OSA seeks to establish optical communications award

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The Optical Society (OSA) Foundation has launched a fundraising campaign to establish an award in honour of the late optical communications pioneer Tingye Li. The Tingye Li Innovation Award will recognise top-performing young professionals who have demonstrated innovation in their research presented at the annual OFC Conference and Exposition.

Li, who passed away in December 2012, was a past president and fellow emeritus of The OSA and was well known for his contributions to lightwave technology and optical fibre communications. The award, to be presented annually, is intended to celebrate Li’s significant contributions to the field of microwaves, lasers and optical communications, and recognise his passion for the future of optics. The Foundation is seeking to raise at least $150,000 USD to permanently endow the award.

‘Tingye was that rare combination of pioneering scientist and inspiring mentor,’ said G. Michael Morris, chair of The OSA Foundation Board. ‘One of his favourite sayings was "It is by standing on the shoulders of giants that we are able to see further". By aiming to establish an award in Tingye’s honour, The OSA Foundation hopes to provide future generations of scientists the opportunity to stand on the shoulders of Tingye - a giant in his own right.’

An OSA member since 1966, Li was named an OSA Fellow in 1977. He served as a member of the OSA board of directors from 1985-1987, as OSA president in 1995, chaired numerous committees and was a leader in building the OSA-co-sponsored Asia Communications and Photonics (ACP) conference.