IEEE Photonics Society William Streifer Scientific Achievement Award

Recognizes outstanding achievements in Opto-Electronic device technology.

Nominate a Colleague Today!

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

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

Scope: To recognize outstanding achievements in Opto-Electronic device technology.

Prize: A Bronze Medallion, A Certificate and Honorarium

Honorarium Basis for judging: In the evaluation process, the following criteria are considered: The device technology cited is to have had a significant impact on their applications in major practical systems. The intent is to recognize key contributors to the field for developments of critical components, which lead to the development of systems enabling major new services or capabilities. These achievements should have been accomplished in a prior time frame sufficient to permit evaluation of their lasting impact. The work cited could have appeared in the form of publications, patents, products, or simply general recognition by the professional community that the individual cited is the agreed upon originator of the advance upon which the award decision is based.

Sponsored by:

xerox logo
spectra laboratories logo

Administered by:

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Introducing Our Award Honorees

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

Our Most Recent Honoree

John Ballato

John Ballato, 2022

For pioneering contributions to the science, engineering, and application of optoelectronic fibers.

John Ballato is a professor of materials science and engineering at Clemson University, where he also holds the J. E. Sirrine Endowed Chair in Optical Fiber. Born in New York City, he was raised in New Jersey and attended Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ USA) earning a BS degree (1993) and the PhD (1997) in ceramic science and engineering.

Ballato joined the faculty at Clemson University (Clemson, SC USA) in 1997, where his research has focused on understanding and applying light-matter interactions in novel optical materials, particularly in fiber form. He is widely considered a founder of the field of semiconductor core optical fiber, having pioneered their practical fabrication. Such optoelectronic fibers have rapidly progressed over the past 10 years from fundamental materials science and engineering studies to, now, wide ranging devices including fiber-based solar cells, super-continuum sources, frequency combs, and related fiber-based nonlinear components.

Under his leadership, the Center for Optical Materials Science and Engineering Technologies (COMSET) was formed at Clemson in 2000. Over the 14 years he directed COMSET, the center grew to 40 faculty members and subsequently attracted nearly $100 million in research support. Ballato subsequently served as Clemson’s Vice President for Research and as Vice President for Economic Development where, in this latter position, he was responsible for University-industry relations and business development as well as multiple innovation campuses representing, at that time, over $750M of public / private investments.

Ballato’s research has garnered over $65M in extramural support. He has published 500 technical papers and holds 35 U.S. and foreign patents. Among numerous other honors, he is the recipient of the George W. Morey Award, the Arthur L. Friedberg Ceramics Engineering Award, and the Schwartzwalder-PACE Award, all from the American Ceramic Society. Further, his collaborative work on image transport via transverse Anderson localization in glass optical fibers was selected as one of Physics World magazine’s Top Ten Breakthroughs for 2014. Ballato is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Physical Society (APS), the Optical Society of America (OSA), the International Society of Optical Engineering (SPIE), and the American Ceramic Society (ACerS). He is also an elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Inventors and the World Academy of Ceramics, whose global membership is limited to 300 persons.

A serial entrepreneur, Ballato has co-founded 3 companies. Ballato also served as a Director of the AVX Corporation, a leading international manufacturer and supplier of advanced electronic components, which was publicly traded on the NYSE prior to its acquisition by Kyocera in 2020.

View All Award Winners

YearAward WinnerCitation
2021 Paras N. Prasad For pioneering contributions in multiphoton processes in molecular materials and developing technologies that advance biophotonics for multiphoton imaging and therapy.
2020 Peter J. Delfyett, Jr. For pioneering contributions to semiconductor diode based ultrafast laser science and technology.
2019 Bahram Javidi For transformative innovations on automated disease identification using field portable optical-imaging based bio-photonics sensors.
2018 Roland Ryf For contributions to the understanding and development of Space-Division Multiplexing in optical fibers.
2017 Nader Engheta For development of, and pioneering contributions to extreme-parameter metamaterials in optics and photonics.
2016 Ming C. Wu For pioneering contributions in micro-opto-electro-mechanical systems (MOEMS).
2015 Vladimir Shalaev For seminal contributions both to the theoretical framework and to the ground-breaking experimental realization of optical metamaterials.
2014 Gadi Eisenstein For fundamental contributions to the dynamical properties of semiconductor lasers and amplifiers.
2013 Curtis R. Menyuk For seminal advances in the fundamental understanding and mitigation of polarization effects in high-performance optical fiber communication systems.
2012 Qing Hu For pioneering contribution in the development of high-temperature, high-power, and broadly tunable THz QCLs, and applications in imaging and sensing.
2011 Xi-Cheng Zhang For exceptional contribution of terahertz (THz) air photonics, especially free-space coherent detection of ultra-broadband THz waves.
2010 Dieter Bimberg
For demonstration of quantum dot lasers and pioneering contributions to semiconductor nanophotonics.
2009 Christopher Doerr For pioneering research on highly functional integrated optical circuits based on arrayed waveguide grating routers and their implementation in advanced optical networks.
2008 Fumio Koyama For contributions to vertical cavity surface emitting semiconductor lasers and dynamic single-mode semiconductor laser.
2007 Shun-Lien Chuang For contributions to the development of the fundamental theories of strained quantum-well lasers and the physics of optoelectronics devices.
William H. Steier
Larry R. Dalton
Harold Fetterman
For seminal contributions to the advancement of polymer photonic devices and materials.
2005 Emmanuel Desurvire For pioneering contributions to the physical and theoretical understanding of erbium-doped fiber amplifiers and their early device development.
2004 Yasuhiko Arakawa For pioneering contributions to quantum confinement effects in semiconductor lasers and the development of quantum dot lasers.
2003 Connie Chang-Hasnain For pioneering contributions to vertical cavity surface emitting lasers and VCSEL arrays for wavelength-division-multiplexing applications.
2002 James Fujimoto For pioneering contributions to optical coherence tomography.
Joe C. Campbell
Stephen R. Forrest
For contributions to the development of high-speed, low-noise long-wavelength avalanche and p-i-n photodiodes.
2000 James J. Coleman For pioneering research in high reliability strained layer semiconductor lasers.
Jonathan Heritage
Andrew Weiner
For pioneering contributions to femtosecond optical pulse shaping technology and its applications.
Federico Capasso
Jerome Faist
For the design, demonstration, and pioneering development of the quantum cascade laser which is revolutionizing the field of mid-infrared semiconductor lasers.
1997 Peter F. Moulton For the invention of the titanium sapphire tunable infrared laser which opened a new era of solid state ultrafast lasers.
John E. Bowers
Kam Y. Lau
For significant contributions to the understanding and design of high speed semiconductor lasers.
Stuart Searles
Charles Brau
George Hart
James Ewing
For the demonstration and development of excimer lasers.
Martin A. Pollack
Robert E. Nahory
For pioneering work in III-V compound semiconductor materials and optoelectronic integrated circuits.
1993 Eli Yablonovitch For contributions to optoelectronics including the physics of strained layer lasers and photonic applications of low dimensional structures.
1992 Kenichi Iga For pioneering research in vertical-cavity surface-emitting injection lasers.
Thomas L. Koch
Uziel Koren
For pioneering and innovative contributions to photonic integrated circuits.