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.

Please note that no candidate shall have previously received a major IEEE award for the same work.  Previous winners of a Photonics Society Career Award (Aron Kressel, Engineering Achievement, Quantum Electronics, William Streifer Scientific Achievement) are not eligible candidates for consideration of the same work. Candidates need not be members of the IEEE or the Photonics Society. 

2022 Honoree

Nikzad Photo IEEE DL 2019


Shouleh Nikzad

For groundbreaking contributions to detectors and photonics instruments using nanoscale engineering enabling scientific measurements in space.



Dr. Shouleh Nikzad is a JPL Fellow, Senior Research Scientist, a Principal Engineer, and the Science Division Manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology. She is PI in the Advanced Detector Arrays, Systems, and Nanoscience and holds visiting and lecturer appointments at Caltech’s Physics Math, and Astronomy Division, Caltech’s Engineering and Applied Sciences Division, and previously at Cedar Sinai Medical Center’s Neurosurgery Department. Her research interests span a wide range including materials, nano-scale surface engineering, detectors, coatings, filters, instruments, and applications in planetary sciences, astrophysics, space weather, and medicine. Her work on single photon counting UV detectors has produced world record sensitivity that is enabling for NASA missions.

She is a fellow of the IEEE, American Physical Society, SPIE and National Academy of Inventors. She is a recipient of many awards and recognitions, including the 2020 NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, 2021 SPIE Meinel Technology Achievement Award, NASA-JPL Lew Allen Award of Excellence and the IEEE Photonics Distinguished Lecturer Award. Shouleh has over 200 publications and over 20 patents. She holds a PhD in Applied Physics and an MSEE both from Caltech and BSEE from USC.

April 5th

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Nomination period: Feb 1 - April 5

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