Swiss physicist wins EPO lifetime achievement award for work on ultrafast lasers

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The European Patent Office (EPO) has presented Swiss physicist Ursula Keller with a Lifetime Achievement European Inventor Award for her pioneering work on ultrafast laser technology.

Keller's inventions, such as the development of a SESAM mirror, a convenient and practical method for turning continuous laser light into ultra-fast laser pulses, have helped make ultrafast lasers become commonplace in industrial and medical applications.  

During her 30-year career, Keller has continued to advance laser science through more compact, efficient and powerful designs which are instrumental in fields ranging from scientific research to telecommunications and consumer electronics. She is currently head of the Institute for Quantum Electronics at Zurich’s Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich).

'Ursula Keller has dedicated her career to research and innovations that have charted new directions in laser technology and unlocked applications in a broad range of industries such as electronics and automotive manufacturing,' said EPO President Benoît Battistelli. 'Her work highlights Europe's role as a leader in ultra-fast laser research and implementation.' 

She was presented the award on Thursday at a ceremony in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris.