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OSA Recognizes Chu as Advocate of Optics

US Secretary of Energy Steven Chu is The Optical Society’s 2013 Advocate of Optics. He was recognized at a reception as part of OSA’s annual two-day Leadership Conference in Washington.

Chu received the honor for “public policy leadership and efforts in support of the advancement of the science and light,” particularly his efforts in increasing investments for photovoltaics, LEDs and other optics-based energy technologies, OSA said. He is well known in the optics community for his Nobel Prize-winning work on laser cooling.

OSA President Donna Strickland (right), presents the 2013 Advocate of Optics honor to U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu in Washington, D.C. Feb. 7. Courtesy of OSA.

An OSA Fellow and honorary member, Chu was appointed by President Obama as the Secretary of Energy in 2009. Under his direction, the Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative has invested in more than 150 research, manufacturing and market solutions projects in photovoltaics, concentrating solar power and systems integration.

“Steve has helped raise the profile of optical science to the national level by showcasing the tremendous potential of optics and photonics in energy production,” said OSA President Donna Strickland, who presented the honor to Chu. “His endless enthusiasm for and dedication to the field of optics has made him an invaluable advocate for the industry.”

Chu previously held positions at Bell Labs, Stanford University, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley.

To be recognized as an OSA Advocate of Optics, a public official must have a record consistent with his or her support of science, optics and photonics and be an enthusiastic advocate for science policy issues, with particular regard to advancing the science of light.

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