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Two Prestigious Prizes in Quantum Electronics and Optics announced by the EPS

Posted By Administration, 31 May 2017

MULHOUSE, [29 May 2017] – The European Physical Society is delighted to announce the 2017 winners of its two most prestigious prizes in Quantum Electronics and Optics. These prizes, awarded only once every two years, recognize the highest level of achievements in fundamental and applied research in optical physics. The awards will be presented in a special Plenary Ceremony on Tuesday, June 27, 2017 during the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics Europe (CLEO®/Europe) and the European Quantum Electronics Conference (EQEC), held in Munich, Germany.

2017 Prize for Fundamental Aspects of Quantum Electronics and Optics: Niek F. van Hulst

The 2017 Prize for Fundamental Aspects of Quantum Electronics and Optics is awarded to Prof. Niek van Hulst, ICREA research professor at ICFO, The Institute of Photonic Sciences, Barcelona, Spain. The Prize is awarded to Professor van Hulst For pioneering contributions to nano-optics and its applications to molecular spectroscopy and to ultrafast light-matter interactions.


Niek van Hulst studied Physics and Astronomy (BSc 1978) and Experimental Physics (MSc 1981) at the University of Nijmegen, where he also obtained a PhD in Molecular & Laser Physics 1986. He was researcher and assistant professor at the University of Twente. He became full professor in Applied Optics at the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology of the University of Twente in 1997, where his research fields included nanophotonics, optical scanning probe technology and single molecule detection. In 2005 he moved as ICREA research professor and senior group leader to the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) in Barcelona. There he performed ground-breaking research on the control of light interaction both on the nanometre and the femtosecond scale. Particularly notable achievements include the first demonstration of directional emission from a single molecule coupled to a nano-antenna, the confinement of light down to 20 nm and applications to high resolution imaging, an optical TV-antenna driven by a single quantum dot and ultrafast coherent control of single molecules. Current research topics are the emission control, nanofocusing and nanoscale imaging by nanoantenna probes in controlled proximity to single photon emitters and the coherent control of molecular dynamics and nanoscale antenna fields by phase controlled excitation with fewfs broad-band pulses.

Niek van Hulst heads the academic program of ICFO and is a coordinator of the Spanish CONSOLIDER network He is recipient of the European Science Award of the Körber Foundation 2003 and the City of Barcelona’s science prize Premi Ciutat 2010. He published about 230 papers in refereed journals and is a fellow of the OSA. He was awarded two ERC Advanced Investigator Grants in 2010 and 2015 and a Proof of Concept Grant 2016.

2017 Prize for Applied Aspects of Quantum Electronics and Optics: Victor Malka

The 2017 Prize for Applied Aspects of Quantum Electronics and Optics is awarded to Prof. Victor Malka, CNRS research director at the Laboratoire d’Optique Appliquée, Palaiseau, France and Professor at the Weizmann Institute for Science, Rehovot, Israel. The Prize is awarded to Professor Malka For pioneering research using ultra-high intensity lasers for laser-plasma accelerators and their applications.