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Robert Alfano wins Inventor of the Year and SPIE Gold Medal

Robert Alfano
CCNY experimental physicist Robert Alfano

Robert R. Alfano’s decades-long contribution to the field of ultrafast laser science and photonics is legendary with more than 120 patents and 700 publications. In further recognition of his pioneering research, the Distinguished Professor of Science and Engineering at The City College of New York is the recipient of two more major honors: ENYIPLA’s 2018 Inventor of Year award and SPIE’s 2019 Gold Medal.

The Inventor of the Year accolade from the Eastern New York Intellectual Property Law Association is for his patent that defines the application of supercontinuum light for medical and biological applications.   His discovery of supercontinuum is one of Alfano’s crowning achievements.

ENYIPLA cites that Alfano has been a prolific inventor “over many years as evidenced by his many patents which document his collaboration with others and his advances in the state of the art.”

He will receive the Inventor of the Year award, which includes a plaque and   New York State Senate Proclamation, this fall.

Alfano will receive the 2019 SPIE Gold Medal next August. SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics.

The Gold Medal is the highest honor presented annually by SPIE in recognition of outstanding engineering or scientific accomplishments in optics, electro-optics, or photographic technologies or applications. 

“The SPIE Awards Committee has made this recommendation in recognition of your outstanding seminal achievements and contributions to advancement of knowledge on fundamental properties of materials and their interaction with light in areas of biology, condensed matter, semiconductors, tunable lasers, and biomedical optics,” SPIE writes to Alfano.

About Robert Alfano
His career has been defined by his pioneering work in the application of light and photonics technologies to the study of biological, biomedical and condensed matter systems. In addition to his discovery of the supercontinuum, Alfano’s other research achievements include development of new Chromium  doped tunable NIR lasers, the advance of laser spectroscopic and optical imaging techniques for condensed matter and biomedical optics and photonics, and the study of ultrafast optical pulse propagation and imaging in scattering media.

His other accolades include the Optical Society of America’s Charles Hard Townes Award (2008) and Michael S. Feld Biophotonics honor (2016); the SPIE Britton Chance award for Biomedical Optics (2012); and the American Physical Society’s Arthur L Schawlow Prize in Laser Science (2013). Click here to read more.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks CCNY #2 among public colleges with the greatest success in ensuring the social mobility of our student body; at the same time the Center for world University Rankings places it in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself.  View CCNY Media Kit.



Jay Mwamba
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