News from the Society

Eni award / Fulbright for Qiao / Online industry meetings / Optica Fellow stories / LAOP / New Edmund Optics chair / Optica Community / CLEO Pacific Rim / Advanced Photonics / Falling Walls / Thank you, editors and volunteers

Naomi Halas and Peter Nordlander photos

Naomi Halas and Peter Nordlander. [J. Fitlow / Rice University]

Fellows Win Eni Energy Transition Award

Optica Fellows Naomi Halas and Peter Nordlander won the prestigious 2022 Eni Energy Transition Award. The scientists were honored for their “development of commercially viable light-activated nanoparticle catalysts that can insert energy into chemical reactions with surgical precision.”

The Energy Transition Award, one of several annual prizes from the Italian energy company Eni, highlights innovations for decarbonizing the world’s energy system. The award includes a gold medal and a cash prize of €200,000.

Jie Qiao photo

Jie Qiao. [S. Hamilton]

Jie Qiao Awarded Fulbright

Congratulations to Optica Fellow Jie Qiao on receiving the prestigious Fulbright US Scholar Award to advance ultrafast laser material processing technology in the upcoming academic year. Qiao will be a visiting professor at the Center for Intense Laser Applications, University of Bordeaux, France, collaborating with Inka Manek-Hönninger.

Qiao is an active advocate for diversity-related initiatives and the founder of WiSTEE Connect, a global association dedicated to helping promote women’s leadership in STEM. She said she is excited to work with others throughout southwestern France, which she considers one of the most advanced hubs for laser and laser material processing development. In addition, Qiao hopes this opportunity will serve as a chance to improve gender representation in the field of light by engaging women faculty and students in the Bordeaux region.

Online meeting

Connecting Optical Business Leaders

Starting in August, Optica kicked off a series of Online Industry Meetings that cover a variety of growth areas across the optics industry. The sessions include dedicated time for discussion and collaboration on shared industry needs. Registration is free for Optica corporate members; all meetings are recorded and available for later on-demand viewing.

“These online meetings will offer attendees the opportunity to gain unique insights from end-users, and share insights with suppliers and their customers,” said Jose Pozo, Optica’s Chief Technology Officer. “I encourage you to participate in our Online Industry Meeting Series to advance your career and your company’s bottom line.” For more information, visit

Shinji Matsuo photo

Shinji Matsuo.

Optica Fellow Stories

2022 Fellow Shinji Matsuo considered entering academia after graduate school, but he was ultimately drawn to the advanced facilities for device fabrication that industry could offer. Read more about Matsuo and other Optica Fellows at

Meeting attendees

Clockwise from top left: John Girkin, Durham University, UK; group discussion during Girkin’s course on biophotonics; attendees peer through diffraction gratings at the Optica booth; conference audience. [M. Duncan]

LAOP Returns as a Live Event in Brazil

From 7 to 11 August, Optica sponsored the Latin America Optics and Photonics Conference (LAOP) in Pernambuco, Brazil. The international conference aims to promote Latin American excellence in optics and photonics research and support the regional community.

One focus at this year’s LAOP was the burgeoning field of agriphotonics—where farm meets photonics. Conference participants presented technology that would affect people’s everyday life: optical technology assessing soil health, artificial-intelligence-assisted imaging finding ripe fruit, and spectroscopy sniffing out greenhouse gases and aiding planet-friendly agricultural practices. Other sessions covered a wide variety of hot topics in the field, including metamaterials and metasurfaces, biophotonics and biomedical applications and random lasers.

Marissa Edmund and Robert Edmund

Marisa Edmund (left) and Robert Edmund

Marisa Edmund to Chair Edmund Optics Board

Long-standing Optica corporate member Edmund Optics has appointed Marisa Edmund as the chair of its board of directors. An optical-component provider, Edmund Optics has been family owned and privately held for 80 years. Previous board chair Robert Edmund said of his daughter, “With her extensive experience, strong leadership qualities and inspiring vision, Marisa is uniquely positioned to guide Edmund Optics into the future. I am also very proud to see our Edmund family legacy continue.”

Ebrahim Karimi photo

Ebrahim Karimi

Highlighting the Optica Community

Optica has launched an “Optica Community” campaign, which will present a series of extraordinary life stories celebrating Optica’s global diversity and the values its members share. The first profile, titled “What Doesn’t Kill Me,” features Kurdish-Canadian quantum scientist and Optica Fellow Ebrahim Karimi, group leader of Structural Quantum Optics at the University of Ottawa, Canada, and co-director of Nexus for Quantum Technologies.

Karimi talks about how his fascination with light helped him survive a war-torn Iran. “Every morning, light waves caught the river, and at night we saw lunar halos. It was paradise for a budding optical scientist, even if we were sandwiched in a war zone.” Read more at

Staff and volunteers at meeting

Staff and volunteers at the CLEO Pacific Rim banquet. Left to right: Erika Martini, Meredith Smith, Takashige Omatsu, Satoshi Kawata, Michal Lipson, Kishan Dholakia, Shanti Bhattacharya and Alex Gaeta.

