Young Investigator Award

The IEEE Photonics Society Young Investigator Award was established to honor an individual who has made outstanding technical contributions to photonics (broadly defined) prior to his or her 35th birthday. Nominees must be under 35 years of age on Sept. 30th of the year in which the nomination is made. Funding for this award is sponsored by the IEEE Photonics Society. The award consists of a certificate of recognition and an honorarium of $2000. The presentation will be made at the CLEO Conference & Exhibition, being held May 10 - 15, 2020, in San Jose, California, USA.

2020 Honoree



Mikhail Kats

For contributions in the fields of nanophotonics and optical materials, especially for metasurfaces, optics with phase-transition materials, and thermal-emission engineering.


Professor Mikhail Kats is an Associate Professor and Dugald C. Jackson Faculty Scholar at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of Wisconsin–Madison (UW–Madison), with affiliate appointments in the Departments of Physics and Materials Science and Engineering, and the Wisconsin Energy Institute, the McPherson Eye Research Institute, and the Wisconsin Quantum Institute. Prior to joining UW-Madison, he received his BS in Engineering Physics from Cornell University in 2008, and his PhD in Applied Physics from Harvard University in 2014.

Professor Kats’s research interests include optical properties of engineered materials, tailoring and measurement of thermal emission and radiative heat transfer, enhancement of human vision, and related topics in optics and photonics. He and his colleagues have made substantial contributions in the use of deeply subwavelength optical resonators for the manipulation of optical wavefronts (optical metasurfaces), phase-transition materials to enable tunable infrared optics, and the measurement and engineering of thermal radiation. For these and related advances he was identified in 2018 and 2019 by Clarivate Analytics / Web of Science as a Highly Cited Researcher.

: Oct. 4

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