News from the Society

Remembering Kenneth M. Baird / Helmholz prize for Picqué / IDL “thriller” video / Optica Fellow stories / Aid for Ukraine / Women in Industry / Industry impact brochure / CLEO recap / Tracking methane emissions / Thank you, editors and volunteers

Kenneth M. Baird photoKenneth M. Baird

In Memoriam: Kenneth M. Baird 1923–2022

Optica and the scientific community mourn the loss of 1983 OSA President, Fellow and 1989 C.E.K. Mees Medal recipient Kenneth MacClure “Mac” Baird, who passed away on 18 April 2022. Baird was known for his contributions to standards research and optical metrology, particularly measurements that led to a new definition of the international meter.

In 1951, Baird, one of North America’s foremost metrologists, directed Canada’s primary-length-standard facilities to transition the International Meter from a prototype metal bar to a wavelength of light. His research on isotope lamps, perturbations to wavelengths and interferometry placed Canada among the main contributors to the redefinition of the international standard meter in 1960. Read more about his life and career at

Nathalie PicquéNathalie Picqué

Nathalie Picqué Wins Helmholz Prize

Congratulations to Optica Fellow Nathalie Picqué, Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, Germany, who has been awarded one of this year’s Helmholtz Prizes. Picqué and her colleague, Edoardo Vicentini, have won the prize in the category of applied metrology for their paper entitled “Dual-comb hyperspectral digital holography,” which was published in Nature Photonics and has “significantly expanded the possibilities of digital holography through the use of frequency combs.”

The Helmholtz Prize is awarded by the Helmholtz Fund for “outstanding scientific and technological research in the field of precision measurement in physics, chemistry and medicine.” It is presented in two categories, fundamental research and applied metrology—with an award of €20,000 for each prize.

This year, the awards ceremony was held in person and streamed live on 12 May during the international Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Seminar on “High-Precision Measurements and Searches for New Physics” at the Physikzentrum in Bad Honnef, Germany.

Movie trailer

A “Day of Light” Thriller

To celebrate the 2022 International Day of Light, Optica partnered with SPIE and IEEE to create an action-packed video titled “Day of Light.” The brief, three-minute video promotes—in thriller-movie-trailer style—the importance of light-based technologies and interesting careers in optics and photonics, while raising awareness of the annual IDL celebration on 16 May. The day commemorates the anniversary of the first successful operation of the laser in 1960 by physicist Theodore Maiman.

“Many of the devices we use every day are comprised of light-based technologies made possible by the optics and photonics community,” said Optica CEO Elizabeth Rogan. “On the International Day of Light, we celebrate these contributions from our community and hope this celebration inspires others—particularly students—to study and work in light science and technology.” Watch the video, read about featured technologies and learn more about IDL at

Ilya Shadrivov photoIlya Shadrivov

Optica Fellow Stories

For 2021 Fellow Ilya Shadrivov, having a great mentor was the key to his successful career in physics. A mentor can “support you in research, can help finding a job … and nominate you for awards,” Shadrivov said. Learn how he met his mentor, 2022 Max Born Award winner Yuri Kivshar, and how the two continue to collaborate today:

Uliana PylypenkoUliana Pylypenko

Photonics Industry Aids Ukraine

Optica Chief Technology Officer Jose Pozo recently posted two videos highlighting the efforts of the photonics industry in Poland to provide concrete help to scientists coping with the war in Ukraine. Pozo found that companies are offering jobs, housing, transportation, shelter and support to Ukrainian refugees. In particular, the WaveJobs European career site, in partnership with the Polish Technological Platform on Photonics and the Candela Foundation (and with financial support from Optica) has set up a special project, Photonic Aid for Ukraine, to help Ukrainian people find optics and photonics jobs in adjacent countries.

“I am rarely at a loss for words,” Pozo writes. “But this is different.” Watch his videos and learn more at and

Amy Eskilson photoAmy Eskilson

Spotlight—Women in Industry

Optica Corporate Membership’s Women in Industry feature spotlights both emerging and seasoned Optica corporate members by engaging with them in a short Q&A. In a recent entry, Amy Eskilson, President and CEO of Inrad Optics, says, “I am excited about the multiple industrial, educational and governmental efforts to address the long-building optics and photonics workforce shortage … The good news is that the need for funding for programs is now understood and underway, and new programs and initiatives are starting to flourish.” Read more at

Industry report

Optics and Photonics: Picturing the Impact

Optica has released a new, open-access infographic brochure, “Optics and Photonics: The Impact on a Global Economy.” Aimed at policymakers, investors and anyone seeking to learn more about the optics and photonics industry, the brochure summarizes the industry in colorful graphics—illustrating key markets, the phenomenal growth of laser sales over 60 years, production by region, the worldwide jobs impact and more. Download and read the full brochure at

CLEO attendees(Clockwise from top left) Optica Fellow and plenary speaker Dana Anderson; conference audience; Optica CEO Elizabeth Rogan awards the Optica 2021 Diversity & Inclusion Advocacy Recognition trophy to Optica Fellow Lluís Torner, representing ICFO in Spain; exhibit attendees.

A Well-Attended CLEO

The 2022 CLEO Conference and Exhibition was held in person in San Jose, CA, USA, and online, with a technical conference running from 15 to 20 May and an exhibition active from 17 to 19 May. Both conference and exhibition were very well attended—plenary talks were standing room only, and the tradeshow floor bustled with a variety of activities. The Optica booth was also popular among attendees, offering coffee breaks, membership renewals and “meet the editors” events.