Optica at CLEO Pacific Rim

The Optical Society of Japan hosted a successful hybrid 2022 CLEO Pacific Rim Conference in Sapporo, Japan. The conference was co-located with the International Symposium on Imaging, Sensing and Optical Memory (ISOM) and the 13th International Conference on Optics-Photonics Design and Fabrication. The event included more than 375 presentations and 125 posters, three plenary sessions, workshops, tutorials and 30 exhibitors. Over 1,000 attendees participated, with more than 700 in-person.

Optica 2022 President Satoshi Kawata and President-Elect Michal Lipson were among the plenary speakers. Optica hosted a member reception, recognized several new fellows and presented student prizes. Congratulations to CLEO-PR conference general chair Takashige Omatsu, program chair Fumihiko Kannari and all the committee members. The 2024 conference will take place in Incheon, Republic of Korea.

Warwick Bowen

Warwick Bowen, University of Queensland, Australia, speaking on quantum light in microscopy at the Advanced Photonics Congress. [Optica]

Advanced Photonics Congress

From 24 to 28 July, Optica held the Advanced Photonics Congress in Maastricht, Netherlands. The congress comprised eight topical meetings covering the latest in materials, signal processing, communications and integrated optics. Plenary talks ran from the use of quantum light in microscopy to high-speed optical communications. Machine learning featured prominently, with especially exciting implications for the design of new metamaterials. Two special symposia celebrated the International Year of Glass, featuring 3D printing of glass optics and other innovations in manufacturing, and honored 1981 Nobel laureate Nicolaas Bloembergen by paying tribute to his life and work. Plans for Advanced Photonics 2023 in Busan, Republic of Korea, are underway. 

Fall Walls attendees

Falling Walls Science Summit 2021 [© Falling Walls Foundation]

Science: Knocking Down Walls

The Falling Walls Science Summit is an annual gathering in Berlin, Germany, that brings together researchers and leaders in science, politics, business and media. Optica Fellows Roberto Osellame, Italian National Research Council, Nathalie Picqué , Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics, and Philip Walther, University of Vienna, were among the Global Call winners in the “Physical Sciences” and “Engineering & Technology” categories for the 2022 summit’s Science Breakthrough of the Year. The award highlights projects with the potential to break down walls in science and society.

Thank You, Editors

We are happy to announce the following individuals were recently appointed as new editors: Biomedical Optics Express—Daniel Hammer, Food and Drug Administration, USA; Jonathan T.C. Liu, University of Washington, USA. Optics ExpressMindaugas Gedvilas, State Research Institute Center for Physical Sciences and Technology, Lithuania; Junpeng Guo, University of Alabama in Huntsville, USA; Zhengjun Liu, Harbin Institute of Technology, China; Wayne Slade, Sequoia Scientific, USA; Dawn Tan, Singapore University of Technology & Design, Singapore. Optics LettersJuan P. Torres, Universidad Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain.

We would like to thank the following editors for agreeing to serve a second term: Biomedical Optics ExpressThomas O’Sullivan, University of Notre Dame, USA. JOSA B—Lora Ramunno, University of Ottawa, Canada. OpticaMichael Pircher, Medical University of Vienna, Austria. Optics LettersMichael Galili, DTU Fotonik, Denmark; Anand Kumar, Harvard Medical School, USA.

We would like to thank the following editors, who have recently finished their terms, for their years of service: Biomedical Optics ExpressPietro Ferraro, Istituto di Cibernetica (CNR), Italy. Optics LettersMichaël Hemmer, JILA, University of Colorado, USA; Jian Wang, Wuhan National Laboratory for Optoelectronics and Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China.


Thank You, Volunteers

Thank you to the chairs and strategy committee of the Laser Congress and Exhibition:

Advanced Solid State Lasers Conference: Mark Bowers, Lockheed Martin, USA; Mark Dubinski, US Army Research Laboratory, USA; Yushi Kaneda, University of Arizona, USA; Clara Saraceno, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany; Peter Schunemann, BAE Systems Inc., USA.

Laser Applications Conference: Dave Mordaunt, Ball Aerospace & Technologies, USA; Johannes Trbola, Trbola Engineering, Germany; Yuji Sano, Institute for Molecular Science, Japan.

Applications of Lasers and Free Space Communications: Miranda van Iersel, University of Dayton, USA; Nicolas Riviere, Office National d’Etudes et Recherches Aérospatiales, France; Edward Watson, University of Dayton, USA.

Laser Congress Strategy Committee: Benoit Boulanger, Neel Institute, Switzerland; Francesca Calegari, Deutsches Elektronen Synchrotron, Germany (Chair); James Kafka, Spectra-Physics/MKS, USA; Dave Mordaunt, Ball Aerospace & Technologies, USA; Alphan Sennaroglu, Koç Üniversitesi, Turkey; Irina Sorokina, Norges Teknisk-Naturvitenskapelige Universitet, Norway; Johannes Trbola, Trbola Engineering, Germany; Edward Watson, University of Dayton, USA.

Publish Date: 01 October 2022

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