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John Bowers Wins 2012 John Tyndall Award


10 November 2011

Sarah Cogan The Optical Society 202.416.1409

John Bowers Wins 2012 John Tyndall Award

University of California, Santa Barbara professor receives award for contributions to optical communications industry

WASHINGTON, Nov. 10 – The Optical Society (OSA) and the IEEE Photonics Society are pleased to announce that John Bowers, Fred Kavil Chair in Nanotechnology and director of the Institute for Energy Efficiency at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is the recipient of the 2012 John Tyndall Award. Bowers is being recognized for "pioneering research in hybrid-silicon lasers and photonic integrated circuits."

Bowers, who is also a professor in the Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Materials at UC Santa Barbara, received his M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University and worked for AT&T Bell Laboratories and Honeywell before joining UC Santa Barbara in 1987. Bowers has made numerous contributions to the field of optical communications – including more than 450 published journal articles, eight book chapters, 700 conference papers and 52 patents – and has been recognized for this work throughout the course of his career. Bowers is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a fellow of IEEE, OSA, and the American Physical Society. He is a recipient of the OSA Holonyak Prize, the IEEE Photonics Society William Strifer Award, and the South Coast Business and Technology Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

The Tyndall Award recognizes Bowers' international leadership in the development of novel optoelectronic devices, including groundbreaking research in hybrid-silicon lasers and photonic integrated circuits. This hybrid technology lowers the costs of photonic sub-systems and allows optical communication technology to be applied to areas where it has been prohibitively expensive.

"John has been an active leader in the research and application of optical communications," said OSA CEO Elizabeth Rogan. "His work on hybrid-silicon lasers and computer circuitry sets the stage for the next generation of optoelectronic devices and paves the way for faster, more efficient optical communications technology."

Bowers will be presented the award during the plenary session of the 2012 Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition/National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (OFC/NFOEC) taking place at the Los Angeles Convention Center March 4 – 8.

"John's ground-breaking work on hybrid-silicon lasers has allowed us to combine the light-generating capability of III-V compounds with the fabrication advantages of silicon integrated waveguides," said IEEE Photonics Society Executive Director Rich Linke. "We are excited to celebrate John's achievements at OFC/NFOEC where the full optical communications community comes together to highlight advancements and share ideas."

The Tyndall Award is the highest recognition in the optical communications community and is co-sponsored by OSA and the IEEE Photonics Society. First presented in 1987, the Tyndall Award recognizes an individual who has made pioneering, highly significant, or continuing technical or leadership contributions to fiber optics technology. Corning, Inc. endows the award, a glass sculpture that represents the concept of total internal reflection. The award is named for the 19th century scientist who was the first to demonstrate a phenomenon of internal reflection.

About OSA

Uniting more than 130,000 professionals from 175 countries, the Optical Society (OSA) brings together the global optics community through its programs and initiatives. Since 1916 OSA has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing educational resources to the scientists, engineers and business leaders who work in the field by promoting the science of light and the advanced technologies made possible by optics and photonics. OSA publications, events, technical groups and programs foster optics knowledge and scientific collaboration among all those with an interest in optics and photonics. For more information, visit

About IEEE Photonics Society

The IEEE Photonics Society is the photonics branch of the world's largest professional science and engineering society. We are dedicated to promoting the photonics profession through the publication of the highest-impact journals in the field, the sponsorship of hundreds of high quality conferences around the world and the recognition of outstanding contributions in the field. Our activities span the full scope of science, technology and applications in the photonics field. For more information please visit:


For more than 35 years, the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition/National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (OFC/NFOEC) has been the premier destination for converging breakthrough research and innovation in telecommunications, optical networking and, recently, datacom and computing. Uniting service providers, systems companies, enterprise customers, IT businesses and component manufacturers, along with researchers, engineers and development teams, OFC/NFOEC combines dynamic business programming, an exposition of more than 500 companies and cutting-edge peer-reviewed research into one event that showcases the trends and pulse of the entire optical communications industry.

OFC/NFOEC is managed by the Optical Society (OSA) and co-sponsored by OSA, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers/Communications Society (IEEE/ComSoc) and the IEEE Photonics Society. Acting as a non-financial technical co-sponsor is Telcordia Technologies, Inc. Visit

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