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Edmund Optics announces its 2018 Educational Award winners

23 Nov 2018

Augmented reality, medical, quantum and environmental testing student projects given $45,000 worth of EO equipment.

Optical components provider Edmund Optics has announced the recipients of its 2018 Educational Award program. This awards are presented annually in recognition of outstanding undergraduate and graduate optics programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics at non-profit colleges and universities worldwide.

The company’s Educational Award Team evaluated hundreds of applications to select 20 global finalists. $45,000 worth of EO products is to be awarded to the Gold, Silver, and Bronze winners in the Americas and Europe, in support of their research.

Remaining finalists will all receive a $500 product matching grant to assist with their research. Additionally, the recipient of the Norman Edmund Inspiration Award, which is an additional $5,000 in EO products, is chosen from the 20 global finalists and best embodies the legacy of Edmund Optics’ founder, Norman Edmund.

Gold, silver and bronze

In the Americas the Gold Award of $10,000 in EO products was awarded to Yongmin Liu at Northeastern University, United States, for the development of ultra-thin metasurfaces to create a new type of augmented reality glasses with small form factor, wide field of view, high coupling efficiency, and suppressed chromatic aberration.

The Silver Award of $7,500 in EO products was awarded to Tyler Iorizzo at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, United States, for the development of an imaging device to identify nonmelanoma skin cancer.

The Bronze Award of $5,000 in EO products was awarded to Anthony LoCurto at Iowa State University, United States, for the development of a fluorescence microscope setup to detect microplastic levels for different water samples.

In Europe the Gold Award of €7,000 in EO products was awarded to Dr. Stefan Kalies at Leibniz Universität Hannover, Institut für Quantenoptik, Germany, for a project that combines imaging and manipulation of cardiac aggregates or intestinal organoids to study regeneration with a micro-to-mesoscopic optical manipulation platform.

The Silver Award of €5,000 in EO products was awarded to Jamie Vovrosh at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, for a project that aims to make a portable quantum gravity gradiometer, turning a bulky and heavy lab-based system into a portable system, while maintaining the sensitivity achieved in the lab.

The Bronze Award of €3,000 in EO products was awarded to Alessandra Franceschini at the European Laboratory for Non-Linear Spectroscopy and University of Florence, Italy, for a project to build a novel dual-view inverted dual-slit confocal light-sheet fluorescence microscope for fast high-resolution imaging of centimetre-sized tissues.

Norman Edmund Inspiration Award

The Norman Edmund Inspiration Award was awarded to Zohreh Hosseinaee at the University of Waterloo, Canada, who submitted a project that focuses on developing novel optical imaging technology for non-contact, in-vivo imaging of stem cells in the human eye.

Characterization of these cells and understanding their role in human corneal tissue could open new paths for developing therapies of corneal diseases. The ability to view these cells allows young researchers to develop technologies for differentiating healthy and diseased stem cells using optical methods such as fluorescent dyes, light absorption, and scattering properties (as these methods are accurate, fast, and mostly non-invasive).

In addition, since stem cell therapy is one of the cutting-edge therapeutic approaches in ophthalmology, projects like Ms. Hosseinaee’s have the potential to inspire researchers and companies to develop optic-based therapeutic methods for targeted therapy specified on stem cells.

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