OSA Awards and Honors

The Optical Society (OSA) will recognize newly elected Fellow Members and present the 2021 Herbert Walther Award during a special session to take place on Tuesday afternoon, June 22nd, 2021 from 14:30 to 16:00, Track 1.

2021 recipient of the Herbert Walther Award

Wolfgang Peter Schleich, Universität Ulm, Germany, has been named the 2021 recipient of the Herbert Walther Award “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.”

The 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.

CLEO/Europe-EQEC 2021 will be honored to have Wolfgang Peter Schleich presenting a keynote talk.

Download OSA’s press release.

2019 Archives:

OSA Award Winners Recognized at CLEO/Europe – EQEC 2019

Peter Knight
Kavli Royal Society
International Centre
United Kingdom
2019 Herbert Walther Award

Wolfgang Osten
Universität Stuttgart
2019 Emmett N. Leith Medal

Aram Papoyan
Institute for Physical Research
2019 Advocate of Optics

OSA Fellow Members Recognized (as of March 2019)

Saša Bajt, DESY, Germany
Daniele Faccio, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom
Lukas Gallmann, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Mircea Guina, Tampere University, Finland
Rupert Huber, University of Regensburg, Germany
Animesh Jha, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
Zhongping Lee, University of Massachusetts Boston, United States
Uli Lemmer, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany
Ion N. Mihailescu, National Institute for Laser, Plasma, and Radiation Physics, Romania
Roberto Osellame, CNR– Istituto di Fotonica e Nanotecnologie, Italy
Ekmel Ozbay, Bilkent Universitesi, Turkey
Francesco Saverio Pavone, University of Florence, Italy
Concita Sibilia, Università degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza, Italy
Christine Silberhorn, Universität Paderborn, Germany
Adrian Stern, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
Yan Zhang, Capital Normal University, China

2019 Herbert Walther Award

The Optical Society (OSA) and the Deutsche Physikalische Gesell­schaft (DPG) have named Sir Professor Peter Knight the 2019 recipient of the Herbert Walther Award. Knight is recognized “for remarkable and varied contributions to quantum optics and quantum information science, ranging from foundations to applications.”

The 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. The Herbert Walther Award, administered jointly by OSA and DPG, recognizes distinguished contributions in quantum optics and atomic physics as well as leadership in the international scientific community. 

Knight, Senior Fellow in Residence, Kavli Royal Society International Centre, U.K., is a physicist renowned for pioneering research into quantum optics. His 40 years of work on the nonclassical properties of light and the theoretical underpinnings of quantum computing have established him as an influential figure within the wider UK physics community.

Knight is also professor and senior research investigator in the physics department at Imperial College, and chair of the Quantum Metrology Institute, National Physical Laboratory, both in the U.K. He retired in September 2010 as Deputy Rector, Research, at Imperial College where he was responsible for research strategy.

After receiving his doctorate at Sussex University, Knight was a Research Associate in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Rochester and the Physics Department and SLAC at Stanford University. He joined Imperial College in 1979 first as a Lecturer, becoming a Professor in 1988.

Knight, a dedicated volunteer, has served in many roles, including OSA president in 2004, Institute of Physics President (2011-2013), chair of the EPS Quantum Electronics and Optics Division, and editor of both the Journal of Modern Optics and Contemporary Physics. He is a Thomson-ISI Highly Cited Author.

Knight has won numerous awards including the OSA Frederic Ives Medal/Jarus W. Quinn Prize, the Thomas Young Medal and the Glazebrook Medal of the Institute of Physics, and the Royal Medal of the Royal Society.  He was named a U.K. Knights Bachelor on the 2005 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, for his work in optical physics.

Knight presented an invited talk in the 2019 CLEO/Europe – EQEC program, “The journey from manipulating single quantum systems to quantum information processing”.

2019 Emmett N. Leith Medal

The Optical Society (OSA) will present the 2019 Emmett N. Leith Medal to Wolfgang Osten, Universität Stuttgart, Germany, “for extending the limits of optical metrology by integrating digital image processing with modern optical measurement techniques.”

The Medal, established in 2006 in honor of Emmett N. Leith, a world-renowned scientist in holography and optical information processing, recognizes seminal contributions to the field of optical information processing, including sensing and analog signal processing as well as computing (classical and quantum) and optical storage.

Prof. Wolfgang Osten received the MSc/Diploma in Physics from the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena in 1979. From 1979 to 1984 he was a member of the Institute of Mechanics in Berlin working in the field of experimental stress analysis and optical metrology. In 1983 he received the PhD degree from the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg for his thesis in the field of holographic interferometry. From 1984 to 1991 he was employed at the Central Institute of Cybernetics and Information Processes ZKI in Berlin making investigations in digital image processing and computer vision. Between 1988 and 1991 he was heading the Institute for Digital Image Processing at the ZKI. In 1991 he joined the Bremen Institute of Applied Beam Technology (BIAS) to establish and to direct the Department Optical 3D-Metrology till 2002.

Since September 2002 he has been a full professor at the University of Stuttgart and director of the Institute for Applied Optics. From 2006 till 2010 he was the vice rector for research and technology transfer of the Stuttgart University where he is currently an elected member of the university council. His research work is focused on new concepts for industrial inspection and metrology by combining modern principles of optical metrology, sensor technology and image processing. Special attention is directed to the development of resolution-enhanced technologies for the investigation of micro and nano structures.

Wolfgang Osten is fellow of OSA, SPIE, EOS, SEM, and senior member of IEEE. He is a Honorary Professor of the Shenzhen University, China, a Honorary Doctor of the University of Technology of Ilmenau, Germany, the 2011 recipient of the SPIE’s Dennis Gabor Award, the 2018 recipient of the Rudolf Kingslake Medal of the SPIE, and the 2019 recipient of the SPIE Chandra Vikram Award.

2019 Advocate of Optics

The Optical Society (OSA) will recognize Aram Papoyan, Director of the Institute for Physical Research of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia as the 2019 Advocate of Optics “for his leadership in the integration of the Institute for Physical Research into the European Research Area.” He received his Ph.D. from Yerevan State University in radiophysics. His research is dedicated to laser physics, atomic physics, and quantum and non-linear optics.

The Advocate of Optics is an annual recognition by the OSA Public Policy Council. At the end of each calendar year, the council evaluates and selects an outstanding public official from any country who demonstrates leadership and support for the advancement of optics and photonics.  The recipient is evaluated on criteria such as his/her enthusiasm for science and science policy, level of familiarity with optics and photonics, level of interaction with OSA and our members in the past year, and record of consistent support of science, optics and photonics.

Prof. Papoyan’s efforts have resulted in the integration of the Institute for Physical Research into the European Research Area (ERA). ERA is a system of scientific research programs which connects scientific resources across the European Union by focusing on multinational cooperation in medical, environmental, industrial, and socioeconomic research. Armenian integration into ERA through the Institute of Physical Research is the product of several years of collaborative development of a framework of cooperation between Armenia and European research and innovation organizations, which was especially difficult due to the geographical distance between Armenia and Europe. The integration provides collaboration mechanisms in quantum information science, atomic and matter wave physics, and scintillating Materials, all areas directly funded by programs created by the European Union/European Commission. As a result, Armenian researchers and young professionals have access to ERA funding to support and foster research in these areas.