Engineering Achievement Award

The IEEE Photonics Society Engineering Achievement Award is given to recognize an exceptional engineering contribution which has had a significant impact on the development of laser or electro-optic technology or the commercial application of technology within the past 10 years. It may be given to an individual or to a group for a single contribution of significant work in the field.  The Award consists of an honorarium of $2000 and a medal. 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. 

2020 Honoree



George C. Papen

For contributions to optical systems, especially optical switching in data center networks.




George C. Papen, Ph.D. received his M.S degree in 1987 and his Ph.D. in 1989 in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin. He joined the Faculty of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois as an Assistant Professor in 1989. He was appointed Associate Professor in 1996 and Full Professor in May 2001. In July 2002, he accepted a position as professor at the University of California at San Diego.

His research is in systems applications of optics in computing, communication, and remote sensing. Current research topics include the development of robust optical circuit-switched networks for datacenter and high-performance computing.

April 30th

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Nomination period: Feb 1 - April 5

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