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 March 18, 2020

A strong Rochester showing in 2020 OSA awards

OSA photo collage.

The University of Rochester—and the Institute of Optics in particular—are well represented in the 2020 awards presented by the Optical Society (OSA), the leading professional association for optics and photonics.


Aaron BauerAaron Bauer ’16PhD, a research engineer in Jannick Rolland’s group at The Institute of Optics, was named the 2020 recipient of the Kevin P. Thompson Optical Design Innovator Award. Bauer is being recognized for theoretical, creative, and innovative design methods for freeform optics. The award was established in 2017 in memory of Kevin P. Thompson, who was a scientist at The Institute; the group director of Research and Development/Optics at Synopsys, Inc.; and an active member and fellow of both SPIE and OSA. Read more.


Susan Houde-WalterSusan Houde-Walter ‘83MS ‘87PhD, a former Institute of Optics professor, was named recipient of the 2020 Stephen D. Fantone Distinguished Service Award for outstanding service to the Society through numerous advisory and leadership roles, including 2005 President, a Board of Directors Member and Chair of the Optics and Photonics News Editorial Advisory Committee. The award was established in 1973 by the OSA Board of Directors in memory of Stephen M. MacNeille and is endowed by the American Optical Corporation and contributions from individual members. In 2013, the award was named in honor of Stephen D. Fantone ‘79PhD. Read more.


Michael MorrisMichael Morris, a former faculty member of the Institute of Optics, is the recipient of the 2020 David Richardson Medal in recognition of his contributions to the commercial development of diffractive and beam shaping optics, achievements in entrepreneurship, and ongoing support of education in optical engineering. Morris was the CEO and co-founder of RPC Photonics and is presently serving as the CEO of Apollo Optical Systems.


Daniel BlumenthalDaniel Blumenthal ‘81 of electrical engineering, now a professor at the University of California Santa Barbara, is the recipient of the 2020 C.E.K. Mees Medal for his work with photonic integrated circuits and their applications.


Jannick RollandJannick Rolland, the Brian J. Thompson Professor of Optical Engineering, director of the Center for Freeform Optics, director of the Robert E. Hopkins Center, and CTO and co-founder of LighTopTech is the 2020 recipient of the Joseph Fraunhofer Award/Robert M. Burley Prize. Rolland is being honored for numerous creative and innovative applications in several fields of optical engineering including astronomy, medical imaging, augmented and virtual reality, image science, and freeform optics. Read more.


Fellows of the Optical Society

In addition, two faculty members and a visiting professor at the Institute were named 2020 Fellow of the Optical Society.

Julie BentleyJulie Bentley ’90 ’95PhD, associate professor of optics, was recognized for “outstanding international leadership in optical design shown through international conference organization, innovative optical design methods, and an unparalleled level of excellence in teaching and mentoring.”


Jennifer HunterJennifer Hunter, assistant professor of ophthalmology, biomedical engineering, optics, and the Center for Visual Science, was recognized for “the development of ophthalmic imaging systems that provide unprecedented insight into the function and structure of the retina.”


Taco Visser

Taco Visser, a professor of theoretical physics at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and visiting professor of optics and physics at Rochester, was recognized for “foundational contributions to optics in the field of plasmonics and coherence.”


In summary, “A pretty good year for UR,” says Scott Carney, director of the Institute of Optics.