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Dr. Axel Schülzgen received his PhD in Physics from Humboldt-University of Berlin, Germany. Since 2009 he is Professor of Optics and Photonics at CREOL, The College of Optics and Photonics, University of Central Florida. He also holds an Adjunct Research Professor position at the College of Optical Sciences, University of Arizona. Dr. Schülzgen’s current research interests include optical fiber devices, components, materials, and structures with applications in fiber laser systems, fiber optic sensing and imaging, and optical communications. He authored more than 130 scientific publications in peer reviewed journals, over 60 invited talks at international conferences, and 6 patents. Dr. Schülzgen is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America.
Michel Digonnet is a Professor in the Applied Physics Department at Stanford University. He received the degree of engineering from Ecole Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie de la Ville de Paris, the Diplome d’Etudes Approfondies in coherent optics from the University of Paris, Orsay, France, and the M.S and Ph.D in Applied Physics from Stanford University. His current interests include ultrahigh-precision fiber sensors, including fiber optic gyroscopes, strain and temperature sensors using slow-light fiber Bragg gratings, and acoustic sensors based on nanometric membranes. He is also actively involved in investigating exceptional points for sensing applications, as well as optical cooling of rare-earth-doped fibers and fiber lasers. He has published about 380 articles and issued more than 140 patents. Several of his patents have been licensed and are broadly used worldwide, including the invention with co-inventor John Shaw of the fiber optic amplifier, which is now the backbone of the high-speed Internet and communication. He has edited several books, chaired numerous conferences on fiber components, optical materials, and fiber sensors, and taught courses on these topics.
Peter D. Dragic received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA, in 1999. He currently is an Assistant Professor there. His thesis work focused on the development of high-power ﬁber lasers for LIDAR instrumentation, and he has continued to work on next-generation laser sources for optical remote sensing applications. Part of this emphasis is on high-performance ﬁber lasers and the mitigation of nonlinear optical phenomena that limit scalability in these systems. His research interests include in the design of specialty optical fibers for high power lasers and sensing, with a focus on novel glasses for these applications. He also has been involved with the launch of several start-up companies that focused on various optical technologies.
Dr. Kara Peters is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at North Carolina State University. She received her PhD in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1996. For her dissertation work, she received the Ivor K. McIvor Award for Applied Mechanics at the University of Michigan. Following her PhD, Dr. Peters worked as Post-Doctoral Researcher in the Laboratory of Applied Mechanics at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Swiss Institute of Technology at Lausanne). Dr. Peters is a member of the ASME Adaptive Structures and Material Systems Technical Committee and was the chair of the SPIE Smart Structures and Materials Symposium in 2010 and 2011. She is an Associate Editor of the journal Smart Materials and Structures and on the editorial board of Measurement Science and Technology. Currently, Dr. Peters is serving as a rotator as the Program Manager of the Mechanics of Materials and Structures Program at the National Science Foundation.
Clay Kirkendall has been Head of the Fiber Optic Sensor Section at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC since 1999. The section consists of multiple groups performing research and development of advanced photonic sensors for Navy applications. He has been involved in fiber sensor development from basic research in novel sensing techniques through the development and fielding of fiber optic sensor systems on operational Navy platforms.
Dr. Cranch received a BSc in Physics from the University of Bath in 1995 and a PhD in Applied Physics from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh in 2001. After working at GEC-Marconi and the Defense Research and Evaluation Agency from 1997 to 2000 he joined the Naval Research Laboratory. He currently leads the Fiber Photonics section developing fiber optic and photonic sensing technology and devices for precision measurement. The group’s focus extends from basic research into novel sensing concepts through to applied research, prototyping and field trial. Application areas for the sensing technology include underwater surveillance and monitoring, structural health and environmental monitoring and experiments supporting explosion monitoring. Dr Cranch has published over 80 journal and conference publications with several invited talks. He has also written two book chapters and holds five patents. Dr Cranch is Division Editor (Optical Technology) for Applied Optics and has served as technical editor for the Journal of Sensors (’11-’14). He has served on the technical committee for the Optical Fiber Sensors conference (’07-’15), IEEE Sensors conference(’09-’13) and OSA Sensors conference(’10-’14). He received the Alan Berman Research publication award in 2015 for the development of fiber optic shock wave diagnostics.