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Honorary Fellows: Professor Donna Strickland

For her pioneering method of generating high-intensity, ultrashort optical pulses.

Donna Strickland is a Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Waterloo, Canada. She is one of the recipients of the Nobel Prize in Physics 2018 for developing chirped pulse amplification with Gérard Mourou, her PhD supervisor at the time. They published this Nobel-winning research in 1985 when Strickland was a PhD student at the University of Rochester in New York state.

Together they paved the way toward the most intense laser pulses ever created. The research has several applications today in industry and medicine, including the cutting of a patient’s cornea in laser eye surgery and the machining of small glass parts for use in cell phones.

Strickland was a research associate at the National Research Council Canada, a physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and a member of technical staff at Princeton University. In 1997, she joined the University of Waterloo, where her ultrafast laser group develops high-intensity laser systems for nonlinear optics investigations.

She served as the president of the Optical Society (OSA) in 2013 and is a fellow of OSA and SPIE (International Society for Optics and Photonics). Strickland is an honorary fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and holds numerous honorary doctorates.

Strickland earned a PhD in optics from the University of Rochester, USA and a bachelor of engineering from McMaster University, Canada.