Purdue Prof. Andrew M. Weiner wins Optica’s Charles Hard Townes Medal
Andrew M. Weiner, Scifres Family Distinguished Professor of ECE in Purdue University’s Elmore Family School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has won the Charles Hard Townes Medal from Optica. This prestigious award is presented annually to an individual or a group for outstanding experimental or theoretical work, discovery, or invention in the field of quantum electronics. Weiner is being recognized “for ground-breaking work bringing optical frequency combs to the quantum world and developing innovative applications spanning several fields, including coherent control, generation and line-by-line manipulation of frequency combs, and ultrabroadband radio-frequency photonics.”
Weiner says being selected for the Townes Medal is a wonderful surprise and a true honor.
“Dr. Townes is famous as the pioneer of quantum electronics, a field in which I have worked more or less my entire career,” he says. “And the list of previous winners of the Townes Medal includes many exceptional individuals, including my own PhD and MS graduate advisors from MIT, Erich Ippen and Hermann Haus.”
After Weiner earned his Sc.D. in EECS in 1984 from MIT, he joined Bellcore, at that time a premier telecommunications industry research organization, first as Member of Technical Staff and later as Manager of Ultrafast Optics and Optical Signal Processing Research. He joined Purdue as Professor in 1992, and has since graduated 48 Ph.D. students.
Weiner has had a long term interest in ultrafast optics, with an emphasis on processing of extremely high speed lightwave signals and ultrabroadband radio-frequency signals. Weiner is best known for his seminal work on programmable pulse shaping; his recent research focuses on integrated nonlinear photonics and quantum optics.
Weiner has graduated 48 Ph.D. students, is the author of the textbook Ultrafast Optics, and has published eleven book chapters, over 1,000 journal and conference papers, and is the inventor of 18 U.S. patents. An engaged volunteer he has served as Editor-in-chief of Optics Express, and chaired multiple conferences including the National Academy’s U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Meeting and the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO).
Weiner is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Inventers and was selected as a Department of Defense National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellow. He is Fellow of Optica and IEEE. His numerous awards include the Adolph Lomb Medal, the R.W. Wood Prize, the Charles Hard Townes Medal, Hertz Foundation Doctoral Thesis Prize, the International Commission on Optics Prize, and William Streifer Scientific Achievement Award and Quantum Electronics Prize. At Purdue he has been recognized with the inaugural Research Excellence Award from the Schools of Engineering, the Provost's Outstanding Graduate Student Mentor Award, the Herbert Newby McCoy Award for outstanding contributions to the natural sciences, and the College of Engineering Mentoring Award.
The Charles Hard Townes Medal was established in 1980 to honor Charles Hard Townes, whose pioneering contributions to masers and lasers led to the development of the field of quantum electronics