News from the Society

Photonics West / Endowed chair / Fellow stories / Member recognitions / Optics Continuum / Webinars / Thanks, editors and volunteers

Jun Ye photo

Jun Ye.

2022 Herbert Walther Award

Congratulations to Optica Fellow Jun Ye, JILA University of Colorado Boulder, USA, for his receipt of the 2022 Herbert Walther Award, jointly presented by Optica and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (DPG). Ye is recognized “for an extensive body of work in optics, including ultra-stable lasers, ultra-cold polar molecules, ultra-high-resolution spectroscopy and ultra-high-accuracy optical clocks.”

The Herbert Walther Award recognizes distinguished contributions in quantum optics and atomic physics as well as leadership in the international scientific community. The award honors Max Planck Institute of Quantum Physics Professor Herbert Walther’s groundbreaking innovations in quantum optics and atomic physics and other wide-ranging contributions to the scientific community.

Elizabeth Rogan at Photonics West

Optica CEO Elizabeth Rogan at Photonics West session introducing Jean M. Bennett endowed chair.

Endowed Chair Honors Jean Bennett

Optica has announced the establishment of an endowed chair in the name of the society’s 1986 President, the late Jean M. Bennett (1930–2008), at the University of Arizona’s James C. Wyant College of Optical Science. The endowment, funded by a donation from Optica and a contribution from the school’s Distinguished Endowed Chair in Optical Sciences Fund, marks the first time a chair in the Wyant College has been named in honor of a woman.

Bennett, the first woman to earn a Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University, USA, went on to a long and productive career at the US Naval Weapons Center (now the Naval Air Warfare Center). She was also the first woman president of Optica (formerly OSA). In addition to that role, she served the society as a journal editor for Applied Optics and Optics Express and on many councils and committees.

“Dr. Bennett was an exceptional scientist, scholar and educator who made many contributions to the field of optics and our organization,” said Optica CEO Elizabeth Rogan. “Her impactful legacy will continue in our community through The Jean M. Bennett Optica Endowed Chair.”

Woman in lab

[Getty Images]

New Scholarship Supports Women in Optics

The Optica Foundation has launched the Optica Women Scholars, a program that will provide visibility, community, and resources for 20 women annually via financial support of US$10,000. The recipients will also receive professional-development resources from the society, including membership and mentorship. By 2030, 200 scholarships will be awarded, creating a global network of women in the field.

The ten-year scholarship fund of more than US$2 million was established with contributions of US$100,000 from ten donors: II-VI Inc.; Corning Inc.; Google LLC; Meta Platforms, Inc.; Innolight Technology USA Inc.; Intel Corp.; NeoPhotonics Corp.; Source Photonics; Janet Fender and John Otten III; and Optica CEO Elizabeth Rogan. The donations were matched by a US$1 million contribution from the Foundation, and additional generous contributions from others in the community. Information on the program can be found at

NAI fellows

Clockwise from top left: Andrea Armani, Cherie R. Kagan, Frederick A. Kish Jr., David R. Williams and Brian W. Pogue

Optica Fellows Elected to NAI

Five US-based Optica Fellows have been elected as Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI): Andrea Armani, (University of Southern California), Cherie R. Kagan, (University of Pennsylvania), Frederick A. Kish Jr., (North Carolina State University), Brian W. Pogue (Dartmouth College) and David R. Williams (University of Rochester).

NAI comprises more than 4,000 inventor members and Fellows across 250 institutions worldwide. Fellows are selected in recognition of their inventions that have had an impact on “the quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.” The 2021 NAI Fellows will be officially inducted at the organization’s annual meeting in June 2022.

“The election of Optica members as NAI Fellows is a testament to their creative applications of optics and photonics,” said Optica CEO Elizabeth Rogan. “We congratulate our members who have received this well-deserved honor.”

Journal cover and Takashige Omatsu

Optics Continuum journal cover (left) and Takashige Omatsu (right).

Optics Continuum: New Name, Same Benefits

OSA Continuum is now Optics Continuum! The journal’s name change allows Optics Continuum to better fulfill Optica’s mission of advancing optics and photonics worldwide by publishing high-quality results from diverse research groups that build upon the existing literature and help move the field forward.

Although Optics Continuum has a new name, its many benefits to authors remain the same. The journal continues to provide rapid publication of research spanning all areas of optics and photonics that meets our high standards for technical accuracy, scientific rigor and presentation quality, without judgment of impact or significance.

Satoshi Kawata and students

Satoshi Kawata at Tokushima University.

