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IEEE Photonics Society Industry Achievement Award

Recognizes significant contributions to the photonics industry through sustained entrepreneurship

Nominate a Colleague Today!

Nomination period: April 15 – May 31
Nominators must complete a nominee submission by May 31 each year with the following:
  • Proposed Award Citation: (Word Count: 30)
  • Supporting Statement: Provide a statement that describes how the candidate(s) qualify for this recognition.
  • Contribution: Description of the relevant achievements/contributions pertinent to the qualifications for the Award pertaining to the cited contribution.
  • Impact Statement: Provide evidence of the significance and impact of the cited contributions (up to 3 pages)
  • Nominee’s curriculum vita (Maximum of three pages)
  • Endorsements: Three letters of endorsement are required with respect to the cited contributions of the candidate(s). (One page limit)

About the Award

Presented to: An individual, or group of up to four

Scope: To recognize significant contributions to the photonics industry through sustained entrepreneurship and/or leadership in the successful commercial introduction of photonics systems, devices, applications and/or photonics global market.

Prize: Certificate and cash Honorarium

Basis for judging: The evaluation will be based on factors such as the demonstrated impact of the specific innovation or technology advancement, the global acceptance and take-up of the specific product(s) and services, the extent of the nominee’s global recognition, and contributions to the photonics industry through the establishment of new directions and applications in the photonics field. These achievements should have been accomplished in a prior time frame sufficient to permit evaluation of their lasting impact.

Introducing Our Award Honorees

We are proud to recognize and celebrate honorees of the IEEE Photonics Society Industry Achievement Award.

Our Most Recent Honoree

simon poole updated 400x300

Simon Poole, 2023

For outstanding contributions to the translation of photonic ideas into successful commercial products and demonstration of entrepreneurial leadership in introducing innovative solutions to the market.


Dr. Simon Poole AO, FAA, FTSE, FIEAust, FIEEE is an engineer/scientist/entrepreneur with 40 years’ experience in Photonics in academia, research, and industry. He has been involved in start-ups in both Academia and industry for the majority of this time and is renowned both for his contribution to the technology of photonics as well as the companies he has founded.

He was a member of the team that invented the Erbium-Doped Fibre Amplifier (EDFA) at Southampton University and, on moving to Australia in 1988, founded the Optical Fibre Technology Centre at the University of Sydney and, subsequently, the Australian Photonics Cooperative Research Centre.

Since leaving academia in 1995, he has founded a number of successful Photonics manufacturing companies (Indx/JDSUniphase Australia, Engana/Finisar Australia and Cylite Pty Ltd) which have, between them, generated over $1B in export revenues and employed over 1,000 people in Australia.

He has received many awards for his work in commercialising Photonics in Australia, including the Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation (2018), ATSE Clunies Ross Award (2013), and the NSW Entrepreneur of the Year (2011). In 2018, he was made an Officer in The Order of Australia for his service to the Photonics community and industry.