Distinguished Service Award

The IEEE Photonics Society Distinguished Service Award was established to recognize an exceptional individual contribution of service which has had significant benefit to the membership of the IEEE Photonics Society as a whole. This level of service will often include serving the Society in several capacities or in positions of significant responsibility. Candidates should be members of the Society. The Award consists of an honorarium of $500 and a plaque. The presentation is made at the IEEE Photonics Conference.

2018 Honoree


Dalma Novak

For exceptional contributions to the Photonics Society in leadership and dedicated service through diverse activities, including outreach.





Dalma Novak is Vice President of Engineering at Pharad, LLC where she develops high-performance RF-over-fiber technologies.  Her research interests include hybrid fiber radio systems, microwave photonics applications, high speed optical communication systems, wireless communications, and antenna technologies, and she has published more than 300 papers in these and related areas, including seven book chapters.   Dr. Novak was elected to the grade of IEEE Fellow in 2007. 

Dr. Novak’s association with the IEEE Photonics Society (IPS), and formerly the IEEE Lasers and Electro-Optics Society (LEOS), commenced over 20 years ago when she joined the Executive Committee of the newly formed LEOS Australian Chapter and subsequently established the LEOS Victorian Chapter.  Since then Dr. Novak has continued to serve as an active and enthusiastic Society volunteer in a range of roles.  She has been a member of many Society sponsored conference technical program committees (TPCs), organizing, and steering committees, and was the TPC Chair for the 2010 IEEE Photonics Conference.  She is currently a member of the OFC Steering Committee. 

Dr. Novak has also supported the Society’s publications as an Associate Editor (A/E) and is presently an A/E for both Journal of Lightwave Technology and Photonics Technology Letters.  She has also acted as Guest Editor for several Special Issues on Microwave Photonics.

Dr. Novak has contributed extensively to the Society’s volunteer leadership.  She was an elected member of the Board of Governors from 2011 to 2013 and Secretary-Treasurer during 2012 – 2013.  She then served a two-year term as President of the Society during 2014 – 2015 and oversaw the launch of the Society’s Women in Photonics program.  More recently, she has been involved in the Society’s industry engagement efforts and the formation of a new Industry Committee.

Dr. Novak received the degrees of Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical) and PhD from the University of Queensland, Australia, in 1987 and 1992, respectively.  She holds a Professorial Fellow appointment with the Department of Electronic and Electronic Engineering at The University of Melbourne, Australia.


April 30th

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