On 13 January 2022, Optica President, Satoshi Kawata, visited the Institute of Post-LED Photonics, Tokushima University, Japan, where he gave a lecture titled “Unsupervised Learning: The Antithesis of Deep Learning.” He also took time to meet with members of the school’s Optica student chapter. Kawata is shown here with a few of the chapter’s 23 student members.


Zouheir Sekkat photo

Zouheir Sekkat. [© MAScIR]

Optica Fellow Stories

2021 Fellow Zouheir Sekkat has lived in several countries, and those experiences taught him the value of understanding different cultures and finding the connections between people and between cultures. He uses that same approach to find connections between different fields. Learn more about Zouheir and other Optica Fellows at

Man at desk

[Getty Images]

Grant Writing for Vision Scientists

Seeking funding and writing effective proposals are crucial career skills. To help young scientists in this process, the Optica Vision Technical Group hosted a webinar featuring David R. Williams, University of Rochester, USA, and Pablo Artal, Universidad de Murcia, Spain. Williams provided insight into the US grant process at several agencies, and Artal offered guidance on European Research Council (ERC) grants. They encouraged researchers to take calculated risks rather than play it safe with their proposals. Members can see the recorded webinar at

Domicele Jonauskaite photo and color reflections

Domicele Jonauskaite (left).

Do Colors Have Emotions?

The 2015 animated film Inside Out featured a main character whose emotional state was controlled by five characters with distinct colors: red for Anger, yellow for Joy, green for Disgust, blue for Sad and purple for Fear. But do such associations between colors and emotions reflect a shared cognitive architecture among all humans? Or are they culturally created?

In a recent Optica webinar, “Do Colors Have Emotions? Understanding Cross-Cultural Associations Between Colors and Emotions,” experimental color psychologist Domicele Jonauskaite of the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, and the University of Vienna, Austria, offered some thoughts toward an answer, based on data from the ongoing International Color–Emotion Association survey.

“Colors and emotions are associated systematically, and these associations are many-to-many rather than one-to-one,” according to Jonauskaite. “Emotion associations with color terms are shared across countries, and [are] modulated by linguistic and geographic proximity.” Members can view the webinar at

Photo of journal covers

Thank You, Editors

We are happy to announce that the following individuals were recently appointed as new editors: Applied OpticsSzymon Gladysz, Fraunhofer IOSB, Germany. Biomedical Optics ExpressAdam Eggebrecht, Washington University School of Medicine, USA. JOSA B—Pavel Loiko, Universite de Caen Normandie, France. Optics ExpressWolfgang Heidrich, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia; Xihua Zou, Southwest Jiaotong University. Optics LettersMing Han, Michigan State University, USA; Chao-Hsin (Wayne) Wu, National Taiwan University, Taiwan.

We thank the following editors
for agreeing to serve a second term: JOSA B—Andrei Lavrinenko, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark; Igor I. Smolyaninov, University of Maryland, College Park, USA (as Deputy Editor). Optics ExpressJohn Girkin, University of Durham, UK (as Deputy Editor); Paolo Serena, University of Parma, Italy; Zuqing Zhu, University of Science and Technology of China, China.

We thank the following editors, who have recently finished their terms, for their years of service: Applied OpticsSilvia Diaz Lucas, Public University of Navarra, Spain. OpticaLimin Tong, Zhejiang University, China. Optics ExpressAndreas Behrendt, University of Hohenheim, Germany; Yannick Dumeige, Université de Rennes I, France; Lukas Gallmann, ETH Zurich, Switzerland; Gordon Wetzstein, Stanford University, USA.

Thank You, Volunteers

We thank the chairs of the Optica High-Brightness Sources and Light-Driven Interactions Congress:

Compact (EUV and X-Ray) Light Sources: Lahsen Assoufid, Argonne National Laboratory, United States; Patrick Naulleau, National Laboratory, United States; Marie-Emmanuelle Couprie, Synchrotron SOLEIL, France; Tetsuya Ishikawa, RIKEN, Japan; Jorge Rocca, Colorado State University, United States.

High-Intensity Lasers and High-Field Phenomena: Constantin Haefner, Fraunhofer-Institut fur Lasertechnik, Germany; Giuseppe Sansone, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany; Thomas Metzger, TRUMPF Scientific Lasers GmbH + Co. KG, Germany; Emily Sistrunk Link, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, United States.

Mid-Infrared Coherent Sources: Majid Ebrahim-Zadeh, ICFO–Institut de Ciencies Fotoniques, Spain; Amr Helmy, University of Toronto, Canada; Giuseppe Leo, Universit√© de Paris, France; Peter Schunemann, BAE Systems Inc, United States.

Publish Date: 01 March 2022

Add a Comment