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Edmund Optics announces winners of its 2012 research and innovation award programme

Edmund Optics has announced the winners of its 2012 research and innovation award programme. This award is given in recognition of outstanding undergraduate and graduate optics programmes in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics at non-profit colleges and universities worldwide.

More than $80,000 in EO products will be awarded to the first-, second-, and third-place winners in Europe, the Americas and Asia, in support of their research and education activities.

'Every year we are astounded by the technical excellence and ingenuity behind the applications we receive,' commented Kirsten Bjork-Jones, director of global marketing communications. 'They are furthering the science of optical innovation into areas that are saving lives, exploring space, and understanding our physical world. It's an electrifying time!'

Forty-five finalists, from 22 countries, were selected after evaluating nearly 750 applications. The EO award team chose the finalists based on two criteria: technical merit, which is the application of optics in the programme; and the innovative use of optics in the lab or research setting. After securing more in-depth information about the programmes, the team selected the final award recipients.

In Europe, the first place recipient of €7,000 in EO products is David Margolis from the University of Zurich, Switzerland, for developing new techniques in biological imaging and cellular resolution imaging of the living animal to better understand fundamental questions of brain function and dysfunction.

Kirstin Baum from the University of Marburg in Germany was selected to receive €5,000 in EO products as the second-place European recipient for developing an integrated 3D diffuse optical tomography (DOT) scanner and innovative 3D-surface reconstruction method to enable an easy operation of the DOT scanner by technicians without the need for advanced optical knowledge.

The third-place European recipient is Saiedeh Saghafi from Vienna University of Technology in Austria. The award of €3,000 in EO products was presented for creating an efficient light sheet microscopy/ultramicroscopy using an innovative beam shaping method of turning a Gaussian beam into an elliptical beam with flattened Gaussian intensity distribution.

In the Americas, the first place award of $10,000 in EO products, was given to Tomasz Tkaczyk of Rice University, for the development of optical imaging and detection techniques targeting chemistry, applied physics, nanosciences, and advanced biomedical engineering.

Second place award of $7,500 in EO products went to Ann Elsner and her team from Indiana University, for the advancement of biomedical imaging utilising technologies such as optical coherence tomography, adaptive optics, and specific polarisation techniques in the study of age-related macular degeneration and other ailments of the eye.

Third place recipient of $5,000 in EO products is Gregory Lyzenga of Harvey Mudd College in California, for the remote detection of microbial life in space using laser induced fluorescence imaging and Raman spectroscopy (LIFIRS).

In Asia, the first place award of $10,000 in EO products was awarded to Quan Liu of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, for developing new optical biopsy methods based on optical imaging and spectroscopy.

Dr Hayashi Jun from Osaka University in Japan is the second place award recipient of $7,500 USD in EO products for research on the ignition process of flammable mixed gases under the elevated pressure atmosphere or emission reductions to improve the environmental condition.

Third-place award of $5,000 USD in EO products was awarded to Yin Chang of the National Yang-Ming University in Taiwan for developing an in vivo fibre-optic spectroscopy technique which targets the detection of epidural space in the spine.

'We would like to offer our heartiest congratulations to all the 2012 award finalists. We are truly impressed with the diversity and inventiveness of all the applicant programmes submitted,' said Bjork-Jones.

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