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Optics Excellence

2019 ICO/ICTP Award honours two researchers

Optics Excellence
Optics Excellence


ICTP and the International Commission for Optics (ICO) have announced the recipients of their 2019 ICO/ICTP Gallieno Denardo Award. This year, the award is shared by two researchers: Muhammad Faryad of Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) in Pakistan, and Christian Tomas Schmiegelow of the Universidad de Buenos Aires in Argentina.

The winners were announced during the Winter College on Applications of Optics and Photonics in Food Science, held at ICTP from 11 to 22 February.


Watch a recording of the award ceremony.


The award for Faryad cites “his contributions to the understanding of light interaction with nanostructured materials, and applications in the area of optical surface waves, solar cells, optical metamaterials and the modelling of wave propagation in the nanostructured mediums.”

Faryad is an assistant professor in LUMS' Department of Physics. He is active in optics education and outreach activities there, including conducting an optics school that trains graduate students at LUMS from around Pakistan in contemporary optics research areas.

Schmiegelow received the ICO/ICTP Prize for “his contributions to the field of quantum optics and light-matter interaction, and in particular the demonstration of transfer of optical orbital momentum to bound electrons and studies on interaction of twisted light with trapped ions.” He has joint appointments as a researcher at CONICET (Argentina's National Research Council) and as a professor in the Department of Physics at the Universidad de Buenos Aires. He established the Laboratory for Cold Ions and Atoms, and has extensive experience in outreach activities, including mentoring, participating in the popularization of science, and teaching.

Both awardees delivered lectures during the award ceremony that was held at ICTP on 19 January. Faryad talked on "Surface multiplasmonics: Fundamentals and applications to optical sensing", while Schmiegelow gave a lecture titled, " Spectroscopy with twisted light. Or: How ions learnt to stop worrying and love the twist".

The ICO/ICTP Gallieno Denardo Award is given annually to researchers younger than 40 years of age from a developing country who have made significant contributions to the field of optics or photonics. The recipient receives a certificate and an invitation to participate in and deliver a lecture at an ICTP activity relevant to optics.