Sergio León-Saval appointed as 2023 Fellow of Optica

Our member and SRAP honorary president, A/Prof Sergio León-Saval (University of Sydney) has been appointed as Fellow of Optica in the class of 2023.

Formerly known as the Optical Society of America (OSA) since 1916, the Optica society has been the world’s leading champion for optics and photonics, uniting and educating scientists, engineers, educators, technicians and business leaders worldwide. Optica currently services 432,000 customers, 22,000 individual members, and 290 corporate members from more than 180 countries.

The number of Fellows is limited by the society’s bylaws to be no more than 10% of the total membership and the number elected each year is limited to approximately 0.5% of the current membership total. Since 1959, only 2,800 members have joined the ranks of Fellow, with only 71 Australians to join the ranks since 1974. These members have served the community and their research fields with distinction in the advancement of optics and photonics through distinguished contributions to education, research, engineering, business and society.

A/Prof León-Saval was awarded the Fellow distinction for “his for pioneering contributions to the field of astrophotonics, and the conceptual and experimental development of photonic lanterns and their applications”. He is one of the pioneers of the field of astrophotonics, a research field that started less than 15 years ago – fuelled by some of his early research on optical fibre systems and devices. This field of research has a strong cross-disciplinary and translational research foundations, creating innovative astronomical instrumentation and concepts using photonics technologies from other fields, such as optical telecommunications. His research leadership in this emerging field led to his appointment as Director of the astrophotonics laboratories at the University of Sydney, the Sydney Astrophotonics Instrumentation Laboratory (SAIL). Nowadays, there are at least 8 research centres and groups around the world that claim “Astrophotonics” as their core research area.