The Optical Society Presents Awards to Winners of Its Inaugural ‘Enabled by Optics’

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Campaign Showcased Corporate and Student Case Studies of Optic and Photonic Technologies That Benefit Society – from the Environment and Commerce to ‘Tunable’ Eyeglasses in Developing Countries

The winners of our first ‘Enabled by Optics’ campaign demonstrate how light can make a positive difference in our world. From cleaning water to providing a high-speed internet, the benefits of optics support our everyday needs.

The Optical Society (OSA) celebrated light-based technologies that transform our world at an inaugural special event held recently at its 97th Annual Meeting Frontiers in Optics (FiO) in Orlando, Fla. Winners of the first annual Enabled by Optics contest were honored at an awards ceremony featuring a networking reception, “Optics at the Movies,” market updates and an interactive interview with Marv DeVries, President of the first place winner Trojan Technologies.

The Enabled by Optics program, which was comprised of two tracks, one for companies and the other for students, was designed to raise public awareness of the importance of optics and photonics technologies in furthering innovation and positively impacting society. Addressing the topic of “What’s optics got to do with it?” corporate entities each submitted a white paper that highlighted how their optics-driven technology beneficially contributes to everyday life and often serves the greater public good. Student contestants each created a video that demonstrated how optics is a crucial component to making a commonly used product work. Award recipients were:

First Place - Company Submission
Trojan Technologies of London, Ontario, Canada, was named the winner of the company contest for its innovative water disinfection solutions that use environmentally responsible, cost-effective ultraviolet (UV) light in place of chemicals. The use of UV disinfection by municipalities around the world prevents the spread of harmful organisms in the water supply and also destroys harmful contaminants.

Honorable Mention - Company Submission
Eyejusters of Oxford, England, received the honorable mention distinction for its SlideLens adjustable lens technology used in producing high-quality, practical, affordable eyeglasses and supporting vision projects in the developing world.

First Place - Student Submission
Sarah Jaye Oliva, a graduate student at the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines, clinched first place in the student contest for her video "Black and White,” which describes the simple, but ingenious product enabled by optics—the laser barcode scanner. The video describes how the technology uses optics and the science of colors to do its valuable job.

“We are pleased to recognize these innovators who use optical technologies to improve the quality of life,” said OSA CEO Elizabeth Rogan. “The winners of our first ‘Enabled by Optics’ campaign demonstrate how light can make a positive difference in our world. From cleaning water to providing a high-speed internet, the benefits of optics support our everyday needs. With greater public awareness, the potential for more advances are possible. The optics and photonics industry is a great career opportunity for the next generation of scientists and engineers.”

Contest entries were judged by a panel of experts, including members of OSA’s Corporate Associates Committee—researchers and business people working in the optics industry. Photonics Media, the campaign’s media sponsor, will provide ongoing support and comprehensive worldwide coverage of the winning technologies. Enabled by Optics submissions provide the foundation for a future online library accessible to policy makers, educators, consumers and students to further educate new audiences about the far-reaching impact of optics on everyday life.

About OSA
Founded in 1916, The Optical Society (OSA) is the leading professional society for scientists, engineers, students and business leaders who fuel discoveries, shape real-world applications and accelerate achievements in the science of light. Through world-renowned publications, meetings and membership programs, OSA provides quality research, inspired interactions and dedicated resources for its extensive global network of professionals in optics and photonics. For more information, visit http://www.osa.org.

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Lyndsay Meyer
The Optical Society
(202) 416-1435
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