The 35th IEEE Photonics Conference was held November 13–17, 2022 in Vancouver, BC, Canada. The conference has long been recognized for its technical preeminence in the field of optics and photonics, but is more than just a scientific conference; it is the annual meeting of the IEEE Photonics Society membership. It is also a forum where the IEEE Photonics Society honors its annual award recipients, as well as several volunteers for their service and dedication to the society. This year, being the first in-person event since 2019, all conference registrants were invited to attend the Welcome Reception and Awards Banquet which also celebrated the accomplishments of the society.

Conference General Chair, Weidong Zhou, University of Texas at Arlington, kicked off the banquet by welcoming the attendees and introducing the IEEE Photonics Society President, René-Jean Essiambre, of Nokia Bell Labs, who went on to host the event.

To begin the evening’s honors, the IEEE Photonics Conference was privileged to have IEEE Division X Director, Dalma Novak, in attendance to honor the recipient of the IEEE Photonics Award. The recipient selection for this award is administered through the IEEE Technical Field Awards Council of the IEEE Awards Board. The IEEE Photonics Award, which is sponsored by the IEEE Photonics Society is presented to recognize outstanding achievements in photonics. The 2022 recipient, IEEE Life Fellow, Rodney S. Tucker, was honored, “For contributions to photonic device modelling and bridging the gap between device and system-level performance, including energy consumption.” Professor Tucker is a Laureate Emeritus Professor with the University of Melbourne, located in Victoria, Australia Professor Tucker’s groundbreaking studies on the capabilities and limitations of photonic devices for memory, switching, and logic operations have helped optimize the design of photonic systems. His work on modeling high-speed semiconductor lasers has been used in several commercial laser modeling tools and has influenced commercial laser development for communications applications. Considered a global expert in the energy consumption aspects of communications networks, Professor Tucker developed a framework for analyzing the fundamental limitations on energy consumption in optical fiber communications systems, providing comprehensive analysis of the physical properties of optical transceivers, optical amplifiers, and optical and electronic switches. He has identified the factors that limit network energy efficiency and provided practical guidance on how to improve the energy efficiency of optical telecommunications equipment and networks.  His photonics expertise has helped optimize optical communications networks while considering the impact of energy consumption issues.

Prominent members honored that night were the recipient of the 2022 Photonics Society Career Awards.  The Aron Kressel Award recognizes those individuals who have made important contributions to optoelectronic device technology, which in turn led to the development of new systems enabling services. The 2022 recipient, Shouleh Nikzad, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory was recognized “for groundbreaking contributions to detectors and photonics instruments using nanoscale engineering enabling scientific measurements in space.” 

Ulrich Rhode, Synergy Microwave Corporation, was honored as the recipient of the 2022 Engineering Achievement Award, which an exceptional engineering contribution, which has had a significant impact on our technology or its commercial application within the last 10 years. Accepting on behalf of Dr. Rhode, was Ajay Poddar, “for outstanding engineering achievement in the field of optoelectronic signal generation and optical measurement equipment for next-generation intelligent optical networks.”

The IEEE Photonics Society Quantum Electronics Award is given to honor an individual (or group of individuals) for outstanding technical contributions to quantum electronics, either in fundamentals or applications, or both.  Fred A. Kish, NC State University, was chosen as the 2022 recipient “for pioneering contributions to the invention, development, and commercialization of photonic integrated circuits.”

The 2022 William Streifer Scientific Achievement Award is given to recognize an exceptional single scientific contribution which has had a significant impact in the field of lasers and electro-optics in the past 10 years. Professor John Ballato, Clemson University, was recognized “for pioneering contributions to the science, engineering, and application of optoelectronic fibers.”

The Photonics Society Laser Instrumentation Award recognizes key contributors to the field for developments of laser-based and electro-optical instruments, which lead to the development of innovative systems enabling major new measurements or process capabilities of relevance to applications in industrial, biomedical avionic and metrology fields. The 2022 recipient is Franz X. Kärtner, Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron – DESY, For development and commercialization of femtosecond pulsed optical timing distribution systems for large-scale facilities.”

The IEEE Photonics Society Technical Skills Educator Award recognizes effective, impactful, and innovative educators specializing in bringing technician and technical skills training within the PHO field of interest to communities for whom photonics is not typically viewed as a common educational and career path. The 2022 recipient is Stephen Kichinda, African eDevelopment Resource Centre (AeDRC), Nairobi, Kenya, accepted virtually, “For outstanding contributions to the technical education of Fiber Optic practitioners in Africa for Government, Industry, and Academia.”

The IEEE Photonics Society Young Investigator Award is given to honor an individual who has made outstanding technical contributions to the field prior to their 35th birthday.  The 2022 recipient, Deep Jariwala, University of Pennsylvania, was honored “for breakthrough advances in optical characterization and understanding of light-matter coupling in excitonic and strongly-correlated semiconductors.”

Within the IEEE Photonics Society community there are individuals who, year after year, continue to make significant contributions that enhance the quality of the Society and our service to the profession. The 2022 Distinguished Service recipient, Madeleine Glick, Columbia University, was honored “for extensive contributions enhancing the benefit of membership championing Industry, Education, Women in Photonics, and Young Professional initiatives.” Although unable to attend, René conveyed to the attendees, Madeleine’s contributions of service to the IEEE Photonics Society started on the Governance side having served as an Elected Member from 2010-12, and Vice President, Finance & Administration from 2015-17 of the Board of Governors. Her volunteering contributions over the last 10 years have primarily been focused on enhancing the benefit of membership.

