to the hosts of the following OSA Incubator Meetings for their leadership in organizing outstanding programs:

OSA Incubator on Solving the Bandwidth Challenge of Large 3D Displays: Daniel Smalley, Brigham Young University, USA; V. Michael Bove, Jr.,, USA; Thomas Burnett, FoVI3D, USA.

OSA Incubator on Flat Optics: Federico Capasso, Harvard University, USA; Wei Ting Chen, Harvard University, USA; Paulo Dainese, Corning Inc., USA.

Publish Date: 01 February 2020

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