The OSA and New Focus announce OSA-New Focus/Bookham Student Award finalists

May 6, 2008, Washington, DC--The Optical Society of America (OSA) and New Focus, a Bookham brand, announced the finalists of the 2008 OSA - New Focus/Bookham Student Award, which recognizes student researchers who exemplify the skills critical to scientific achievement: excellence in research, presentation, and leadership.

May 5th, 2008

May 6, 2008, Washington, DC--The Optical Society of America (OSA) and New Focus, a Bookham brand, announced the finalists of the 2008 OSA - New Focus/Bookham Student Award, which recognizes student researchers who exemplify the skills critical to scientific achievement: excellence in research, presentation, and leadership.

This year's competition attracted submissions from a number of prominent colleges and universities, both in the United States and abroad. Competition finalists are:

-- Amit Agrawal, University of Utah, USA

-- Wenshan Cai, Purdue University, USA

-- Francois Couny, University of Bath, UK

-- Umit Demirbas, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA

-- Amy Lytle, JILA and University of Colorado at Boulder, USA

-- Franklyn Quinlan, University of Central Florida, USA

-- Richard Sandberg, JILA and University of Colorado at Boulder, USA

Six of the seven finalists will each receive a $1,500 cash prize and the top-ranked finalist will receive $5,000.

"OSA is honored to partner with Bookham on the development of students in the optics and photonics community. This award recognizes students who not only exhibit exceptional technical proficiency but can also deliver this expertise in a professional and inspiring manner to an audience of mentors and colleagues," said Elizabeth Rogan, OSA executive director. "These seven finalists have worked hard to get to this point of the competition. We're looking forward to their presentations on May 6 during CLEO/QELS."

An independent selection committee chose the student finalists based on a letter from the nominator, which covers all facets of student's career; a letter from the student; curriculum vitae; and the paper to be presented. The finalists will present in a special session at CLEO/QELS 2008 on Tuesday, May 6, and the results will be announced in the CLEO/QELS Award & Plenary Session on Wednesday, May 7, in San Jose, Calif.

Each finalist will give a 15-minute presentation on his or her unique research, the last evaluation in the selection process.

Members of the press and the public are welcome to attend the May 6 event, which will be from 4 - 6:30 p.m. in room J1 of the San Jose Convention Center. A reception, beginning at 4 p.m., precedes the presentations, which start 30 minutes later.

"Now in its 11th year, the OSA - New Focus/Bookham Student Awards Competition has long recognized the industry's most promising students," said Bookham EVP and General Manager of the New Focus brand, Ken Ibbs. "This year's finalists demonstrate the qualities of today's industry thought leaders, and we look forward to honoring them at the conference."

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