She currently serves in a few capacities, including Awards & Scholarship Rep, on the Education Committee; Society Rep for the TAB Climate Change Initiative; and, as the Technical Activities Representative on the IEEE Women in Engineering Committee. She was also an Industry Liaison Officer with AIM Photonics Academy, which helped our Society grow better relations and connection to the consortia body.

Madeleine spearheaded the creation of the Technical Skills Educator Award and Chaired the award’s inaugural Selection Committee and is now drafting a proposal in support of Technician/Trade Scholarships for technician, trade, or associate of applied science degree program students; designed to support the tuition and development of primary skills and understanding of lasers and optics-enabling technologies for industry.

Dr Glick has been on the Technical and Organizing Program Committees of several IEEE conferences and is Associate Editor of Photonics Technology Letters. She has been a strong supporter of the IEEE Women in Photonics initiative and the Society’s Mentor Match programs since their creation, volunteering her time and serving through talks, instruction, and mentor pairings.

The Society also honored this year’s Graduate Student Scholarship Recipients.  The Graduate Student Scholarship Program was established to provide scholarships to outstanding IEEE Photonics Society student members pursuing graduate education within the Society’s field of interest. Up to $10,000 in scholarships are awarded annually, based on research excellence and contributions to the Society’s publications and conferences. Two of the recipients were in attendance; however, all the honorees include: Sajjad AbdollahRamezani, Callum Deakin, Pedro Jorge Freire de Carvalho Souza, Md Shariful Islam, Hui Jing Lee, Peng Li, Md Saad-Bin-Alam, Xiaohui Xu, Wenting Yi, and Yuning Zhang.

Society publications were given a spotlight as well.  The Photonics Technology Letters 2022 Best Paper Award honors the paper considered the best among those published in PTL during the three previous calendar years. Reviewed by the PTL selection committee, based on four criteria; Originality, Technical Content, Impact, and Presentation, two papers published in 2020 were selected for this honor.

The first paper: Optical Fibre Capacity Optimisation via Continuous Bandwidth Amplification and Geometric Shaping was originally published in September 2020. Submitted as a collaboration, Wayne Sheldon Pelouch was in attendance to accept on behalf of the team.  Those honored include, Stuart Barnes, Polina Bayel, Adrian Edwards, Lidia Gladino, Thomas Gerard, Robert I. Killey, Domaniç Lavery, Eric Sillekens, Takehiro Tsuritani, Yuta Wakayama, and Wenting Yi.

The second paper: Over 10Gbps VLC for Long-Distance Applications Using a GaN-based Series-Biased Micro-LED Array, submitted as a collaboration, originally published in May 2020.  Martin Dawson attended to accept on behalf of the team which includes, Rui Bian, Cheng Chen, Erdan Gu, Harald Haas, Xiangyu He, Jonathan J.D. McKendry, Mohamed Sufyan, and Enyuan Xie.

The IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics (JQE) announced the, 2022 JQE Outstanding Reviewer Award.  This award honors those who have devoted exceptional time and effort in reviewing multiple submissions. Nominated by the Associate Editors, the selection committee chose Daniel Benedikovic, University of Zilina, Slovakia, as the recipient.

The IEEE Photonics Journal (PJ) Outstanding Reviewer Award recognizes volunteers who have presented high quality reviews for multiple paper submissions to the journal.  Nominated by the Associate Editors, the Editor-in-Chief has selected Yang Chen, East China Normal University, China as the recipient of the 2022 Award.

The IEEE Photonics Society each year recognizes the many contributions of its Chapters. Three chapters had a representative in attendance at the Awards Banquet to accept on behalf of the chapter for the following:

• Largest Membership Increase: College of Engineering Karunagappally Student Chapter

• Most Improved Chapter: Universidad de Guanajuato Student Chapter

• Most Innovative Chapter: Malaysia Section Chapter

• Senior Member Initiative: Italy Chapter

• Chapter of the Year: Guangzhou Section, Guangdong Chapter

The chapter award winners for 2022 and their contributions will be featured in the February 2023 issue of the Photonics Society Newsletter.

In addition to honoring the 2022 Award Recipients, President Essiambre recognized prominent volunteers and thanked each for their contributions to the Society. Those members included:

• Unil Perera as he concluded his term as Distinguished Lecturer.

  • Zetian Mi on his elevation to the grade of IEEE Fellow.

• Retiring Board of Governor Members, Akihiko Kasukawa, Milan Mashanovitch, Leif Oxenleowe, and Michelle Sander were recognized as each complete their three-year terms as an elected member of the Board.

• Officers of the Board, Fatima Garcia-Gunning, VP Membership, and Dan Marom, Secretary/Treasurer, as each complete their appointments this December.

The 2023 Society Awards presentation will be held at the 36th IEEE Photonics Conference in Orlando, Florida, USA, being held November 12—16, 2023. For more information about the Society Awards Program, please visit the website: