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Edmund Optics announces 2019 Educational Award winners

28 Nov 2019

$45,000 in products to be presented to Gold, Silver, and Bronze winners in Americas and Europe to support photonics research.

Optical and imaging components supplier Edmund Optics has announced the recipients of its 2019 Educational Award program. This annual award is given in recognition of outstanding undergraduate and graduate optics research at non-profit colleges and universities worldwide.

The EO Educational Award Team evaluated hundreds of applications to select 20 global finalists. $45,000 USD in EO products are being awarded to the Gold, Silver, and Bronze winners in the Americas and Europe to support their research. The recipient of the Norman Edmund Inspiration Award, chosen from the 20 global finalists, also receives an additional $5,000 in EO products.

Gold, Silver and Bronze winners

In the Americas, the Gold Award of $10,000 in products was awarded to Emily Bedell at the University of Colorado Boulder for her design of an in-situ fluorimeter for the real-time detection of microbial risk levels in drinking water sources in low-income areas. The Silver Award of $7,500 in products was awarded to Travis Sawyer at the University of Arizona for the development of a novel endoscope for early detection of esophageal cancer. The Bronze Award of $5,000 in EO products was awarded to Guanjun Tan of the University of Central Florida for the resolution of several remaining optical challenges in head-mounted display systems, including virtual reality and optical see-through augmented reality.

In Europe, the Gold Award of €7,000 in EO products was awarded to Jan Sperrhake of Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Institute of Applied Physics, Germany, for the development of a multipurpose, contactless medical sensor device for observing the vital signs of newborns. The Silver Award of €5,000 in EO products was awarded to Andreas Riedo of the University of Bern, Switzerland for the development of a robust and sensitive detector for the reliable in-situ detection of signatures of life on extra-terrestial bodies within the solar system.

The Bronze Award of €3,000 in EO products was awarded to Alejandro Madrid Sánchez of Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Belgium, for the development of a novel 3D printing solution for wound dressings that reduces printing time by producing tailored voxels, which can enable large-scale 3D structures to be implemented in biomedical applications.

Norman Edmund Inspiration Award

The Norman Edmund Inspiration Award was awarded to Cobey McGinnis at University of North Carolina Charlotte, for developing a single-pixel hyperspectral imaging camera that can identify malignant tissue and can allow for real-time margin assessment by surgeons. The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 1.7 million people will be diagnosed with cancer in 2019 and that over 600,000 people will die from the disease.

Surgery remains the primary treatment for solid mass tumors with the objective being to remove malignant tissue while minimizing damage to adjacent healthy tissue. This project demonstrates an impactful, applicable research opportunity in the field of optics that could lead to more positive outcomes for cancer patients who require surgery.

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