EPS-QEOD (Quantum Electronics and Optics Division) Prizes

A series of prestigious EPS-QEOD Prizes and Awards distributed in uneven years will be presented in a special Plenary and Awards Ceremony during CLEO®/Europe-EQEC 2023 to take place on Tuesday morning, June 27, 2023.

Prizes – Background:

The EPS-QEOD Quantum Electronics and Optics Prizes:

Among its most prestigious prizes, the Quantum Electronics and Optics division (QEOD) of the European Physical Society (EPS) distributes the Quantum Electronics and Optics Prizes. These are the two senior EPS/QEOD prizes (one for fundamental, one for applied aspects) awarded for outstanding contributions to quantum electronics and optics. These Prizes, awarded in uneven years, recognize the highest level of achievements in fundamental and applied research in optical physics.

The EPS-QEOD Fresnel Prizes:

Two EPS/QEOD Fresnel Prizes are awarded for outstanding contributions to quantum electronics and optics made by young scientists before the age of 35 (as of December 31st, 2021). There is one prize for fundamental aspects and one prize for applied aspects.

The EPS-QEOD Thesis Prizes:

Since 2007 up to four EPS/QEOD Thesis Prizes are awarded to reward excellence in PhD research and scientific communication in the area of quantum electronics and optics related to a PhD thesis work defended in the period June 2017 – June 2019 (in the two years prior to the conference). These Prizes are awarded for fundamental and applied aspects. The prize winners are each to receive a diploma and 1000 euros.


Recipients honoured during the 2021 Ceremony:

2020 EPS-QEOD Prize for ‘Research in Laser Science and Applications’

Prof. Sergey I. Bozhevolnyi, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark has been elected the winner of the 2020 EPS-QEOD Prize for Research in Laser Science and Applications for his “seminal contributions to surface-plasmon polaritons and the developments of plasmonic metasurfaces”. 

Sergey I Bozhevolnyi has initiated experimental research in near-field optics at the Institute of Physics, Aalborg University (Denmark) in 1991, where he has been Professor in 2003-2009 before moving to the University of Southern Denmark (SDU). During 2001–2004, he was also the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of Micro Managed Photons A/S set up to commercialize plasmonic waveguides. At SDU, he founded and became a Head of Centre for Nano Optics (SDU Nano Optics). He has been recognised with prestigious European and Danish research grants, various awards and honorary titles, including Fellow of Optical Society of America, Chair of Technical Science at Danish Institute of Advanced Study (D-IAS), Member of Danish Academy of Natural Sciences (DNA) and Danish Academy of Technical Sciences (ATV).
After being awarded Doctor of Science degree from Århus University in 1998 for the research in near-field optics, he gradually shifted the focus of his work to fundamental and applied aspects of surface plasmon polaritons, pioneering the field of plasmonic waveguides and circuitry. In 2013 he received an ERC Advanced Grant, launching research into strongly confined surface plasmon modes, for plasmon-empowered active and quantum nanophotonics, including multifunctional optical metasurfaces. He has published over 400 research articles, dozens of reviews and book chapters, and been regularly included in the Web of Science (Clarivate) List of Highly Cited Researchers in Physics since 2017. The latest achievements include pioneering work on gap plasmon based waveguides and resonators as well as their use for ultra-compact photonic components, quantum plasmonics and gradient metasurfaces enabling complete control over radiation.

Traditionally, this Award is presented in even years during the Europhoton conference but things have been delayed by the pandemic. Thus the Award will be announced during the Plenary and Awards Ceremony of CLEO®/Europe-EQEC 2021. The Award of the Prize itself in person is scheduled to take place at Europhoton 2022, where the 2020 and 2022 winners of the Award will each be invited to give a Prize Lecture. The Europhoton 2022 meeting is scheduled to take place in Hannover, Germany, Sunday 28 August – Friday 2nd September 2022.

2021 EPS-QEOD Quantum Electronics and Optics Prize

The 2021 EPS-QEOD Quantum Electronics Prize for fundamental aspects is awarded to Prof. Miles Padgett, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom, for pioneering and wide ranging research on the fundamentals and applications of optical angular momentum.

