Professor Alexandra Boltasseva receives SAOT Young Researcher Award in Advanced Optical Technologies

The Erlangen Graduate School in Advanced Optical Technologies (SAOT) honors with the Young Researcher Award in Advanced Optical Technologies outstanding scientific contributions of a young researcher with a proven record in optics, photonics, and optical technologies. The prize money is 100,000 euros.

Dr. Alexandra Boltasseva is Associate Professor at Technical University of Denmark, Department of Photonic Engineering, and currently on leave of absence as an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University.

The prize honors her pioneering contributions in the fields of plasmonics and metamaterials. The main avenue of her research is advanced nanostructuring of metamaterials, specially designed, artificially created materials that can show electromagnetic properties not achievable with naturally occurring materials, with applications ranging from advanced photonics to chemical- and bio-sensors.

In her research, state-of-the-art nanofabrication tools are used to develop new methods and processes for creating novel nanophotonic components based on nanostructured metal-dielectric materials, with the aim to exploit physical phenomena related to surface plasmon polaritons, to address issues of miniaturized photonic circuitry and to develop new types of surface plasmon nano-devices for controlling optical processes at the subwavelength scale.


SAOT was established in November 2006 at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg within the framework of the Excellence Initiative of the German Federal and State Governments to Promote Science and Research at German Universities. The main focus of SAOT is to improve the research activities in the development and application of optics and optical technologies, in particular at the interfaces between science, engineering and medicine. SAOT provides an interdisciplinary research and education program of excellence within a broad international network of distinguished experts to promote innovation and leadership in the areas Optical Metrology, Optical Material Processing, Optics in Medicine, Optical Material and Systems, Optics in Communication and Information Technologies and Computational Optics. More details can be found on our homepage, where also additional information is given on the Elite Master Program in Advanced Optical Technologies (MAOT). MAOT has been established in 2006 within the Elite Network of Bavaria and started with its education program in October 2007. It is considered as a bridge to fill the educational gap between an education in Science or Engineering on the B.Sc. level and SAOT.

One of the key concepts of SAOT is the integration of guest scientists in both research and education. The Young Researcher Award in Optical Technologies will be awarded annually to an outstanding young scientist in the field of optics and photonics to spend some time in Erlangen and pursue research in collaboration with SAOT scientists. The laureate will also interact with the graduate students of SAOT by giving lectures and seminars.

The award is remunerated with 100.000 € to be used either for the personal salary of the laureate or for consumables or equipment related to the research. The award winner will have the formal status of a guest professor and is expected to conduct research in Erlangen, starting within one year after the award winner has been announced. The prize money can be used for one continuous stay or for up to eight stays within four years.