Gmachl wins graduate mentoring award at Princeton University

May 22, 2009--Claire Gmachl's research into quantum-cascade (QC) and other kinds of lasers has been covered by Laser Focus World for more than ten years, from the time she was a researcher at Bell Labs (Murray Hill, NJ) working on QC lasers, through her move to Princeton University (Princeton, NJ) to her current position as director of Princeton's Mid-Infrared Technologies for the Health and the Environment (MIRTHE) Center (she's also a professor of electrical engineering at Princeton).

May 22, 2009--Claire Gmachl's research into quantum-cascade (QC) and other kinds of lasers has been covered by Laser Focus World for more than ten years, from the time she was a researcher at Bell Labs (Murray Hill, NJ) working on QC lasers, through her move to Princeton University (Princeton, NJ) to her current position as director of Princeton's Mid-Infrared Technologies for the Health and the Environment (MIRTHE) Center (she's also a professor of electrical engineering at Princeton).

Now, Gmachl is one of four Princeton faculty members who are the recipients of Graduate Mentoring Awards by the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning; she and the other three will be honored during the Graduate School's hooding ceremony on Monday, June 1.

The McGraw Center, together with the Graduate School, instituted the award in 2002 to recognize Princeton faculty members whose work with graduate students is particularly outstanding. It is intended to honor faculty members who nurture the intellectual, professional and personal growth of their graduate students. Graduate students nominate faculty members for the award and, along with faculty members, serve on the committee that selects the winners. One faculty member in each academic division (engineering, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences) is chosen. In addition to being honored at the ceremony, each receives a $1,000 award and a commemorative gift (The other three are Susan Fiske, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology; Susan Naquin, professor of history and East Asian studies; and Jeffrey Stout, professor of religion.)

Gmachl, who became a faculty member in 2003, concentrates her research on the development of new quantum devices, such as QC lasers, for sensors in environmental, medical and security applications. Courses she has taught include optical electronics and mid-infrared technologies for health and the environment. She also serves as the faculty adviser for the Graduate Women in Science and Engineering group.

Many achievements

Her contributions include those to the bow-tie microcavity laser (which ended up on the cover of Science magazine) and many forms of QC laser, including QC lasers designed for third-harmonic emission, a supercontinuum QC laser, and a QC laser with a totally new form of lasing mechanism.

Gmachl's interest in her students' morale is evident in their letters of nomination. One fifth-year advisee wrote that Gmachl "marries the competitiveness that makes a world-class researcher with the compassion that makes the best of confidants." In addition to being a renowned scientist and engineer and an excellent role model, she encourages her students to explore their interests through courses and research with other departments, internships, entrepreneurial ventures and conferences. Gmachl "trains students to form a broad view of the research through her cooperative team-working style," said one former student.

John Wallace

johnw@pennwell.com

www.laserfocusworld.com
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