2021 Bernard J. Couillaud Prize Winner Selected!

May 27, 2021 by Coherent, Inc.

Powering the next 50 years of innovation

The Bernard J. Couillaud Prize recognizes early-career professionals for an impactful and extraordinary contribution to the science and applications of ultrafast lasers. Each year, OSA and Coherent select a panel of distinguished industry professionals (which includes the previous year's prize winner) to evaluate each application individually based on its novelty, creativity, and relevance for the future of ultrafast photonics technology and applications.

The prize honors the legacy of Dr. Couillaud in a way that fits his own passions and achievements, by rewarding a key contribution by an early-career professional with a $25,500 prize. In addition to the monetary award, this prestigious award brings recognition across the laser industry thanks to its promotion on social media by the Optical Society and Coherent.

Bernard J. Couillaud earned his Ph.D. 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 developing numerous Dye, DPSS, and Ti:S lasers. Along the arc of this extraordinary academic and industrial career, he authored 65 publications and received multiple patents. He was the President and CEO of Coherent, Inc. from 1996-2002.

The winner of the 2021 Bernard J. Couillaud prize will be announced during the Plenary Session of the virtual World of Photonics Congress on June 21, 2021.

Previous Winners

Now in its third year, the prize is already building a legacy of rewarding professionals whose research applications can develop potentially ground-breaking innovation for the photonics field.

2019 Winner: Dr. David R. Carlson

The inaugural winner of the Bernard J. Couillaud Award was David R. Carlson of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (Time and Frequency Division) to recognize the importance of his work on non-linear effects and photonic devices based on tantala (tantalum pentoxide, Ta2O5). This research could impact real-world applications such as atomic clock accuracy in global positioning satellites. 

2020 Winner: Dr. Bo Li

Last year’s winner, a postdoctoral researcher at Cornell University and now a professor at Fudan University won the 2020 prize for his work in developing an adaptive laser source for multi-photon laser scanning microscopy. This technology could lead to a new generation of multi-photon microscopy tools that allow deep, fast, and large-scale imaging of structure and function with cellular and subcellular resolution.

For more information about the prize and how to apply, visit the OSA Foundation website.

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