The University of Southampton

Southampton-led Technical Groups Honoured by OPTICA for Outstanding Contributions in Optics and Photonics

Published: 10 April 2024

Dr. Qiang Fu and Dr. Chris Holmes, researchers at the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) at the University of Southampton, lead technical groups that have received prestigious recognition from OPTICA for their significant contributions to the field of optics and photonics.

OPTICA’s technical groups play a key role in fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange within specific subfields of optics and photonics. As Chairs of their respective groups, Qiang and Chris have played pivotal roles in facilitating connections between researchers and providing platforms for emerging topics and young professionals to flourish.

OPTICA awards only 5 prizes annually across its 46 technical groups, making the acknowledgment received by Qiang and Chris particularly noteworthy.

Lasers in Manufacturing Technical Group

Qiang’s group, Lasers in Manufacturing, has been honoured with the Greatest Growth award, underscoring their extensive engagement and expansion over the past year. With a membership exceeding 1500 members, Qiang’s group is at the forefront of research and development in laser applications for manufacturing processes.

Reflecting on this achievement, Qiang remarked: “It’s a great honour to have this prize from the OPTICA society. This recognition illuminates not just our group's accomplishments but also the supportive environment the ORC fosters. The ORC’s encouragement for researchers like me to volunteer and engage with the wider photonics community has been instrumental in our success. This award motivates us to continue the excellent work and to unite members who are keen on exploring the laser technologies used in manufacturing applications.”

Optical Fabrication and Testing Technical Group

Chris’s group, Optical Fabrication and Testing, has secured the Innovation Prize, having been awarded Greatest Growth technical group prize last year. This year's award recognises their pioneering initiative called "facility focus," which showcases optical fabrication facilities worldwide through video presentations available on the OPTICA website.

Reflecting on this honour, Chris said: “Receiving the award for greatest innovation from Optica is not just an honour for me, but a reflection of the collective dedication of my team. The technical group committee is a diverse team of international, passionate individuals representing both industry and academia, they have catalysed a series of innovative activities, which have included facility focus, for which we received our award this year.”

These accolades not only highlight the dedication of the researchers at the ORC but also elevate the ORC’s reputation within the global optical community. Qiang and Chris’s contributions underscore the University of Southampton's commitment to advancing the frontiers of optics and photonics.

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