IEEE Photonics Society Quantum Electronics Award

Recognizes outstanding technical contributions to quantum electronics, either in fundamentals, applications, or in both.

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Nomination period: Feb 1 – April 5

Nominators must complete a nominee submission by April 5th each year with the following: 

  • Statement of a specific technical accomplishment or contribution(s) that qualify Nominee for Award, including the impact of the work, as well as other related accomplishments; publications, patents, etc. that demonstrate the most significant impact. (Maximum of three pages)

  • Proposed Award Citation: (Word Count: 20) 

  • Nominee’s curriculum vita (Maximum of three pages)

  • Endorsements: Three letters of endorsement are required.  You may enter the endorsers name and email to send an automatically generated email request, or if you have received the endorsement, you can upload directly to the system. (One page limit) 

APRIL 5, 2023

About the Award

The IEEE Photonics Society Quantum Electronics Award was created to recognize outstanding technical contributions to quantum electronics, either in fundamentals, applications, or in both.

Presented to: An individual or team, up to three in number

Scope: To recognize outstanding technical contributions to quantum electronics, either in fundamentals, applications, or in both.

Prize: A Bronze Medallion, A Certificate and Honorarium

Basis for judging: In the evaluation process, the following criteria are considered: The award may be given either for a single contribution, or for a distinguished series of contributions over a long period of time, recognized as a seminal or fundamental contribution to a broad and important field.

Introducing Our Award Honorees

We are proud to recognize and celebrate honorees of the IEEE Photonics Society Quantum Electronics Award.

Our Most Recent Honoree

Fred A Kish

Fred A. Kish, 2022

For pioneering contributions to the invention, development, and commercialization of photonic integrated circuits.

Fred A. Kish received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1988, 1989, and 1992, respectively. His Ph.D. research work (under Nick Holonyak, Jr.) is part of the core Al-bearing III-V native-oxide technology that has enabled the development of the highest performance VCSELs and has been licensed to VCSEL manufacturers throughout the world.


From 1992-1999, he was at Hewlett-Packard where he co-invented and led the commercialization of the highest performance (efficiency) red-orange-yellow visible LEDs produced at the time (wafer-bonded transparent-substrate AlGaInP LEDs). The efficiencies of these devices exceeded those of incandescent and halogen lamps with products based on this technology resulting in multi-billion dollars in revenue. From 1999-2001, he was with Agilent Technologies as the III-V Department Manager.


In 2001, he joined Infinera Corporation where he co-invented and led the effort to research, develop, and commercialize the first practical (commercially deployed) large-scale PICs and first commercial fully integrated system-on-a-chip for optical communications. The system-on-a-chip InP PICs are at the core of Infinera’s optical network products and have been the enabling technology behind over $5B in PIC-based networking product sales. He served as Senior Vice President of the Optical Integrated Circuit
Group wherein he led and co-invented many firsts in photonic integrated circuit technology and products for optical communications to improve the capacity of transmitter and receiver modules from10 Gb/s to 1.6 Tb/s.


In 2019, Kish joined NC State University as the M.C. Dean Distinguished Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Director of the NC State Nanofabrication Facility. Dr. Kish is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, the IEEE and Optica (formerly OSA). His awards include the IEEE David Sarnoff Award, the IEEE LEOS Engineering Achievement Award, the OSA Adolph Lomb Award, the International Symposium on Compound Semiconductors Young Scientist Award, and the Technology Review 100 Award. He has co-authored over 135 U.S. patents, over 170 peer-reviewed journal and conference publications, and 5 book chapters on optoelectronic devices and materials.