At the CLEO plenary stage, Eric Mazur, the chair of the Optica Foundation, announced the Foundation’s 20th Anniversary Challenge—a competition offering a total of US$1 million in funding to early-career researchers proposing optics- and photonics-enabled solutions to the challenges that the world faces. Each of the 10 winning proposals to address challenges in the areas of environmental science, public health, communications, space and quantum will receive US$100,000 to support addressing the challenge over a one-to-two-year period. To learn more, visit

Methane report

Needed: Methane Tracking

The United States is not effectively monitoring methane emissions from oil and gas operations, but the federal government could take specific actions to remedy the situation, helping to address climate change, argues a recent report released by Optica and the American Physical Society.

The APS–Optica report, “Monitoring Methane Emissions,” provides a technical assessment of the current state of monitoring US methane emissions from oil and gas operations, which account for roughly 30% of US anthropogenic methane emissions. It also contains recommendations for research investments to improve the nation’s detection capabilities and monitoring policies. APS and Optica Publishing Group are co-publishing the report in PRX Energy and Optics Express. Learn more at

Thank You, Editors

We are happy to announce that the following individuals were recently appointed as new editors: JOSA B—Katsuaki Tanabe, Kyoto University, Japan. OpticaOle Bang, DTU Fotonik, Denmark; Lu Fang, Tsinghua University, China; Na Ji, University of California, Berkeley, USA; Maiken H. Mikkelsen, Duke University, USA. Optics ExpressNicolas Joly, University of Erlangen–Nuremberg, Germany. Optics LettersFabian Duerr, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium; Igor Jovanovic, University of Michigan, USA; Yosuke Mizuno, Yokohama National University, Japan.

We thank the following editors for agreeing to serve a second term: JOSA A—Svetlana Avramov-Zamurovic, US Naval Academy, USA. Biomedical Optics ExpressKate Grieve, Quinze-Vingts National Ophthalmology Hospital, France; Shuichi Makita, University of Tsukuba, Japan. OpticaIgor Aharonovich, University of Technology Sydney, Australia. Optics ExpressGordon Robb, University of Strathclyde, UK.

We thank the following editors, who have recently finished their terms, for their years of service: Applied OpticsBo Dong, Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R), A*STAR, Singapore. OpticaGiulio Cerullo, Politecnico di Milano, Italy; Christophe Dorrer, University of Rochester, USA. Optics ExpressYi-Hsin Lin, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, Taiwan.

Thank You, Volunteers

Thank you to the chairs and strategy committee of the Advanced Photonics Congress and the Applied Industrial Optics topical meeting.

Optica Advanced Photonics Congress:

Bragg Gratings, Photosensitivity and Poling in Glass Waveguides (BGPP): Martin Bernier, Université Laval, Canada; John Canning, University of Technology Sydney, Australia; Paula Gouvea, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), Brazil; Matthieu Lancry, Université Paris-Saclay, France.

Integrated Photonics Research (IPR): Shamsul Arafin, Ohio State University, USA; Matteo Clerici, University of Glasgow, UK; Masahiro Nada, NTT Device Technology Labs, Japan; Judith Su, University of Arizona, USA; Noelia Vico Trivino, IBM Research-Zurich, Switzerland.

Novel Optical Materials and Applications (NOMA): Lynda Busse, US Naval Research Laboratory, USA; Jonathan Fan, Stanford University, USA; Alon Gorodetsky, University of California, Irvine, USA; Mikhail Kats, University of Wisconsin–Madison, USA; Sedat Nizamoglu, Koç Üniversitesi, Turkey.

Nonlinear Photonics (NP): Klaus Boller, Universiteit Twente, Netherlands; Ksenia Dolgaleva, University of Ottawa, Canada; Miro Erkintalo, University of Auckland, New Zealand; Sergey Polyakov, National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST), USA; Silvia Soria, Istituto di Fisica Applicata “Nello Carrara” (IFAC), Italy; Nathalie Vermeulen, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium.

Optical Devices and Materials for Solar Energy (PVLED): Noel Giebink, Pennsylvania State University, USA; Klaus Jaeger, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, Germany; Rebecca Saive, Universiteit Twente, Netherlands; Hairen Tan, Nanjing University, China.

Photonic Networks and Devices (NETWORKS): Rene Bonk, Nokia Bell Labs, Germany; Nikolaos Panteleimon Diamantopoulos, NTT Device Technology Labs, Japan; Wolfgang Freude, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie, Germany; Fatima Garcia Gunning, Tyndall National Institute, Ireland.

Signal Processing in Photonic Communications (SPPCom): Hany Elgala, State University of New York at Albany, USA; David Elkouss, QuTech, Netherlands; David Hillerkuss, Huawei Technologies, Germany; Darli Mello, UNICAMP, Brazil; Ana Pejkic, ADVA Optical Networking, USA.

Specialty Optical Fibers (SOF): Camille-Sophie Brès, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland; Rodrigo Amezcua Correa, University of Central Florida, CREOL, USA; Alexander Heidt, Universität Bern, Switzerland; Natalie Wheeler, University of Southampton, UK.

Strategy Committee: Lynda Busse, US Naval Research Laboratory, USA; Liang Dong, Clemson University, USA; Marija Furdek, Chalmers Tekniska Högskola, Sweden; Alexander L. Gaeta, Columbia University, USA; Morten Ibsen, University of Southampton, UK; Jonathan Klamkin, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA; Winnie N. Ye (Chair), Carleton University, Canada; Seunghyup Yoo, Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology, Republic of Korea; Qunbi Zhuge, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China.

Optica Applied Industrial Optics Topical Meeting:

Topical Chairs: Gary Miller, US Naval Research Laboratory, USA; Arlene Smith, Avo Photonics Inc, USA.

Publish Date: 01 July 2022

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