Institute alumnus Guizar-Sicairos wins ICO Prize

November 26, 2019

Manuel Guizar-Sicairos
Manuel Guizar-Sicairos

Manuel Guizar-Sicairos ’08 (MS), ’10 (PhD), an Institute of Optics alumnus and currently a beamline scientist at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland, is the 2019 recipient of the International Commission for Optics (ICO) Prize for 2019.

The award recognizes Guizar-Sicairos “for seminal contributions to method and algorithm development, and application of coherent lensless imaging, ptychography, x-ray nanotomography, and scanning small-angle x-ray scattering.” The ICO Prize is given each year to an individual, before age 40, who has made a noteworthy contribution to optics, as measured “chiefly by its impact (past or possibly future) on the field of optics generally, opening a subfield or significantly expanding an established subfield in research or technology.”

Guizar-Sicairos’ research focuses on the development and advancement of techniques and image reconstruction algorithms for X-ray coherent diffractive imaging, ptychography, and scanning small angle X-ray scattering (sSAXS). In particular, he is interested in the extension of these techniques to high-resolution 3D imaging, with applications in biological and materials science samples, such as bone, cement, and catalysts.

“He was amazing even as a grad student,” says James Fienup, the Robert E. Hopkins Professor of Optics and Guizar-Sicairos’ PhD thesis advisor. “He had a H-index (citations of his publications) appropriate for an associate professor when he received his PhD in 2010. His PhD thesis, ‘Methods for Coherent Lensless Imaging and X-Ray Wavefront Measurement,’ won the outstanding thesis prize for his year.”

Fienup was the second recipient of the ICO Prize in 1983.

Guizar-Sicairos was born in Mexico City, and received his BSc in physics engineering in 2002 and MSc in electronic systems in 2005 from the Tecnológico de Monterrey.

Guizar-Sicairos, whom Fienup describes as “a natural-born leader,” was the founder of a student SPIE (Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers) chapter in Mexico. He was also treasurer and founding member of the University of Rochester's SPIE Student Chapter and was the leader of the married student housing units at the University.

His many other awards include the 2009 Rochester Precision Optics (RPO) graduate research award for work on “X-ray coherent lensless imaging using an extended reference structure” and first place in the 2007 Optical Research Associates (ORA) Student Optical Design Competition for the “design of 360-degree panoramic camera lens.”

The ICO is an affiliated commission of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) and a scientific associate of the International Council of Science (ICSU). Its objective is to contribute, on an international basis, to the progress and diffusion of knowledge in the fields of optics and photonics.