IMAGE: President Dean Lewis of the University of Bordeaux vests Professor Martin Richardson of the University of Central Florida with the insignia of a "Docteur Honoris Causa" of the University of Bordeaux. (Image credit: University of Central Florida)
Orlando, FL--Director of the Townes Laser Institute at the University of Central Florida, Martin Richardson was awarded the title of "Docteur Honoris Causa" at the University of Bordeaux in Talence, Bordeaux. In an elaborate ceremony on December 6, 2013 in the Agora Auditorium of the University of Bordeaux presided by its president Dean Lewis, he was vested with the regalia of a doctorate of the university, awarded a commemorative certificate, a silver medal, gifts from Bordeaux and a special bottle of wine produced by the university. He was also invited to sign the 'Livre d’Or', commemorating the event, joining the ranks of Charles de Gaulle, Jacques Chirac, Alfred Kastler, and Rudolf Mossbauer.
The award was made in recognition of Richardson's distinguished career in lasers and photonics and his close association with the University of Bordeaux over many years. For more than a decade he and his colleagues at UCF have been collaborating with Professors Laurent Sarger, Lionel Canioni and Bruno Bousquet at the Laboratoire Ondes et Matière d'Aquitaine (LOMA), professor Evelyne Fargin and Thierry Cardinal at the Institute de Chimie de la Matière Condensée de Bordeaux (ICMCB), and professors Eric Cormier and Phillipe Balcou at the Centre Lasers Intenses et Applications (CELIA) at the University of Bordeaux. These collaborations include a NSF International REU program, a co-tutelle PhD program and an international masters degree in lasers and photonics between the universities of Bordeaux, Friedrich Schiller in Jena, Clemson and UCF, the so-called Atlantis MILMI program, created by Richardson and Professor Laurent Sarger. Also officiating in the event were Professor Lionel Canioni, director of the new center LAPHIA (Lasers et Photoniques Aquitaine) and Professor Bruno Bousquet, who recently spent a Fulbright Fellowship in Richardson’s Laboratory at UCF. Many of Richardson's former students at the University of Bordeaux were present and he was accompanied by his eldest daughter, Helene O'Connor.
Richardson;s career in lasers and photonics began as a graduate student of the late Daniel Bradley at Imperial College. For his thesis he studied the spectral characteristics of laser modes, investigated non-linear optical processes in dense plasmas and developed a new high-power dual-frequency laser. His interests in lasers, nonlinear optics and plasmas then took him to the Division of Gerhard Herzberg at the National Research Council Laboratories in Ottawa, where he stayed for twelve years, during which time he and his colleagues and students demonstrated the first ultra-short laser plasmas, the first observations of Kerr Effect mode-locking and filamentation in plasmas, picosecond visible and x-ray streak cameras and the development of the UV-pre-ionized CO2 laser. In 1974 Richardson spent five months in the Soviet Union in the laboratories of Alexandr Prokhorov at the Lebedev Institute. He also started the first Canadian program on laser fusion, but then was drawn to the University of Rochester to lead the first laser fusion experiments with the 24-beam Omega laser.
In 1990 he and William Silfvast established the Laser Plasma Laboratory at CREOL at the University of Central Florida, developing research programs in ultrafast laser development, laser-plasma studies, EUV/X-ray lithography and microscopy and laser materials processing. These research activities expanded to include femtosecond laser structuring of materials, laser spectroscopy and sensing, and high-intensity laser filamentation studies in the atmosphere. In 2003 he was appointed the Northrop Grumman Professor of X-ray Photonics as part of major $24M donation to UCF. He was made a Trustee Chair of the University in 2006, a Pegasus Professor in 2012 and appointed as the first and founding director of the Townes Laser Institute in 2007.
Professor Richardson has throughout his career taken an intense interest in the education of his students. In Canada he introduced schemes through which students from Canadian universities could study for their PhDs at NRC-Canada. The NSF International REU program, the Atlantis international MS degree between UCF and the universities of Bordeaux, Jena and Clemson and a co-tutelle PhD degree program with the University of Bordeaux are examples of his innovations in graduate education. He is particularly interested in advancing science in under-developed countries, and in enabling equal rights for women through science.
Professor Richardson has held visiting scientific positions at the universities of Bordeaux, Friedrich Schiller in Jena, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology in Aachen, the Max Born Institute in Berlin, the Institute for Laser Engineering (ILE) Osaka University, the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching, and other institutions in Australia, Canada, and Qatar. He has published over 430 scientific articles in professional scientific journals, and has presented numerous invited and plenary talks at scientific conferences. He holds approximately 25 patents, with several more pending and has chaired many international conferences including IQEC, ICHSP, and several SPIE meetings. He is a former Associate Editor of JQE, a recipient of the Schardin Medal, the Harold E. Edgerton Award of the SPIE and is a Fellow of OSA, SPIE, APS and IEEE. He has or is serving on several government advisor boards and committees including those for NIF at Livermore, the Canadian CIPI program, and the current National Photonics Initiative.
SOURCE: University of Central Florida; http://www.creol.ucf.edu/NewsEvents/NewsDetail.aspx?NewsID=476