Aron Kressel Award

The IEEE Photonics Society Aron Kressel Award is given to recognize those individuals who have made important contributions to opto-electronic device technology. The device technology cited is to have had a significant impact on their applications in major practical systems. The intent is to recognize key contributors to the field for developments of critical components, which lead to the development of systems enabling major new services or capabilities. These achievements should have been accomplished in a prior time frame sufficient to permit evaluation of their lasting impact. The work cited could have appeared in the form of publications, patents, products, or simply general recognition by the professional community that the individual cited is the agreed upon originator of the advance upon which the award decision is based. The award may be given to an individual or group, up to three in number. The Award is endowed by the Sarnoff Corporation and by Nova Information Systems, Inc. The Award consists of an honorarium of $1000 and a certificate. The presentation is made at the IEEE Photonics Conference.

2016 Honoree

MartinMartin D. Dawson

For broad and sustained contributions to semiconductor opto-electronic engineering, including optically pumpled semiconductor lasers, diamond photonics and gallium-nitride microdevices.



Martin D. Dawson (M’85-SM’98-F’09) received the PhD degree in laser physics in 1985 from Imperial College London, for studies of short pulse generation in dye, semiconductor and solid state lasers. From 1985 – 1991 he was a Research Scientist and subsequently Visiting Assistant Professor in the group of A.L. Smirl, first at North Texas State University and then at the University of Iowa. During that time he developed femtosecond dye lasers in a form that was later commercialized, and contributed to the development of regenerative solid-state- and synchronous dye- amplifiers. In 1991 he returned to the UK to join the newly established Sharp Laboratories of Europe, Oxford, where he undertook extensive spectroscopic studies of AlInGaP/GaAs semiconductors and contributed to structural and optical studies of gallium nitride. In 1996, he helped establish the Institute of Photonics at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, which he has helped develop and sustain over the past twenty years and for which he serves as Director of Research. During this time he has led wide-ranging research activities in areas including: optically-pumped semiconductor lasers (VECSELs), dilute and wide bandgap nitride semiconductors, diamond photonics and organic and colloidal quantum dot lasers and colour converters, for a diverse range of applications. In 2012, he was appointed inaugural Head of the UK’s first Fraunhofer research centre, the Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics, a role he holds in parallel to his university position. Martin was elected to fellowship of the Institute of Physics in 2000, to Fellowship of OSA in 2006, to Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2007, and to Fellowship of IEEE in 2009. He has participated in the creation of several start-up companies, most recently including mLED Ltd. He was Program Chair of the IEEE Photonics Conference in 2013, Member-at-Large in 2014 and General Chair in 2015, and he has served as a member of the IEEE Photonics Society (IPS) Board of Governors since 2013. He is currently VP Conferences for IPS.

April 5th

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Nomination Requirements

Submit Nomination (Opens Feb 1)