LIGHT2015 Young Women in Photonics and Young Entrepreneur in Photonics Awards Winners Announced
The European Optical Society, together with the LIGHT2015 project, announces the LIGHT2015 Award winners. The Young Women in Photonics Awards to honour young female scientists who has made outstanding contributions to photonics goes to Na Liu (Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems) in the Fundamental category and Nathalie Vermeulen (Photonics Team (B-PHOT), Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)) in the Applied/Engineering category. The winner of the Young Photonics Entrepreneur Award is Garret D. Cole (Crystalline Mirror Solutions LLC& GmbH). The awards will be presented during the World of Photonics Congress in Munich, Germany, on Wednesday 24 June.
We were delighted to receive such a large number of outstanding applications for the Young Women in Photonics Award, and the jury wishes to extend its thanks to all applicants. With such a broad range of research areas, we decided in the end to give two awards in different categories: Fundamental and Applied/Engineering. The large number of excellent candidates suggests that measures to attract women into photonics are having a positive effect, but we believe there is still very much more to do. As a legacy of the LIGHT2015 project, the EOS will therefore plan to continue giving these awards in the future, in connection with its bi-annual EOSAM Symposium.
Seppo Honkanen, President of the European Optical Society
LIGHT2015 Young Women in Photonics Award: Fundamental Category
On the Fundamental category, the prize is awarded to Dr. Na Liu for “her seminal contribution to nanophotonics and nanoplasmonics. She established 3D stacking of plasmonic structures, enabling the manufacturing of complex plasmonic functional devices. Using this method, she realized the first 3D stereometamaterials, the first 3D analog of EIT in plasmonics, exhibiting well-modulated Fano resonances, the first single plasmonic antenna-enhanced gas sensor, the first near-IR plasmonic perfect absorber, the first plasmonic glucose sensor based on Fano resonances, the first plasmonic 3D ruler, the first 3D chiral plasmonic structure, the first 3D reconfigurable plasmonic system based on DNA assembly, and the first DNA-based plasmonic gas sensor. Her work has transformed plasmonics from a fundamental field in science into the applications realm.“
Na Liu (age 36) completed her doctorate at the University of Stuttgart. She worked as a postdoc at the University of California at Berkeley and later as a visiting professor at Rice University. She is a group leader at the Max-Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems and also a full professor at University of Heidelberg.
LIGHT2015 Young Women in Photonics Award: Applied/Engineering category
On the Applied/Engineering category, Dr. Nathalie Vermeulen has been awarded for “introducing a disruptive model for the nonlinear process of Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Scattering and employed it to conceptualize a novel cooling technique for Raman lasers. She also came up with a groundbreaking phase matching approach for on-chip nonlinear wavelength converters, enabling device manufacturing in photonic foundries with standard fabrication rules. Today Dr. Vermeulen impacts mid-infrared solid-state laser development, and targets next‐generation nonlinear photonic devices based on graphene.”
Nathalie Vermeulen (age 33) is professor in the Brussels Photonics Team at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium. Her research is focused on generating light with multiple wavelengths in optical chips. In 2013 she obtained a prestigious European ERC Starting Grant, and she also became coordinator of a European FET project.
LIGHT2015 Young Entrepreneur in Photonics Award
Dr. Garret D. Cole, the Young Entrepreneur in Photonics laureate, won for “the development of a game-changing low-noise optical coating process that enables the integration of single-crystal semiconductor films onto arbitrary optical substrates, and for successful entrepreneurship through subsequently founding the high-tech start-up company Crystalline Mirror Solutions GmbH. High-reflectivity mirrors fabricated with his technique yield an order of magnitude reduction in thermal coating noise compared to state-of-the-art optical coatings. His technology solves a decade old roadblock in laser-based precision measurement and instrumentation.”
Garrett Cole (age 36), Co-Founder of Crystalline Mirror Solutions (CMS), obtained his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from UC Santa Barbara in 2005. Leveraging his wide-ranging expertise in micromechanically-tunable surface-emitting lasers, cavity optomechanical systems, and advanced microfabrication techniques, Dr. Cole co-founded CMS along with Prof. Markus Aspelmeyer in February 2012.
The LIGHT2015 awards consist of a diploma and an honorarium of €2500.
In addition, special recognition to young women in Photonics will also go to Francesca Calegari (National Research Council of Italy – Institute for Photonics and Nanotechnologies (CNR – IFN) and Camille-Sophie Bres (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)) for their contributions to Photonics.
The Award ceremony will be held in Munich during the World of Photonic Congress on Wednesday 24 June at 16:00-16:20. The winners will be announced on Tuesday 23 June within the CLEO EUROPE- EQEC 2015 Plenary Session and Awards Ceremonies.
About The European Optical Society
The purpose of the European Optical Society (EOS) is to contribute to progress in optics and related sciences, and to promote their applications at the European and international levels, by bringing together individuals and legal entities involved in these disciplines and their applications.
The EOS serves as the joint forum for all individuals, companies, organizations, educational institutions, and learned and professional societies, who recognise the opportunity and challenge that a common European base provides for the development of optics in its broadest sense.
LIGHT2015 is a European project funded through the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme of the European Commission. It aims to promote the importance of photonics to young people, entrepreneurs and the general public in all Member States of the EU during the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015 (IYL 2015).
LIGHT2015 activities will include LIGHTtalks, a series of inspirational events, which will take place throughout the European Union in different cities at different times for the whole duration of the project in order to bring photonics closer to students and entrepreneurs. A specific series of events targeted to local industry and entrepreneurs, will take place during the period 25-28 September 2015 to take advantage of the international “100 Hours / Weekend of Light” of the global IYL 2015 programme.
Another highlight of LIGHT2015 will be a community experiment on smartphone photonics where thousands of participants from throughout the EU will carry out optical measurements of the sky to yield information related to air pollution. To aid teachers and to inspire student, Photonics kits will be distributed to schools around Europe to support the scientific education at secondary schools.
LIGHT2015 Partners include the European Physical Society (EPS), the European Optical Society (EU), the Institute of Photonics Sciences (ICFO), Politecnico di Milano (POLIMI) the National University of Ireland Galway (NUI), Universiteit Leiden and EYESTvzw.