Miles Padgett is a Royal Society Research Professor and also holds the Kelvin Chair of Natural Philosophy at the University of Glasgow in the UK.
His research team, covers all things optical from the basic ways in which light behaves as it pushes and twists the world around us, to the application of new optical techniques in imaging and sensing. They are currently using the classical and quantum properties of light to explore: the laws of quantum physics in accelerating frames, microscopes that see through noise, shaped light that overcomes diffraction-limited resolution and endoscopes the width of a human hair.
Miles celebrates his present and former group members and is proud of their academic and post-academic careers.

2021 EPS-QEOD Fresnel Prizes

The 2021 Fresnel Prize for applied aspects is awarded to Dr. Margherita Maiuri, Politecnico di Milano, Italy, for outstanding achievements in ultrafast optical spectroscopy, unveiling primary light-induced processes in bio-molecules and nanostructures with sub-10-fs pulses.

Margherita Maiuri received her PhD in Physics in 2014 at Politecnico di Milano, specializing in the field of ultrafast optics and spectroscopy. Later she obtained a Marie Curie Global Fellowship and worked at Princeton University (USA) for three years. Currently she is Assistant Professor at the Physics Department of Politecnico di Milano where she supervises the Ultrafast Spectroscopy Laboratory division focused on the study of complex systems for light-energy conversion. Her main research interests include the understanding of femtosecond dynamics of light-induced mechanisms in biological/biomimetic systems and nanostructures. 

She has published >40 peer-reviewed articles, including publications in Science, Nature Photonics, Nature Chemistry, Nature Materials journals. She received the L’Oréal UNESCO for Women in Science Fellowship (2018) and the ENI award – Debut in Research (2015).


The 2021 Fresnel Prize for fundamental aspects is awarded to Prof. Michael Zuerch, University of California Berkeley, USA for outstanding contributions to the field of ultrafast condensed-matter science and for the application of linear and nonlinear X-ray spectroscopies to the investigation of quantum phenomena.

Michael Zuerch graduated from the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany, in 2010. He completed his PhD in Physics at the same institution in 2014 working on high-resolution imaging using laser-driven extreme ultraviolet sources based on high harmonic generation. He then joined the research groups of Stephen Leone and Daniel Neumark at UC Berkeley as a Feodor Lynen Fellow studying condensed phase quantum phenomena using attosecond extreme ultraviolet sources. At present, he is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley in the Department of Chemistry. His research interests include studying ultrafast dynamics and phase transitions in correlated solids using laboratory attosecond sources and developing and applying nonlinear X-ray spectroscopy at free-electron lasers.

2021 EPS-QEOD Thesis Prizes

The 2021 EPS-QEOD Thesis Prize for applied aspects is awarded to Dr. Maxim Karpov, Centre Suisse d’Electronique et de Microtechnique (CSEM), Neuchâtel, Switzerland for his work on exploring the dynamics of dissipative Kerr solitons in optical microresonators and demonstration of their performance in real-world applications.
Maxim Karpov received his Doctorate in Physics from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland in 2020. His research interests lie at the intersection of nonlinear physics, microresonator-based photonic systems, and their emerging applications. During his Doctorate Maxim Karpov worked on microresonator-based optical frequency combs (microcombs), and experimentally discovered several soliton phenomena in microresonators including Raman self-frequency shift, soliton switching, and the formation of perfect soliton crystals. Dr. Karpov also contributed to many first demonstrations of new applications of microcombs in coherent optical communications, ultrafast distance measurements (LiDAR), and optical computing of convolution neural networks. He is now a Swiss National Science Foundation postdoctoral research fellow at the Swiss Centre of Electronics and Microtechnology.
The 2021 EPS-QEOD Thesis Prize for applied aspects is awarded to Dr. Felipe Ignacio Pedreros Bustos, LAM – Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille, France, for his key contributions to improving sodium laser guidestars via modeling and laboratory and on-sky experimental validation and for demonstrating and documenting remote mesospheric magnetometry.
Felipe Pedreros Bustos is a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow at the Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille, France, where he investigates and develops new methods for laser guide star wavefront sensing in astronomy adaptive optics. He received his PhD in December 2019 from the Johannes Gutenberg Universität-Mainz and Helmholtz Institut Mainz (Germany), working on novel techniques for remote magnetometry with laser guide stars and exploring the extensions of nonlinear processes in sodium vapor cells to mesospheric sodium. Previously, Felipe had also worked in several astronomical facilities including the IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole, Antarctica. 

