16 Jan 2019
24 recipients recognised for achievements across wide range of light-based science advances.SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, has this week announced the recipients of its prestigious annual awards. Recognizing transformative advancements in medical and molecular imaging, attosecond science, and infrared instrumentation to seminal work in biomedical optics, the Society's awards are presented for technical accomplishments and service to SPIE and its organizational mission.
This year’s SPIE Gold Medal has been awarded to Robert Alfano, “for his outstanding seminal achievements and contributions to advancement of knowledge on fundamental properties of materials and their interaction with light in areas of biology, condensed matter, semiconductors, tunable lasers, and biomedical optics.”
But Alfano’s crowning achievement, notes the SPIE citation, has been his discovery, development and the generation of the white light continuum, the so-called "supercontinuum" in matter.
Dr Alfano is a Distinguished Professor of Science and Engineering at the City College of New York, where he has been a faculty member in the Department of Physics since 1972. Before that, he worked as a research physicist at GTE Research Laboratories, 1964-1972.
He received his PhD in Physics from New York University in 1972, and his Bachelor's and Master's in Physics from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1963 and 1964, respectively. He is a Fellow of American Physical Society, Optical Society of America, and IEEE. He is director of CCNY's Institute of Ultrafast Spectroscopy and Lasers. He has been involved in developing ultrafast laser spectroscopic techniques and applications of these techniques to study ultrafast dynamical processes in physical, chemical, and biological systems.
Dr Alfano's research encompasses the study and development of supercontinuum, tunable solid-state lasers, nonlinear optical processes, application of optical spectroscopic techniques for medical diagnosis, study of photon migration in turbid media, and development of optical imaging techniques for optical mammography. He has published more than 700 papers and holds 102 patents. He has mentored 50 Ph.D. students.
Other 2019 SPIE awards
Directors' Award: Carmiña Londoño “for her exceptional contributions to SPIE including working on numerous conference and leadership committees; advocating for public policy that supports photonics; shaping the student chapter program; serving as the SPIE representative to the International Commission for Optics; and co-founding the SPIE Women in Optics program.”
Visionary Award James C. Wyant
Britton Chance Award in Biomedical Optics Samuel Achilefu
Biophotonics Technology Innovator Award Stephen Boppart
A.E. Conrady Award in Optical Engineering Hubert M. Martin
Harrison H. Barrett Award in Medical Imaging (Inaugural Presentation) Arthur E. Burgess, Charles E. Metz, Robert F. Wagner, and Harrison H. Barrett
Harold E. Edgerton Award in High-Speed Optics John Dudley
Dennis Gabor Award in Diffractive Optics Min Gu
George W. Goddard Award in Space and Airborne Optics Giovanni Fazio
Mozi Award John Pendry
G. G. Stokes Award in Optical Polarization Joseph A. Shaw
Chandra S. Vikram Award in Optical Metrology Wolfgang Osten
Frits Zernike Award in Microlithography Akiyoshi Suzuki and Obert R. Wood II
Early Career Achievement Award (Academic) Sarah Elizabeth Bohndiek and Juejun Hu
Early Career Achievement Award (Industry/Government) Matias B. Steiner
Maria J. Yzuel Educator Award Rick Trebino
Aden and Marjorie Meinel Technology Achievement Award Joe C. Campbell
The complete listing of all SPIE awards, including new awards set to be presented in 2020 – the SPIE Diversity Outreach Award, the SPIE Maria Goeppert-Mayer Award in Photonics, and the newly revamped SPIE Rudolf and Hilda Kingslake Award in Optical Design – is available on the SPIE website.