Winners of international Educational Award program named by Edmund Optics

Oct. 15, 2015
Edmund Optics announced the recipients of its 2015 Educational Award program, which is given in recognition of outstanding undergraduate and graduate optics programs.   

Edmund Optics (Barrington, NJ) announced the recipients of its 2015 Educational Award program, which is given in recognition of outstanding undergraduate and graduate optics programs at non-profit colleges and universities worldwide. Over $85,000 in Edmund Optics products will be awarded to the Gold, Silver, and Bronze winners in the Americas, Asia, and Europe, in support of their research. All remaining finalists will receive a $500 product matching grant to assist with their research. Separately, the Norman Edmund Inspiration Award, with $5,000 in products, will be given to one of the global finalists on November 11, 2015.

The Educational Award Team evaluated over 800 applications to select 45 global finalists, with applications ranging from creating a vision system for the early detection of forest fires and the advancement of optical techniques to investigate alternative energy sources to discovering new non-invasive methods for pneumothorax diagnosis in premature babies and the development of a smartphone spectrometer for real-time environmental monitoring or health diagnostics such as Ebola detection.

"We continue to be extremely impressed by the ingenious use of optics in these highly technical, life-changing applications," commented Kirsten Bjork-Jones, Director of Global Marketing Communications. "It is very satisfying to help support cutting-edge research and recognize the researchers dedicated to furthering optical innovation."

Award recipients

In the Americas, the Gold Award of $10,000 in products was awarded to Jarred Swalwell and his team at University of Washington for developing flow cytometers for marine research with an optical technology that makes it possible to perform continuous flow cytometric analysis on sea water without the need for clean water.

The Silver Award of $7,500 in products, went to Temple University submitted by Vira Oleksyuk for non-invasive breast cancer diagnostics using a multimodal imaging system which combines tactile and hyperspectral capabilities to discern malignant and benign tumors.

Schepens Eye Research Institute was awarded the Bronze Award of $5,000 in products. Michael Stahl was recognized for the development of an innovative device that uses both infrared structured light and visible green structured light to first sense and highlights hazards for the Visually Impaired (VI).

In Europe, the Gold Award of €7,000 in products, went to Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, of Switzerland, which was submitted by Ms. Outi Supponen. Supponen and her team were recognized for research which focuses on the dynamics of collapsing cavitation bubbles for such applications as needle-free injections, microfluidic pumps, new printing technologies, and transportation.

The Silver Award of €5,000 in products, was awarded to Peter Christian Bakker and his team from Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands for research on the topic of internal combustion engines, specifically the burn-out phase. Ultimately, the outcome of this research will help to increase the energy efficiency of diesel engines and will be used by one of the major oil companies to re-design their diesel fuel.

Dmtiry Postnov and his team at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark captured Bronze Award of €3,000 in products for research in Laser Speckle Imaging (LSI) of renal, brain, and retinal blood flow for the purpose of adapting and improving the technology for physiological research; in particular for the study of specific blood flow patterns in the kidney. Postnov is developing a device that could be installed and configured by medical researchers at a fraction of the cost of commercial LSI systems.

In Asia, the Gold Award of $10,000 in products was awarded to Dr. Masahito Yamanaka of Nagoya University, in Japan, for the development of super resolution 3D imaging technology which uses the high-brightness of rare-earth metals and nanoparticles along with highly nonlinear optical emissions. Dr. Yamanaka's project uniquely looks deep inside biological samples with the production of customized high contract, low S/N fluorescence imaging system.

Dr. Dasol Lee of Pohang University of Science and Technology in South Korea was given the Silver Award of $5,000 for research into the development of a new imaging system for bio samples and nano-size structures imaging beyond the sub-wavelength size. Dr. Lee's team aims to develop an optical microscope system having a resolution less than the diffraction limit through a hyperlens made of metamaterial with the intention to predict and cure numerous diseases in real time monitoring.

The Bronze Award of $3,000 in products, went to Prof. John Canning of the University of Sydney in Australia for the development of smartphone spectrometer which utilizes a UV LED integrated onto the phone with the use of a collimating lens to act as the source of the fluorimeter.

For details about the recipients and their applications, visit

About the Author

Conard Holton | Editor at Large

Conard Holton has 25 years of science and technology editing and writing experience. He was formerly a staff member and consultant for government agencies such as the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the International Atomic Energy Agency, and engineering companies such as Bechtel. He joined Laser Focus World in 1997 as senior editor, becoming editor in chief of WDM Solutions, which he founded in 1999. In 2003 he joined Vision Systems Design as editor in chief, while continuing as contributing editor at Laser Focus World. Conard became editor in chief of Laser Focus World in August 2011, a role in which he served through August 2018. He then served as Editor at Large for Laser Focus World and Co-Chair of the Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar from August 2018 through January 2022. He received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, with additional studies at the Colorado School of Mines and Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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