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 Achievment, 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. 

2018 Honoree

RuiRui Q. Yang

For invention of the mid-infrared interband cascade laser, and its advancement along with related devices for applications.



Rui Q. Yang (M’95-SM’02-F’14) is a Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Oklahoma.  He received his B.Sc. degree in 1982 from Zhejiang University, and M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in 1984 and 1987 from Nanjing University, respectively, all in physics. 

Professor Yang has woked on the development of interband cascade lasers from the initial concept to device fabrication at several institutions.  Prior to joining the University of Oklahoma in 2007, he was a Principal Member of Engineering Staff and a Task Manager at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, where he led the development of advanced mid-infrared interband cascade lasers for applications in Earth sciences and planetary explorations.  He received the Edward Stone Award in 2007 from JPL for outstanding research publication and the successful accelerated infusion of cutting-edge interband cascade semiconductor laser technology into flight mission readiness.  The interband cascade lasers that he developed with his collaborators have already been employed in practical applications, including the one that is currently on NASA's Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars in August 2012 and successfully detected CH on Mars. 

He is a Fellow of the IEEE and the OSA.  He has authored/co-authored more than 130 refereed jourmal articles and 2 book chapters.  His current research activities focus on quantum-engineered semiconductor devices such as mid-infrared interband cascade lasers, photodetectors and photovoltaic cells.

April 5th

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Nomination period: Feb 1 - April 5

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