Engineer named fellow of international optics society


By Gabrielle Stewart

The original version of this press release is available on the Optica website.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Şahin K. Özdemir, associate professor of engineering science and mechanics at Penn State, was elected a 2022 fellow of Optica, the international professional society formerly known as OSA. The 2022 fellows class includes 106 members from 24 countries.

Fellows are selected based on several factors, including distinguished contributions to education, research, engineering, business and serving the community.

“Congratulations to the 2022 Optica fellows,” said Connie Chang-Hasnain, 2021 president of Optica and professor emerita of electrical engineering and computer science at University of California, Berkeley. “These members exemplify what it means to be a leader in optics and photonics. Your election, by your peers, confirms the important contributions made within our field. Thank you for your dedication to Optica and for advancing the science of light.”

Fellows are Optica members who have served with distinction in the advancement of optics and photonics. The fellow members committee, led by Saša Bajt, Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron, Germany, reviewed a record 262 nominations submitted by current fellows. As fellows can account for no more than 10 percent of the total membership, the election process is highly competitive. Candidates are recommended by the fellow members committee and then submitted for review and approval by the awards council and board of directors.

“I am honored to be named as a fellow of Optica,” said Özdemir. “This is a recognition of our contributions in the fields of non-Hermitian physics, including parity-time symmetric photonics and optomechanics, and photonic quantum information processing. I want to thank to all my friends, students, colleagues and collaborators whom I have enjoyed working with over many years.”

Özdemir’s research focuses on optical physics and quantum photonics — the broad study of how photons behave and interact with matter — as well as the applications of this understanding to new technologies. According to Özdemir, his current work in developing novel optical techniques and micro- and nano-photonic systems may contribute to fundamental advances in controlling light generation and transmission and its interaction with matter in the classical and quantum regimes.

Özdemir has earned several distinctions including the Outstanding Research Award from the Penn State Engineering Alumni Society and multiple recognitions as a highly cited researcher by the Web of Science Group. Özdemir was also named a fellow of the Institute of Physics in October 2021. He, and his Optica co-fellows, will be honored at the society’s conferences and events throughout 2022.

The full list of fellows is available here.


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Şahin Özdemir was named a 2022 fellow of Optica. CREDIT: PENN STATE COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.