The 2021 EPS-QEOD Thesis Prize for fundamental aspects is awarded to Dr. Paulo André Dias Gonçalves, ICFO – The Institute of Photonic Sciences, Barcelona, Spain for fundamental contributions to nanoscale electrodynamics and light–matter interactions with the incorporation of quantum mechanical effects in metal nanostructures and two-dimensional nanophotonics.

P. André D. Gonçalves is a postdoctoral researcher at ICFO – The Institute of Photonic Sciences, Spain. His research interests encompass several areas of nanophotonics and condensed-matter physics, with focus on the nanoscale regime interfacing quantum and classical physics. He received his Ph.D. degree in September 2019, awarded by the Technical University of Denmark, Denmark. During his PhD, in the groups of N. A. Mortensen and A.-P. Jauho, he developed theoretical methods for describing multifaceted aspects related to the optical response of complex nanostructures and investigated the impact of quantum effects in various light–matter interactions in the few-nanometer regime. He previously obtained his BSc and MSc degrees in Physics from the Universities of Minho and Porto, respectively.

The 2021 EPS-QEOD Thesis Prize for fundamental aspects is awarded to Dr. Renwen Yu, Stanford University, CA, USA for fundamental studies of light-matter interactions in nanosystems based on graphene, along with the exploration of applications in photodetection, light modulation, and optical sensing.

Renwen Yu received his PhD in Photonics in 2019 at ICFO – The Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona, Spain. He worked in the area of theoretical nanophotonics, with a focus on light-matter interactions in nanosystems based on graphene. He previously obtained his bachelor’s degree in Optoelectronics and Information Engineering from Huazhong University of Science and Technology and his master’s degree in Photonics from Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena. He is currently a postdoctoral associate at Ginzton Laboratory, Stanford University. Here, his research interests lie at nanophotonics in the thermodynamical limit.

2021 EPS QEOD/AMOPD Vladilen Letokhov Medal

The 2021 EPS QEOD/AMOPD Vladilen Letokhov Medal is awarded to Prof. Massimo Inguscio, Campus Bio-medico University of Rome, Italy for world class experiments in AMO physics, from spectroscopy of metastable Helium to pioneering work with degenerate bosonic or fermionic quantum gases, and for many services to the international AMO community. 

Massimo Inguscio received his Ph.D. from Scuola Normale Superiore (Pisa, Italy) in 1976. He has been Professor of Optics and Physics of Matter at the Universities of Napoli and Firenze and, since 2019, at Campus Bio-medico University of Rome. He has been co-founder and director of the European Laboratory for Nonlinear Spectroscopy (LENS), President of the Italian metrology institute (INRIM), President of the Italian National Research Council (CNR). His research activity spans from high-precision spectroscopy of atoms and molecules for fundamental tests of physics, to experiments with ultracold quantum gases and mixtures for the development of atom-based and photon-based quantum technologies.

EPS QEOD/AMOPD Vladilen Letokhov Medal background:

Established in memory of Vladilen Letokhov (1939-2009), former Vice-Director of the Institute of Spectroscopy of the Russian Academy of Sciences and pioneer in several fields of laser physics, the Letokhov Medal aims at recognizing outstanding contributions in laser-matter interaction, in particular spectroscopy of atoms and molecules, laser manipulation of atoms, and strong field processes. The prize consists of a medal, a certificate and a monetary award of 5000 euros.

The medal is presented every odd year at a major conference alternatively sponsored by the Quantum Electronics and Optics Division and the Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics Division of the EPS.

