John Dudley Wins the 2019 SPIE Harold E. Edgerton Award

The award recognizes the application and understanding of high-speed physical phenomena, including the development of new technologies as well as new applications of existing technologies

26 June 2019


PIONEERING OPTICS: Dudley, center, receiving his award from SPIE President-Elect John Greivenkamp, left, and SPIE President Jim Oschmann

BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA and CARDIFF, UK - Earlier today, at the SPIE Optical Metrology conference in Munich, SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, honored John Dudley, a professor of physics at the Université de Franch-Comté and head of the Optoelectronics, Photonics, and Telecommunications research group within the CNRS research institute FEMTO-ST, with its 2019 Harold E. Edgerton Award. In 2014, he was the recipient of the Society's President's Award.

John Dudley is recognized for pioneering applications of ultrashort-pulse measurement techniques in nonlinear fiber optics and specifically for studies of ultrafast self-similarity, supercontinuum generation, and novel classes of optical soliton and optical rogue waves. Dudley, an SPIE Senior Member, is known as a thought leader in his field as well as for his dedicated outreach and science-focused communication in the public sphere. As chair of its steering committee, he was instrumental in creating UNESCO's International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies for 2015. That initial venture, established alongside SPIE and other professional societies, has since been expanded, and we celebrate UNESCO's International Day of Light annually on 16 May.

As a research scientist, Dudley's work has been central to the development and application of a range of femtosecond technologies, and was instrumental in ensuring the uptake of the more powerful frequency-resolved optical gating (FROG) pulse characterization within the fiber optics and telecommunications fields. These techniques are now used by companies worldwide in source development and qualification. His current work includes developing new measurement techniques to provide insights into complex optical rogue wave dynamics, as well as exploring new approaches toward a better understanding of that area's underlying physics.

"John's entire research career has been associated with the study of high speed photonic phenomena, and to pursue this work, he has developed a large number of techniques for characterizing optical pulses, whilst also finding new applications of previously developed technologies," notes University of Auckland physics professor John Harvey who supervised Dudley's doctoral work and has had a research association with his former student ever since. "I cannot think of a better qualified applicant for the Harold Edgerton Award."

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