Edmund Optics announces award winners

Edmund Optics (EO; Barrington, NJ, USA) has announced the winners of its 2012 Higher Education Global Grant Program. The company awards are given in recognition of outstanding undergraduate and graduate optics programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics at non-profit colleges and universities worldwide.

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Edmund Optics (EO; Barrington, NJ USA) has announced the winners of its 2012 Higher Education Global Grant Program. The company awards are given in recognition of outstanding undergraduate and graduate optics programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics at non-profit colleges and universities worldwide.

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

In the Americas, the first place award of $10,000 in EO products, was given to Tomasz Tkaczyk, an assistant professor in bioengineering at Rice University (Houston, TX, USA), for the development of optical imaging and detection techniques targeting chemistry, applied physics, nanosciences, and advanced biomedical engineering. Tkaczyk's research is leading to the development of new systems that are are ideal for point-of-care diagnostics in clinical settings.

The second place award of $7,500 in EO products went to Professor Ann Elsner and her team from Indiana University (IU; Bloomington, IN, USA) for the advancement of biomedical imaging using technologies such as optical coherence tomography, adaptive optics, and specific polarization techniques in the study of age-related macular degeneration and other ailments of the eye.

Elsner and her team are developing low-cost retinal imagers to detect diabetic retinopathy. Together with IU senior scientist Benno Petrig and optical engineer Matt Muller, she has developed a low-cost laser-scanning digital camera for the purpose that will be marketed through her company Aeon Imaging (Bloomington, IN, USA).

Third place recipient of $5,000 in EO products is Gregory Lyzenga of Harvey Mudd College (Claremont, CA, USA), for his work developing a non-destructive, non-contact optical device capable of generating reflectance and fluorescence images that will be used on autonomous Mars rovers.

In Asia, the first place award of $10,000 USD in EO products was awarded to assistant professor Quan Liu of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore for developing new optical biopsy methods based on optical imaging and spectroscopy. These methods can non-invasively characterize the pathological status of tissues for medical diagnostics to reduce or even eliminate the need to perform physical biopsies.

Dr. Hayashi Jun from Osaka University (Osaka, Japan) is the second place award recipient of $7,500 USD in EO products for research into the ignition process of flammable mixed gases.

The third-place award of $5,000 USD in EO products was awarded to assistant professor Yin Chang of the National Yang-Ming University (Taipei, Taiwan) for developing an in-vivo fiber-optic spectroscopy technique which targets the detection of epidural space in the spine.

In Europe, the first place recipient of €7,000 in EO products is Dr. David Margolis from the University of Zurich (Zürich, Switzerland) for developing new techniques in biological imaging that will enable researchers to better understand brain function and dysfunction.

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

The third-place European recipient is Dr. Saiedeh Saghafi from Vienna University of Technology (Vienna, Austria). The award of €3,000 in EO products was presented for creating an efficient ultramicroscopy system that can be used for the 3-D non-destructive sectioning and imaging of a tumor.

"We would like to offer our heartiest congratulations to all the 2012 Grant finalists. We are truly impressed with the diversity and inventiveness of all the applicant programs submitted," said Kirsten Bjork-Jones, EO's Director of global marketing communications.

-- Dave Wilson, Senior Editor, Vision Systems Design

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