Laser Instrumentation Award

The IEEE Photonics Society Laser Instrumentation Award is given to recognize key contributors to the field for developments of laser-based and electro-optical instruments, which lead to the development of innovative systems enabling major new measurements or process capabilities of relevance to applications in industrial, biomedical avionic and metrology fields.

The field(s) to be considered are: classical and Self-Mixing Laser Interferometry, Optical Coherence Tomography, Digital Holography, Diffraction and Interference-based Measuring Devices like Particle Size Analyzers, Laser Interferometers, Optical Gyroscopes, and Laser Doppler Velocimeters, Measurements of distance and kinematic quantities, realized in either bulk-optics or integrated optics technologies. Measurements for the sole characterization of optical devices or fibers are not eligible.

The award may be given to an individual or group, up to three in number. Previous winners of major IEEE Medals or Field Awards for the same work are not eligible; in the case of a group award, at least one candidate must not have received a major IEEE Award for the same work. Must be an active IEEE / Photonics Society member.

The Award consists of an honorarium of $1000 and a Certificate. The presentation is made at the IEEE Photonics Conference.

2022 Honoree



Franz X. Kärtner

For development, and commercialization of femtosecond pulsed optical timing distribution systems for large-scale science facilities.


Franz X. Kärtner
is a Group Leader in the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science at Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron – DESY Hamburg and Professor at Universität Hamburg, where he carries out research in ultrafast laser physics and compact X-ray sources. He received his Diploma and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Technische Universität München (TUM), Germany in 1986, and 1989, respectively, and continued as an academic staff member till 1991. After a 2 year postdoc stay at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), working on quantum optics in optical fibers, through a Feodor-Lynen Fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, he continued at ETH Zurich on ultrashort pulse laser physics, where he received the Venia Legendi in 1997. After a visiting professorship in 1998 at MIT, he became a full professor in Electrical Engineering at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology from 1999-2001 and MIT from 2001-2010, before joining DESY and Universität Hamburg in 2011.

His research interests include classical and quantum noise in electronic and optical systems and devices, few-cycle and ultralow jitter femtosecond lasers, and its use in precision timing distribution systems for large-scale science facilities and photonic analog-to-digital conversion, attosecond science, Terahertz acceleration and the physics of coherent x-ray sources. In 2015, he co-founded Cycle GmbH to commercialize pulsed optical timing distribution and synchronization systems, which he pioneered with his research groups at MIT and DESY and are now deployed in many photon science facilities around the world. He is a Fellow of IEEE and OPTICA.