Prof. Richard Osgood Receives 2015 IEEE Photonics Society Quantum Electronics Award

October 28, 2015

Richard M. Osgood, Eugene Higgins Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering and professor emeritus of applied physics, has been awarded the 2015 IEEE Photonics Society Quantum Electronics Award for “seminal contributions to novel laser systems, laser‐surface photochemistry, and integrated linear and nonlinear Si waveguides.” He was presented with the award at the 2015 IEEE Photonics Conference held in Reston, Virginia, in October.

“I am particularly honored to receive this award,” said Osgood, “since quantum electronics, which encompasses lasers, laser physics and chemistry, and their applications, had its origins many years ago with Professor Townes at Columbia! It is also a stellar example of the importance of basic science to the growth of technology in our country."

Osgood’s research has included new classes of lasers as well as understanding the dynamics of their material medium, the physics and applications of laser surface interactions, linear and nonlinear Si integrated optics and physics, the electronic structure of low dimensional of materials and nanostructures, and computational electromagnetics.

A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy with a BS in engineering, Osgood received an MS in physics from Ohio State University, and a PhD in physics from MIT. He began his research career at the USAF Materials Laboratory and the USAF Avionics Laboratory prior to beginning his PhD at MIT. His doctoral research was in new molecular lasers and their vibrational dynamics and spectroscopy, which was supervised by Ali Javan, a Columbia physics PhD and a close associate of Charles Townes.

Following his graduation from MIT, Osgood joined the scientific staff of MIT Lincoln Laboratory where he explored laser chemistry on surfaces and developed new lasers and laser spectroscopy and dynamics. In 1981, he joined the faculty of the Department of Electrical Engineering at Columbia, and the following year was named professor of electrical engineering and of applied physics. In 1988, he was appointed the Eugene Higgins Professor of Electrical Engineering.

Osgood took a leave of absence from Columbia in 2000, serving for two years as associate laboratory director for Energy Sciences at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), where he was responsible for five focus areas (300 professionals and a $780 million budget) that included the National Synchrotron Light Source II, Center for Functional Nanomaterials, Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Science, and the Chemistry and the Materials Departments. He was also acting director of the Center of Functional Nanomaterials during his last year at BNL.

At Columbia, Osgood was a cofounder of the Columbia Microelectronics Sciences Laboratories (MSL), and served as director or co-director of MSL and the Columbia Radiation Laboratory (CRL). From 2010 to 2012, he was director of the Columbia University Center for Integrated Science and Engineering (CISE), now the Columbia Nano Initiative.

He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, and Optical Society of America. He has published nearly 500 research papers, written a book, edited several anthologies, and has been awarded 23 patents. In 1995, his lab group created, RSoft, a photonic design system that allows users to design and analyze optical telecommunication devices, optical components used in semiconductor manufacturing, and nanoscale optical structures. The startup was later purchased by Synopsys. He and his group have also been involved in many new startups, generally focused on optical materials and materials processing.

Among his many honors, Osgood is the recipient of the R. W. Wood Award from the Optical Society of America, American Physical Society and OSA Traveling Lectureship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and was invited to deliver the OIDTA lecture at the Japanese Optical Association.

The original article is here.