View All Award Winners

YearAward WinnerCitation
2021 Miles Padgett For pioneering research on the fundamentals and applications of optical angular momentum.
2020 Herbert Winful For pioneering the field of nonlinear optical periodic structures and for foundational contributions to nonlinear dynamics of semiconductor laser arrays.
2019 Luigi A. Lugiato For outstanding contribuitions to quantum electronics, especially the formulation of the Lugiato-Lefever equation and its impact on microresonator frequency combs.
2018 James Roy Taylor For seminal contributions to development of ultrashort pulse lasers and applications to nonlinear fiber optics allowing temporal and spectral versatility.
2017 Jia-Ming Liu For pioneering and lasting contributions to ultrafast laser-matter interactions and nonlinear dynamics of lasers.
2016 David Villeneuve For seminal contributions to the development of attosecond science and its application to atomic and molecular spectroscopy.
2015 Richard M .Osgood For seminal contributions to novel laser systems, laser-surface photochemistry, and integrated linear and nonlinear Si waveguides.
2014 Robert W. Boyd
For contributions to nonlinear optics, including room temperature slow light and the nonlinear optics of composite materials.
2013 Weng Chow For contributions to semiconductor-laser theory, in particular the implementation and verification of many-body effects
2012 Govind P. Agrawal For sustained contributions to fiber-optic telecommunication technology through innovative research and authorship of numerous widely-respected books in the field.
2011 Andrew M. Weiner For seminal contributions to ultrafast optical signal processing, including development of ultrashort pulse arbitrary waveform generation technology and its applications
2010 Masataka Nakazawa
For seminal contribution and leadership in the advancement of optical communications and fiber lasers through the invention of the compact erbium-doped fiber amplifier (EDFA.
2009 Atac Imamoglu For field opening contributions to electromagnetically induced transparency and to quantum dot based information processing.
Jeffrey H. Shapiro
Horace P. Yuen
For pioneering and seminal contributions to the theory of the generation, detection, and applications of novel states of light.
2007 Sajeev John For the invention and development of light-trapping crystals and the elucidation of their properties and applications.
2006 Ferenc Krausz For outstanding contributions to the field of ultrafast science in particular to the generation of single attosecond pulses
2005 Paul Corkum For pioneering contributions to the development of femtosecond and attosecond science.
2004 Gerard Mourou For pioneering contributions to ultrafast optics including optical sampling and intense fs pulses
2003 Marlan O. Scully For field-opening contributions to the foundation of laser physics.
2002 Shuji Nakamura For pioneering contributions to blue, green, and white light emitting diodes and blue semiconductor lasers.
2001 Linn Mollenauer For seminal contributions to the generation, understanding, and system application of optical solitons.
2000 Yoshihisa Yamamoto For the invention and first demonstration of the technique for producing amplitude squeezed light semiconductors.


Akira Hasegawa For his contributions to the derivation of the master equation for signal transmission in fibers, discovery of optical solitons and the theoretical developments for application of solitons to all optical high speed communication systems.
1998 Rudolf F. Kazarinov For his seminal and wide-ranging theoretical contributions to the semiconductor laser field including the double-heterostructure laser, the distributed-feedback laser and intersubband lasers.
1997 Erich P. Ippen For pioneering work in ultrafast optics, optical diagnostics and novel methods of mode- locking.
1996 Robert L. Byer For pioneering inventions and contributions to solid-state lasers, optical parametric oscillators, and nonlinear optics.
1995 Daniel S. Chemla For his seminal contributions to the field of nonlinear optics and the understanding of electronic excitations in quantum confined systems.
1994 Stephen E. Harris For pioneering contributions to quantum electronics including the invention of the FM laser, methods of UV and X-ray generation and lasing without inversion.
1993 Frederick Leonberger For his pioneering contributions to the development of a variety of new photonic devices and their use in important signal processing functions.
Joseph E. Geusic
LeGrande Van Uitert
For their invention & development of the Neodymium:YAG laser.
1991 Herwig Kogelnik For fundamental contributions and technical leadership in the fields of quantum electronics and optical communications.
1990 David H. Auston For pioneering and fundamental contributions to the field of picosecond optoelectronics and ultrafast optical phenomena.
1989 Anthony Siegman For his numerous contributions to the field of quantum electronics, including the invention of the unstable optical resonator and for contributions to the theory of mode-locked lasers.
1988 William Bridges For his contributions to the discovery of the Argon, Krypton, and Xenon ion lasers.
1987 Arthur Ashkin For his seminal experimental and theoretical work which initiated worldwide study of laser radiation pressure and for his continuing exceptional contributions to the development of this field.
1986 Peter Smith For pioneering contributions to waveguide gas lasers, stabilized lasers, bistable optical devices and to the understanding of fundamental limits on nonlinear optical switching devices.
1985 Robert Hellwarth For fundamental contributions to lasers, Raman scattering and non-linear optical processes.
1984 Hermann Haus For his contributions to optical waveguide devices and laser modelocking.
1983 Ivan Kaminow For his contributions to electro-optics, waveguide devices, optical fibers, and semiconductor lasers.
1982 Yasuharu Suematsu For technical contributions and teaching in the field of optical communications, including semiconductor lasers, fibers, and integrated optics.
1981 Dietrich Marcuse For his theoretical contributions which provide fundamental understanding for practical designs of optical dielectric waveguides.
1980 Amnon Yariv In recognition of his pioneering contributions to lasers and electrooptics.
1979 Elias Snitzer For the invention and operation of the "first" glass laser, fiber-optics, and contributions to optical fibers.
1978 A. Gardner Fox In recognition of outstanding contributions to the theory and application of ferrite, nonreciprocal, and parametric devices and laser resonator modes and devices.