In 2021, it was awarded at the CLEO/Europe-EQEC 2021 virtual conferences. See details of the application procedure and information required

2021 EPS QEOD/Young Minds Best Student Presentation Awards Laureates

Dominik Auth, Technical University, Darmstadt, Germany
Electrical injection-locking dynamics of a frequency-modulated comb
Antonio Cutrona, University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom
Self-Starting temporal cavity solitons in a Laser-based microcomb
Alvaro Rodriguez Echarri, ICFO – Institut de Ciències Fotòniques, Barcelona, Spain
Crystalline atomically-thin films boost the nonlinear optical response
Matthew Garett, The University of Sydney, Australia
Ultra-deep multi-notch microwave photonic filter utilising on-chip brillouin procesing and microring resonators
Aurelian John-Herpin, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland
Infrared metasurfaces augmented by artificial intelligence for monitoring dynamics between all major classes of biomolecules
Lal Krishna A.S., Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, India
Resonantly enhanced third harmonic up-conversion of 2.4 micron excitation using amorphous germanium zero contrast gratings
Shima Rajabali, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Breakdown of polaritons in ultrastrongly coupled nanophotonic systems
Bartu Şimşek, National Nanotechnology Research Center, Ankara, Turkey
High-Power cladding light stripper with vapor deposition of polyethersulfone
Robyn Tucker, University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom
Subwavelength video-rate terahertz carrier microscopy
Simon White, University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo, Australia
Demonstration of Lossy linear transformations and two-photon interference via singular value decomposition

2019 Archives:

2019 EPS-QEOD Quantum Electronics and Optics Division Prizes

For Applied Aspects of Quantum Electronics and Optics 


For Fundamental Aspects of Quantum Electronics and Optics 


Govind P. Agrawal, University of Rochester, USA


Anne L’Huillier, Lund University, Sweden

For pioneering and groundbreaking research that underpins a wide range of current photonic technologies in the fields of semiconductor lasers, nonlinear fiber optics and optical communication systems.


In recognition of her pioneering experimental and theoretical contributions to attosecond pulse trains using high harmonics, which form the basis of today’s successful field of attosecond science.

2019 EPS-QEOD Fresnel Prizes

For Applied Aspects of Quantum Electronics and Optics 


For Fundamental Aspects of Quantum Electronics and Optics 


Matteo Lucchini, Politecnico di Milano, Italy


Carlos Hernández-García, University of Salamanca, Spain

For outstanding contributions in the field of attosecond science. In particular for seminal contribution in the investigation of attosecond electron dynamics in solid state materials.


For pioneering contributions to the theory of high harmonic generation, uncovering new regimes of attosecond and zeptosecond waveforms and designer beams with orbital and spin angular momentum.

2019 EPS-QEOD Thesis Prizes

For Applied Aspects


For Applied Aspects

  For Fundamental Aspects   For Fundamental Aspects
Armin Feist, University of Göttingen, Germany   Mathieu Massicotte, University of Sherbrooke, Canada


Ileana-Cristina Benea-Chelmus, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA


Fabian Langer, Lund University, Sweden

For Next-Generation Ultrafast Transmission Electron Microscopy – Development and Applications.


For Ultrafast optoelectronics in 2D materials and their heterostructures.


For Terahertz quantum optics with ultra-short pulses.


For Lightwave-driven quasiparticle acceleration.

2019 EPS-QEOD Travel Grant Student Awards

The EPS-QEOD Board together with the EPS Young Minds are happy to announce the laureates of the EPS-QEOD Travel Grant Student Awards to attend CLEO/Europe-EQEC 2019:

  • Emil Vosmar Denning, DTU Fotonik, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark
  • Vinícius C. Ferreira, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil
  • Xin Jin, Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique – Energie, Matériaux et Télécommunications (INRS-EMT), Varennes, Canada
  • Aleksandrs Leitis, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Ziqi Li, School of Physics, State Key Laboratory of Crystal Materials, Shandong University, Jinan, China
  • Paulius Mackonis, Solid State Laser laboratory, Department of Laser Technologies, Center for Physical Sciences and Technology, Vilnius, Lithuania
  • Ahmed Othman, Faculty of Engineering, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt
  • Dmitrii Pushkarev, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia
  • Jérémy Raskop, Laboratoire Kastler Brossel (LKB), Paris, France
  • Varun Sharma, Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar, India

↓Download the 2019 EPS-QEOD Prizes booklet

↓Download the 2019 EPS-QEOD Quantum Electronics Prizes – Press release

Information about membership of the EPS is available here. Please note that many members of national physical societies can join EPS for a very moderate supplement, representing excellent value for money.  EPS membership provides tremendous value for money with access to a wide range of resources, conference discounts and networking opportunities within the European optics community.