MRL Principal Investigators Named Optica Fellows

Honored for Contributions to the Science of Light

Elizabeth A. Thomson | Materials Research Laboratory
March 30, 2022

Three principal investigators from the Materials Research Laboratory (MRL) have been named 2022 Fellows of Optica, the leading organization for scientists and engineers interested in the science of light.

Anuradha Murthy Agarwal, Juejun Hu, and Lionel Kimerling are among 106 new members elected by their peers for serving with distinction in the advancement of optics and photonics. The election process is highly competitive because Fellows can account for no more than 10 percent of the total membership.

Kim JJ AnuLeft to Right: Professor Lionel C. Kimerling, Associate Professor Juejun Hu, Principal Research Scientist Anuradha Agarwal

Anuradha Murthy Agarwal is an MRL principal research scientist. She was cited for “pioneering contributions to integrated mid-infrared photonic sensing, detection, imaging and leadership in training the next generation in photonics manufacturing.”

Says Agarwal, “I am truly honored to be named an Optica Fellow. Being recognized for my work and my contribution to the scientific field is very rewarding. I wish in turn to recognize that none of this would be possible without the work of scientists who came before me.

 “I was also fortunate to have received excellent early mentorship, and I am ready to be a mentor and give back in full measure and more. I am grateful to my colleagues, students, postdocs, and my scientific community for enabling this continuing journey of discovery.”

Juejun Hu is an associate professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (DMSE). He was cited for “original and innovative contributions to integrated photonics.”

Says Hu, “I regard [being named a 2022 Optica Fellow] as not an honor bestowed upon myself — rather, it should be properly credited to the team: my current and former group members, our collaborators, as well as my mentors (including Kim [Lionel Kimerling] and Anu [Anuradha Murthy Agarwal], among many others) who made this possible. I am humbled and deeply grateful.” (Kimerling and Agarwal were also named 2022 Optica Fellows.)

Lionel Kimerling is the Thomas Lord Professor of Materials Science and Engineering. Kimerling, who is also director of the MIT Microphotonics Center, was cited for “pioneering contributions to silicon photonics.”

Says Kimerling, “This Fellow recognition by Optica, the premier professional society for photonics research, was a complete surprise. I am grateful to our pioneering graduate students who first conceived and continue to demonstrate the viability of photonic integration with silicon materials; to academic colleagues and the research infrastructure at MIT and beyond; and to the Industrial Consortium of the MIT Microphotonics Center.  This community met the challenge of moving the impossible into high volume production, and in doing so, they have created, with silicon photonics, the primary scaling vector for communication and computation systems performance today.”

Two other members of the MIT community were also named 2022 Optica Fellows. Dirk Englund, an associate professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science who is also affiliated with the MRL, was cited for “pioneering contributions to quantum photonics and integrated photonics for applications in optical computing.”

David Caplan, senior staff at Lincoln Laboratory, was cited for “pioneering contributions to high-sensitivity, multi-rate optical transceivers for terrestrial, near-Earth and interplanetary laser communications.”

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