OSA Awards and Honors

The Optical Society (OSA) will recognize newly elected Fellow Members and announce the winners of the Student Travel Grants during the EQEC Plenary Talk and Award Ceremony on Tuesday morning from 9:00–10:30.

The 2021 Herbert Walther Award and Keynote will be presented during a special session to take place on Tuesday afternoon, 22 June, 2021 from 14:30 to 15:30.
Keynote: Cavity QED, Cold Atoms and the Riemann Zeta Function, Wolfgang Peter Schleich, Universität Ulm, Institut für Quantenphysik, Ulm, Germany

On 21 June, 2021, the LASER World of Photonics stage will host the World of Photonics Congress Plenary Talk, A 40-Year Journey, Reinhard Genzel, Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Garching, Germany. Immediately following will be the presentation of the Bernard J. Couillaud Prize, sponsored by The OSA Foundation and Coherent, Inc., and the presentation of the 2020 and 2021 Herbert Walther Awards.

Herbert Walther Award

2021 Recipient: Wolfgang Peter Schleich, Universität Ulm, Germany

For pioneering contributions to topics including gyroscopes and general relativity, Schleich-Wheeler oscillations, quantum state engineering, quantum optics in phase space, Gauss-sum factorization and wave packet dynamics and the red shift controversy resolution in atom interferometry.


2020 Recipient: Eugene Polzik, Kobenhavns Universitet, Denmark
(Due to COVID-19, Prof. Polzik was not formally recognized in 2020)
For pioneering experimental contributions to quantum optics including the demonstration of spin squeezing and entanglement of atomic ensembles, quantum teleportation between light and matter, a quantum memory for light, and hybrid atomic-mechanical coupling.



The Walther Award commemorates Max Planck Institute of Quantum Physics Professor Herbert Walther’s groundbreaking innovations in quantum optics and atomic physics as well as other wide-ranging contributions to the scientific community. It is administered jointly by OSA and Deutsche Physikalische Gesell­schaft and recognizes distinguished contributions in quantum optics and atomic physics as well as leadership in the international scientific community.

OSA Fellow Members Recognized
(as of May 2021)

Camille-Sophie Brès, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland

Dr. Arnaud Brignon, Thales Research & Technology, France

Elliott Brown, Wright State University, United States

Tal Carmon, Tel Aviv University and Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Israel

Volker Deckert, Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology, Jena, Germany

Des Gibson, University of the West of Scotland, United Kingdom

Martina Havenith-Newen, Ruhr Universitaet Bochum, Germany

Christian Kränkel, Leibniz-Institut für Kristallzüchtung, Germany

Arseniy Kuznetsov, IMRE, A*STAR, Singapore

Síle Nic Chormaic, Okinawa Inst of Science & Technology Graduate University, Japan

Tatiana Novikova, LPICM, Ecole Polytechnique, IP Paris, France

Vittorio M. N. Passaro, Politecnico di Bari, Italy

Roberta Ramponi, IFN-CNR and Politecnico di Milano, Italy

Albert Schliesser, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Enrique Tajahuerce, Universitat Jaume I, Spain

John Travers, Heriot-Watt University, United Kingdom

Nicolas Treps, Laboratoire Kastler Brossel, Sorbonne Université, France

Dries Van Thourhout, Ghent University – IMEC, Belgium

Ramon Vilaseca, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya. Barcelona, Spain

Anton Zeilinger, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria