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IEEE Photonics Society Technical Skills Educator Award

Recognizes educators specializing in bringing technician and technical skills training within the PHO field of interest to traditionally underserved communities.

Nominate a Colleague Today!

Nomination Period: April 15 – June 14

Nominators must complete a nominee submission by April 30th each year with the following:

  • Statement of a specific examples of impact in the following areas:
    • Classroom Practice
    • Subject Leadership
    • Recruitment
    • Community Outreach
  • Proposed Award Citation: (Word Count: 20)
  • Nominee’s curriculum vita (Maximum of three pages)
  • Endorsements: A minimum of two, maximum of three endorsement letters are required and must be submitted by the endorsers by the nomination deadline. The nominator cannot be an endorser.


About the Award

The IEEE Photonics Society Technical Skills Educator Award recognizes educators specializing in bringing technician and technical skills training within the PHO field of interest to traditionally underserved communities.

Presented to: An individual

Scope: To recognize educators specializing in bringing technician and technical skills training within the PHO field of interest to traditionally underserved communities.

Prize: Certificate, a cash honorarium, support to attend presentation

Basis for judging: The award will recognize effective, impactful, and innovative educators who bring specialized training to communities for whom photonics is not typically viewed as a common educational and career path. Contributions to curriculum and course development, industrial and governmental education programs, textbook development, will all be considered in the award evaluation.

Introducing Our Award Honorees

We are proud to recognize and celebrate honorees of the IEEE Photonics Society Technical Skills Educator Award. 

Our Most Recent Honoree

Jens Hofmann Photo IEEE TSA 2023

Jens Hofmann, 2023

For bringing companies and institutes together in innovative programs that enable career changes into photonics.


Jens Hofmann started his professional career in September 2003 with a dual apprenticeship as a microtechnologist for microsystems technology at the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration (IZM). After successful completion of his apprenticeship in 2006, he started as a technical assistant at Fraunhofer IZM’s cooperation partner, the Technical University of Berlin in the research area of microperipheric technology, where he was responsible for the implementation of lithography processes with photoresist on semiconductor wafers as well as for the coating of wafers with polymers to build multilayer structures in the working group “High Density Interconnect & Wafer Level Packaging”.

In 2007, Jens Hofmann joined the optical packaging technology group at the Fraunhofer Institute IZM and specialized in the field of optical fiber technology, deformation techniques for optical packaging technology and further development of laboratory equipment.

Jens Hofmann was involved in Fraunhofer IZM’s training activities at an early stage and organized the technical training in his work group. In 2009, he successfully passed the trainer aptitude test at the Bonn Chamber of Industry and Commerce and worked part-time as a trainer and as deputy training manager at Fraunhofer IZM until his move to eagleyard Photonics GmbH. During this period, he was involved in various training networks and trained at least two apprentices each year.

In February 2017, Jens Hofmann moved to eagleyard Photonics GmbH in Berlin, where he took on a role as a developer and CAD designer in the research and development department. Since April 2018, Jens Hofmann has held the position of Head of Process Development and Head of Training at eagleyard Photonics GmbH in Berlin. In this dual role, he is largely responsible for the development of manufacturing processes while also helping to lead and shape training within the company. Since June 2023, Jens Hofmann has headed the merged Process Development & Manufacturing Engineering department within the company.

Parallel to his professional activities, Jens Hofmann has been involved since September 2019 as a founding member and as the 1st association chairman of the training network proANH e.V. This network is dedicated to education and training in the field of high technology and STEM professions (mathematics, information technology, natural sciences, technology), which underlines his commitment to promoting education and expertise in these key areas.

View All Award Winners

Year Award Winner Citation
2022 Stephen Musamuli Kichinda For outstanding contributions to the technical education of Fiber Optic practioners in Africa for Government, Industry, and Academia.
2021 Lukas Chrostowski For outstanding and innovative contributions to silicon photonics education.
2020 Alexis Vogt For transforming the optical systems technology program at MCC into a national model through teaching, mentoring, leadership, fundraising and outreach.