Chiara Trovatello Couillaud Prize 2022

Introducing the Winner of the 4th Annual Bernard J. Couillaud Prize

Chiara Trovatello

Postdoctoral research scientist, Columbia University, New York, USA
Formerly: Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy

Chiara was awarded the prize for the challenges and innovative solutions associated with her work in Optical Parametric Oscillators and Amplifiers.

  Learn More About the Prize


Coherent, Inc. and Optica (formerly the OSA Foundation) have partnered to create the Bernard J. Couillaud Prize. The Prize provides the opportunity for an early-career professional (1-5 years post highest degree) to pursue a compelling and innovative project that has the potential to make a meaningful and positive impact on the science and applications of ultrafast lasers.



Congratulations to Last Year’s Winner: Bowen Li


Bowen Li

Postdoctoral researcher at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Bowen Li's winning proposal focuses on the first bidirectional all-normal dispersion (BANDi) fiber laser, a next-generation dual-comb laser source that generates two frequency combs from a single laser cavity. 

An Interview with Bowen Li

We spoke with Dr. Li regarding his exciting research, its impact on ultrafast science, and some of his future plans. Watch the video interview below, which was conducted by Marco Arrigoni of Coherent, Inc.

"This emerging dual-comb architecture demonstrates the feasibility of bidirectional mode-locking in fiber lasers using artificial saturable absorber and all-normal dispersion. Compared to existing dual-comb fiber lasers, it generates orders-of-magnitude-higher pulse energies as well as completely overlapping and flat optical spectra directly from the cavity."

- Bowen Li, Postdoctoral researcher at the University of Colorado, Boulder

The Winners Circle

Learn more about previous winners of the Bernard J. Couillaud Prize and the research that earned them the recognition.

2020 Winner: Dr. Bo Li

The 2020 Bernard J. Couillaud annual prize in ultrafast photonics was awarded to Dr. Bo Li, a postdoctoral researcher at Cornell University, is last year’s winner of the Bernard J. Couillaud Prize, presented on May 13, 2020. Bo Li’s research focuses on Multiphoton Imaging, a key application of ultrafast laser technology. His work has the potential to improve depths and speed of imaging, both critical to advances in neuroscience and disease studies. 

Hear from the 2020 Prize Winner!

To watch the full interview and learn more about his research, click the video below:

2019 Winner: Dr. David R. Carlson

The 2019 Bernard J. Couillaud annual prize in ultrafast photonics was awarded to Dr. David R. Carlson of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (Time and Frequency Division) in recognition of the importance of his work on non-linear effects and photonic devices based on tantala (tantalum pentoxide, Ta2O5).

Hear from the 2019 Prize Winner!

We spoke with Dr. Carlson about how he has used the award to further his work in this field. To read the full interview and learn more about his research, click the button below.

About the Prize’s Namesake

A native of France, Bernard J. Couillaud earned his PhD in Laser Physics in 1978 at the University of Bordeaux and later completed a three-year visiting fellowship at Stanford University. Dr. Couillaud joined Coherent in 1983 and was instrumental in the development of numerous Dye, DPSS, and Ti:S lasers in his roles as Director of Engineering, Business Unit Manager, and Vice President of the Laser Group. Along the arc of this extraordinary academic and industrial career, he authored 65 publications and received numerous patents. He became President and CEO of Coherent in 1996, and served in that capacity until 2002. Dr. Couillaud was then Chairman of the Board of Directors until his retirement in 2007.

Dr. Couillaud gave more than a lifetime’s worth of dedication and achievements to physics, lasers, and photonics, and remains an inspiration to everyone that called him a friend, colleague, boss, or mentor. After his untimely death in 2017, Coherent and Optica (then OSA) partnered to create this award and honor his legacy by recognizing and financially supporting the next generation of innovators in photonics.